dog food

More Life For Your Dog?

Dog Health

More Life For Your Dog?

6 Surprising Protein Facts
That Can Add Years To Your Dog’s Life
And Save You Money!

Scientists, Canine Nutritionists, Veterinarians agree

Dietary protein is essential to your dog’s health

But did you know that protein can add years to your dog’s life?

Or the surprising reasons why?

Read on to discover what your dog is depending on you to know about protein:

  • Crucial facts about your dog’s protein needs
  • Why protein source inevitably affects protein quality
  • What to look for when you’re shopping for dog food

Let’s get started with…

Protein Fact #1: Amino Acids:

Protein is the most abundant molecule in your dog’s body. It is made up of one or more amino acids. Amino acids are the individual building blocks that make up your dog’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies and more.

There are two groups of amino acids.

  1. A) Essential Amino Acids: These must be supplied by the diet, because they are not made by the body.
  2. B) Non-Essential Amino Acids: These are made by the body, if there are enough “building materials” available. And this only happens with a balanced

So, your dog must get enough protein from his dog food to allow his digestive system to extract the amino acids. His body then uses them to rebuild, repair or replace various cells.

Here’s what that means: A strong immune function, appetite, weight maintenance, tissue health and shiny coat are all directly related to your dog taking in sufficient protein from his dog food.

So, how much protein are we talking? Let’s find out in …

Protein Fact #2: The Protein Percentage

In a research study, sled dogs were fed diets of 16, 24, 32, and 40% protein. None of the dogs on the 16% protein food made it through the training season without at least one injury serious enough to remove them from training.

Remarkably, dogs fed the 32% and 40% protein foods had no injuries!

Implication? A high protein dog food can reduce injuries in your dog.

  • If your dog food indicates it has less than 28% protein, this is inadequate.
  • Optimal protein percentages are between 28-40%. Be sure to check the quantity on the label.

Protein Fact #3: Protein Source, Quality and Digestibility

Not only should you pay attention to protein percentage, but also the protein type.

Companies selling low-budget dog food products would have you believe that all forms of protein are created equal. Not true.

Quite simply, cheaper sources of protein are not absorbed well by your dog’s digestive system. And protein not properly digested and absorbed delivers zero value to your dog!

Adding insult to injury, poor quality proteins also have an incomplete amino-acid profile.

Although dogs can survive on plant based protein, like soybeans and corn gluten, they absolutely thrive on animal-based sources like chicken, lamb and fish.

Protein Fact #4: Beware Crude Protein

It’s important to note that the term “crude protein” in a dog food’s Guaranteed Analysis, means there is no statement to the digestibility of this protein.

Protein comes in many forms — even shoe leather, chicken feathers or cow hooves have a fairly high crude protein content!

In the digestive process, the body would be able to extract and process very little of it — and at the price of a lot of digestive stress.

A favourite amongst dog food manufacturers as a cheap protein booster is corn gluten meal, a by-product of the human food processing industry.

In effect, it’s the left-overs from the manufacture of corn starch and corn syrup.

Corn gluten meal has a crude protein content of 60%, so theoretically even if your food recipe contained no other protein sources at all, you could make a food with a 20% crude protein content by mixing it 1:2 with some cheap carb source!

This fact alone illustrates how critical it is for dog owners to understand the finer details of the dog food they’re feeding their little friends.

Animal Nutritionist and protein expert, Sabine Contreras, puts it this way:

“Digestibility is more important than the actual protein content of the product because the amount of digestible protein is what counts for proper nutrition, not the amount of “crude” protein.

What would you rather feed? A food with a protein content of 30% that is 60% digestible, or one with a protein content of 22% that is 95% digestible?”

Protein Fact #5: 12 Impacts of Protein-Quality On Dog Health…

High quality proteins vs low quality proteins in dog food has a huge impact on the health of your dog.

Here’s a comparison table to illustrate the benefits and dangers of high and low-quality protein. The facts may surprise you:

  High Quality Protein:
Sources: eggs, muscle, organ meats, animal based: chicken, lamb, fish.
Low Quality Protein
Sources: grains, corn, corn gluten meal, soy, other vegetables based.
1 Healthy appetite Decreased appetite
2 Superior amino acid balance Deficient amino acid balance
3 Healthy growth Poor growth
4 Low incidence of injury Injury prone
5 Resulting weight stability Resulting weight loss
6 Shiny coat Rough and dull coat
7 Improves immune function Decreased immune function
8 Easy to digest Difficult to digest
9 Low nutrient to waste ratio Generates large amount of waste
10 Low stool count Larger stool count
11 Kidney stress
12 Lower reproductive performance

Protein Fact #6: Addressing Your Frequently Asked Questions

Of course, there’s a kibble-mix of views out there, and a great deal of misunderstanding.

To keep you from getting in a twist about dog food protein, Animal Nutritionist Sabine Contreras gives answers to the most commonly asked questions:

Q: What happens if I feed my dog too much protein?

A: When you feed your dog more protein than he needs, the extra protein is metabolised and used for energy.

Unlike fat, excessive protein is not stored as such in the body, but once the demand for amino acids is met and protein reserves are filled, protein energy could be used for the production of fat.

Q: I read that too much protein will cause hyperactivity in my dog. Is this    true?

A: There is absolutely no scientific evidence that high protein diets cause dogs to get “hyper.” There are no biochemical or nutritional factors that support this.
Hyperactivity is really myth #1

Q: Would too much protein cause my dog to become aggressive?

A: Again, there is zero evidence to support the claim that high protein diets cause dogs to become “aggressive.”
Aggression is myth #2.

Q:  Would too much protein cause my dog to develop kidney problems?

A: There is no conclusive evidence so far that protein intake contributes to the development of kidney dysfunction in healthy animals.
Kidney problems are myth #3!

Q: Isn’t a low protein diet preferable for my dog?

A: No. This is a common error. It is only true in cases where your dog suffers from some sort of illness that would require restricted amounts of protein. High protein diets are commonly recommended especially for dogs who are inactive, pregnant or lactating, or those who are “working dogs.” This doesn’t mean however that every dog doesn’t require a high level of amino acids to optimally maintain their health and ensure consistent tissue repair.

Q: Is it true that large-breed puppies benefit from moderate protein content in their dog food whilst they’re growing?

A: Yes, during the growth stage of large-breed puppies, a moderate protein diet allows for slower, more even growth and helps prevent orthopaedic problems.

This should be reassessed as the puppy enters adulthood, however. So the answer to this question is a qualified “Yes”, but should be re-assessed after your dog reaches maturity.

Q: Why are dog food industry viewpoints so different? Are there a great many      grain based dog food products on the market?

A: The concept of avoiding proteins and healthy fats in a dog’s diet seems to be tied directly to cost. Grains are cheap, but quality meats — and proteins — are not.

“Big Players” in the pet food industry market their products on least-cost ideas of “proper nutrition.” As a result, wrong dietary principles are pushed on consumers who simply want to do what is best for their pets.


If your dog could talk, he would say, “Feed me high quality protein!”

Because only high-quality protein helps your little best friend live the long and happy life you both want. Now, armed with these facts, you can make better choices … save money … and add years to the life of your dog!

If you still have questions, or want anything clarified, please contact, or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!

WATCH THIS FREE BITE-SIZED VIDEO — on how to choose the best kind of dog food to suit your dog – and make sure he is getting an optimal – high-quality – protein percentage:

Used, Boxers at beach umbrella

5 Things You Need To Do This Summer To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy!

Dog Health

5 Things You Need To Do This Summer To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy!

You may not know this but summer brings many dangers to your dog’s wellbeing and happiness. Here are the 5 Most Important things I believe you should do to ensure your dog is happy and healthy during the hot summer days.

  1. Fleas- They can be really annoying to your dog and yourself. They can often create an allergic reaction in your dog that will lead to a skin infection and a trip to the vet. This is most common in the spring months because as it warms up fleas go crazy breeding. Even if you are doing a flea treatment every month I believe it’s a good idea to check your dog every two weeks in case the flea treatment isn’t working. This way if an outbreak starts you can nip it in the bud before it gets real bad. To check for fleas I usually look at the thick hair around the tail. When your dog is lying down, you can also check around the belly button. If you see just ONE flea you will need to take action.
  2. WATER- In summer dogs drink a lot more water than in winter. I recommend having a large water bowl/bucket that holds about 1L of water per kg of dog. I know this sounds like over kill and it is. However my reasoning is if for some reason there is an emergency where you can’t go home for two or three days, your dog will have enough water to survive while you are gone. A dog can live weeks and weeks without food but won’t last two days in summer without water.
  3. SHADE- Ensure your dog has not just ample shade but guaranteed shade during the hot summer months. If you can bring them inside in to the air conditioning that’s great. If outside I prefer the shade of a large leafy green tree as they seem to cool the air much better than manmade structures. If you don’t have a tree then a large shaded area is better than a small shaded area. Under the house or in a cellar are better because low lying places are always cooler.
  4. LOOK OUT FOR SNAKES- as it warms up snakes are coming out of hibernation. I know this because about this time last year I had two dogs bitten while out on a morning walk. The next few months are the worst because when snakes come out of hibernation they are very hungry and active while looking for food. They are also braver searching for food closer to humans and dogs as any smell of life/food is inviting to them. Once they eat one or two meals they go back to their cautious selves staying away from activity.

    So what you can do is keep your dog on lead at all times while walking near creeks and in parks. At home there is not much you can do except if you hear your dog barking excitedly rush out and check that it’s not a snake. If it is, remove your dog from the area without you or the dog getting bitten. If your dog does get bitten, rush to the vet. If you know what type of snake it is, that will help your vet choose the right antivenin. Also call your vet on the way there to ensure they have the right antivenin as many vets don’t carry the different types. First aid for dogs is often hard because dogs usually get bitten on the face and it’s not possible to do a pressure immobilisation bandage on a dog’s face.

  5. LOSE WEIGHT FOR SUMMER- Not you…your dog! Ok you may be trying to shed some winter fat to look good in your swimsuit this summer, which is good, however your dog will also benefit from being leaner in the hotter months.

    This is because dogs don’t perspire like we do and actually once they get hot, it’s much much harder for them to cooldown. The best thing we can do for them is drop their weight in summer to where they are “thin”. By doing this we allow them to get rid of excess heat faster.

    This is how it works. Let’s look at the difference between how quickly a pot of tea cools compared to a cup of tea. Because the pot of tea has more volume than the cup of tea it holds its heat much better. Same goes for your dog when its fat it has more volume and therefore holds the heat better.

    By making your dog lean there is less volume so the heat can dissipate faster. Not to mention fat is a good insulator, so a fat dog is like a tea pot covered by a tea cosy. That heat isn’t getting out in a hurry. A lean dog is like a small cup of tea and can cooldown much quicker. Lean dogs also don’t get as hot as fat dogs because they don’t have to work as hard because they are carrying less weight.

    With heat exhaustion being a real possibility in summer, a leaner dog could be a good insurance policy. You still need to watch you don’t walk your dog during the hotter times of the day; but when lean you will notice your dog doesn’t puff as much and will enjoy their walks much more.

    Lean dogs also live longer with less illnesses throughout their lives so it’s definitely worth doing. So here is how to do it. If your dog is at a “nice” condition decrease food portion by 20% until you see your dog is at a lean condition (IDEAL with a few ribs showing) then adjust accordingly. If your dog is overweight decrease food portions by 50% until your dog is at a lean condition then adjust accordingly.

dog health tips

When Caring for Your Dog, Less is often More?

Dog Health

When Caring for Your Dog, Less is often More?

With caring for your dog, we all want to do the best job we can. Sometimes this causes us to overthink things and even do too much for them even if it is not beneficial to them. A good example is giving treats and overfeeding. We do these things because we want to show them we love them.

Over the 35 plus years I have spent owning, breeding and caring for dogs, I have tried every possible conceivable thing when it comes to dog care. These tips are from my own experiences and I suggest trying them yourself and see if it works for your dog. Every dog is different and some dogs have special needs so please be aware of this when trying these tips.

When I was eight, I remember feeding Pal Meaty bites and a can of Chum to my dad’s hunting dogs. Later we would cook meat and rice for them because the food had to be cooked, right? As time passed on I moved to feeding raw meaty bones and eventually come to the conclusion of feeding both raw meaty bones and a high quality grain free dry dog food, like we at Stay Loyal Dog Food recommend.

Sometimes, less is more. By not cooking, you get more out of it. So if you do cook for your dog, maybe consider gradually changing to raw. Healthy dogs have a very acidic stomach that can deal with any bacteria on fresh/almost fresh meat. The cooking process only takes away from the raw meat and also dries the bone out causing it to splinter when chewed, which is not good.

Another area where less is more is regarding feeding your dog on the ground instead of with dog bowls. I remember when we would wash all the dog bowls clean every day. We used to think the dogs had to eat out of clean bowls only. Well not anymore!

This paradigm shift happened many years ago when I was on a hunting trip. At that time I was talking to a farmer who was feeding his working kelpies. The farmer was just throwing the dog food on the ground. Me, being the smart arse I was said, “Can’t you afford bowls?” He laughed and explained that he had bowls but the dogs just looked healthier and got sick less when he stopped using them.

These days I just throw the food on the ground and let my dogs eat off the ground. Yes there is dirt and bacteria on the ground. That’s how they get MORE. I believe they get minerals from the dirt and also beneficial bacteria which possibly help prevent allergies. I have come to this assumption after reading scientific studies on humans which showed that kids who were allowed to play in the dirt when growing up have a much lesser tendency to get allergies than the kids who were not allowed to play in the dirt. Possibly the same may go for dogs that get to eat off the ground rather than out of a clean bowl. They ingest the beneficial bacteria which keep their immune system working properly.

Sprinkling their dry food around on the ground is also a fun game for your dog and forces them to use their nose and eat a little slower. If you choose to try this technique please make sure you are not putting the food on a toxic waste dump. The ground should be free of chemicals and such. If you are unsure about how chemical free your ground is best stick to bowls.

The amount of food you feed. Funnily enough, less can be more here as well. If your dog is overweight, feeding less will make your dog live longer. In fact in a scientific study, dogs kept at a lean healthy weight lived 2 years, on average, longer than their overweight littermates. You can see what a lean healthy condition for your dog is by clicking here.

Treats and toys. Less is more here as well. I can’t think of a better treat for your dog than a nice meaty lamb shank or cow leg bone cut long ways down the middle so your dog can access the nutritious marrow in the centre. There are a lot of “treats” and “toys” on the market today most are unhealthy grain based “treats” that don’t do anything for your dog’s health. Bones are healthy, natural and do a great job of cleaning your dog’s teeth. Next time you want to treat your dog, give it a nice meaty raw bone to chew on.

To conclude, I would like to say that there are areas where more can be beneficial as well. There is nothing wrong with caring more for your dog. The best way to do this is with less food and treats and more walks. Because every breed and dog is different, read this article, to discover how much exercise is best for your dog. I don’t need to go through the benefits of walking your dog however let’s just say it will benefit both you and your dog.