Coming home from a long day at work and having your dog greet you is one of the greatest welcomes you can get. But when your dog isn’t getting the proper nutrition they need… this might not happen as frequently as you wish it would.
Take a close look at your dog’s coat, is it dull and dry? Has your dog been scratching more than usual lately? A poor coat is a symptom of a nutrient deficiency. Your dog may also be having a few potty issues as well, including diarrhea, extra smelly bowel movements, or even constipation. Lastly, does your dog seem extra tired lately? Well, just like you, if your dog isn’t eating all the nutrients needed he/she is going to feel pretty lethargic. If your pup has been experiencing any of these things (besides talking to your vet) one of the first things you should look at is what’s in his food.
Protein is essential to a healthy diet for your dog. There are three different types of protein that can be found in your dog’s food: plant-based, grain-based, and animal-based. The importance of protein is that it contains amino acids. Amino acids are essential to a healthy immune system in your dog, as well as being vital to grow healthy new cells in all parts of your dog’s body. The difference between the sources of protein lies in the “biological value.” This phrase is used to describe how easily your dog’s digestive system can break down the protein into something it can use, which is the amino acids.
Animal-based proteins, such as meat, have a higher biological value than the other two sources. Grains like wheat corn and sorghum are biologically incompatible with dogs and can often have a “Toxic” effect on a dog’s health. Unfortunately, many commercially made dog foods are grain-based, so it’s important when shopping for dog food to read all the nutritional labels and make sure you’re getting a meat-based chow.
When deciding which food to purchase, there are two key things you’ll want to check. The first thing to look for is protein levels of 28% or higher. After that, check that the first ingredients are animal-source, not grain-source. Ideally, you’ll want to check the entire ingredients list for no grains or plant proteins like pea protein or soy protein. Basically you want to see similar protein level and ingredients as the product below.
Dogs have been carnivores since the beginning of time and when we domesticated them we tried to integrate grains and plants into their diets. But just because we’ve changed their diet doesn’t mean we have also changed their digestive systems. Meat-based protein is vital to a healthy digestive and immune system for your dog.
Veterinarian T.J. Dunn Jr. states in his article “Focusing on Protein in the Diet” that “There are 22 amino acids involved in the dog’s metabolism and of these the dog requires 10 different amino acids to be supplied by the diet.” Your dog gets those amino acids from protein, remember? So feeding your pup a food with a high-quality meat-based protein will deliver those necessary amino acids more efficiently than foods with plant or grain-based proteins because of the higher biological value.
This protein also helps your dog have a healthier immune system according to Dr. Jennifer Coates. She states in her article “Optimal Nutrition Gives the Immune System a Boost” that “Supplemental arginine (an amino acid) has been linked to increased T-cell immune function. T-cells direct and regulate the body’s immune responses and/or directly attack infections and cancers.” Animal proteins, such as chicken, have up to 50% more arginine than wheat and grains. Super important for your four-legged friend’s health.
When you decide to make the switch to a healthy diet packed with meat protein, one of the first things you’ll notice is healthier muscles and tendons, as well as a beautiful shiny coat. But, not only will your dog be looking great and feeling even better, you’ll notice increased energy and…your running buddy will be back in action! Your dog’s digestive system will also be working more regularly, so no tummy aches and no diarrhea or constipation. In fact, you may find that those “special gifts” left in the backyard are much easier to clean up. All in all, you’ll have a much happier, much healthier dog.
If you’re looking to improve your dog’s health by switching to an animal protein based, grain-free food for your dog, check out our bestselling grain free dog food to make sure your favorite furry friend’s health and happiness are taken care of. If you are already a loyal fan, please share this blog with a friend!