Thursday, June 24, 2010

Your Dog's Health Is Directly Related to Protein Consumption

For thousands of years dogs and before them wolves were forced to find their own food. These meals were composed primarily of meat with some fat and fiber and a small amount of carbohydrates. Their only concern was finding enough meat to meet their natural drive to consume protein. In some innate way, canines were and are driven to a diet high in protein to maintain a healthy body. They are naturally drawn to meals that satisfy the necessary components needed to sustain life. Protein contains these necessary building blocks called amino acids that are essential to your dog's health.The debate over canine meals began when the first bag of dog food was created and intended to replace the traditional meal for dogs. Initially, little thought or concern was placed on the quality of the protein in dog food. However, with the growing concern about a dog's health came the discussion about what type of protein was being used. In addition, dog owners became interested in their dog's ability to digest and utilize the necessary elements in commercial dog food. These concerns led to the challenge of creating a food that was and is better for our canine friends through independent research. While dog food manufacturers will recommend and promote their brand to boost sales, independent research can give a clearer picture of the best formulation for your dog by comparing various brands.Proteins are made of amino acids. Amino acids are the basic elements needed to promote and support growth and development as well as a healthy immune system. Twelve of the twenty-two known amino acids can be naturally made by your dog. However, to maintain your dog's health you must provide a quality food that allows them to consume the remaining ten amino acids. The amino acids that must be consumed are called the essential amino acids. These ten amino acids include arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. An interesting fact is that dogs are able to manufacture their own taurine (an amino acid) while cats are not and must get it from their diet. This is the main reason that dogs are able to live on cat food but cats cannot live on dog food.As one attempts to supplement their dog's diet with the necessary amino acids, there are a number of items to keep in mind. In general, puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs will require a higher amount of protein that will change as the growth period or pregnancy changes. Adult dogs do not require as high a percentage of protein in their diets and special concerns arise as the animal ages. Kidney function is extremely important when considering the amount of protein need to maintain a dog's health as related to ingested protein. This is the reason for the various dog foods that represent the various stages of a dog's life. While protein is an extremely important element, offer the right amount during the different stages of life maybe more important.

By. Brent Harte