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High Protein-High Fiber Dog Food-What Does That Mean?

Updated on January 24, 2010

Should You Offer High Protein Dog Food?

Many pet owners are concerned with the contents of the food their pets eat. We worry about whether specialty foods are a ripoff, whether grocery store brands are really providing nutrition, and whether table scraps are okay. One question many owners have is whether we should feed high protein dog food. Here's a look at some of the things people believe about pets and protein, and what the reality is. There are many things that most of us just don't know.

Contrary to what many people think, high protein dog food won't hurt your dog, whether you have a young, active dog, a brand new puppy, or an aging dog with changing nutritional needs. High protein diets for dogs don't cause kidney problems or bone trouble, and can actually be a big help. Protein is the building block for lean muscle, and will help improve your pet's skin and coat. Dogs with kidney problems should maintain a moderate protein diet, not a low protein one, and most dogs aren't getting enough, much less eating more protein than they really need.

A dog that's not getting the protein levels his or her diet should offer can have a lot of problems, ranging from immune issues to higher stress levels. In fact, picking a food that offers plenty of protein can be an important part of staying out of the vet's office. Be sure you pick a food that's not overly high in calcium or fat (calcium for large breed puppies should be at two percent or less). A few high protein dog foods have up to twenty percent of their calories from fat - a great choice for active dogs, but a bad one for sedentary pets.

If your dog really likes the food you currently feed, that doesn't mean you can't improve his or her protein intake. Just start adding fresh foods that are high in protein, like cottage cheese, bone in canned fish such as mackerel, yogurt, eggs, meats and more. A high carb diet could be causing health and behavior problems, and the solution is remarkably simple - just increase the protein.

Remember to take care what you feed certain animals. It's important not to over feed large or giant breed puppies, to keep them from straining their bones and joints. Puppies that grow too fast can have some real health problems. Prevent this by avoiding calcium supplements and don't feed your puppy what an adult dog would eat.

Senior dogs are often the recipients of low protein dog food, which can actually make them fatter. High carbohydrate foods can encourage dogs too eat too much in order to get certain nutrients. Instead of high carb, low protein food, consider feeding your overweight or senior dog a moderate fat, low carb, high protein dog food. It could make a huge change in your pet!


What Are The Health Benefits Of High Fiber Dog Food?

People all around the world are hearing that increasing the amount of fiber they eat can improve their health and prevent cancerous conditions. So, it's not really surprising if you wonder whether your pet ought to be eating high fiber food, too. The answer is a cautious yes - only some dogs should have high levels of fiber in their diet. Let's examine which dogs should eat more fiber, what's food and isn't good for them, and the side effects of a diet that's too high or low in this basic substance.

Step one is being aware that dogs don't work like people. We need more fiber than dogs, because we're naturally omnivorous, while dogs are naturally supposed to eat mostly meat. But wild dogs, wolves, foxes and other canines do get some fiber in what they eat - it's what makes their digestive systems work the way they should. If they don't get enough, they could have digestive and excretory problems. However, dogs that eat too much fiber can have trouble getting the right nutrition and have other issues as well.

Animals that can get the benefits of extra fiber include dogs that have diabetes and dogs with anal gland disease. Fiber helps diabetic dogs have lower fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. It helps dogs with anal gland disease - an uncomfortable condition that can cause "scooting," abscesses, and other issues - feel better and have fewer problems.

It's been said that older dogs need a higher fiber diet to keep them trim and fit, since fiber will help your dog feel full without ingesting too many calories. This is why so many diet dog foods include large quantities of fiber. But recent studies suggest that they aren't really doing all that much for dogs who are already on diets that reduce their calories. As long as they're get enough to keep them from being constipated, they're fine on normal foods.

The majority of dog foods do contain some fiber, but how much depends on the manufacturer, brand and type. The kind of fiber is also usually different. Carbohydrates almost all include a little bit of fiber. The most common types used in commercial dog food include sugar beet pulp, peanut, soybean, or rice hulls, corn and corn by products and pectin.

Not all these sources are ideal. Talk to your vet to find out what makes the best high fiber food for dogs, and whether your pet requires one.



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