Protien – Healthy or Harmful

Protein-Healthy or Harmful

It is important to  provide protein for all stages of your pet’s life. Protein is essential in  early stages to sustain rapid development, and as your pet ages, protein  provides regenerative support.

The labels on  commercial pet foods list crude protein values, which indicate overall protein  in the package rather than the amount of usable protein. The quality and the  sources of the protein in your pet’s foods are of primary importance. It should  come from real meat sources, not by-products or mystery meat meal. Much of the  unusable protein in commercial foods comes from grains  and other difficult-to-digest foods, and can actually cause protein deficiency,  along with other health issues including digestive problems and allergies.

The kidneys are  another organ that is often associated with protein intake. According to  researchers, high protein levels in food DO NOT cause kidney damage in the  normal, healthy dog or cat! It is very important to feed your pet a high  biological value protein. This means a protein that is highly digestible,  easily absorbed by the intestinal tract, and that its amino acid components  (the building blocks of proteins) include all the essential types of amino  acids in their optimal proportions, leaving little for the kidneys to filter.  This is crucial for animals that have impaired kidney function as well because  by-products of protein digestion are the main toxins that need to be excreted  by the kidneys.

Starting your pet on  a high quality, easily digestible, utilized protein, from the beginning, will  give their bodies the appropriate fuel needed to function at the highest  possible level.

In recent years,  there has been a great deal of debate regarding the effects of protein on our  pets. There is a misconception that protein accelerates bone development, and  that pets, especially large breed dogs, can be negatively affected if they  consume too much protein when they are young. It is sometimes argued that  excess protein could also harm the kidneys. Unfortunately, these misconceptions  have led to feeding practices that are harmful for our pets.

The truth is -  genetics determines growth rate, not the amount of protein consumed. Carnivores  require a large amount of protein, which is converted and processed in several  ways to support the many cellular structures in the body. Feeding high levels  of protein along with the appropriate ratio of calcium and phosphorus with  other necessary minerals will not cause bone problems. Bone growth problems are  usually a result of excess calories or an inappropriate ratio of calcium to  phosphorus, rather than excess protein. Dogs raised on commercial diets with  substandard ingredients experience more musculoskeletal problems than those  raised on a natural diet that includes protein from high quality meat.

Source: Dr. Bruce  DeBaun. “The Protein Controversy”, thepetcenter.com, http://web.archive.org/web/20041116093427/ http://www.dog.com/vet/nutrition/05.html ^back to top

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