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Dogs and their ancestors have a storied love affair with protein with meat being the primary source. In the wild, prey was hunted down for their meat while only a very small portion of other food items were eaten to make up for the equally tiny amount of fats, carbohydrates and fiber needed by the canine’s body. Even in modern commercial dog food products, protein forms the majority of the nutrient content since the domesticated dogs’ metabolism have changed little, if at all, from their wild ancestors’ metabolism from thousands of years ago.

Indeed, to say that there is passion for protein in dog food is an understatement. But with such passion also comes the discussions that make protein a controversial topic in the industry. This article will attempt to shed light about the passion for protein in your pet dog’s diet.

It’s Not the Protein Per Se

Lest misconceptions develop, one thing must be made clear first. It is not proteins per se that dogs require but the building blocks in these macronutrients – the amino acids.

There are 22 amino acids in protein sources, which are then divided into essential and non-essential sources. Take note that these terms refer to the body’s capability to naturally produce the amino acids instead of their critical functions for, indeed, each amino acid is important in the maintenance of good health. Thus, the twelve essential amino acids can be synthesized by the body while the ten non-essential amino acids must be consumed from natural food sources as the body cannot produce them on its own.

Importance in All Systems

These amino acids perform a wide variety of functions too numerous to enumerate in this short article. Suffice it to say that proteins are essential for all aspects of good growth and development including the circulatory, nervous, digestive, excretory and skeletal systems. Plus, proteins are converted to energy and stored as fat, which will be used later on for energy as well.

It is then no surprise why dogs require protein in large quantities. With their active lifestyle, fast metabolism and other unique nutritional requirements, your pet dogs rely on their owners – you, none other – for their protein sources on a daily basis.

Not Just Any Protein

Keep in mind, however, that not all protein sources are created equal. You must be careful about the kinds of proteins provided to your pet lest health complications occur. For example, raw meat may look yummy to a dog because it appeals to primitive instincts but it’s not the best protein source for a pet canine. Raw meat may contain harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli that leads to symptoms like extreme dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting, among other signs.

Veterinarians suggest fish meal, bone meal and other protein-rich commercial dog food products instead. These products have been especially formulated to address the nutritional requirements from amino acids to zinc of dogs.

Despite all the passion for protein in dog food, we suggest not overdoing it either since kidney function can be impaired with too much protein. Ask the veterinarian for the currently accepted levels of daily protein requirements for your pet dog just to be on the safe side.Information provided by Sarah Rhodes ofohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a incredible assortment of raised dog bowls online.