How Much Protein Do Dogs Need?

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Dogs are very active creatures. They are inquisitive, curious, mischievous, and love to brew trouble. They love going outdoors and playing or even just chasing a squirrel around. They are our best friends. In order for them to grow and develop into strong canines, they need the right amount of nutrients and minerals. This is a very important part of canine growth – proper diet.

To give them the proper diet, we as their parents have to sort through the jargon that the media feeds us and sift through all the dog food industry buzzwords to find the perfect meal that will help our pooch grow. This is no easy task. We hear a lot of buzzwords today. But not all of them are important nor do they affect every dog in the same way. Proteins are one of the main minerals that a dog needs in order to grow and develop. So how much of it do they really need?

What Are Proteins And How Are They Important?

Proteins are the building blocks of any dog’s nutrition. They’ve always been one of the most important part of a diet and have also recently become one of the most debated. From before the time dogs became domesticated, they used to eat foods consisting mainly of protein. They used to have to hunt for their food and most of that used to be meat. To make up for the fresh raw, animal meat that your dog naturally craves, there has to be an abundance of protein in his diet.

Not only are proteins important for the growth and development of your dog, but they also play a key part in the immune system and overall structural makeup of your dog. It is not exactly protein that your dog needs but the building blocks that make up proteins called amino acids. There are 22 necessary amino acids in total and 12 of these, your dog can synthesize. The other amino acids have to be consumed through diet and a deficiency in any one of them can lead to medical problems.

Protein Requirements At Different Stages

As your dog goes through different age cycles and different physical stages in his life, his protein intake will also differ. The amount of protein he requires also depends on his breed and the state of his overall medical condition. Here are the typical protein requirements that have to be generally followed for a healthy dog.

  • A puppy has to have 28% protein and 17% fat.
  • An adult dog has to have 18% protein and 9 – 15% fat.
  • A performance dog has to have 25% protein and 20% fat.
  • A racing sled dog has to have 35% protein and 50% fat.
  • A lactating dog has to have 28% protein and 17% fat.

You can always ask your vet for help in drawing up a diet plan for your dog with more protein in it. He will help you determine what percentage of which is what and how you can determine that by yourself.