Many pet owners may wonder exactly how much protein is too much for a dog to ingest. Protein deficiency can be a problem, but over-feeding your furry friend with protein may cause other problems as well.
According to veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein, ‘Dogs do not need the massive amount of protein that many people think that they do.’ Too much protein can cause skeletal problems in dogs and shortened life spans. Large breeds of dogs are especially susceptible because their bodies cannot support large amounts of protein without putting stress on joints and bones.
While small amounts of protein will usually have little or no effect on a healthy dog’s body, it is important to monitor what you feed your canine companion so that its intake remains at an optimal level.
Veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Remillard advises pet owners to ‘feed your dog the amount of food that is right for his body type and age, not whatever you see on the bag.’ She also suggests feeding one single-ingredient protein source since proteins derived from meat are generally easier to digest than those derived from grain or vegetables.
She recommends against giving your pet people food as treats because they are often high in protein and fat. However, you do need to monitor how much fruit, yogurt/cheese, peanut butter, beans/pulses, grains, and even potatoes are given as treats since many have high levels of protein.
You may be surprised by just how low some common protein-rich foods are. These are the protein levels for some of the most common dog treats, as reported by Animal Protein Producers Industry (APPI).
Animal Protein Producers Industry (APPIAmazon.com)
Bacon – 4%
Eggs – 12%
Beef liver – 16%
Cheddar cheese – 25%
Chicken meat – 26 g* 100g = 26%DV * Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
What is a low protein diet for dogs?
Just like in humans, a low protein diet for dogs is one that strictly limits the amount of protein that our canine friends eat. They can be harmful to your dog’s health and contribute to conditions such as allergies, digestive problems, and weight gain.
You may wonder how on earth you could keep your pooch from eating something tasty like chicken or beef. To keep your dog safe, you may need to get creative with hiding the taste of low protein foods so that they won’t know what hit them.
Low protein diets for dogs are often used in conjunction with other methods of treatment, such as medications that work to help your dog fight their allergies or medication that works to control their weight.
The best way to make sure that your dog is eating a low protein diet is to feed them with homemade, fresh foods. If you are not confident in your cooking skills or lack the time to make food for your pet, there are some good commercially available options that can be fed as part of a low protein diet.
What treats can I give my dog with kidney disease?
Dogs with kidney disease may have a hard time keeping their protein levels low, depending on how advanced the disease is. In this case, it is especially important to only feed your dog treats that are healthy and low in protein.
Some of these commercially available foods include:
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine i/d Reduced Calorie, soft chews – 8% protein
- Hope Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food (Protein-Free) – 0%
- Chappie Complete Feed for Adult Dogs (Grain & Gluten Free) – 0%
How can I tell how much protein is in my dog’s food?
To make sure this important part of your dog’s diet is controlled, you need to know how much protein they are getting in their food. You can easily calculate the amount by using an online pet nutrition calculator or by looking at the label on the back. Some brands even have a “low-protein” label to make things easier for you.
Are eggs low protein for dogs?
Eggs are considered to be low protein for dogs. A typical large egg contains around 12 grams of protein, which is lower than the 26 g found in 100g of chicken breast.
Can I give my dog rice?
It isn’t just meat that you need to be wary about giving your pooch – many other foods high in protein that you wouldn’t think twice about giving your kids can be dangerous for dogs.
These include legumes (beans, lentils, pulses), oranges and the fruit in general, some dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, and potatoes.
Can cats eat rice?
Although not considered to be a high-protein food for dogs, rice is high in carbohydrates and can contribute to weight gain.
It is not recommended to feed your cat plain white rice due to the lack of nutritional value for your feline friend. You should instead look into serving them some healthy cat treats that are low in protein.