Fact or Fiction: Can dogs eat Protein?

There are many myths, misconceptions, and ‘old wives tales’ in circulation with regards to what we should and should not feed our pets in order to keep them healthy. One of these is that we should strictly limit the amount of protein that we feed to our pet dogs because otherwise they could sustain serious kidney damage.

However, in actual fact the way in which a dog’s digestive system is designed means that they are actually perfectly equipped to digest foods that have high protein content. Like humans, protein is important to a dog’s diet for many reasons such as providing them with energy, promoting healthy growth, and helping their tissue to heal and repair effectively. A diet that is lacking in protein could leave your dog open to a range of health problems which could include muscle weakness amongst other things.

Be careful when changing your dog’s diet

Cases of allergies to beef, pork, or poultry are very rare amongst dogs. However, dogs are known to experience allergic reactions to soybean based products. If you are considering a new diet for your dog that includes products made primarily with soybean you should exercise caution. This is particularly important if you have an older dog, as they are more likely to suffer from food sensitivity and are therefore more likely to experience food allergies. Any new diet should be introduced gradually to your dog rather than simply switching him from one diet to another overnight.

A balanced diet for your dog

If you want to ensure that your dog enjoys a healthy diet then you need to make sure that he does eat food that is protein-rich. You need to bear in mind that this protein is used up very quickly by dogs by way of energy. If you have a dog that you train for shows, you need to make sure that he gets a balanced diet that includes proteins and carbohydrate, as well as plenty of water, which is essential to the health and wellbeing of any pet. You will not have to worry about your dog’s kidneys being damaged by protein, as they are designed to effectively and safely digest protein-rich foods.

Getting professional advice

If you have any concerns it is always worth discussing your dog’s diet with your vet, who will be able to advise you if there is any reason why your dog should be fed a low-protein diet. While we cannot take our dogs down to the local gym to ensure they stay in shape, we can at least ensure that we provide them with a healthy balanced diet, so if you are uncertain as to what your dog should and should not eat, take the time to discuss his needs with your vet.