All About Protein Supplements For Dogs

Like humans, dogs need a balance of nutrients in their food and dog supplements to keep them healthy. Proteins are an important building block in your pets’ diet and can be found in many pet foods. Let’s look at frequently asked questions about proteins and protein supplements for  dogs. 

All about protein supplements for dogs
Photo by Camilo Fierro on Unsplash

What does protein do for my dog?

Proteins in dogs are needed for a variety of functions but namely, building and repairing muscle tissues. It also assists in creating enzymes, antibodies and hormones that are needed for normal function and keep their immune systems strong.

Dogs that get their needed intake of protein have healthy shiny hair, good skin, healthy bones and appropriate muscle development. Proteins also contribute to calorie intake and energy levels in dogs. 

Sources of protein

Dogs may prefer animal based proteins but because canines are omnivorous, they can obtain protein from a variety of sources. They are also able to sustain a vegetarian diet if all their protein needs are met. 

  • Eggs are an exceptional source of easily digestible high quality protein. This is a concentrated protein ingredient that can be found in most dog food. 
  • Meat sources such as beef, chicken, turkey and lamb are highly digestible and healthy proteins for your dogs. 
  • Fish such as salmon or ocean fish is great for protein and also comes with fish oils and omega fatty acids which are healthy for dogs. 
  • Plant based proteins such as wheat, oatmeal, flaxseed or soy are great compliments to animal based protein. Generally, plant based proteins have less amounts of digestible proteins.
  • Cheese is a great additional source of protein and calcium that can be used as a treat or an additive to your dog’s meal. 

How much protein does my dog need?

Naturally, a dog’s body is able to create half the amino acids it needs but the rest has to come from its diet. Dogs are unable to store up protein like they can with other nutrients so protein needs to be supplied daily. 

An average dog would need 25-30 calories per pound to maintain a healthy weight and 10% of those should be from protein. It is best to get a recommendation from your veterinarians because each dog has different needs. 

Is high protein good for dogs? 

Overweight dogs benefit from high protein diets because it helps with burning calories and weight loss. Senior dogs also benefit from having more protein in their diets to avoid losing muscle mass. 

Pregnant or lactating dogs require higher proteins and nutrient dense foods to help with pregnancy. High protein diets are also important for dogs that are exercising often or athletic to build and repair muscles that they use frequently. 

Do all dogs need high protein diets?

Not all dogs need high protein diets. Each dog has different needs and generally, it is always good not to overfeed your dog any nutrient. Check with your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet to ensure that you’re feeding your dog according to its needs. 

Can I give my dog whey protein?

Whey protein is a byproduct of the production of cheese and has many benefits. It is easy to digest and boost the immune systems in dogs. There are brands of whey protein specifically formulated for dogs that are safe and even healthy for your dogs. 

However, do not feed your dog whey protein made for humans because it could have ingredients that are not safe for your pet. 

Protein and weight in dogs

Modifying your dog's protein intake can help with maintaining a healthy weight. High protein diets have been helpful in helping dogs reduce weight. It helps dogs gain lean weight and burn extra calories. Increasing calorie intake and a high protein diet also help underweight dogs bulk up. 

Protein powder for dogs weight gain

You can give your dog protein powder to help with weight gain. There are many options for protein powder specifically manufactured for dogs. These are safe for your dogs when administered at the right dosage. 

Choices for protein supplements for dogs

Dogs should get their protein requirements from their meals when possible. Carefully selecting foods that contain a wide range of protein will benefit your dog’s health. If your dog requires extra protein, you could consider Petcube’s Wholistic Spirulina supplements that have 60% digestible vegetable protein to give your dog the extra boost it needs. 

Protein supplements for senior dogs

Senior dogs require high protein intakes to help them keep up with aging. Petcubes carefully formulate dog foods with high protein contents to meet their nutritional needs. To supplement that, you can also try bone broths that are packed with amino acids that are recommended for senior dogs. 

Can I give my dog a protein drink? 

Senior dogs could lose appetites for different reasons and it is good to rule out any underlying health conditions. You can give them bone broths to help restore appetites and hydrate them. Protein drinks are safe for dogs if they are specially formulated for dogs.

Conclusion

Nutritional intake varies for dogs as they go through different stages. It’s best to choose a dog food that contains the highest level of nutrients and carefully formulated by nutritionists with all natural ingredients. Do consult your vet before making significant changes to your dogs' diet to ensure they are getting their protein needs met. 

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