When shopping for pet food, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by bold claims of ‘High’ ‘Super high’ and ‘EXTREME HIGH’ levels of protein on the packaging. This has led to some misunderstandings on proper pet food nutrition.
The truth is your pet doesn’t even require protein – It only requires the essential amino acids, which makes up the protein.
Claims of high ‘crude protein’ ratio along with “delicious-looking” illustrations can paint the picture that you’re basically feeding your dog a T-bone steak dinner.
When considering the average price of kibble, it’s no surprise that this often isn’t the case.
The thing is, a high ratio of protein doesn’t tell anything about the quality of the protein. Ingredients such as feathers, hoves and hair all makes for a high protein ratio, but none of the essential amino acids which your dog requires.
If the source of protein is poorly digestible, it will have no benefit for your pet’s health. As a result, the only effect will be larger dumps. Instead, a good quality protein source with a high digestibility will be used for muscle growth, energy utilization and storage.
The digestibility is determined by the source and quality of the protein. Some of the best sources of protein include:
- Fresh meats (chicken, beef, fish)
- Meat meals
- Fish meals
To ensure the right balance of amino acids, the main protein should be from animal-origin. This doesn’t mean that vegetables and grains are bad ingredients, as they can provide good sources of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.
What to look out for
If the quality isn’t determined by the ratio of protein – then how do you find a good food for your pet? The truth is that can be very difficult.
Reading ingredient lists can be confusing. Often consisting of overwhelming amounts of ingredients and strange words in order to hide low-quality ingredients.
The first ingredient on the list is by far the most important. Making up the main part of the food, it should come from a high-quality source. Look out for good animal-based protein sources, which you could imagine on your own plate.
Your pet’s diet shouldn’t be based on decimal point nutrition, with promises of ‘High Protein’. Instead, the most important aspect is the quality and source of protein.
As a result, your pet will be healthier – and leave smaller dumps for you to clean up!