How Much Protein Does Your Dog Need? [An Inside Look]

Pondering Pet Protein: How Much Protein Your Dog Should Get

What you feed your pet plays a major role in his or her overall health and ability to learn. Moreover, what your dog eats can affect your furry friend’s behavior too. 

Human beings might take a keto protein powder, dogs are omnivores and also require a healthy diet, including protein, to stay fit. Including dog protein or protein from certain sources (such as plants) in a dog’s diet can change his or her ability to function.

Therefore, understanding the protein intake principles can help you keep them at optimum health while caring for them.

Why Do Pets Need Protein?

For humans, each gram of protein contains 4 calories. An average person’s body weight can include about 15% of protein. Without enough protein in a person’s diet, he or she runs the risk of missing out on key functions, and this can lead to loss of muscle mass, and even early death.

One of the most crucial things about protein is that it contains amino acids, considered the building blocks that are needed for most creatures to stay healthy.

Amino acids can generally be divided into two classes:

  • Non-essential amino acids, which the body naturally produces.
  • Essential amino acids, which aren't produced by the body and have to be acquired from quality food.
Bowl of high protein food and dog on grey background

How Many Calories Do Dogs Need?

Dogs, on the other hand, are often bigger animals and are more active, so many more calories are needed to sustain them. Little dogs that weigh around 10 pounds need about 200 calories a day to maintain an ideal weight, while a 30-pound dog would need about 480 calories. 

Bigger hounds, like dogs that weigh 50+ pounds need to consume an equivalent of 750 calories. However, the more active may consume between 800 to 1700 calories per day. 

Calories depend on a number of things like your dog’s activity levels and metabolism. Factors such as whether your pup participates in sports or spends most days at home will determine how much intake is needed.

How Do You Measure Protein Levels?

Calorie intake levels are one thing, but processing protein percentages can often be quite unique to different pets. Using a dog protein calculator might help.

You might be able to see how much crude protein there is from the dog food label, but it's not indicative of how much your pet is able to digest and use. The digestibility of a certain protein source is often referred to as its biological value or bioavailability. 

Some foods are also more naturally bioavailable to dogs. Animal-based proteins are good for them. However, the way food is prepared might also change things. 

Cooking at high temperatures might decrease the level of protein your pet can actually use. Low-fat low-protein dog food may be suitable for certain dogs.

As a rule-of-thumb, raw, dehydrated, and frozen foods retain the most bioavailability. 

Red bowl full of high protein dog food

Is a Diet That's High In Protein Beneficial For Your Pet?

So, how much protein does a dog need? The short answer is: it depends. Protein is definitely a crucial part of your pet’s diet, it’s a beneficial component for sustaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

However, there are certain circumstances where too much protein might not be a good thing. Health conditions might require more precise protein intake and management, for instance. 

Health issues concerning the urinary tract might require diets with lower levels of meat protein. Minerals like phosphorus and calcium might have to be monitored as well.

When it comes to a sensitive urinary tract, pets can benefit from plenty of water, a good amount of wet food and a diet that consists of low levels of protein.

What About Plant-Based Proteins?

Plant-based protein sources include potatoes, peas or rice, as well as oatmeal grains, quinoa, barley, and flax-seed. These grain and vegetable-sourced proteins can be advantageous when they also supplement meat proteins, which can help ensure that food's total biological value is improved. 

Try it and do your part to ensure that if your pet food includes these ingredients, there are still plenty of quality meat protein sources.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, dogs need protein to sustain their naturally active lifestyles and maintain good health. However, the amount of protein required can depend on several factors (including metabolism). 

The number of calories needed may also vary. Protein can play a vital role in the health of your pet, so consider paying attention to pet food labels and have a decent grasp of how protein affects your pet.

If your pet has had issues with protein in the past, drop a comment below to help other readers learn from your experiences.

About the Author: Adam Reeve has been working as a copywriter for more than 6 years. He has two dogs of different breeds and has tried protein for his pets 5 years ago. In his free time, he consults all his friends live and other people online in his nutrition-related blog.

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