Protein and sensitivities in petsProtein is an important part of your pet’s diet. Just like humans, it keeps them strong, healthy and energetic so it’s important to give them the best sources of protein you can get.

Protein is in fact a combination of amino acids and is essential in keeping the immune system healthy and giving them energy.

While your dog’s body can in fact make some proteins by itself, essential amino acids are only available through their diet alone.

While some pet owners may think different sources of protein have big differences they are actually all beneficial to the body of your dog.

With that in mind, we recommend meat-based proteins as dogs are genetically designed to be carnivorous. While we won't discredit those who choose a complete plant-based diet for their pets, a meat based diet is what we consider ideal for their optimal health. Not everything they eat needs to be meat-based their protein source should be.

As another rule, we recommend that you avoid food with by-products (“animal meat”, “animal digest” or “meat meal”). Because these by-products are made up of left overs, which makes it hard to discern whatever is in them. Also, by-product ingredients can change from batch to batch, essentially affecting nutritional benefits and quality.

Now that you know the best sources of proteins, it is also beneficial to “rotate” the source of protein you give your pet over time to increase the range of amino acids provided to their body. This also helps to keep your dog from developing sensitivity to one source of protein, which can happen when only keeping them on that source for a long amount of time.

These sensitivities can be the cause of some very uncomfortable issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomachs, and even external issues in the skin and ears. While protein sources can be the cause, it’s important to note that sensitivities can also be caused by the protein constituents in other foods, like wheat, rice or corn.

Common protein sources include chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, rabbit and eggs. Some pet foods may contain one single prominent protein source, while others have a variety. If your pet has no sensitivities to certain protein sources then it is quite beneficial to feed them a variety to increase their spectrum of amino acids.