You shop for a dog food with lots of protein. But did you know that the type of protein in the food is even more important than the total amount of protein? Proteins are not all the same. It turns out that the proteins used in regular dog food are not as healthy as you would like to believe.
Grain Protein in Dog Food
The gluten in grains is protein and is a large part of the protein found in dog food because it is cheap. But researchers have found that as gluten protein increased in the diet dogs had:
-Decreased muscle mass
-Increased body fat
-Fewer blood proteins indicating superior nutrition
When meat protein was increased in the dog’s diets these trends reversed and muscle was re-gained and further muscle loss prevented. But even though animal meat was better than grain protein, the animal meat in regular dog food is still not good.
Meat Protein in Dog Food
The definition of meat for dog food is not the same as you think it is. Following are the legal definitions of different kinds of meat in dog food:
Animals with hooves (beef, lamb, pork, etc.)
“Tongue, esophagus, diaphragm, heart with nerves, vessels and tissue associated with these organs minus the lungs.” In other words, the by-products of the chest are considered hooved meat.
“Flesh and skin with or without bone minus the beaks and feet.”Chicken meat is everything left after the breast, leg and thigh meat are removed.
“Head, skin, scales, fins, skeleton, abdominal contents after the fillets have been removed.” This is everything we throw away.
What do all of these “meats” have in common? They contain connective protein. What is connective protein? Do you remember the last time you ate some meat and had to remove gristle from your mouth so you didn’t choke on it? Gristle is connective protein. It is entirely indigestible.15-20% of the protein in regular dog food is gristle. It sits in your dog’s colon waiting to be “pooped” out. The problem is this gristle is food for “bad” colon bacteria. Bad bacterial growth causes gas, farting, bloating and diarrhea. No wonder that changing dog food brands didn’t help your dog’s symptoms.
What Is the Answer for Your Dog?
All regular dog foods, no matter what the price and advertising, use the same scrap proteins. With homemade, you choose real cuts of meat without gristle and grain protein. Dogs fed quality homemade diets have no digestive problems, fart less and produce smaller amounts of odorless, formed stool.
Dr. Ken Tudor,
THE DOG DIETITIAN