The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein
Video: Carnivores and Protein
In this video Dr. Karen Becker talks about your carnivorous pet’s lifelong requirement for a diet rich in high quality, natural protein.
Dr. Becker’s Comments:
Dogs and cats need 22 amino acids to be healthy.
Dogs can synthesize (make) 12 of those 22; cats can synthesize 11 of them. The remaining amino acids must come from the food they eat, which is why they’re called ‘essential’ amino acids.
Pets get amino acids from the protein they eat. And the quality and quantity of protein is extremely important for carnivores – it’s the very foundation of their health.
Not All Protein is Created Equal
Protein quality is extremely variable. There are highly assimilable and digestible proteins (proteins your pet’s body can easily absorb and make use of), and there are proteins that are wholly indigestible. For example beaks, feet, hides, tails and snouts are 100 percent protein, but all 100 percent is indigestible.
All protein has a biologic value, which is its usable amino acid content. Eggs have the highest biologic value at 100 percent. Fish is a close second at 92 percent. Feathers, as you might guess, have zero biologic value. They are all protein, but they are neither digestible nor assimilable.
Now there are some foods high in protein that are not species-appropriate for dogs and cats. Soy is a good example, with a biologic value of 67 percent. Many popular pet foods contain soy as a protein source, as well as corn. This is an inexpensive way for pet food manufacturers to increase protein content on the guaranteed analysis printed on the label.
But because soy and corn are not species-appropriate, I don’t recommend you feed pet foods that contain it.
Unfortunately, digestion and assimilation are not measured for dog and cat foods, so manufacturers can include other types of protein that have no biologic value for the species of animal eating it (this is also why melamine was added to pet foods that killed thousands of animals). You can be fooled into thinking you’re feeding a higher-protein food, when the reality is the protein isn’t biologically appropriate for your pet.
Rendered Pet Food – The Worst of the Worst
Asking a dog’s or cat’s liver and kidneys to process low-quality, indigestible protein over a long period of time is exactly how protein in pet food got a bad rap.
In the 1940s and 1950s, there were really no high quality commercial pet foods on the market. Formulas at that time contained 100 percent run-off or rendered byproducts from the human food industry.
Pet food companies took all the pieces and parts left over at slaughterhouses, mixed them with discarded vegetables and grains not fit for human consumption, added a synthetic vitamin-mineral supplement, and called it pet food.
While there was a fair amount of protein in pet food back then, the quality was just terrible. Because the protein was so difficult for dogs and cats to digest, kidney and liver function suffered.
That’s why veterinarians around the mid-century mark started recommending lower protein senior pet foods. Senior formulas came into being because of the terrible quality of dog and cat foods on the market.
That’s why I strongly recommend if you’re feeding a rendered pet food formula – food that contains protein that is not digestible or assimilable – that you reduce the amount of protein you’re feeding. Your pet’s organs can’t process a steady diet of terrible quality protein.
Your Pet’s Protein Requirement Increases with Age
The good news is the quality of pet food has increased dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years.
And in 1992 Dr. Delmar Finco, a veterinary nutritionist, discovered protein requirements actually increase as pets age. Even in animals with kidney failure, restricting protein didn’t improve their health or longevity.
In fact, Dr. Finco’s research proved cats on low protein diets developed hypoproteinemia. They had muscle wasting, became catabolic, and lost weight. The more protein was restricted, the more ill these kitties became. Fortunately, Dr. Finco discovered it was the level of phosphorus in foods, not necessarily the amount of protein that exacerbated kidney disease.
Since that research was published, veterinary recommendations have changed. What we’re recommending for animals struggling with under-functioning kidneys and livers is that you feed really good quality protein that is highly digestible and assimilable.
We also recommend you restrict phosphorus in the diet, but not necessarily protein.
We know that cats and dogs, as carnivores, require lots of high quality protein not only to maintain good organ and immune function, but also to maintain healthy muscle mass as they go through life and the aging process.
Whole, Raw, Natural Foods Are Best
Some foods are metabolically stressful and some create low metabolic stress on your dog or cat.
Foods that generate the least amount of metabolic stress are whole, raw, unprocessed, and in their natural form. Foods that have not been dehydrated or processed are the most assimilable for your pet’s body.
These foods are biologically appropriate. All the moisture in the food remains in the food.
Foods that have been dehydrated, extruded or processed can have drastically depleted moisture content. It can drop from 70 percent down to as low as 12 percent, in fact. Your pet’s kidneys and liver become stressed due to chronic low-grade dehydration.
Dogs and especially kitties must drink lots of water to rehydrate their bodies after eating dehydrated food. This situation can stress organs that are congenitally defective or are experiencing age-related changes.
I recommend serving your pet food in its natural state to provide needed moisture, and to insure the highest level of biologic assimilation and digestion.
Appropriate Food for the Species
‘Species-appropriate’ for your dog or cat means a food that is high in protein in its natural form, and low in grain content. Your pet is a carnivore – dogs are scavenging carnivores and cats are obligate carnivores. Carnivores need to eat animal protein and fat in order to be healthy.
Foods that cause metabolic stress – those that are highly processed and/or dehydrated – are not species-appropriate. Take high-protein kibble, for example.
In recognition that dogs and cats do better on higher protein, low-grain diets, over the last 15 years there’s been movement by veterinarians and pet food companies toward formulas containing more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
I can certainly agree with that, except in situations where the food is not biologically, species-appropriate.
Pets eating a protein-based diet do just fine as long as it contains 70 to 80 percent moisture. But when you take moisture out of high protein foods, they become difficult for your pet’s body to process because of the dehydration factor. That’s why I prefer foods that are unprocessed and therefore not dehydrated.
Feed Your Pet Exactly What His Body Needs
When you’re contemplating the issue of protein for your dog or cat, it’s important to recognize you can’t save kidney function with a low protein diet.
Your carnivorous companion needs protein to be healthy throughout life, and especially as she deals with the muscle wasting that comes with the aging process.
I recommend you feed your pet food in its natural form, full of moisture and unprocessed. This will provide the best species-appropriate nourishment for your dog or cat, with an optimum level of digestion and assimilation.
- 13 Pet Foods – Ranked From Great to Disastrous…
- The Completely Healthy ‘Pet’ Food Your Vet Probably Vilifies…
- Pets, Protein, Dry Food and Disease
Dr. Becker - Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of HealthyPets.Mercola.com. You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to MercolaHealthyPets.com, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.
*Many people now cook for their pets because they don’t want to feed raw, plus there are great recipes out there that you can actually feed your pets and eat yourself, if you are time taped, on a budge or it is just you and them.. But make sure they get what they need. Adding probiotics and vitamins to their diets, plus exercise, also does wonders!
May 1, 2011 - Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | amino acids, carnivores, Cats, dogs and cats, Dr. Becker, essential amino acids, healthy pet diets, healthy pets, protein, protein rich diet
26 Comments »
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
Help Make a Difference
Protect Your Pet From Tarter and Gum DiseasePlaque Attack Triple Care Dental Spray Amazon.com Widgets
Adopt Just One More Pet All Animals All Pets animal abuse animal advocacy animal advocates animal cruelty animals ASPCA Bears be part of the solution Birds California cancer canines Cats cats and dogs Chihuahuas China Chiweenies Christmas cute dog Doggies dogs dogs and cats Dr. Becker elephants Fido fish for the love of a pet German Shepherd Halloween holidays holidays with pets horses HSUS Humane Society Humane Society of the United States JOMP JustOneMorePet Just One More Pet kittens kitties livestock Love man's best friend military dogs monkeys New York Pet Abuse Pet Adoption Pet costumes Pet Food pet fun Pet Health Pet Parents Pets pet safety pets and holidays Pets Are Family Pet Therapy Puppies puppy mills pups rabbits Rainbow Bridge reptiles responsible pet ownership responsible pet parents service dogs Stop Animal Cruelty Texas There Is Always Room For One More Pet we are their voice
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 30, 2015By JoAnn, Marion, and Tim Algier This past week, we lost our dear family member Rocky who had just outlived his “huep – na-napbdad”, Tom, by just a few months. His perspective would have been interesting!! Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been […]justonemorepet
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 29, 2015By JoAnn, Marion, and Tim Algier This past week, we lost a dear family member, Rocky, who had just outlived his “human pet-dad”, Tom, by just a few months. It certainly would have been interesting to know what they thought and what experiences they had had in common!! Just this side of heaven is a […]justonemorepet
- Panda Accused of Faking Pregnancy To Get Better Food, Air Conditioning August 1, 2015Expectant pandas are moved to air-conditioned rooms and showered with more buns, fruit and bamboo. By Dominique Mosbergen – News Editor, The Huffington Post – Posted: 07/30/2015 12:57 AM EDT | Edited: 07/31/2015 02:07 PM EDT Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, names together mean "reunion", eat bamboo at a panda base in Ya’an, southwest […]justonemorepet
- Dachshund Family Photo | Picture Furrfect July 20, 2015Video: Dachshund Family Photo | Picture Furrfectjustonemorepet
- They Were Dead Puppy Parts Instead of Dead Baby July 16, 2015Bristol Palin: Fellow SixSeeds blogger Zeke Pipher has a great question: If they were dead puppy parts, or parts from homosexual babies, or babies that self-identified as adults, it’d be a different story. Meaning, it would be a story. But as it is, the fact that these fetuses don’t look like puppies, and their sexual […]justonemorepet
- Bob’s Full House July 13, 2015Photo: Cute Overload - Full Housejustonemorepet
- Keep Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July June 30, 2015Family and friends of G.R. Gordon-Ross watch his private fireworks show at the Youth Sports Complex in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Mercury News – Originally posted on July 02, 2013: The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, fireworks. But Independence […]justonemorepet
- JOMP Salutes Doggie Dads Both Two and Four Legged June 21, 2015Very few dogs have the experience of being parents these days and especially seeing their litters through the process of weaning and then actually being able to remain part of a pack with at least part of their family. Apachi is our Doggie Dad. He is a Chiweenie and here he is is watching his […]justonemorepet
- Smartest Dog In the World, Chaser – 60 Minutes With Anderson Cooper June 15, 2015By Marion Algier – Just One More Pet (JOMP) – Cross-Posted at AskMarion Anderson Cooper met Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys, and because of whom, scientists are now studying the brain of man’s best friend. Chaser is also the subject of a book: Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog […]justonemorepet
- Quebec bill changes animals from "property" to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty June 14, 2015By Tamara – Dog Heirs – Cross-Posted at JOMP Quebec, Canada – Animals will be considered “sentient beings” instead of property in a bill tabled in the Canadian province of Quebec. The legislation states that "animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs." Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis proposed the bill and […] […]justonemorepet
- In Memory of Rocky – Until We Meet Again on Rainbow Bridge August 30, 2015
Find Pet Friendly Hotels
- RT @thehill: State Dept probe reportedly finds that agency improperly overpaid Clinton aide Huma Abedin: hill.cm/tw6hjyd http://t.co…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 1 year ago
- RT @alvedaking: Alveda King: God harvests souls. The devil harvests baby body parts. Read my blog @ bit.ly/1M1nQFi. Comment and sha…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 1 year ago
- RT @RNRKentucky: .@SenAlexander Infanticide not enough! PP now butchers aborted babies for PARTS! #DefundPP #PJNET #RedNationRising http://…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 1 year ago
- RT @ullikemike: “@USABillOfRights: Judge Who Blocked PP Videos RAISED $230k For OBAMA therightscoop.com/judge-who-bloc… #PPSellsBabyParts http://t.co/…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 1 year ago
- RT @angelacarwile: 💥Does #CecilTheLion's life matter more than #AnotherBoy & his "parts"?💥 #DefundPP #PPSellsBabyParts #RedNationRising ht…There Is Always Room For Just One More Pet! 1 year ago
Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
~~ 2000+ Dog Books And All Things Dog ~~
Buy Now: A Must Have For Every Pet Owner
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.