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The Dangers of Excessive Protein in Dog Foods

Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?

A common misconception among pet owners is that dogs are obligate carnivores and require food that consists mostly of meat. This is not true. Dogs, like people, are omnivores and do best when they eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Excessive protein consumption is unnecessary for dogs and, for some dogs with medical conditions, can actually be harmful.

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an absolute necessity for daily function. However, when a dog consumes too much protein in a meal, it cannot all be utilized at one time, nor can it be stored for later. The body will then excrete the excess protein through the kidneys and out of the body via urine. Thus the quality of the protein actually becomes more important that than actual amount. A high-quality protein is more bioavailable and can be better absorbed by the body.

Another issue in the meat acting as the protein source is that it contains other nutrients that are unhealthy in excessive amounts. For example, when a dog food is mostly meat, it becomes very difficult to maintain a proper calcium-phosphorus ratio. When this ratio is out of balance, disruptions in bone growth or kidney damage can occur. Well formulated dog foods, like Hill’s® Ideal Balance, have an appropriate balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to prevent this from happening.

For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your dog’s condition.

For the complete article on the dangers of high protein dog foods, visit petMD.


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