Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that what feed your pet does not matter and that all he needs is love. This is not true at all! In fact, your dog’s diet plays a large role in not only his general health and wellbeing but his personality and way he behaves as well.
But what should you feed your dog, exactly?
Many people have started advocating for a high-protein, high-fat diet for dogs. But is it really safe, and what are the pros and the cons attached to this kind of diet?
What is a high-protein, high-fat dog food diet?
A very active dog has different dietary needs than one leading a sedentary lifestyle. So too it is with puppies that need a different meal plan than adult dogs. Let us not forget to mention different breeds! Large dog breed have totally different dietary requirements than, for example, a toy poodle!
But what are high-protein and high-fat dog foods all about? Well, these foods were originally specifically created for very active working dogs. The idea was to enable you to feed them less but at the same time meeting all their nutritional and energy needs. In other words, a smaller input would result in the same output.
One of the reasons for the creation of this type of dog food is that working or active dogs burn more energy and in turn, need to eat more. See what we are getting at here?
So at the end of the day, this food was not created for the ‘average Fido’ lounging at your feet while you watch T.V. or the little Pomeranian beauty queen with bows in her hair! No, it was meant for those larger dogs that actually did a lot of physical labor in a day.
Strangely, many people caught on to the idea of feeding their dog less by feeding them a diet high in protein and fat. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be a great idea.
You eat what you are
In humans, the term ‘you are what you eat’ might hold true, but with dogs, it is more a question of ‘you eat what you are’. By this, we do not mean dogs should eat dogs! Rather, a high energy dog needs a high energy diet. Conversely, the opposite holds true as well, in other words, a low energy dog should have a low energy diet. If a low energy dog had a high energy diet, he would most probably become obese and end up with all the health problems associated with being ‘stout’…that is ‘fat’ for us normal folks.
So, basically, a dog’s nutritious needs depend on his lifestyle – much like humans!
That being said, a high fat high protein diet works for some dogs. For others, not so much. It, therefore, has both benefits and disadvantages, much like most things in life.
The benefits of a high protein, high-fat diet for dogs
- It is great for dogs that lead an active lifestyle. These dogs work hard and play hard and need nutrition that keeps them going.
- A little goes a long way due to the high protein and fat quality. They, therefore, need less while having the same stamina when eating ‘normal’ food.
- It is great for puppies. The protein helps build strong bones and muscles, while the fat is important for proper brain development.
- Lactating bitches need the added protein to improve the quality of their milk while feeding their puppies. The fat helps keep her body in good condition during this time.
The disadvantages of a high protein, high-fat diet for dogs
- An excessively high protein diet causes an imbalance with regards to calcium intake. This could result in kidney damage.
- A high-fat diet often results in obesity. This is especially true of smaller dogs and those dogs leading a sedentary lifestyle, i.e. the couch potatoes.
- A high fat, high protein diet in larger breed puppies causes them to grow too quickly, putting a strain on their ligaments and joints.
What does the ideal dog diet look like?
The ideal diet for your canine pal is the one closest to the food he eats in his natural state. Of course, dogs are domesticated and have been for thousands of years, so a good, close cousin is the wolf. The typical diet of a dog had he been in his natural state contains:
- Very few carbohydrates
- Protein from meat
- No byproducts, whether animal or vegetable
- Natural fat and oil
- No coloring, preservatives, or artificial flavoring
- All the essential minerals and vitamins a healthy dog needs.
This seems somewhat of a tall order. However, if opting to feed your dog a commercial brand of dog food, these are the considerations that need implementing. So read those labels while keeping your dog’s size, age, and lifestyle in mind.
A high fat, high protein diet works with many dogs – healthy, active dogs, that is. With small lapdogs or T.V. foot warmers, this is not the case, unfortunately. The bottom line, therefore, when deciding on the perfect diet for your pooch, is to keep his lifestyle and needs in mind.
Before you set off unleashed, have a look at this relative video: