It's the new millennium and Protein is king. Reach for any number of the best-selling books on nutrition at your local bookstore and you'll read about the importance of this source of amino acid. That's because scientists credit it with participating in every process of cellular activity. It's vital for building muscle, for instance, and it buoys the immune system. This is true for your dog too. Without it, he would struggle to summon the muscle power necessary to hunt wild game or even walk around the block. (The absence of protein from the diet often causes mental retardation and malnutrition, as can be observed in many parts of the Third World.) But just as important as having protein in a dog's diet is making sure that your pet gets the right kind of protein.At Eukanuba, we recognize this and pack our food with only our finest ingredients like all-natural chicken, lamb, fish and egg. Here's how to tell the best proteins from the rest:
Superior Protein Comes From Animals
The highest-quality proteins are derived from animals and are found in products such as chicken liver, fish meal and lamb tripe. That said, many dog food companies fill their formulas with vegetable protein instead. Simply put, it is cheaper to do so. But you get what you pay for: Feeding some of these proteins can actually reduce muscle mass and increase body fat. Don't take our word for it, however: Veterinarians agree that 90 percent of the protein in dog food should be derived from animals.*
Reading Dog Food Labels
But if the right type of protein is so important, how do you tell if what's in your dog's food is high quality? Reading the label on the back of your dog's food package can give you an idea, but first you'll have to decode the meaning behind the industry packaging:
- If the ingredient lists the food as being made "with" meat products, it may have as little as 3 percent meat in it.
- Brands that have a named protein source in the title — such as"beef formula"—indicate that 25 percent of the product is beef.
- Look at where the protein is placed on the list of ingredients. Items mentioned first, second and third are present in higher quantities than those further down the panel.
- Do not be immediately alarmed if you find that your pet's current food is not made with recommended ingredients. Such ingredients, which may be of inferior quality to those in Eukanuba, are not unsafe for your pet. Over time, however, such meals are probably not in the best interest of your pet.
What Eukanuba Offers
Our company is dedicated to producing the best dog food on the market. That means using only our finest ingredients, including high-quality proteins like those found in chicken, lamb, fish and eggs. Moreover, our formulas are contain added vitamins and minerals, so you know what you're feeding your four-footed friend is healthy.
*Findings are drawn from a July 2002 telephone survey of full-time veterinarians whose patients are majority dogs and cats. The research was conducted by an independent research company.