In recent years protein has risen to super nutrient status. This is largely thanks to the variety of positive benefits it provides. But for visible lifelong impact how much is enough and which types should you feed?
WHAT DOES PROTEIN DO FOR PUPPIES?
Depending on the breed, the first 3-6 months of a puppy’s life is a nutritionally demanding time. It’s when the most rapid growth occurs, typically for most breeds it is between a 13 to 17% increase in body week per week, and protein is essential to help support this rapid growth.
In addition to supporting puppy’s growth, protein also supports muscle mass, skin and coat condition, aids in digestion (e.g. enzymes), functions as hormones and even helps to support a strong immune system. It’s no wonder it’s regarded by many as a super nutrient.
Many people are fixated with the percentage of protein they find on a label and while it’s a valid consideration it’s better to first consider the quality of the protein, its source and its digestibility; you could for example have a high percentage of a poor quality protein which would not be beneficial for the puppy.
A high quality protein (e.g. like most animal proteins such as chicken and turkey, lamb, fish and egg), contain all the essential amino acids in a good quantity to meet the puppy’s nutritional needs.
Some proteins could be indigestible, so no matter how high the total protein percentage on the bag of puppy food is, if your puppy’s food contains indigestible protein sources such as some vegetable proteins, they will gain very little benefit.
A lower quality protein can be a concentrated vegetable protein (e.g. corn gluten or wheat gluten) which may be too low in an essential amino acid. Even if it is just one essential amino acid that is too low then the protein source is considered of lower quality compared to a source that supplies all essential amino acids that meet the puppy`s nutritional needs.
DO PUPPIES NEED MORE PROTEIN THAN AN ADULT DOG?
Yes. The minimum protein requirement of growing puppies is higher than that of an adult dog. This is because of significant growth and development of tissues.
At EUKANUBA we believe dogs are best fed as carnivores so we’ve focused on high quality protein sources and tailored nutrition since 1969, always remaining committed to our philosophy of only adding high quality animal based protein ingredients such as chicken and turkey, lamb, fish and egg to our EUKANUBA foods. We do not add concentrated forms of plant based proteins.
In fact EUKANUBA Puppy contains key minerals and up to 86% animal protein* supporting strong bones and healthy joints for their active lifestyle ahead.
*Out of total protein.