Understanding protein / fat in dog food - Page 1

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by ZIN on 03 March 2010 - 23:03

I have been researching dry dog food and I was hoping to get some guidance. I have 2 GDS both adults and do not need to gain weight. They need to maintain or even loose 5 lbs. So my question is regarding how much protein is in some dog foods if that should be a concern.

INNOVA LG BR D SR.                    26% P                10% FAT
INNOVA GRAIN FREE. TURKEY   42% P                22% FAT
INNOVA EVO REDUCED. FAT       52% P                5.5% FAT
INNOVA RED MEAT                       44%                    23% FAT
TOTW  WETLANDS                       32% PROTEIN   18% FAT

CAL. NATURAL L&RICE                22%                    12% FAT

CANINE CAVIAR                            21%                    12% FAT

ORIJEN ADULT                             42%                     16%

These are the foods of interest and I was hoping to get input. My girls are loved house pets. I don't know how to figure the fat/ protein ratio. 52% sounds huge for proten but it is reduce fat.Any advice would be appreciated.

I also was interested in the CC canned tripe or other canned foods your opinions


by yoshy on 03 March 2010 - 23:03

Well there are some things to consider hear.

I feed evo turkey grain free with some of my dogs. The reason the protein level and nutritious value is higher is because of the way the procure the ingredients. They do not cook the meat before processing, So I would venture to say it is one of the closest kibbles out there to raw. However with the richness of this food you should take care in your transition. Also If you do not exercise your dogs adequately you will end up with loose stools. With too high of protein levels you can run into kidney damage as well in older dogs if They are not burning through it with a lot of exercise. So be careful and research your decision. My house dogs do not eat as rich of a food. Only my full time working dogs.

by mollyandjack on 03 March 2010 - 23:03

I wouldn't be worried about high protein (unless your dog has internal problems, like kidney disease or something) because dogs are carnivores, and I definitely wouldn't buy reduced fat. Dogs need fat. Dogs don't need excess calories though. Cut the calories, lose the pounds. Out of those, I'd buy TOTW or Innova.

edited: didn't see Orijen until now, that's what I feed my dogs. So that, I also recommend.

by matthews3662 on 04 March 2010 - 00:03

I think all the high end names and brands you listed do have high protein levels.
For you and the dogs being sort of inactive then you need to focus on less fat and protein. I think both can be very fattening for a dog.
The dog I have the only thing that could keep weight on is high protein and she didn't have any elevated blood levels of any kind. But, I also do alot with her and she is constantly moving.

For you even raw diet might be better you can see the fat on the meat. You can add the right amount of bones and organs.
So I don't know.
There is one dogfood that caught my eye after spending like 4 hrs going over all the dogfood out there.
Check out Avoderm Beef.
That may offer you a lower fat and protein level.
I think also that if you are feeding on of those kibbles you might be feeding the dog too much daily.
You want to cut back when you see a steady gain instead of keeping the same feeding portion.
It is up to you that is all I can think of.

by DDRshep on 04 March 2010 - 04:03

The main difference between the kibble with the 40+% protein is they use more meat in the kibble. Uncooked raw meat has 55-60% protein. That's also the main reason why they are more expensive, meat is obviously more expensive per pound than the other ingredients.
Next to raw meat, high protein grain free kibble is the healthiest dog food you can feed as long as you give enough water to the dogs. For house pets that don't require much calories simply feed them a lesser amount. My old 75 lb. male that does not get worked anymore,  only gets 1.5 cups of Orijen Fish a day. That's enough for him. Anything more and he gains weight. He gets a raw bone every other day to chew on so he doesn't feel hungry.

by Schznd on 05 March 2010 - 02:03

Whenever you remove grains from dog food the protein level goes up, very simple.  Raw diet protein levels are 15%-17% depending on the protein source.  Chicken 13-14%, exotic meats buffalo and venison 18-20%.

Orijen, Taste of the Wild are both grain free, the Taste of the Wild Pacific is 25% as is TimberWolf Ocean blend which is also grain free.

by DDRshep on 05 March 2010 - 03:03

The % protein level of meat I used refers to meat dehydrated to the 10% moisture level of kibble to compare apples to apples. Meat in its natural state is of course mainly water percentage wise (that's why the human body is mainly water).

by MVF on 05 March 2010 - 06:03

There is some science here, by the way, but it is not conclusive.  The research has shown that intensely working huskies (working 3-5 hours a day) can tolerate 40-50% protein.  Most vets will tell you this is much too high for house dogs.  If your dogs are not active, even 30% is pushing it, as the cost is to the kidneys (which do fail in a dog's lifetime) and the protein not used to repair worked tissue is just used as calories.  Something in the 20's is usually recommended, but as you see here many people prefer higher protein.

Higher protein % does not mean the protein is of higher or even equal quality, you should keep in mind.  Old leather boots are very high in protein but that protein is almost unusable by a dog.  Some of the foods described here are high quality -- and also high in protein.

Btw, the simple formula is this: protein and carbs are 4 kcal/g, but fat is 9 kcal/g.    As adult dogs need approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and 1/2 gram of fat per pound of body weight, a 75 lb gsd who is not working very much needs only 75g of protein and 38g of fat.  (28g= 1oz.)  So we are only talking about 3 ounces of pure usable protein per day!  If your food is 25% highest quality protein, that means 12 oz per day -- only 1 1/2 cups!  2 cups per day for an adult female is usually enough if the food is high quality and she is not working or in whelp.  Pups of course need much, much more protein per day per pound, and pregnant mothers also need much, much more.

Note that if you are using a superhigh 40% protein, then 75g comes to 8 oz or only one cup per day!  Your dog is either going to starve, or she is going to get too much protein for her long term kidney health.  40% is probably dangerously high.

As dogs digest carbs poorly, you have no choice but to get somewhat high protein and fat. You don't want to get rid of fat with lots of carbs, even though that lowers calories.

by DDRshep on 05 March 2010 - 06:03

Thanks for the info MVF. Using your numbers and Schznd's numbers, how many lbs of raw meat a day should a 75 lb house dog be eating?
If some research is suggesting that high protein is bad for dogs, does that mean that raw meat is bad for dogs? Not even the highest protein % kibble has the protein content of raw meat (after netting the moisture out).

by Nans gsd on 06 March 2010 - 17:03

DDR Shep:  I just started feeding raw and I am using this ratio:  2% of the body weight;  so if the dog weighs 75 lbs; then they should get, if they have a moderate exercise schedule;  will eat approx. l pound 5 ounces of raw meat or there abouts.

I have noticed that some need more than others so a 100 lb dog could get 2 pounds of meat each day and hopefully stay lean with moderate exercise.  Also depends on how lean your meat is.  Chicken or beef;  some of these things make a difference.

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