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Canine Nutrition


Dog food companies struggle to capture the market with high protein labels which hide the source.  Here's what your dog wants you to know!





Barbara J. Andrews, Science Editor, SAAB


A widely disseminated 2009 report said dog food contained inadequate proteins levels so in 2020 most labels claim 18 to 25% protein but is it digestible protein or not?


Too few canine nutrition books cover protein other than to warn of skin and behavioral problems such as tail chasing as possible side effects of too much "high protein." See example chart.



  Slow growth

  Weak or deformed bones

  Chronic skin and ear infections



  Spinning or tail chasing




Skin problems are the dog’s Achilles’ Heel and almost always caused by allergies or exposure to toxins.  Since I have no veterinary degree, I surmised that epilepsy (a catch-all term for any form of seizures), spinning or tail chasing, and to some degree, behavioral changes, could be caused by protein deficiency.


We know dietary deficiencies can slow growth, even cause deformities BUT such symptoms are much more likely to be caused by the toxins, contaminants, and preservatives contained in commercial dog foods.


Any dog fed commercially processed dog food is unlikely to suffer from protein deficiency.  Pet food manufacturers strive to out-do each other as regards protein content labeling.  Even allowing for poor quality protein, a dog that eats commercially prepared dog food will get adequate levels of protein.


It should be noted that excessive protein levels can be detrimental to dogs with certain health conditions.  That said, the key is feeding natural, wholesome, complete protein.


In 2009 there is still insufficient regulation in the pet food industry.  Protein sources include “meat meal” and “digest” which may contain domestic pets (Dog Eat Dog {Ref #1}) rendered from veterinary pickups.  Such “meat” has been shown to include euthanasia drugs and/or an accumulation of chronic-treatment drugs such as cortisone, heartworm prevention, etc.


Commercial foods may also contain antibiotics, hormones and growth stimulants administered to livestock and poultry, any of which can cause the “protein deficiency” symptoms listed above.


ANTI-FREEZE IN DOG FOOD INSTEAD OF CARS?No dog owner will forget the 2007 pet food recalls {Ref #2} due to melamine contamination {Ref #3}. Other highly toxic substances similar to anti-freeze are added to dog food in order to boost protein levels.


High-protein ingredients that any self-respecting, well fed dog would summarily reject Corn Is For Cows {Ref #4} are routinely added to bulk up the dog food label.


As a student of nature as it relates to health, I’ve revised our own canine nutritional program many times over the past 42 years due to changes in the dog food ingredients, protein source, and manufacturing.  In the 1880s, the President/CEO of a major dog food brand was one of my Akita owners.  What I learned about the dog food industry was shocking!  Now, even in the age of the internet, the average dog owner still doesn’t know much about "protein" and is therefore vulnerable to unscrupulous or ignorant veterinary advice including switching to prescription diet foods {Ref #5} to cure the problems caused by commercial pet foods.


The solution for protein deficiency or "protein intolerance" is:

Feed a variety of steroid and hormone-free raw meat, i.e. poultry, beef, venison, mutton, and chicken to insure against protein deficiency.  Note: Never give cooked bones due to splintering.


Feed boneless cooked or bone-in canned fish, including herring and sardines which are mercury-safe and high in Omegas.  Whole food is always better than incomplete protein or something “made from” whole food such as fish oil.


Feed boiled or scrambled eggs and occasional organic cottage cheese, buttermilk, and cheese (not “cheese product”).


Feed meat and occasional dairy products will absolutely insure against protein deficiency.  No need to read a book.  You know that canines are carnivores, Instant Information for ii The Carnivores Diet.  Dogs are, unlike cats, slightly omnivorous so in addition to meat and dairy, it is okay to:


Feed cooked brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat noodles for bulk.


Feed well-washed (with white vinegar) cooked fresh veggies, generous portions of broccoli, peas, green beans, carrots, etc.


Feed fresh, peeled or well-washed fruit such as grapes, apples, and bananas but see below*


Feed occasional wheat-based baked kibble or biscuit **   Never feed “extruded” or corn-based pet food!


And lastly, whether house dog or kennel dog, you must allow access to clean, untreated fresh grasses or if you live in a high-rise, use an inside planter designed for house cats.  Expand your IQ with Instant Information - ii Why Dogs Eat and Need Grass


Reference and Related Articles: {1} Dog Eat Dog  ~  {2} 2007 Pet Food Recall  ~  {3} Melamine Contamination


{4} Corn Is For Cows  ~  {5} prescription diet foods EST 1998   1406158R192



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