Your dog doesn't just love meat the way Kanye loves Kanye, your dog needs meat. You know, the way Kim needs selfies. Lean meat protein for dogs is essential for a long, healthy life.
Research has shown that meat protein serves an important role throughout a dog's lifespan. For puppies, meat protein helps build a strong skeletal and muscle structure, a robust immune system, and healthy digestion. In mid-life, meat protein helps dogs maintain lean muscle mass and shield excess body fat. And as dogs age, this protein actually helps reverse some of the muscle/skeletal breakdown that comes with age, helping them live "younger" longer with more agility and overall health. Thats right, for dogs, meat just might be the fountain of youth.
What makes meat protein so special? This sounds like a math story problem, but bear with: dogs require 22 amino acids (these are the building blocks that make up proteins). Dogs can synthesize 12 of these, but the remaining 10 (known as essential amino acids) must be eaten in a dog's diet. When a dog is deficient in any of the amino acids, serious health problems ensue. Luckily, the best source for this is meat protein such as beef, chicken or duck. (Those sharp canine teeth have evolved for a reason!)
Simply put, dogs thrive on a meat-based diet. But not an all-meat diet. A balance of nutritionally rich meat and vegetables is ideal. The key is to rely on meat for the protein, rather than plants. Dogs can digest plant proteins such as corn, barley, oat, what and soybean (prominent protein sources in dry kibble); however, these grains have only limited amino acids and are rich in carbohydrates. And just like you and me, an excess of carbohydrates turns into sugar and then into fat.
So, what's the right balance of meat protein in your dog's diet? It varies somewhat by age and breed, but a general ball park number is a minimum 30% lean meat protein. Anything less is putting a demand on your dog's system. At Ollie, we create a specific profile for your dog's age, size, and breed to create an ideal diet for a long, healthy life.
So, there you have it. Dogs need protein and the best protein source for dogs is meat. Something they already love is something they truly need. There's a Kanye song in there somewhere.