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Are there any negative side effects to feeding a low activity dog a high protein diet? If so, why? If not, why? Is there any scientific proof besides the dogs evolved from wolves argument?
 

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Jackie, This is a debate that will go on forever among nutritionists. As stated, once the animal gets all the amino acids it needs the rest basically gets converted to fat, but has worked the liver and kidneys. With normal healthy kidneys this excess is not a problem. The issue is that renal insufficiency occurs when about 60% of kidney function is gone? At this point MAYBE a urinalysis and Blood work will indicate something is wrong. unfortunately clinical signs we can notice don't show up till about 75% kidney loss. As renal function deteriorates excesses of phosphorus in the protein are the real culprits, and also sodium because as the kidneys fail, systemic blood pressure rises. that's why vet journals speak more about phosphorus and sodium than they do protein. When you look at therapeutic diets for renal failure you find some levels of protein around 16 to 18 %. I would disagree with the last post that liked as high as 32%. That level may be popular these days but there is no nutritional basis for feeding a household dog that high. There are many dog foods at 22% and they do not present amino acid deficiencies. That has been proven. As the last post did say and I agree! it's the unused protein that can do harm! but again! not to healthy kidneys! but why take the chance! especially as your dog ages and the risk of kidney failure increases? sadly, just the other day I was in a treatment room at a vet where a 9year old Yorkie was being put down. She had kidney failure and pancreatitis. The owner was out front, distraught. The vet said he had fed people food, and all kinds of crap to the dog. Now that feeding did not cause kidney failure but the high protein and sodium she received made it worse as her condition worsened. unfortunately, senior foods have no parameters to how restricted their phosphors or sodium is so very few are really designed for senior dogs. And all these high protein grain free foods are not only excessive in protein but the phosphorus levels are sometimes higher than the Old Roy at Walmart! Which is why vets see so many urinary and bladder stones and early renal elevations in dogs on these diets, Nevermind the diarrhea!

Well, that was probably more than you needed! LOL! But as I said, many will disagree with at least some of what I just said. personally I think it's more bias and agenda than sincere science but that's just my opinion. there is a website someone posted awhile ago with lots of references of studies wanting to argue the case, but again, holes can be shot in a lot of their assumptions and statements. If we know your dog doesn't need the protein and we know how common undetected renal disease is, and we sure know the treatment, use common sense. that's all! God Bless!
 

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The AAFCO profile for protein for an adult is only 18%. How did we ever go from that to the 30-40%? Phosphorous for an adult is a minimum of .5 with a max of 1.6 but it's hard to find anything under 1%. Most of the big name brands are 1.1 right up to 1.5%. It seems the more research I do, the more frustrated I get.
 

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What people fail to understand is that a food with 22% protein has to be made of something. That something turns out to be starch.

If you do the math using an 80lb Labrador Retriever as an example you will see what I am talking about.

A food with about 37% protein will require only 2.5 cups to achieve the high-end for protein per LB of body weight. A 22% food will require 4.5 cups. The dog will then consume almost 4 times the starch eating the 22% food than the 37% protein food while getting the same amount of protein. Read this section again everyone, ok?

If you look at phosphorus you will see the same. A 22% protein food will have about 1% phosphorous or about 1 gram per cup, while a 37% protein food could have as much as 1.5 grams per cup. The dog eating the 22% protein food will consume 4.5 grams of phosphorous while the dog eating the 37% protein food will consume 3.75 grams, so less on the high protein food. Read this section again folks, ok?

Do the math folks and stop worrying. The big name dog food proponents like Dr. Doolittle are totally wrong on this point.

If you ever wondered why so many dog and cats are so damn fat, this is the reason.
 

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Personally, I think high protein foods work well with some dogs, but not others. My girl cannot handle anything above about 26%. The protein amount in her food right now would be considered low to most on this forum but it has worked wonderfully with her: firm stools, fluffy, shiny coat and a clean bill of health from the vet. If I put her on say, Orijen or EVO, bring on the unhappy pup with black tarry stools :yuck:
 

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Personally, I think high protein foods work well with some dogs, but not others. My girl cannot handle anything above about 26%. The protein amount in her food right now would be considered low to most on this forum but it has worked wonderfully with her: firm stools, fluffy, shiny coat and a clean bill of health from the vet. If I put her on say, Orijen or EVO, bring on the unhappy pup with black tarry stools :yuck:
Same here with my Pug. High Protein simply does not work for him.

And, the lower protein food he is on does not require me to feed him more then I would feed a food like Orijen, etc., and based on the amount I feed him, the nutrient levels are well within the desirable range for a senior dog.
 

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Hey A&W,

I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed and def not good with math, but I have retread those sections as you asked.....and I don't get it? though you actually bring up a point worth mentioning.
First, how can you determine how much to feed a dog based on the protein percentage? Since the fat and carbs in the diet are providing most of the energy, you would need to know that in order to know how much to feed. You could make a very high calorie food with lower protein while you could make a low calorie food with high protein.

But what you are really bringing up is key! Two foods could be at 22% protein(remember the number on the bag is just a minimum, but let's assume they are actuals) You might think they are providing the same amount of protein. Maybe! If one food is much higher in dietary fat and has a higher calorie content, you would feed less of that food, so actually delivering less protein. make sense? Again, the calorie content determines how much to feed, not the protein. If you are using protein as energy you need to use more than double what you could achieve with fat and the liver and kidneys have to work to convert it to glycogen. And that too can make dogs fat, and perhaps put them at risk of kidney issues later on.

You also seem to think the phosphorus levels are determined by protein levels. Again, maybe. Actually, the higher the protein the phosphorus will go up with it as well but the real factor here is the quality of the protein. Phosphorus comes from bone, hair, hoof, feathers, chicken lips, etc....in other words, the junk left in the meat source. You can have a food with identical protein levels, yet one could be as much as three times higher in phosphorus because they are buying cheap meat meal or meat sources. And phosphorus is def linked to kidney issues, much more than protein itself. A good example of this would be Taste of the Wild vs Purina Dog Chow. Taste of the Wild has just about double the phosphorus as Dog Chow. We could say part of that is it's high protein level, but we can also determine there's lots of junk in there to drive that phosphorus higher than just about any food out there!

that is why knowing how many grams of protein per calorie, or kcals as vets use, and the mg per calorie of phosphorus is much more accurate than percentages, but good luck trying to get those numbers from some of the companies out there.
So even though I can't agree with your math! I will agree other percentages need to be considered.

As far as big name food companies, I can tell you here are a few I like and trust and a few that are nothing but snake oil salesmen. So I don't just promote big name companies? But I also will not trust small name companies that are simply marketing pet food and have no skin in the game? They have no nutritionist on staff, little quality control, no long term relationships with ingredient suppliers, no research at all, etc. Unfortunately, if you are small, pet food buyers seem to think that means you are more honest and noble, like they are just doing it for the animals! LOL! Right! Blue Buffalo was small. They are pretty big now! They even have their first nutritionist now! LOL! So are their many diets not as good now that they are big? As far as size, a company selling in the grocery store sells a whole lot more food than a company selling vet diets, so is that why vet diets are better? Sorry, but in this case size does not matter! But does the company have the means as far as published reviewed research, top nutritionists, a great safety record, etc and bottom line, even if I don't like a company due to their dishonest marketing(which is just about all of them now) if I look at the nutrient levels and they are good! than it's a good food? I will not let my bias against a food company stop me from using or recommending a good diet.

Anf you are right, Don't worry, If you insist on spending lots of money on fashion foods because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, go of for it. we all make choices like that every day, based on our bias and influences on our lives. feeding our beloved dogs is no different. I would just say after the age of 7 years I would do annual blood work just to be sure the kidneys are healthy. Once those levels begin to elevate, you need to pull your head out of ...the sand, swallow your bias, and get the protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels down. Because I see so much of it every day! and it is so sad. I was petting a 9 yr old Yorkie the other day as it was put down, 9 and dying from kidney disease. Was fed people food it's whole somewhat short life. Did people food cause renal failure? Nope! Dis the extremely high protein and sodium of a typical person diet effect the kidneys as they deteriorated? Absolutely! Had blood work caught the disease earlier, could that little girl have lived for many more years? Maybe! So many do!

sadly, there will be a new period of time with more renal failure, more urinary and bladder stones, more GI issues, all because we are now in the age of marketing with no nutrition. You will all pay a lot more money, vets will have a lot of new business, and the dogs (and cats) and the people that love them will suffer.

my prayer is people will wise up and not cater to these companies but I am not holding my breath!
 

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Hey A&W,

I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed and def not good with math, but I have retread those sections as you asked.....and I don't get it? though you actually bring up a point worth mentioning.
First, how can you determine how much to feed a dog based on the protein percentage? Since the fat and carbs in the diet are providing most of the energy, you would need to know that in order to know how much to feed. You could make a very high calorie food with lower protein while you could make a low calorie food with high protein.

But what you are really bringing up is key! Two foods could be at 22% protein(remember the number on the bag is just a minimum, but let's assume they are actuals) You might think they are providing the same amount of protein. Maybe! If one food is much higher in dietary fat and has a higher calorie content, you would feed less of that food, so actually delivering less protein. make sense? Again, the calorie content determines how much to feed, not the protein. If you are using protein as energy you need to use more than double what you could achieve with fat and the liver and kidneys have to work to convert it to glycogen. And that too can make dogs fat, and perhaps put them at risk of kidney issues later on.

You also seem to think the phosphorus levels are determined by protein levels. Again, maybe. Actually, the higher the protein the phosphorus will go up with it as well but the real factor here is the quality of the protein. Phosphorus comes from bone, hair, hoof, feathers, chicken lips, etc....in other words, the junk left in the meat source. You can have a food with identical protein levels, yet one could be as much as three times higher in phosphorus because they are buying cheap meat meal or meat sources. And phosphorus is def linked to kidney issues, much more than protein itself. A good example of this would be Taste of the Wild vs Purina Dog Chow. Taste of the Wild has just about double the phosphorus as Dog Chow. We could say part of that is it's high protein level, but we can also determine there's lots of junk in there to drive that phosphorus higher than just about any food out there!

that is why knowing how many grams of protein per calorie, or kcals as vets use, and the mg per calorie of phosphorus is much more accurate than percentages, but good luck trying to get those numbers from some of the companies out there.
So even though I can't agree with your math! I will agree other percentages need to be considered.

As far as big name food companies, I can tell you here are a few I like and trust and a few that are nothing but snake oil salesmen. So I don't just promote big name companies? But I also will not trust small name companies that are simply marketing pet food and have no skin in the game? They have no nutritionist on staff, little quality control, no long term relationships with ingredient suppliers, no research at all, etc. Unfortunately, if you are small, pet food buyers seem to think that means you are more honest and noble, like they are just doing it for the animals! LOL! Right! Blue Buffalo was small. They are pretty big now! They even have their first nutritionist now! LOL! So are their many diets not as good now that they are big? As far as size, a company selling in the grocery store sells a whole lot more food than a company selling vet diets, so is that why vet diets are better? Sorry, but in this case size does not matter! But does the company have the means as far as published reviewed research, top nutritionists, a great safety record, etc and bottom line, even if I don't like a company due to their dishonest marketing(which is just about all of them now) if I look at the nutrient levels and they are good! than it's a good food? I will not let my bias against a food company stop me from using or recommending a good diet.

Anf you are right, Don't worry, If you insist on spending lots of money on fashion foods because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, go of for it. we all make choices like that every day, based on our bias and influences on our lives. feeding our beloved dogs is no different. I would just say after the age of 7 years I would do annual blood work just to be sure the kidneys are healthy. Once those levels begin to elevate, you need to pull your head out of ...the sand, swallow your bias, and get the protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels down. Because I see so much of it every day! and it is so sad. I was petting a 9 yr old Yorkie the other day as it was put down, 9 and dying from kidney disease. Was fed people food it's whole somewhat short life. Did people food cause renal failure? Nope! Dis the extremely high protein and sodium of a typical person diet effect the kidneys as they deteriorated? Absolutely! Had blood work caught the disease earlier, could that little girl have lived for many more years? Maybe! So many do!

sadly, there will be a new period of time with more renal failure, more urinary and bladder stones, more GI issues, all because we are now in the age of marketing with no nutrition. You will all pay a lot more money, vets will have a lot of new business, and the dogs (and cats) and the people that love them will suffer.

my prayer is people will wise up and not cater to these companies but I am not holding my breath!
 

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High protein + high fat are not for every dog, especially sedentary house pets.

OTOH, if we didn't give our GSPs a food that was high in protein & fat, they wouldn't get enough calories, or maintain good muscle mass & weight. Been there, done that.

BTW, starch has nothing to do with protein; it's a carb. So there is really no correlation between high protein & high starch in a dog food.

 

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Purely anecdotal but I had nothing but trouble from the high protein trendy foods. Have each dog on something,different right one,but the ranges are from 19-26% for protein and 10-15% fat and the dogs are doing really well. Their coats and body condition has,improved, actually.

Works for us. Personally, I'm done trying to make the 5-star foods work.
 

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Purely anecdotal but I had nothing but trouble from the high protein trendy foods. Have each dog on something,different right one,but the ranges are from 19-26% for protein and 10-15% fat and the dogs are doing really well. Their coats and body condition has,improved, actually.

Works for us. Personally, I'm done trying to make the 5-star foods work.
I totally agree. I am done with many of the 5 star foods. I am feeding my high energy hard keepers 30/20 traditional performance foods and easy keepers 25/15 or 26/16 foods. My dogs are heavily exercised, run hard in the woods 3-5 times a week and that amount of protein and fat is working for them. My dogs all did horrible on foods high in peas and potatoes. I prefer traditional grain foods and to be honest foods with corn as the carb source works the best. I do supplement with fresh foods and salmon oil but I would do that no matter what kibble I used.
 

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Purely anecdotal but I had nothing but trouble from the high protein trendy foods. Have each dog on something,different right one,but the ranges are from 19-26% for protein and 10-15% fat and the dogs are doing really well. Their coats and body condition has,improved, actually.

Works for us. Personally, I'm done trying to make the 5-star foods work.
I could not agree more. I have had the same experience with the so-called 5 star foods. Both of my guys are on a kibble that does have grain, different brands, but lower protein and fat levels, and they are both doing just fine. Poops, coats and energy, all good.

I am trying to be real careful regarding the Calcium, Phosphorous and Sodium levels in the food, and am more conscience of the calorie content.
 

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Jackie, you have a nice looking dog. we considered a Golden before we decided on a German Shepherd Dog.
 

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Short of contacting every single company, is there some other way to find out what companies actually have nutritionists on staff? We have 3 dogs here and at this point they are all fed something different as each one has different needs. High protein, moderate protein, lower fat, grain inclusive and grain free. Whatever works best for them is what they get.
 

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What kind of urine test would you run?
A basic urinalysis would show the specific gravity, wether the kidneys are still concentrating the urine. if not, the doc would want to run some blood work to check kidney fuction. BUN, creatinine, phosphorus, etc. usually if clinical signs have been noticed by the pet owner! about 75% of kidney function has been lost? that's why excess protein can play a part in the undetected kidney dog or cat.
 

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A basic urinalysis would show the specific gravity, wether the kidneys are still concentrating the urine. if not, the doc would want to run some blood work to check kidney fuction. BUN, creatinine, phosphorus, etc. usually if clinical signs have been noticed by the pet owner! about 75% of kidney function has been lost? that's why excess protein can play a part in the undetected kidney dog or cat.
I wish you would stop making these comments about protein. It is complete misinformation. You must be stuck in the 1950's.

You are correct that kidney disease can be asymptomatic for a long time but the cause or worsening has absolutely nothing to do with protein levels consumed in young or old dogs.

Rather than babble you should read.
 
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