Feeding your dog well has become the concern of many owners. We must return to the basics : the dog is a carnivore. Although it has adopted more omnivorous habits by being domesticated by man, its protein requirements are always much more important than an omnivore. Learn more about the dog’s need for macronutrients and the benefits of a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
The Needs Of The Dog Remain That Of A Carnivore
If they have a choice, dogs cover about one-third of their energy requirement with protein and less than 15 % with digestible carbohydrates and more than 50% with fat !
Like their cousin the wolf, although they have evolved of course, dogs remain basically carnivorous animals.
To Feed Your Dog Well Is To Respect Its Physiological Needs As A Carnivore.
Dogs adapted to the presence of wheat or corn in their diet in contact with humans during domestication, but their ability to digest cereal starch (the main digestible carbohydrate) remains much more limited than that of omnivores.
In puppies (and many adult dogs), digestion is disrupted when dietary starch levels are too high. In addition, excess carbohydrates can promote weight gain.
Why Give A High Protein Food?
A high protein diet is beneficial for your dog’s health at many levels :
- muscle development
- weight control
- good renal function
- beauty of the skin and fur
- maintenance of immunity
If your dog maintains good musculature and optimal weight, it also preserves its joints, especially if it is a large sized dog.
The use of proteins requires more “work” for the body than digestible carbohydrates or fats. A diet rich in protein therefore satisfies the animals more quickly, which is a clear advantage in sterilized dogs but also in whole dogs.
High protein levels help maintain muscle mass instead of encouraging the storage of excess fat. It is easier to control the weight of a well-muscled animal because muscles consume more energy than adipose tissue (fat).
Give Your Dog Protein Diet Adapted To Each Stage Its Life
At each age and each physiological stage corresponds a particular diet: do not feed a puppy just weaned as a sterilized dog or as an aging dog…
As an adult, the dog should benefit from a diet that covers its nutritional carnivore needs and that prevents the appearance of possible disorders : overweight (nearly 40% of dogs), osteoarthritis… A food enriched with essential fatty acids and chondroprotectors is therefore interesting.
For dogs that are sterilized or predisposed to being overweight, a specially adapted feed is recommended : the Virbac HPM Adult Neutered Dog. With a high protein intake and a moderate energy intake, this type of food will help your dog maintain its ideal weight. Richer in fiber, it will promote in your dog the feeling of satiety.
Older dogs often reduce their activity (thus their energy expenditure) but still eat as much : they will tend to gain weight. The calorie intake must then be reduced relative to an adult. Older dogs may need joint support because they are not as mobile as before. Chondroprotectors can help.
Finally, molecules called free radicals accumulate and are responsible for general cellular aging. The addition of antioxidants in the diet (such as vitamin E) helps to counteract the harmful effects of these free radicals.
It is well understood here the interest to give a food like the Virbac HPM Senior which also exists for sterilized dogs.
Finally, the energy requirements of a puppy are proportionally higher than those of an adult dog. He needs a very rich and specific food to get the best possible start in life and help him develop harmoniously.
A food rich in energy, highly digestible, and enriched in Brewer’s yeast to help develop the immune system like the Virbac HPM Baby will be ideal for the first phase of rapid growth, then the Virbac HPM Junior will be more suitable for the second phase.