Can you supplement your dog’s protein intake? There are some dog breeds that are naturally muscular while others just aren’t. If you yourself take fitness seriously, it’s easy to think that your dog needs a high level of protein intake as well. But do you really want a muscular physique for your four-legged friend?
Quite simply, the body chemistry of dogs isn’t like that of a human. They can’t use, for example, a protein shake the same way we do. Their food pyramid looks a lot different than ours. So, what’s good for some people doesn’t necessarily carry over to what’s appropriate for dogs.
There’s some debate as to whether even we need to use protein supplements. Some health experts say that we’re suffering from an overload of protein, which in turn affects our livers. Your dog’s digestive system is smaller in size, among other factors, and therefore they may respond poorly. They can develop liver problems at a much more rapid rate than we do.
Can I Give My Dog Protein? Answer: Not Recommended
Dogs do need a good amount of protein, but they need it from whole food sources, namely meat.
They have different nutritional requirements in general. That’s why, when you buy their dog food, you need to make sure that it contains a meat source as the first ingredient. This way you’ll ensure they are getting enough protein in their diet.
A lot of the top brands out there will have some form of vegetable, usually corn or some wheat-based ingredient listed as the primary content. This is just filler and will lead to your dog not having as much energy as they should. They could also develop health problems quicker than they normally would, which is a shame. This, however, doesn’t mean you should provide a human-formulated protein supplement for them.
Whey Protein for Dogs
Whey protein and other products that contain artificial sources of protein just aren’t recommended for canines. They’re not found in nature and are something that us humans cooked up in a lab to counteract the effects of living in a modern environment, devoid of many of the things that nature can provide us.
And so, giving your dog some of your whey protein shake is simply not a good idea. While you may have good intentions, and while they will lap it up due to its sweet flavor, it’s not something they need to get through the day. Nor it is practical for you to provide it to them for any sustained period of time.
As funny as it sounds, dogs don’t lift weights. They don’t need any supplements in order to maintain the muscle they already have. They just need to be active!
Dog Treats with Protein
Some dog treats are mostly made with protein in the form of meat. These would be perfectly acceptable as a way to make sure that they are getting enough of it. This way you can give them a treat after they’ve been running around, or after they’ve gone for a walk with you.
Such a strategy can be a positive reinforcement to routine exercise, and will also help them keep a nice shiny coat. Do this instead of providing human-formulated protein products.
When to See a Vet
If you’ve been thinking of supplementing your dog’s protein levels as a way to get them back on track as far as their health goes, please reconsider. Perhaps you should take them to the vet for a checkup first. Getting a professional opinion on what’s best for your dog, and how you can treat them best health-wise, is often money very well spent.
They may recommend switching dog food brands, or having them get more exercise or fresh air. But, they aren’t likely to recommend giving them any kind of protein supplement.
You know your dog best, so it’s good that you are observing their behavior and wondering what you can do to improve their well-being. However, most times when we try to impose a human-based fix to a dog’s problems, the results are less than desired. You could be setting them up for other health problems, even though your intentions are good.