You may think that you could supplement your dog’s protein intake. There are some dog breeds that are really muscular. It’s easy to think that dogs need a high protein intake, just like humans do, if they want a muscular physique.
But the body chemistry of dogs is different than ours. They can’t use, for example, a protein shake the same way we do. In fact, they don’t have the same nutritional requirements in general, and their food pyramid looks a lot different than ours. So, it’s important to keep in mind that what’s good for humans doesn’t necessarily carry over to what’s good for a dog.
There’s debate as to whether even we humans 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 respond to things differently. They can develop liver problems at a much more rapid rate than we can, since their entire lifeline is more compacted than ours.
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.
That’s why when you buy their dog food, you need to make sure that it contains a meat source as its first ingredient, so that you can be sure they are getting enough of it.
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.
You just have to look at wild dogs to see that they need a good amount of meat. Whey protein and other products that contain artificial sources of protein are not recommended. 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.
Whey Protein for Dogs
Giving your dog some of your whey protein shake is not the best idea. While you might have good intentions, and while they will lap it up due to its sweet flavor, it’s just not something that is recommended or needed for them to get through the day.
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.
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.
When to See a Vet
If you’ve been thinking that supplementing your dog’s protein intake is a good way to get them back on track as far as their health goes, perhaps you should take them to the vet. Getting a professional opinion on what’s best for your dog, and how you can treat them best health-wise, is sometimes money very well spent.
They may recommend switching dog food brands, or having them get more exercise or fresh air. However, they are not 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 life experience. 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 health problems, even though your intentions are good.