Last updated Feb. 21 2020 | 2 min read
Nutrition – The Role Of Protein In Your Dog’s Health
How does protein work in a dog’s body? Picture a string of beads and each string is needed to produce a complete picture or an artwork. The job of protein in your dog can be compared to this strings of beads. Each protein is similar to individual strings of beads. Just as these strings are put together in the right order to create a picture, different types of proteins have to go together to be able to produce a dog.
Each string is made up of different numbers of colored beads that are lined up in an exact pattern to produce certain body parts such as the hair, the nose, or the ear of the picture. The colored beads can be compared to amino acids, or substances that are connected to the strings to produce different proteins.
There are 23 amino acids that are the molecular building blocks of protein. A dog can produce 13 amino acids inside his body while the other 10 amino acids must come from an outside source and has to be consumed. A puppy will not grow unless he is supplied with the remaining 10 essential amino acids. Without them he will become sick and will eventually die. Similarly, if an adult dog is not getting the proper amount of these 10 amino acids, he will become weak and suffer nutritional deficiencies.
These 10 essential amino acids can be acquired from meat and plants, which offer the best sources because they contain the largest number of essential amino acids.
Not all proteins are the same, as some are better for your dog than others. The amount of protein a dog needs depends on how much of the essential amino acids are supplied by that protein. The protein’s ability to provide the dog’s Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) of the 10 essential amino acids is referred to as its ‘biological value’.
Here are a few additional facts about the importance of protein for your dog’s health:
1. Proteins are the building blocks of your dog’s body.
2. Proteins are necessary for all aspects of growth and development and are very important in structural makeup and the immune system. In addition, they are burned as calories and can be converted to and stored as fat if needed.
3. They are required for healthy nails, skin, and coat.
4. They are necessary for the production of hormones in the bloodstream.
5. They provide a healthy immune system.