Amino Acids the Building Blocks of Protein for Dogs

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When it comes to a dog’s diet, protein is the starting point when building a species appropriate feeding regimen.   But while feeding a dog adequate amounts of protein is important, feeding a dog the correct type of protein is just as important (if not more important).  Like it is with carbohydrates, all proteins are not created equal as a dog’s body can utilize some protein sources more fully than others.
Amino acids

Amino Acids are the Building Blocks of Protein

Proteins are made up of the smaller amino acid components which in different combinations, form the different proteins.  A dog’s body will use 22 amino acids, twelve of which can be produced by the dog’s body sufficiently.  These are called non-essential amino acids because they are not essential from a dietary perspective.  The essential amino acids are the 10 amino acids that a dog’s body cannot sufficiently produce and thus, these must be supplied through diet.


The ten essential amino acids are:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lycine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

    Protein is also the primary source of nitrogen, which is used by the dog’s body to synthesize nonessential amino acids and other important raw materials that are needed to support life.


    A dog’s body needs all of the essential amino acids available in order to properly synthesize protein.  If some of the essential aminos are missing, protein cannot be synthesized by the body which means that protein ingested is not able to be fully utilized at the cellular level.


    Next week, I will discuss which proteins are the best and most appropriate for a dog’s body, the proteins which will supply the essential amino acids and meet other important criteria for a dog’s diet.

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  1. we look forward to hear more about this topic…. think we will need this information. vet-appointment is today and I bet we will hear the d-word today :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MISCHIEF MO(A)NDAYMy Profile

  2. If your going to eat you might as well be using the food to the fullest potential.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Chalkboard Art With Some BloopersMy Profile

  3. Just off the top of my head, I do not remember seeing these 10 essential amino acids in dog food (a good brand). Therefore, should we be supplementing? If so, in what amount?

  4. Great information! We know that proteins do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. We look forward to your next blog post on which proteins are best & most appropriate.
    CEO Olivia

  5. A few of those amino acids also promote calmness in pets in addition to dietary healthful requirements. Looking forward to the next installment to see how these work in bodily function and good health. Another great post!

  6. This is all greek to me, so I’m looking forward to your next post to learn a little about these. I always enjoy your nutrition posts because it can be a complex subject but by breaking it down into smaller topics and posts, I always learn something to help Haley stay healthier.
    Elaine recently posted…What is Opposition Reflex and Why Should I Care?My Profile

  7. This is always so interesting to read. I love reading about health and nutrition for my and Cocoa.

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