Protein in Dog Food: Common Meat Sources
Last week, we discussed the use of unnamed proteins in dog food and found that they are more commonly used than I would have expected. We also asked our readers to try and guess the order of the most frequently used meat proteins in dog food. The choices were:
It turns out that no one guessed the correct order. The graph below shows the correct order as far as the relative frequency these ingredients are used in dog foods.
Most people underestimated the use of Turkey and Salmon, both of which are in about 20% of all foods. What is most astounding is how much Chicken is used. If your dog has a chicken allergy, you will have to eliminate about 2/3 of all dog foods from your set of possible food choices for your pet. If you suspect that your dog might have a food allergy, you might want to start by eliminating chicken from all foods and treats—no easy task for sure.
As part of this analysis, i was curious to know how common are single protein foods vs. multiple protein foods. This can be important for dogs with known or suspected allergies and for those who would like to use a rotational diet for their dog.
As the graph below shows, only 24% of the dog foods use a single meat proteins source, while a total of 74% of dog foods contain 2 or more meat proteins in their recipes. For those of you who are wondering about the nearly 2% of dog foods that don’t contain a meat protein, these are usually very low quality foods with ingredients that look something like: “Brewers Rice;Soy Protein Isolate;Vegetable Oil;Brown Rice;Flax Meal;Powdered Cellulose,..” Yuck.
In some instances, foods without meat proteins are specially formulated diets for dogs that require vegetarian diets due to health issues.
For the final installment in this analysis of dog food proteins, I will research the usage of vegetable and legume proteins in dog food. Both of these types of ingredients can provide some health benefits, but they are not optimal protein sources for most normally healthy dogs.
We're joining the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop sponsored by Sugar, the Golden Retriever and Kolchak from Kol's Notes: