How much protein is too much for small breeds?
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Thread: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

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    Exclamation How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    I am in the process of putting my 2 dogs on a "premium" dog food after i found this forum and learned that the food i was feeding them and thought was good was actually horrible (bil-jac select ).
    Anyway i have been researching like crazy and trying to figure out which one is the best, i ordered a bag of the orijen fish adult and im just waiting on it.
    I also bought a bag of the solid-gold hund-n-flocken (in the meantime) just to see how they would respond to it...they wanted nothing to do with that!

    My doggies are a 3 1/2 year old chihuahua and a 2 1/2 year old chi/shih tzu mix. My chi weighs about (and im guessing) 8 lbs, my mix weighs about 3 lbs...give or take a little on both of them.
    My problem started when my chi started having skin issues, i took her to the vet and they gave her a cort. shot and it seemed better...that happened 2 times within less than a year. About 1 month after she went to the vet the last time (which was in July) she started chewing on her feet ALOT and i went back to the vet and asked what that could be from, they said its usually a food allergy and to change her food to purina one chicken and rice. I didnt realize at the time that was a pretty crappy food as well.
    Anyway, i came across this forum and have been researching and reading like crazy. There is just so much info and there is always a few bad things with every food it seems, from reading the dog food analysis and rate it all.

    A few weeks ago i bought some of the innova evo grainless dog treats and they LOVE them...they go crazy for them. But the protein content is very high....
    As is the orijen (protein content) and some of the other dog foods i was considering.

    My biggest question is, for my 2 doggies...is 42% protein too much? Should it be more around the 35 mark or 25? I just dont want to be hurting them in any way when i think im helping them.
    I also got one of the samples of the wellness fish and sweet potato and they seemed to like it but i did read some bad things about it also.

    Oh, one more thing...i know alot of people here feed RAW, my vet told me NEVER to give the dogs any kind of meat, no pork, chicken or beef and no bones..no rawhide from the petstores---he said only nylabones. He also said give them nothing that has been cooked with any pork or meat. He said it can ruin their liver and kidneys and they could die. I didnt ask him about this, he just offered this info...so i was just curious as to why he would say dont feed RAW foods if so many people do it.

    What do you all think of the honest kitchen?, or addiction dog food <---that one has some interesting ingredients.

    Thanks in advance for reading and responding.
    Last edited by vegus; 09-24-2007 at 07:30 PM.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    I sent an e-mail to the company on the Orijen fresh fish and wanted their opinion on feeding it to my 6 month old puppies. They e-mailed me right back and said >
    No problem on the 6 FISH for your young Schnauzers - this exceptional diet has
    far more nutrition that most Puppy foods - including the one you're
    currently feeding.
    Currently using Canidea which is working pretty well.David

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Alot of the good high quality newer foods are high in protein and its debatable about how much protein a dog needs in today's world, I am sure in the wild they need plenty to keep them going. Anyway, you could add baked acorn squash or sweet potatoes etc to the food and thereby cut the amount of protein in half. My dogs love the veggies and I have fed lots of veggies for years. My dogs eat a small amount of raw meat or cooked fish and lots of veggies and one of them also gets well cooked brown rice as it was hard to put some weight on him. I give the cooked squash or sweet potato and also crushed raw leafy greens. I would also suggest adding some salmon oil daily. I have an adopted pomx that has skin issues and when I got her she was in terrible condition but now her coat is lovely altho she does still occasionally nibble her feet/legs but no hair loss or reddened skin (she doesn't get the rice) I give the dogs a fresh marrow bone to chew on for an hour or two every week so that they their teeth stay clean and white. I am lucky that my vet is holistic and believes in raw altho she is ok with cooked homemade and the use of the new high quality foods (EVO/Timberwolf etc) for those who prefer it anneh
    QUOTE=vegus;126898]
    My doggies are a 3 1/2 year old chihuahua and a 2 1/2 year old chi/shih tzu mix. My chi weighs about (and im guessing) 8 lbs, my mix weighs about 3 lbs...give or take a little on both of them.
    My problem started when my chi started having skin issues, i took her to the vet and they gave her a cort. shot and it seemed better...that happened 2 times within less than a year. About 1 month after she went to the vet the last time (which was in July) she started chewing on her feet ALOT and i went back to the vet and asked what that could be from, they said its usually a food allergy and to change her food to purina one chicken and rice. I didnt realize at the time that was a pretty crappy food as well.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    sounds like your vet is full of it or being endorsed by a pet food brand. our vet recommends baby food and regular chicken (plain) for our dog. she's healthy. anyway- what's the difference if it's ground up and packaged with grain in dry food and if it's given to them fresh anyway? dogs are MEAT EATERS by nature- how could it cause them to die?
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    Senior Member Lightwingcreations's Avatar
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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by vegus View Post
    My biggest question is, for my 2 doggies...is 42% protein too much? Should it be more around the 35 mark or 25? I just dont want to be hurting them in any way when i think im helping them.
    I also got one of the samples of the wellness fish and sweet potato and they seemed to like it but i did read some bad things about it also.

    Oh, one more thing...i know alot of people here feed RAW, my vet told me NEVER to give the dogs any kind of meat, no pork, chicken or beef and no bones..no rawhide from the petstores---he said only nylabones. He also said give them nothing that has been cooked with any pork or meat. He said it can ruin their liver and kidneys and they could die. I didnt ask him about this, he just offered this info...so i was just curious as to why he would say dont feed RAW foods if so many people do it.

    What do you all think of the honest kitchen?, or addiction dog food <---that one has some interesting ingredients.

    Thanks in advance for reading and responding.
    I'm wondering why the high protein content is worrying you. The foods that do not contain grain or very little grain are going to automatically be higher in protein than their counterpart that have the corn, wheat, soy, etc. ingredients. Dogs are carnivores, not obligate carnivores, but carnivores. I researched diets for my dogs months ago trying to find a healthier diet and slowly came to the conclusion that dogs should not eat grains as their short digestive tract is not capable of digesting these carbs. What does that mean? When they do eat grains they are eating something that makes them feel full but ultimately just comes right back out their hind end without being utilized. I'm wondering if this is why some animals become allergic to these ingredients: they aren't capable of being broken down so they irritate the gut. ?? The intestines are made to absorb nutrients as they pass down the gut, what happens when something isn't broken down? Just my musing. Dogs are made to eat a high protein diet (research their digestive tract) and I think they have a limited ability to digest vegetables, which has come from my own observations of my own dogs feces (contain veggies that look the same as when they went down my dogs throat).
    I don't think that vets learn much about nutrition in school, so it's no wonder they recommend HSD. They are taught to treat problems, not prevent them. I've talked to my own vet about raw (that's what I've been feeding my dogs) and she stated point blank that her only problem with the diet is the pathogenic potential, which means the bacteria and parasites that can be present in raw meat. She also stated that she thought that when done properly the raw diet is a very sound and nutritious diet that is good for a dog. I'm not too worried about the bacteria, as I don't feed spoiled or rancid meat. The parasites I do worry about slightly, I freeze the meat for various amounts of time depending on what it is (chicken or beef 24 hours if at all and pork for 30 days). I do not feed wild meat, only grocery store stuff, so the chances of the meats being infected with parasites is pretty low.
    As far as meats ruining the liver and kidneys, I think it depends on your dogs current health as well as giving proteins that are easy to digest. I had had my dogs on a raw diet for 5 months when I took my older dog in for a thorough physical which included a full blood panel. The vet said that his bloodwork was perfect (I have a copy) and showed no indications of any problems, and he's at least 9yo.
    Ultimately, what you decide to feed your dog needs to be something you feel comfortable with, whatever it may be. I wish people would take more of a proactive approach, as you are doing, in educating themselves about what is good and potentially bad for their companions, as they rely on us to take care of them. Keep up your research and ask all the questions you want. People may not be able to answer them, but we sure will try if we have the knowledge.

    p.s. My older dog is now frisky and hops around more like a puppy than I've ever seen him. In his time with me I have fed him Nutro Naturals, Iams, and another kibble that escapes my mind right now. He seems to be doing very, very well on the raw diet.
    Last edited by Lightwingcreations; 09-30-2007 at 12:18 PM.
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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    I too have been concerned about the high protein content. I realize that dogs are carnivores but in the wild, they do eat some carbs when they eat the intestines of their prey. My dog is shih-tzu x bichon mix and since shih-tzus have a tendency to gain weight easily, I thought maybe even the fat content of the high protein foods was too high. Orijen and EVO both have high percentages of fat (approx. 22% I think) - both have 42% protein. There is a thread on this forum regarding the pros and cons of Orijen and/or high protein foods - I don't know how to add a link in here but search for Orijen - I found this forum when I googled Orijen. There was a lot of good discussion. One thing I was also concerned about was how the high protein content would affect my dog's kidneys and liver. ON the thread I mentioned, someone said that high protein can cause liver and kidney damage. There was also discussion about feeding this type of food to adult dogs as opposed to puppies, especially in the case of the larger breed dogs as it would cause them to grow quickly and then have problems later because their bone structure couldn't handle the growth. Wellness also makes a food called Wellness Core which doesn't have as high protein or fat content. I believe it's 35% protein and 18% fat or somewhere around there but I read their website and it suggest only feeding to dogs over 1 year old. I think Orijen and Evo are great foods although I have heard that Evo can cause gas - I think Orijen has tapioca to deal with this side effect. You could also try mixing it with another food like Innova. I'm not saying high protein is bad or good but it's good to know both the pros and cons. I'm not a big fan of Wellness but if you are concerned about the protein content of Orijen, then maybe Wellness Core would be an option for you. Personally, if I were to choose a high protein food, I would go for either Orijen or Evo. Alternatively, thers is the RAW diet - dogs in the wild eat raw food too - the only objection or con about this diet is that it's expensive and time consuming to prepare. I think you have to feed your dog more frequently and obviously, you have to take care when preparing raw meats. Raw bones are good for dogs just not cooked ones. Vets aren't necessarily trained in nutrition so I'm not sure I would take their every word as gospel.

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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    A raw diet is definitely not more expensive or time consuming than kibble. I buy my meat when I go to the grocery. If one of the meat process companies has a deal on something I'll make a side trip. It takes me 2 hours each month to portion out the food for four animals in daily sized containers for the freezer. The two hours outweighs the trips to the pet store for food since it is not close. Each day I take out a package and dump it in the bowl. By shopping for sale meats and such I never spend more than $1/pound and so it works out to $30/month for my 4 small dogs and a cat.

    I'm not opposed to high protein diet in a healthy animal. If your pet has shown signs of kidney problems it might not be the best route. However, my one dog has never done well on commercial food, itches and bites her feet. Since going to raw she has done a complete turnaround.
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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoxysPack View Post
    sounds like your vet is full of it or being endorsed by a pet food brand. our vet recommends baby food and regular chicken (plain) for our dog. she's healthy. anyway- what's the difference if it's ground up and packaged with grain in dry food and if it's given to them fresh anyway? dogs are MEAT EATERS by nature- how could it cause them to die?

    I don't mean to tread on anyones toes here I just wanted to point out that dogs are NOT true carnivores but more along the lines of omnivores. Cats however are true carnvores.

    Sorry got ahead of myself, dogs are like people they are all different. I might be able to down a 15oz steak and not think twice whereas you could be up all night with a very unhappy digestive system. In other words too much protein for one dog may be fine for another. Same as their individual tolerances for different types of protein.....meat, poultry or vegetable protein. Basically it kind of boils down to trial and error, what works for my dog may not work for yours.
    Last edited by xxxxxSunny13; 05-19-2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny13 View Post
    I don't mean to tread on anyones toes here I just wanted to point out that dogs are NOT true carnivores but more along the lines of omnivores. Cats however are true carnvores.

    Sorry got ahead of myself, dogs are like people they are all different. I might be able to down a 15oz steak and not think twice whereas you could be up all night with a very unhappy digestive system. In other words too much protein for one dog may be fine for another. Same as their individual tolerances for different types of protein.....meat, poultry or vegetable protein. Basically it kind of boils down to trial and error, what works for my dog may not work for yours.
    I suggest you read this...

    http://rawfed.com/myths/omnivores.html

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    It's a DEBATE whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Anything can be a "debate" but I have never seen any strong evidence that dogs are actual omnivores...

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoxysPack View Post
    sounds like your vet is full of it or being endorsed by a pet food brand. our vet recommends baby food and regular chicken (plain) for our dog. she's healthy. anyway- what's the difference if it's ground up and packaged with grain in dry food and if it's given to them fresh anyway? dogs are MEAT EATERS by nature- how could it cause them to die?
    Dogs are actually omnivores, not carnivores. They do just fine on a vegetarian diet, as long as it's balanced. And I don't think the high protein is what the vet said could kill the dog, but cooked meat, or things cooked with meat. And I know that cooked meat can actually be bad, or rather, the fat on the meat becomes evil once it's cooked. Dunno if it would kill them though, probably not.

    Quote Originally Posted by luvntzus View Post
    It's a DEBATE whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores.

    If they were carnivores they could not survive on a vegetarian diet. Just look at cats, they are carnivores and they are intolerant to most types of fruit and veggies. Dogs tolerate fruit and veggies just fine, and can live quite healthily on on a vegetarian diet.

    Even people who feed a "natural" raw diet include veggies.

    I am doing a dog trainer course at the moment, and the person who covered the nutrition part said they are omnivores and live well as vegetarians. Carnivores CAN'T survive as vegetarians, just like humans can't survive on a meat only diet (we are omnivores, but mainly herbivore).
    Last edited by lil_fuzzy; 05-21-2011 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    What are those sharp teeth for???? Did you read the link I posted?

    I'm almost slightly disturbed by your post. It just doesn't make sense. Just because dogs can survive on fruits and veggies, does not mean they are THRIVING on them.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    That's exactly what I meant. There is a strong camp on both sides.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    I've just never seen any good proof that dogs are omnivores though.

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    Re: How much protein is too much for small breeds?

    Oh, one more thing...i know alot of people here feed RAW, my vet told me NEVER to give the dogs any kind of meat, no pork, chicken or beef and no bones..no rawhide from the petstores---he said only nylabones. He also said give them nothing that has been cooked with any pork or meat. He said it can ruin their liver and kidneys and they could die. I didnt ask him about this, he just offered this info...so i was just curious as to why he would say dont feed RAW foods if so many people do it.
    i think a drumstick bone would be easier to digest than an edible plastic such as a nylabone.....

    rawhide i agree with. i wouldn't feed my dogs that...

    but wet weight for raw meat is about 18-22%. take the water out and it's about what orijen is.....if i were not feeding raw, i would maybe feed either ziwipeak or origen.

    adding fruits and veggies means adding things dogs cannot digest. not only that, the suggestions you've gotten all have sugar in them, which will rot teeth, and age organs.....and if you want proof of that, read orijen's white paper.

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