The foundation of your dog’s diet
Elevate Your Dog’s Food Beyond Simple Nutrition
Welcome to ‘Ingredients with a Purpose’ – a series of science informed articles on the role the ingredients in your dog’s food plays in achieving their best health and wellbeing at every stage of their precious lives at the same time helping to reduce the environmental impact feeding them has on our precious planet.
We understand there are a LOT of options when it comes to what you feed your dog. We also understand you want to offer them the best food possible, and labels can be confusing. The goal of this series is to give you clear insight into the reason for the inclusion of every ingredient in our super premium vegan dog food, the role it plays and what is necessary to guarantee you are feeding your dog an all-natural, complete, and balanced, diet.
These are the key elements necessary for positive nutrition.
Protein – The Foundation of Your Dog’s Diet
Protein is a hot topic in both human and dog foods.
Your dog’s nutritional health depends on receiving the correct amounts and proportions of nutrients from the six required groups: water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins. With the exception of water, commercial dog foods identified as 100% complete and balanced must contain all of these required nutrients.
Protein is a very important part of a healthy, balanced dog’s diet. Protein has several roles in your dog’s body, such as building and repairing muscles and other body tissues. It is needed to form new skin cells, grow hair, build muscle tissue, and more. It also assists in creating body chemicals like hormones and enzymes that are needed for normal function. It provides energy (like carbohydrates and fats do) and keeps their immune system strong.
The basic units of proteins are amino acids There are many amino acids of which 20 are unique and have been genetically coded with each containing carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sometimes sulphur in different quantities and configurations. It is the correct balance and levels of these essential amino acids your dog needs to maintain their best health and vitality.
Proteins can be found in plants, algae, fungi and animals. Like us, dogs need nutrients not ingredients, to thrive physically and emotionally. Dogs are capable of digesting protein from a variety of sources and as long as they are getting the correct balance of amino acids from the protein they eat, they will thrive.
AAFCO and FEDIAF, the organisations in the USA and the EU, responsible for providing guidelines for optimum nutrition for our dogs recommend a minimum 18.5% protein on a dry matter basis (what remains after all of the moisture is extracted from dog food) for adult dogs and 22.5% for puppies and nursing mothers.
Many pet food manufacturers are including protein at levels that exceed our dog’s daily requirements, marketing them as high protein (greater than 30%) appealing to those who believe the more protein the better.
Unfortunately, these high protein foods could be harmful to your dog’s health and damaging for the environment. A study conducted in 2020 found that feeding dogs a high amount of protein leads to a shift to proteolytic gut bacteria, higher faecal pH, and is associated with increased levels of metabolites linked with inflammation and kidney dysfunction (1)
Dogs, like humans, can only use a certain amount of the protein that is digested and absorbed to repair and maintain muscles and other tissues. Any excess must be disposed of, which means it is broken down and burned for energy or stored as fat, and this fat can be very damaging to their health.
It’s not the amount of protein in a dog’s diet that is important, but the digestibility and bioavailability of amino acids. Often, high-protein, meat-based dog foods include protein sources that are neither highly digestible nor bioavailable to your dog. Unused protein ferments and goes into faecal matter, making your dog’s solid waste smellier. If you have yellow spots on your lawn, it is likely a result of excess amino acids from high protein foods that are excreted in your dog’s urine.
A medium protein dog food has a protein level between 21-29%. This will provide your adult dog with all the amino acids it requires.
A food with a wide variety of protein sources ensures that their bodies will actually utilise the essential amino acids contributing to better overall nutrition.
Bonza has a protein level of 25% and offers your dog a wide variety of hypoallergenic and highly bioavailable and digestible proteins including pea, nutritional yeast, potato, chickpeas, fava (broad) beans, quinoa and oats.
In a world where the increasing production of protein comes at a significant cost to the environment, animal protein being the most damaging, we are proud to be using plant-based, vegan protein sources which are not only less harmful but also contribute to better soils, less erosion, require less water and fertilisers and improved food security for all who share our wonderful planet.
The number one thing we can do for our dogs is giving them food that enables their body and mind to flourish.
Much like us, the healthier your dog’s lifestyle, the more likely they’ll be able to fight off any disease or infection. Often the food we feed our dogs is not doing them justice. It’s filled with artificial flavours, low-quality protein sources, and not enough fibre.
Our food is full of potent phytonutrients, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, only found in plant-based ingredients, that help to fight off disease and increase their immunity as well as providing support for the most likely health issues your dog is likely to face as they age – digestive, joint and mobility, skin and coat, oral and dental, heart and cardiovascular, brain and cognitive, eye and energy and fatigue.
Bonza is formulated to deliver the optimum balance of high-quality proteins together with PhytoPlus®, a proprietary blend of superfoods, super herbs and botanicals, designed to support your dog living its longest, carefree life all the while improving the sustainability of feeding them.
Bonza. Nose to Tail Good Health