When choosing the ideal food for our pets, most of us have one goal in mind: protein.
And it is that we always want the best for them, just as we want it for ourselves, that’s why we know that the balanced consumption of proteins is an essential part of maintaining the health and quality of life of our animals.
Choosing the protein source that will be part of pet food is not an easy task. But to have the necessary knowledge to make a safe choice of protein source, it is necessary to first understand the requirements it must meet to be considered suitable for pet feeding.
Although the ideal amount of protein varies according to the species and age of the pet, the parameters that define the quality of a protein are the same for all of them.
Let’s see what these key factors are!.
- Amino acid composition: there must be a balance that takes into account the ideal proportion of essential amino acids, in the case of dogs and cats, these would be, arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
All of them must be consumed by food since they are not synthesized by the organism of these animals, in addition, amino acids must also be available to be properly absorbed and used for the basic functions of our pets.
- High digestibility coefficient: this is defined as the difference between the amount of protein offered in the diet and the amount excreted in the faeces, in other words, what your body will actually use of the protein that has been ingested.
- Presence of anti-nutritional factors: if there is a source of protein of plant origin, they tend to reduce the nutritional value of the ingredient, since they hinder the absorption of nutrients.
- Good palatability: this can be measured by the amount of food eaten by our pet. Food must be attractive so that they have the initial stimulus to eat it.
However, even knowing these factors, we may still have a question. What are those ingredients that are used to meet these factors?
Well, a very common source due to its high quality is animal protein, it generally comes from the by-products of the slaughter of poultry, fish, lamb and cattle.
They contain all the essential amino acids for cats and dogs, in balanced proportions and highly available, being a natural product, the digestibility and palatability increases, and its biggest plus point is the absence of anti-nutritional factors.
Proteins of animal origin also have the advantage of being sources of fats and minerals, especially calcium and phosphorous.
(Learn more about our animal meal https://www.progan.co/about-animal-meals/)
There are also other types of protein sources such as vegetables, such as soy, however, it has some anti-nutritional factors and some disadvantages such as increased incidence of flatulence and change in stool due to the presence of oligosaccharides.
As we have seen, there are variables involved in the source of protein that will be part of the nutrition of our pets. It is necessary to take into account the particularities of each species and each age range to understand the needs related to amino acids and other aspects that determine the quality of a protein.
The correct choice leads to the development of very rich products from a nutritional point of view, capable of assisting in the growth and maintenance of the health of our pets in a way that would not be possible without correct nutrition.