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One of My DogsDogs are carnivores.  Their digestive system is set up to eat meat.  Our dogs need to eat protein from meat sources, preferably more than one.

Protein deficiency can vary in symptoms from skin and ear problems, reproductive issues, kidney, liver, bladder, heart, and thyroid problems.  They can also cause problems with adrenal gland malfunctions, epilepsy, some cancers, spinning or tail-chasing, lethargy, aggression, timidity, lack of pigmentation, lack of appetite, excessive shedding, and gastrointestinal upsets.

It’s the first five ingredients that make up the majority of a dog food.  So, that’s the majority of what you want to look at.

Now, there is one way that dog food companies try to trick you. They will list something like corn and corn meal, making it look like the major ingredient in the food is a meat instead of corn.  Watch out for that one.  I would have fallen for it if I hadn’t been warned.

Usually cheaper food has less meat.  Now, I’m not telling you to buy the most expensive food that you can find.  What I urge you to do is to find the best quality dog food for your particular budget.  As my financial resources have grown from basically nothing in college to having a bit of leftover money, the quality of nutrition my dogs receive has increased as well.

Protein can be contained in plants but these should be an added protein in the food, not the primary one, in my opinion.  From my research, plant proteins are not the same as meat proteins.  They don’t contain amino acids which are necessary for dogs and do not stay in a dog’s system.  You may not be giving your dog enough amino acids.  Remember, dogs are carnivores.  They need meat.

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