All About Dog Food Forum
Dog food and feeding => General discussion => Topic started by: Dottie on Apr 15, 2015, 10:10
This is probably a question for the manufacturers:
One of my dogs needs a lower protein diet for medical reasons (advised by our vet). High grain doesn't suit her coat and skin although she is not intolerant. I therefore looked for grain free products in the 23% and under category. There are very few and what there is is nearly all fish based. I chose one of these and my dog has been absolutely fine on it and I am keeping fingers crossed that the problem is fixed. I would like to know why there is a dearth of products in the grain free category that meet the criteria of lower protein and fat? I appreciate that most dogs need a higher protein/meat content but my dog doesn't and maybe there are others that have the same issues.
Is there a gap in the market? If there is, do the manufacturers think there is no need to address this? Usually these sort of products are labelled 'senior', 'light' or 'weight control' and with all the obese pets around maybe it is a gap that needs to be filled.
BTW I know that one can feed less of an ordinary food but that really isn't very useful when you are faced with a hungry dog and a minuscule portion of food. It's not good for the dog or the owner.
Interesting but low protein does that mean low meat/fish?
so to get a low protein low fat food would this need to be low in meat/fish content and perhaps due to this site we as the consumer want more meat and fish in our foods which in turn ends up in higher protein levels
its a real thought provoking question Sandra
It seems to me that it must be quite difficult to produce a low protein grain-free food. If a food is 0% grain then it must have a higher %age of other ingredients, by definition, so what do you replace the grain with? If you increase the %age of meat/fish then you increase the protein and if you increase the %age of vegetable ingredients then you increase the fibre content, perhaps resulting in a food that would be difficult for many dogs to digest.
The only answers I can think of are to replace the grain with a 'filler' of some sort - but what fillers are there that are not high fibre? - or to simply increase the moisture content of the food, which of course is impossible to do to any meaningful extent with a dry food. And who would buy a food with 20% added water? You could add that yourself!
Lower protein would require more fillers (these don't have to be grain based but are, generally still higher in carbohydrate, though) that would mean the feeding amount needs to be higher, so the actual grammes per day of protein would be similar to what you feed now.
60g @ 35% protein = 21g protein
100g @ 23% protein = 23g protein
so your "lower protein" food caould actually end up being higher in protein, there is far more to it than just the percentages
Feeding lower protein the calories have to come from carbs. When I was looking into home cooked lower protein diet I wanted to try and avoid grains. Even though my boy doesn't have problems with grains he'd just hadn't had them as he'd previously been fed raw.
The only non grain carb fillers that I could find were, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tapioca, sago, corn starch. These are the higher calorific value foods, there are several other fruits and veg which are carb sources but not high calorific.
I guess it would be expensive to make lower protein / grain free on commercial basis. It would cost a lot to buy and people wouldn't want to pay since there would appear to be little meat protein in. It is a prescription type diet, manufacturers would lose out on the expensive (to purchase) prescription diets. Which of course are full of cheap junk. I guess its not in their interest to produce one. Just a thought
Thank you very much for your input into this thread. I can see the problems. For now my little dog will be a fishy one. Don't think she is bothered as long as her tummy is full! I soak the kibble because of her problem but she eats so fast the stuff barely touches the sides of her mouth! LOL