Older dogs and high proteins

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    Need feedback on feeding older dogs(12) and higher protein foods. Considering switching
    My 2 year old and my 12 year old to a raw diet. Concerned about protein levels. Was looking at the raw diets from Answers. Any suggestions, just starting to do some serious research into raw diets. Thanks


    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Skippy5761 –

    You should check out the Raw Diet thread. I have three bloodhounds – including a senior – that all eat raw ranging from 45% – 55% protein at each meal. My senior is in excellent health. Senior dogs actually need up to 50% more protein than adult dogs, they just need high quality protein which you would get with a raw diet. Some believe high levels of protein stress the kidneys of older dogs but this isn’t true, low quality protein (like the rendered, high processed proteins in kibble) stress the kidneys.

    Here is an article by Dr. Becker titled “Why 84% of Pet Owners Don’t Know What to Feed Their Aging Pets.”


    Here’s a video from Dr. Becker titled “The Nutrient Your Pets need More of as They Age.”


    Here is an article on the effects of a high protein diet on renal function:


    Hope that helps :)



    Hi Hound Dog Mom,
    Hi Hound Dog Mom,
    Really appreciate you taking the time and all the info. Definitely will take the time to read all articles and do research on the raw diet Thread. My older is a finicky eater and has major joint problems, had both ACL repairs down at age 6, she is an American Golden Retriever, my baby is 2 an is an English Cream Golden. Goldens have a tendency to put on weight, so this is one of the reasons I’m looking at a raw diet along with the other benefits from it. My first golden passed from renal failure, so you can understand my concern about high proteins and kidney function. Feeding Core ocean and Merrick Buffalo, both above average kibble, but want to get away from it from everything I have been reading. Thank you again.



    Hi skippy5761 ~~ just read your post to HDM so sorry for the delayed response. They now know that quality protein does not cause kidney disease. The original studies that set this myth in motion were actually done on rats. Rats DO get kd from high protein diets – dogs and cats do not.

    High protein diets (quality high protein) actually have been shown to help the kidneys not hinder them. For this reason, I’ve been feeding my Audrey (pup in my avatar pic) a high quality raw diet since she was weaned. Audrey has had kidney disease from birth. She had symptoms of excessive drinking and urinating even before weaning. She was officially diagnosed when she had her 1 year blood work done. We modified her diet and rechecked blood work every 3 months for a year and when it was all said and done I had her back on her normal diet with added probiotics and prebiotics (which help trap nitrogen sparing the kidneys from having to filter it (referred to as the “nitrogen trap”). I used to home prepare the foods my dogs ate but I have less time right now so I use commercial raw. I use a combination of Darwin’s, Bravo and premixes with meats I supply right now. Audrey is now 6 and 1/2 years old and in VERY GOOD health.. She is not on any prescription medications (I give her nutraceuticals though). She never has to go to the vet for anything and has never once required sub-q fluids etc.

    In my opinion, feeding kibble (any kind at any protein level) is far more damaging to the kidneys than a high quality, balanced raw diet. Audrey is living proof. She’ll turn 7 the end of June 2013.



    PS — the foods I feed Audrey range in protein content from 45 to 54%. And she has eaten or is currently eating everything from quail/pheasant/ostrich to buffalo/venison/rabbit/elk and everything in between.

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