In my early morning reading with coffee in hand . . .
From a Cat Lane article on The Possible Canine website:
“2006 NRC Guidelines state it clearly:
Minimal requirement = 2.62 grams per kilogram BW ( to the power 0.75)
Recommended Allowance = 3.28 grams per kilogram (to the power 0.75)
Safe Upper Limit = NONE
Protein requirements are also influenced by various factors such as the dog’s overall condition, the digestibility of the food source, activity level and others. In general, when I formulate a diet for a healthy dog, I use 2 – 3 times the recommended allowance. So let’s take a look at an example. My 75 lb dog. First, take the weight in kilograms – so 34.01 kgs. Next, we take this number to the power of 0.75 – easily done on one’s computer calculator: we get the number 14.08. This is the number that will represent my dog in all calculations from here on in, his metabolic weight. To now find his “requirement” – let’s say, his RA or recommended allowance, all we need to do is multiply his number – 14.08 – by the RA – 3.28.
Here’s what we get: 46.182. That’s the recommended gram weight of total protein for the day. If I were to put this strictly into practice, I would end up with a percentage of total protein probably around 15% I am guessing. So let’s have a peek and see. I’ve formulated a diet for Daniel that contains only 46 grams of protein per day. I will also use the RA for total fat, which in this case would be 27 grams. His caloric needs are 1840 per day, so if I devise a very simple diet of brown rice, coconut oil and turkey, and stick strictly to the RA for fat and protein,I would get percentages like this:
Distribution of calories:
Protein: 11.3 %
Fat: 15.6 %
Carbohydrate: 73 %
I would also be feeding this:
1. Turkey, Dark Meat w/skin, boneless, roasted, diced 0.33 of: 1 cup, diced (46.2g)
2. Grain, Rice, Brown, ckd 7 of: 1 cup, cooked, hot (1365.0g)
3. Oil, Coconut 1 of: 1 tbsp (13.5g)
[Dogs’ reaction to dinner]:
Though I kinda thought the picture says it all, she helpfully goes on to say (crusading for all doggies out there, lol):
“That’s right – SEVEN cups of brown rice, and a third of a cup of turkey. This diet technically meets the RA for protein and fat. Of course it doesn’t take into consideration fatty or amino acid levels or vitamins and minerals, this is an exercise to show how there is so much confusion between percentages and actual gram content. I often develop diets for dogs with liver issues where the protein percentage is in the midteens but the gram content is actually over the RA. Vets will want a higher level based on percentage but after we speak they understood that percentages are not the whole story. They tell us how much of a given nutrient the diet contains – RELATIVE to other energy nutrients. In actual practise, I use much – MUCH higher levels of protein and fat in my own dog’s diet as well as professional cases. It’s not in any way optimal to feed a 75 pound dog 1/3 of a cup of meat and 7 cups of rice per day. When we look at the recipe above we also will see that no less than 34 of the 46 grams of total protein come from the rice. So if we were to use more sweet potato than rice we could actually inch up the turkey a bit…. but the poor dog who has to eat so much carb and so little protein! Let’s not forget that from mouth to tail, dogs are carnivores, and derive most quality nutrients from animal sources. I have long defended the use of fiber in the canine diet, because I am not so much interested in what wolves do or don’t eat – on a practical level, at any rate – but in what type of diet is absolutely optimal for the individual dog I’m working with. This always means some fiber, although the type and amount will vary. But all that said, animal products – protein and fats – should form the mainstay of a healthy dog’s diet. This menu I used above as an example is lower than what I’d use for dogs with liver disease,by far – yet it meets the NRC Guidelines for requirements.
To start working out the amount of protein to use (we’ll get to sources later) find your dog’s protein RA first, then in a home made diet, go 2-3 times above that in grams.”
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