Currently feeding our two dogs (ages 5 1/2 and 6) a grain free diet rated at 24% protein. We are getting burn spots and I am considering switching to a lower protein (still high quality) brand that might help reduce burning by lowering nitrogen in the urine. Both dogs are in very good health, but are close to the age where we also want to consider moving to a senior formulation in conjunction with low protein (if available).
Any recommendations on brands or experience with this welcome.
PS – we do not want to go down the road of supplements. My research indicates no proof they work and no controlled scientific studies otherwise.
- This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by billdoe.
In my opinion it is not the total amount of protein in a food but rather the quality of the protein (the bioavailibility — how much is used by the body and how much becomes waste (aka blood urea nitrogen)). Speaking as the owner of a dog born with kidney disease I know that high quality protein creates less nitrogen for her kidneys to have to filter (and thus less in the urine). And my dog with kidney disease actually eats a HIGH protein raw diet — ranging from 45 to 54% protein. In fact, I have 8 dogs all eating high quality kibble with raw and high protein canned toppers or exclusively high protein raw. I don’t have brown spots on my lawn — 8 dogs-high protein-no brown spots.
Additionally, they know that senior dogs actually need as much as 50% more protein than adult dogs as they are not as efficient at digesting their food.
I know you don’t want supplements but a trick used by those with dogs with kidney disease (and confirmed by science to work) is feeding probiotics and foods for those probiotics called prebiotics. This causes a “nitrogen trap” and routes some of the nitrogen in the blood through the colon instead of the kidneys. Gets pooped out instead of peed out.
PS — my dog born with kidney disease is now 6 and 1/2 years old and still in very very good health. Unmedicated, never requires vet visits etc.
Shawna said pretty much what I was thinking. Try going to a food that the protein is meat protein instead of plant protein. I would never feed as low a protein food as you’re feeding now and I certainly wouldn’t go lower especially for an older dog. I also feed a high meat protein diet to my 3 dogs and don’t get spots in my lawn and my dogs always go in the same area.
I have 15 dogs that eat a kibble based diet of approx 33% protein. By the time we add canned, raw, dehydrated, home cooked etc, its higher than that. I have no brown spots on my lawn caused by urine-drought yes, urine no, lol. One thing I DO notice -Their urine used to have a stronger smell and we would periodically lime the yard to prevent odor, as well as assist with any browning that we thought might occur. I just realized that this year, we had no odor even on the hottest/most humid of days, and never limed once this year. For us, the increased protein has had a positive effect on the ‘output”
I am just as uncomfortable feeding a protein level higher than the 33%(for dry) as I would be feeding a protein level under 26% or so.
Hey Melissa, how do you have 15 dogs? Where I’m at, anything over 4 requires a kennel license. 🙂 Your dog food bill must be outrageous. How much do you go thru a day? Like 1 large bag? WOW. It’s great that you can take care of so many dogs, and feed them all so well. 🙂
Take care not to hijack a thread LabsRawsome…bad etiquette
Yes, I have a kennel license-I have mentioned it before in the past, but you must have missed it. A bag a day? Lol. I would be in the poor house ; ) You are making a common big dog owner mistake of assuming we all own large dogs! While I do have a few larger ones, most of my crew are under 20lbs or less. I won’t lie and say its cheap, because its not, but as long as I don’t develop a fetish for designer handbags, we should be just fine, lol.
We used to feed our dogs a high protein, red meat diet and found lots of brown spots on our lawn but we found a product called Dog Rocks which you can put in a water bowl. They purify the water and filter out the nitrates from the dog’s urine, meaning no brown patches!
We can still feed our dogs red meat frequently without worrying about the content of their urine (and it’s effect’s on the garden!).
Their website is http://www.dogrocks.co.uk if you think they’d be any use!
Can I ask what high quality kibble you are referring to or recommend for bioavailibility? Do any of them also have those probiotics called prebiotics to create the “nitrogen trap”?
Our does not have any kidney issues, but she’s burning up the lawn.
Another thought you may want to consider is that it’s not so much the dog food as it is the water. I feed high quality 5 star foods and raw and have never had the problem. I did though have the problem when I gave them regular tap water. A groomer friend of mine years ago suggested I switch to filtered water and immediately did the trick. To this day they drink filtered water and we’ve not had the problem again. It has to do with the ph in the water they drink. Hope this gives you another avenue to consider.
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