Meat protein is highly digestible. Corn, wheat and other plant types aren't always good sources of protein because they can't always be digested properly. Pre-digested (hoe it was produced) products can be given to cats. Egg, chicken/fish, chicken by-product meal, meat, meat and bone meal, soy, corn. Eggs are the best thing to digest.Has a biological value of 100%. Beef is only 78%.
May also be called "Biological Value" = amount that can be absorbed.
Protein digestibility - good food from 80-90%; low quality foods less than 75%.
A protein with a very low biological value is almost entirely excreted by the body as waste after ingestion. To evaluate the protein levels of different dog foods, two factors should be considered. One is the level of protein and the other is the protein digestibility, or availability of the protein to a dog, which can be determined only by controlled feeding studies.
Animals can have increased protein requirements:
- during growth
- during tissue repair or convalescence
- during pregnancy and lactation
- as working dogs
Protein helps with palatability and flavour. Excess amino acids are stored as fat or glycogen. True protein quality can only be determined by long term use and a dog doing well on that source of protein in its food. A requirement is the food needs to be highly digestible. Different life stages require different amounts of protein. The body can't handle too much protein - so excess protein may be changed into glucose or fat and stored. There are different protein sources put into pet foods - plant or meat. Combinations of different sources can provide all essential amino acids.
Muscle loss, poor hair condition, lethargy, reduced resistance to infectious diseases, slow growth, weight loss, lower reproductive performance, and decreased milk production. Cats fed dog food can have this, as well as taurine deficiency. Protein is an essential nutrient. Dogs fed diets too low in dietary protein may develop signs of deficiency. Dogs can also experience subclinical protein deficiencies. In such a condition, they may appear perfectly healthy, yet they may be more susceptible to infections and other environmental stresses. Lack of protein most likely becomes evident when being fed a weight loss food (or less of a regular diet) or on a protein-restricted kidney diet.
Proteins - animal or plant proteins are common causes of food allergies. Cats can not eat dog food - because there is no Taurine and there are not enough nutrients - they will not do well or survive.
Why do dogs and cats need protein? Proteins are necessary for all aspects of growth and development and are very important in structural make up and the immune system. In addition, they are burned as calories and can be converted to and stored as fat. In reality, pets do not need the protein but they need the building blocks that make up the protein, amino acids. There are 22 amino acids that animals need. Animals can synthesize 12 of them - the rest have to be in the diet. The remaining ones must be consumed. The ones that the animals cannot synthesize are called essential amino acids. They are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valin, and in cats, taurine. Dogs can synthesize taurine, and therefore, it is not supplemented in their food. This is why there is the old adage that dogs can eat cat food but cats cannot eat dog food.