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  #1  
Old 03-18-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default older dogs & protein content?

Tader will be 10 years old this year & I was wondering if he would be ok on a food with a higher protein content in it...He is currently eating wellness super 5 mix which has 22 % protein Im thinking about switching to Taste of the wild which has I believe 32 % protein.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2010, 11:33 PM
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Have you had his blood drawn lately? Just for a baseline? If his kidney values are normal, (BUN and Creatinine), then I would have no worries about feeding a high protein food.

From Doctors Foster and Smith ... (someone asked the same question so I copied and pasted their answer)...

Q. Are high protein diets harmful to my dog's kidneys?

A. A rumor has been going around that high protein diets cause kidney disease. This rumor is false. High protein pet foods are NOT harmful to a normal animal's kidneys. As an animal's body digests and metabolizes protein, nitrogen is released as a by-product. The excess nitrogen is excreted by the kidneys. A high protein diet produces more nitrogen by-products and the kidneys simply excrete the nitrogen in the urine. While you may think this would 'overwork' the kidneys and lead to possible kidney damage, this is not true. The kidney's filtering capabilities are so great that even one kidney is sufficient to sustain a normal life. There are many pets - and humans - living perfectly healthy lives with just one kidney.

The myth that high protein diets are harmful to kidneys probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low protein (and thus low nitrogen) diets. Now, we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein, but contains protein that is more digestible so there are fewer nitrogen by-products. These diet changes are made merely because damaged kidneys may not be able to handle the excess nitrogen efficiently. In pets with existing kidney problems, nitrogen can become too high in the bloodstream, which can harm other tissues.

Unless your veterinarian has told you your pet has a kidney problem and it is severe enough to adjust the protein intake, you can feed your pet a high protein diet without worrying about 'damaging' or 'stressing' your pet's kidneys. Also, you are not 'saving' your pet's kidneys by feeding a low protein diet.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:42 PM
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i havent had his blood drawn recently...he was fine the last time but cant remember when it was done
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:45 PM
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If he were mine, I'd do a blood draw and have his systems checked out thoroughly... kidney, liver, etc. and if everything checked normal, then feel free to change his food around. Seniors should have a wellness check with blood drawn every year and some folks think it should be twice a year.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:50 PM
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From D.P. Laflamme DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVN, researching Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein.

Conventional pet food makers claim that senior dogs are better fed lower protein,
higher carbohydrate foods. The belief that senior dogs need less protein is false.
Senior dogs should be fed a diet that is high in protein, with low carbohydrates and moderate amounts of fat (too little fat leaves your dog feeling hungry all the time,
which can make it harder for them to lose weight).
Diets formulated on a low protein premise are full of fiber, have higher levels of
carbohydrates and reduced amounts of protein and fat. This results in dogs that are less satisfied causing them to appear hungry and beg for more food. These ingredients lead to the loss of coat and skin quality and they do not lead to any weight loss. More recent studies show that it is harmful to restrict protein in senior dogs, and that high quality proteins are needed for our older pets.

Protein restriction for healthy older dogs is not only unnecessary, it can be
detrimental.
Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs, while their energy
requirements tend to decrease. When insufficient protein is provided, it can aggravate the age-associated loss of lean protein intake did not affect the occurrence body mass and may contribute to earlier mortality.
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