(BPT) - You’ve seen the commercials and print ads: It seems like every pet food maker is touting meat as a top ingredient. Some even go so far as to eliminate grain completely, advertising super-high levels of protein for dogs or cats. But when it comes to pet food and protein, can there be too much of a good thing? According to the experts: yes.
“There’s no arguing that quality meat is important in dog and cat foods, but too much of commonly-used protein-rich ingredients for long periods of time can have devastating consequences for pets with subclinical kidney disease,” says Dr. Daniel Aja, DVM and director of U.S. professional and veterinary affairs for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “Just like our diet must be balanced, this is especially important for our pets which rely on us for 100 percent of their nutritional needs.”
Dr. Aja explains that every dog and cat needs the amino acids that are present in proteins. While those amino acids may come from meat, many can also come from vegetables and grains in the diet. Protein is important and necessary to build muscles, organs, vital hormones and enzymes, but excessive levels derived from the animal protein ingredients commonly used in pet foods can lead to elevated phosphorus levels.
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