I recently listened to a very informative talk by Dr. Peter Ballerstedt PhD, titled “When Protein Is NOT Protein”. (I have linked the talk at the bottom of this post. VERY worth watching) I learned a great deal from that talk about the difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein. About crude protein and true protein. And that crude protein from plants is the protein that monogastric mammals such as our dogs and even us, can’t absorb and use. Now I am not saying you should not eat plants if you want to, just don’t rely on them for your main source for protein. Of course, you know my stand on giving plants as the main source of protein to our dogs, or any plants at all. (Just don’t) In a previous series of blog posts, I talked about why your dog is not a vegan. Now I would love for you to listen to Dr. Ballerstedt’s talk and learn about amino acids and how they are the critical piece to the protein puzzle. He explains why crude protein is inferior to true protein in animal products. And if only one amino acid is missing from that source, your dog can be deficient in protein.
Proponents of dogs being omnivore and even vegan, talk a lot about the AMY2B gene that codes for amylase. That the wolf only has two pair while the dog has 4-30 pair depending on the breed of dog. They argue that this makes the dog an omnivore (which needs meat) and it is fine to feed them a vegan diet full of potatoes, peas, lentils and beans. I agree with them that the dog developed this mutation over thousands of years living alongside humans and co-evolving with them. Scientists have determined that this began to occur after humans stopped being hunter gathers and settled down to an agricultural society. They have also determined that after humans stopped being hunter gatherers, the brains of both the dog and man shrunk! How could that be possible? My personal belief is that the dog was not eating the diet they were designed for (and neither was the human eating their ancestral diet) and they had to adapt for the species to survive. This adaptation enabled the dog to survive in the lean times. But I don’t want my dogs to just survive, I want them to thrive!
Please listen to the talk I have linked for you. I understand it is aimed at human nutrition, but it also applies to our dogs.
Not All Protein Is Created Equal
Joy Eriksen CSAN
Certified Small Animal Naturopath
My name is Joy Eriksen and I am a Certified Small Animal Naturopath. My passion is helping people with their companion animals. Keeping them healthy and vibrant for a long and happy life.