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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was looking at moving Pender off his existing food (poor quality) to something better for him, bought a sample of Orijen Large Breed Puppy and am using it as treats, he seems to really really like it. :)

Should I be concerned that it's 42% protein? That seems really high.
 

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The trend towards higher and higher protein levels makes me leery of certain foods. A pet dog certainly doesn't need it.. it's like putting a rocket engine in your SMARTcar... the high-protein level formulas used to be directed towards working dogs, like racing sleddogs or working border collies.
 

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My lab has been on Orijen for the past 2 years and is doing wonderful. He had his yearly check up just last week and the vet commented on how healthy he is.
 

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The trend towards higher and higher protein levels makes me leery of certain foods. A pet dog certainly doesn't need it.. it's like putting a rocket engine in your SMARTcar... the high-protein level formulas used to be directed towards working dogs, like racing sleddogs or working border collies.
But - the typical raw diet is very high protein. Many non-working dogs do just fine on raw. Canids are designed to eat meat and don't eat a lot of non-meat foods in nature.
 

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The trend towards higher and higher protein levels makes me leery of certain foods. A pet dog certainly doesn't need it.. it's like putting a rocket engine in your SMARTcar... the high-protein level formulas used to be directed towards working dogs, like racing sleddogs or working border collies.
When someone asks me this, I liken it to children.

Children will grow on McDonalds food every day. They'll grow and grow and grow. Now the quality of food is something else, but they'll get bigger.

I feed my dogs Orijen, and I like the way they grow. Ruby's been on this food since she was 2 years old, and she's healthy, muscular, lively, and HEALTHY.

In the wild, and I know, silly argument, because our dogs are not. Dogs are fed whatever is around, but they also don't eat every day. Does that mean we shouldn't feed them everyday? Nope.

So until some evidence of t he contrary comes along, I'll feed my dogs a high protein diet. They're better able to digest this than grains anyhow. When was the last time you saw a wild dog at a rice field?

My dogs did 'well' before I started feeding them high protein. But I've really seen them bloom on the Orijen. They don't have more energy or stamina, and if you check, high energy working dogs like the ones you cited get higher carbs than anything, for energy. protein doesn't translate to energy.
 

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Exactly. Too much fat (where they draw energy) can.
That's the part that I'm curious about. Dogs do draw energy from protein, it's why they eat it. I think hyperness is probably more behavioral, or maybe sugar related, but dogs derive energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

P.S. And I do agree that a food with that level of protein is not harmful for the puppy, provided it is formulated for growth and development and it's not overfed (excess calories are far more detrimental, at least with respect to hip dysplasia which I'm more familiar with, than protein).
 

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Dogs draw their energy from fat, not carbs like humans do. However dogs and humans do utilize protein to build muscle. Nothing else in the diet will build or maintain muscle like protein will.

If there is not enough fat in the diet for energy they will utilize protein next and if not enough of that than resort to carbs. Thus, carbs are the last thing they need in their diet, if at all.
 

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Well, this is getting off-topic, but I guess we agree that the protein isn't an issue.

As for energy, to form ATP you have to have glucose for glycolysis to occur. Whether that comes from amino acids or fatty acids, the point is that dogs do use carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy. The energy used to catabolize muscle can come from protein, fats, or carbohydrates. With a 42% protein food, they're going to be getting energy from protein, and that's not bad. I think what you're referring to is what happens when animals starve. They burn fats first, then they turn to muscle and then organs. When dogs have too many calories, they convert proteins to fat, and that's the energy store. Proteins aren't just used to develop muscle, they're also used for energy. If they weren't broken down and used for energy, we wouldn't produce urea (the nitrogen from the amino acids).
 

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Interesting article.. and I still don't think the high protein levels are necessary for the average dog... is it harmful? research says probably not, but is it necessary? not in my opinion...

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=459#answer_4

and if you feed all meat, it's still less protein than the orijen formula:

http://www.weightlossforall.com/protein-meat.htm

Table of Protein in Meat:

Meat Protein (100grams) Protein Fat Calories
Chicken Calories (average) 26g 12g 140
Beef Calories (average lean) 25g 20g 275
Beefburgers (average) 18g 20g 260

Values for meat protein may vary between different pieces & portions, values are estimates and for use as guide only!
 

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I also feed no grain food to the baby boys, but not to my older dog. He needs to lose a bit more weight so he has been on a high quality holistic blend with barley as the "grain". He is also gets intestinal issues from too much meat - but when he finishes this bag I may slowly transition him as the baby boys are doing so well. The baby boys have some kind of food allergies. They were on Royal Canin for lab puppies and Riley had horrible stomach aches and gas. It got to where he wouldn't eat. Boomer developed rough hair and what seemed like a yeast infection on his skin. I switched them to food with no grain and no chicken. They are both doing great! No more gas, hard small stools, beautiful and incredibly soft shiny coats.
I do not feed as much as the bag recommends and I add fresh raw veggies or sometimes fruit for interest and volume. They love baby carrots, green beans, butternut squash chunks, chunks of yams, cut up apples, etc...
They also get at each meal a fish oil capsule, 1 glucosamine tablet, vitamin e and ester c.
My older dogs health has improved dramatically. It seems as if his arthritis is gone. He moves as well as the babies, even though he is smaller than they, he keeps up on walks with no problem.
I have found a good website to compare dog food is Dog Food Analysis. It lists ingredients etc...
From what I have read, the problem with high protein foods for puppies is the potential for rapid weight gain and too much calcium, but you should research that for yourself.
 

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Originally Posted by Snowco Labradors

I am not saying a dog does not use protein or carbs for energy. I am saying they use fat "first".
I understand, but I was just saying that I do not believe that is correct.
You're correct, Nick. For some reason the idea that dogs use fats first has cropped up on a few pet sites. I think it may just be a simple misunderstanding. While in most situations dogs don't "need" carbohydrates in their diets, that shouldn't lead anyone to believe they don't use them when they are available. Without going too deeply into biochemistry, there's a simple explanation to be found here (scroll down to the section on metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids):

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2103&aid=514

That said, dogs are pretty amazing in their capacity for gluco- and glyconeogenesis. There was a fascinating study of racing sled dogs, who require a ridiculous amount of calories - something like 6-8,000 a day! - and do well on a high fat/nearly carb-free diet. Good thing for them, can you imagine the bulk of that many carbohydrate calories?

Dogs aren't very adept at digesting large amounts of complex carbohydrates, but it doesn't mean they aren't useful in moderation. To bring this back to the original subject, I actually prefer Orijen to Evo precisely because its lower fat content results a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates which, for whatever reason, my dogs do better on ;) It also means more calories from protein (than Evo) and I'm in total agreement that high protein is not a problem.
 

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I understand, but I was just saying that I do not believe that is correct.
This is just one source I have found over the years

http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/category/fats/

Fat is easiest (easier than protein or carbs) to digest for dogs and therefore it makes sense that it would be the first source of energy.

Below is part of a dissertation that a college student shared with me a few years ago and what she found in her research. (copy and pasting so it will paste a bit off - sorry)

" It is well known that carbohydrates are a great source of fuel for humans
> because of a study done in the 1960s by Bergstrom *et al, *where he found
> that athletes on a high carbohydrate diet had twice as much muscle
> glycogen
> concentration, the stored form of carbohydrates that are used to provide
> energy for muscles and tissues (Jacobs, 2005 and Hill, 1998). These
> athletes were able to run for longer periods of time while maintaining a
> fast pace (Jacobs, 2005). Bergstrom's study lead to the practice of
> carbohydrate loading, a strategy that any athlete knows well from team
> pasta
> dinners the night before a big game or match. It was thought that high
> carbohydrate diets would also benefit canine athletes, but actually led to
> poor endurance and stiff gaits while running (Jacobs, 2005). Increased
> levels of carbohydrates in dog diets were associated with a decrease in
> performance (Hill, 2000). It is recommended that a performance and
> working
> dog receives only about 10-15% of its calories from carbohydrates (Jacobs,
> 2005)."
>
> Fat, in the form of free fatty acids in the blood steam, is the major
> source
> of energy for dogs (Jacobs, 2005). Lipoproteins, fats attached to protein,
> are absorbed in the intestine and enter the bloodstream to provide energy
> to
> tissues requiring it (Jacobs, 2005). Working dogs require more fat than
> your average dog and not providing it will result in serious energy
> deficiencies.
> Humans utilize carbohydrates as their main source of energy, but
> this
> is not the case for dogs. In Hill's study analyzing the nutritional
> requirements of exercising dogs notes that "relative to metabolic body
> size,
> dogs also metabolize free fatty acids at twice the rate observed in
> humans"
> (1998). Dog muscles are more adapted to use fat as a source of energy
> than
> human muscles, so the results from human experiments may not be relevant
> to
> dogs (Hill, 1998). High fat, low carbohydrate diets increased stamina in
> dogs performing endurance exercise (Hill, 2000). Fat provides about
> 8.5kilocalories (kcals) of metabolizable energy (ME) per gram; protein
> and
> carbohydrates provide about 3.5 kcals of ME per gram, less than half of
> the
> energy that fat provides (Jacobs, 2005). Fat is the most concentrated
> form
> of energy and dogs can utilize it through their metabolic processes
> (Jacobs,
> 2005). A higher fat diet increases the caloric density of the food, so
> fewer cups are needed to be fed to achieve high caloric requirements of
> working dogs (Jacobs, 2005)."
 
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