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the Dog Blog

Is High-Quality Protein a Must for Your Dog?

Is your dog eating high-quality protein?
We’ve all heard it’s important to eat a balanced diet to stay healthy, right?  We need to get the “right” amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and water in our diet each day.  Well, while the amounts are different, the same is true for your dog.

It’s not easy to balance your diet on the fly and eat the right combination of food you need to be healthy every day!  By comparison, it’s actually a lot easier for your dog to get at least the minimum level of nutrition he or she needs, since you can buy prepared dry and wet foods that are formulated to meet the minimum nutrient requirements that have been set by The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

One of the most important nutrients your dog needs every day is protein.  Why is protein so important to a dog?  From their sharp teeth to their relatively short digestive systems, dogs evolved as carnivores, aka meat-eaters.  In order to thrive, they need the nutrients from animal protein like chicken, eggs, beef, turkey, etc.

Your dog needs these essential amino acids found in meat protein every day, or he or she can miss the opportunity to develop, grow and repair body cells.  Your dog’s need for amino acids will change depending on age and condition.

Many dry dog foods use meals, like chicken meal, rather than fresh ingredients.  Meals are “rendered,” cooked for a long period of time at a high temperature to dry them and remove the fat.  In addition, most dry dog foods are “extruded,” which means they are quickly cooked at a high temperature and pressure, and then dried at a high temperature. It is well-documented that high temperatures can damage amino acids.  When an amino acid is damaged, your dog cannot fully use it for body functions.  While dog foods must list protein content in the Guaranteed Analysis, there is no way to tell how much of the amino acids from that protein is in good condition for your dog to use or digest it at all. 

When your dog eats, her body breaks down the food proteins into amino acids.  Amino acids are critical to the health of your dog.  We call them the building blocks of life.  There are 20 amino acids.  10 of the amino acids are called nonessential amino acids and can be made within your dog’s body, if needed.  The other 10 are called essential amino acids because they cannot be made by your dog, your dog needs to obtain them from their diet every day.  Your dog’s body can’t store amino acids the same way it can store carbohydrates and fats.

What do amino acids do for your dog?   Amino acids play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism.  Some important functions include:

    • Building and repairing body tissues

    • Transporting nutrients

    • Helping to keep skin and coat healthy

    • Carrying oxygen throughout the body

    • Playing a role in a properly functioning immune system

    • Participating in muscle activity

At Bil-Jac, we have created our recipes to deliver a balance of the amino acids your dog needs to support good health and vitality.  The key reason that Bil-Jac uses an abundance of real chicken as the main ingredient is because it provides a well-balanced amount of essential amino acids the dog can utilize since it has not been previously cooked and denatured.  Just as important, our unique Nutri-Lock™ slow cooking method gently cooks and dries the food at controlled temperatures. We won’t use an extruder because of the way it can damage proteins. Together, the formulation and processing of Bil-Jac dry food supplies and helps protect essential amino acids so your dog can benefit from them as needed.  Well balanced, highly available amino acids are at the heart of the Bil-Jac Difference!

Here’s a bonus about our Bil-Jac superior, fresh meat based nutrition that is carefully processed.  Dogs LOVE the taste and never tire of it.  Now if only someone could design a human food that could help us in the same way!

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