The Power of Protein for our Pets

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

When it comes to keeping our furry family members healthy, protein is a big deal. Think of it as the secret to a top-notch, happy life.

It’s the nutrient that builds their muscles, keeps their skin and fur shiny, and even helps their immune system stay in top form. Dogs and cats, being the meat lovers they are, thrive on protein from sources like chicken, beef, fish and eggs.

But here’s the thing: What your pet needs in terms of protein can change.

When they’re puppies and kittens, they need more protein to help them get bigger and stronger. But when they’re older, they might need a bit less to keep their muscles in good shape without overworking their aging bodies and organs.

My dog, Cassidy Roo, loves her protein, especially chicken, and it has taken a toll on her little body causing her to now have kidney disease, which means a low protein diet (which she hates!). So, please consult with your veterinarian regarding your pet’s diet and their nutritional needs through every stage of their life.

Not all proteins are good for our furry buds. Some might have a sensitive tummy or allergies, so explore all your options with your veterinarian. Turkey, lamb and even some plant-based proteins like soy or pea protein can do the trick for those pickier eaters.

When you’re looking at your pet food choices, you’ve got a ton to choose from, aisles and aisles of different options — dry food, wet food, raw diets — each with their own protein levels. The secret is to check labels. Make sure the main protein source matches what your pet needs.

As we humans get older our nutritional needs change, and it’s the same for our precious pets.

The bottom line — protein rocks for our pets. It’s their go-to for a healthy, happy life. Just like how we aim for a balanced diet, finding the right balance of protein for our pets, based on their age, health and lifestyle keeps them wagging their tails and purring away.

So, it’s up to us to dish out the good stuff to keep our pets being the superstars they are!