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Protein Digestibility
With Protein, You Get What You Pay For
Proteins are the most important and critical nutrients for dogs and cats. Proteins create hairs, nails, cartilage, and so on. In fact, every cell in the body depends on protein for proper structure and function. Protein strengthens skin, muscles, bones and teeth, and blood vessels. Proteins repair injured tissue, and are very important for your animals' natural growth. Proteins are used in the process of creating energy.

Ideally, your pets should get protein from animal sources. Dogs are opportunists - they can get protein from both plants and animals. For this reason, some people call dogs omnivores, although their physical structure and teeth make them mostly carnivorous. Cats, on the other hand, are true carnivores - although they can ingest plant matter, they must have a meat source in their diet in order to survive.

You should always make sure you choose a high quality protein source when selecting a pet food. Some proteins are not easily digestible (see "What's really in pet food"), even if the package label says it covers the minimal amount of protein required. Labels may not tell the whole story! Digestibility of protein is very important in pet food if you want your dog and cat to get proper balanced nutrition.

Even if the product claims to contain the "recommended daily allowance" of proteins, this claim becomes questionable if the source is feathers, hair, hooves, etc. These "byproducts" may be called proteins technically, but they are not digestible and the amount of protein your pets' bodies can actually use could be lower than the required amount, which is bad if these byproducts are the dominant source of protein in the food.

As with everything in life, "you get what you pay for". Pet foods containing highly digestible proteins generally cost a little bit more than foods made mostly of fillers and byproducts. The price of a pet food can reflect its quality. But if you truly care about the long term health of your pets, you will find that it's worth the extra money.

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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