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Many dogs are prone to allergies, intolerances or digestive problems: if you find that your dog frequently suffers from skin or fur problems, it may be useful to look into your dog’s diet. Sadly, allergies and intolerances to ordinary dog food ingredients (think chicken, beef and grains) are becoming increasingly more common.
Still, we love our pets and we want them to enjoy tasty food that is of high quality, both for their health and happiness. So, instead of struggling to perform the balancing act of health and happiness, it may be beneficial to look into novel proteins. However, what are novel proteins?
What are Novel Proteins?
Often found in hypoallergenic dog foods, novel proteins are proteins that are not ordinarily found in over-the-counter common commercial dog foods. Though the choice of protein does not have to be extravagant, it must still be one that your dog has not consumed before.
Novel proteins are useful in cutting off common allergens in a dog’s diet, whilst still giving them the nutrients and flavour they require and yearn for.
Why Make the Change?
In short, dogs can develop food intolerances when they consume the same type of food (and protein) for a longer period of time, eventually leading to health problems. Switching to a novel protein can mitigate such circumstances, whilst allowing your dog to still enjoy their food.
The Benefits of Novel Protein Dog Food
It must be stressed that, for a dog with skin conditions and other allergies, incorporating novel proteins into a dog’s diet can be transformative to their enjoyment and quality of life. Some benefits of novel protein dog foods are:
Leaner and Cleaner
As novel protein sources are not as commonly used in commercial dog foods, they are much less likely to be mass-produced and battery farmed; meaning that the meat is likely to be of much higher quality, cleaner, leaner and free from chemicals.
Not only does your pooch benefit from leaner meat that is free from medications or chemicals, but you also have the peace of mind that the protein source has a much higher quality of life in comparison to unethically farmed livestock.
Decreased Risk of Allergies and Intolerances
Dogs often develop food allergies when exposed to the same type of protein for a long time, so incorporating varied protein sources into a dog’s diet is a proven method of managing allergy and intolerance development, particularly uncomfortably itchy skin.
The Top Four Novel Proteins to Consider for Your Dog
So, we have defined what a novel protein is; however, what are the best types of novel proteins to consider for your dog? Today we will take a look at four novel proteins that will promote good health in your dog whilst being highly enjoyable, too.
1. Salmon Protein
A great source of protein for your dog, this oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as being extremely high in lean protein. The omega-3 fatty acids are essential to humans and dogs as the body cannot produce them itself, so must be ingested. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to heart health, maintaining healthy skin and fur, hormonal balance and lubricated joints.
2. Kangaroo Protein
Though it may be difficult to get a hold of, kangaroo protein is proven to be a beneficial inclusion in a dog’s diet. Not only is it one of the leanest animal protein sources on earth, but it is often extremely clean from chemicals and medication.
Being high in good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) means that kangaroo protein is good for your dog’s heart and brain health, as well as lean muscle mass.
3. Duck Protein
With a lighter texture than chicken, therefore easier for pups with sensitive stomachs to digest, duck protein is a high source of protein that is low in fat and high in vitamins A and B3, duck is a great alternative for dogs who are allergic to beef and chicken.
4. Insect Protein
Insect protein is a great option for novel protein choice for your pooch as it offers a cost-effective, nutritious, tasty food source that is high in nutrients and important dietary fibre. It’s also environmentally friendly, helping reduce carbon emissions.
Though small, insects are absolutely jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are also high in the nutritional power couple that is protein and iron, as well important dietary fats and fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Fancy giving insect dog food a try?
Bug Bakes produce insect-based dog food composed of ethically sourced insects, cold-pressed for convenience and freshness. Full of muscle-building protein and nutrients as well as anti-inflammatory supplements like Glucosamine and Chicory Root extract, our formula protects both your dog and the planet.
How to Choose a Novel Protein Source
When selecting a novel protein dog food, it is always best to conduct thorough research of the brand and nutritional label to determine whether there are other ingredients that your dog may be allergic to - check out our article on hypoallergenic dog foods to discover some common food allergies and intolerances in dogs.
Purchasing from a reputable supplier of novel protein dog food will ensure that all of the ingredients and nutrition within the food are fully trackable and traceable, meaning that you know exactly what your dog is consuming.
Five Tips to Making the Switch to Novel Protein Dog Food
When looking to switch up any part of your dog’s food, exercise regime or medication, slow and steady is the best practice: they are sensitive creatures who don’t necessarily adapt to change well.
To make the switch, consider the following:
- Always speak to your veterinarian before you make any drastic changes to your dog’s diet
- Thoroughly read the ingredients list of your dog’s new food: ensure only novel proteins are used, not a blend of novel and traditional proteins
- When first feeding your dog its new food, blend ¼ of the new food with ¾ of their old food for two days
- After two days, use ½ of the old food with ½ of the new food, again, for two days
- On the fifth and sixth d of the new food regime, use ¾ of new food blended with ¼ of old food
- On the seventh day and beyond, your dog’s food should be 100% the new novel protein dog food
Note: if the new food causes an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea, itchiness, aggressiveness or any other ill effect, discontinue use of the novel protein and consult your veterinarian immediately.