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View Full Version : Cavs and high protein diet = Bad??



Susanna
3rd May 2009, 11:51 PM
I read on another forum that Cavs should not have a diet that is high in protein because it may stress the kidneys. Has anyone here ever heard of this? If this is true, does that mean grain-free diets are not good since they have a high amount of meat? I'm so confused and trying to sort out all the diet info I've been reading. Thanks for any opinions.

Mindysmom
4th May 2009, 02:38 AM
I think the jury is still out on this one. I believe there have been studies done showing that there a high protein diet is not harmful to dogs in the short term. I haven't seen any long term studies so I feel more comfortable with a moderate protein diet personally. I know that Mindy has been on a moderate protein diet of high quality for 11 years and has been healthy. I'm sure others will have different opinions and experiences.

chloe92us
4th May 2009, 03:15 AM
I'm confused, too. I've been feeding Orijen exclusively for over a year now (almost 2!) and I decided to try something with a little less protein, and a little cheaper. We started with Natural Balance, then Wellness.

Well, all three of the dogs' anal glands got full after not having to have been emptied since I started them on Orijen, and lots of itching and runny poops.

So, they're back on Orijen as of this weekend.

Masterofsparks
4th May 2009, 04:05 AM
We have Yoko on Taste of the Wild which is pretty high in protein and every thing improved when we swiched her.....so I am not sure about the long term. I would like to know more about this also!

jld
4th May 2009, 04:34 AM
I am interested in this too. I have also read that anything over 40% (I believe) crude protein is too high according to some cavalier breeders. From what I read they stick to around 30-32% crude protein. I read the same thing as Susanna that too high protein level can cause kidney problems. Please note that I do not know what is true.. I have just read this and would like to know what other breeders or experts think.....

kmatt
4th May 2009, 04:35 AM
I'm confused, too. I've been feeding Orijen exclusively for over a year now (almost 2!) and I decided to try something with a little less protein, and a little cheaper. We started with Natural Balance, then Wellness.

Well, all three of the dogs' anal glands got full after not having to have been emptied since I started them on Orijen, and lots of itching and runny poops.

So, they're back on Orijen as of this weekend.

Anal glands tend to need to be emptied the runnier the poo is, :grnyuk:.

Protein tends to be more digestable, meaning that more comes out of it and is digested faster. I hope that makes sense. Lamens terms, solid poo mean less filled anal glands.

lorebringer
4th May 2009, 10:11 AM
We have started two of mine (a Cavalier and a Cocker) on Orijen recently and they are doing really well - poos are good and they are full of life. My other Cavalier has a very sensitive stomach and gets Colitis very easily so she is on RC Sensitivity Control. I know that dogs with existing kidney probs are not supposed to have a high protien diet, but for healthy dogs is seems a bit wierd - many people feed raw (usually meat with some veg) and if they were wild they would be eating nearly exclusivly meat (as most wild dogs do) and in both of these situations the dogs are perfectly healthy (appart from the usual illnesses - infections etc.) for most, if not all, of their lives.

Lani
4th May 2009, 11:33 AM
I know that dogs with existing kidney probs are not supposed to have a high protien diet, but for healthy dogs is seems a bit wierd - many people feed raw (usually meat with some veg) and if they were wild they would be eating nearly exclusivly meat (as most wild dogs do) and in both of these situations the dogs are perfectly healthy (appart from the usual illnesses - infections etc.) for most, if not all, of their lives.

This is my understanding too. That said, my dogs have been on grain free diets in the past, but currently are on prescription diets since every time I try a normal commercial food we end up with tummy issues.

brotymo
4th May 2009, 12:36 PM
I read on another forum that Cavs should not have a diet that is high in protein because it may stress the kidneys. Has anyone here ever heard of this? If this is true, does that mean grain-free diets are not good since they have a high amount of meat? I'm so confused and trying to sort out all the diet info I've been reading. Thanks for any opinions.

Taste of the Wild's formulas range from 25% to 32% protein. I don't think that is in the range of being problematic for a healthy dog. Grain free doesn't mean 100% meat, it just means that the other ingredients aren't from grains. In addition to the meat meals, they use stuff like potatoes, tomatoes, and to a lesser extent peas, blueberries etc.

Joshua
4th May 2009, 05:43 PM
I too wish there would be a definitive verdict on the protein issue..

My first is on Orijen and he is glowing and beautiful and seems to enjoy the food...my new pup is on NB-Limited Ingredient due to severe tummy upsets...i'd change her to Orijen if I knew her tummy would accept it...but still wish some study would show 'yes or no' with the protein question...

patg
4th May 2009, 06:16 PM
I am feeding my Riley Nature's Variety kibble and it is 35% crude protein. He has several ortho problems and thought the protein would be good for his muscles. Now I am concerned.
Pat & Riley (male B&T 2 1/2 yr)

Susanna
4th May 2009, 08:43 PM
many people feed raw (usually meat with some veg) and if they were wild they would be eating nearly exclusivly meat (as most wild dogs do)

What I read was that Cavs were bred as lapdogs and shouldn't be fed as a wild dog. Their digestive systems aren't "dog in the wild" systems due to the breeding evolution. I don't know how true this is, as this is my first Cav, actually my first dog ever. I'm learning so much here, and I appreciate all the opinions and knowledge.

Karlin
4th May 2009, 09:03 PM
No domestic dog is a 'dog in the wild' -- they have evolved over tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years... In the time they have been domesticated they have not been eating a 'dog in the wild' diet either. Indeed few 'wild' canids eat 'dog in the wild' diets; they tend to scavenge in trash etc. And consider that canids in zoos live about three times longer than dogs in the wild... even wolf sanctuary people argue that a wild raw diet is not without risks. (I believe I posted come comments from people who run a sanctuary to this effect somewhere on the site). So no clear answers I am afraid!

On the other hand: I really don't think commercial foods with high protein levels would be widely available if it was known that they cause kidney problems.

the only worry I've ever seen referenced is that some people and trainers feel high protein diets can cause more hyper dogs. But smaller breeds generally are recommended to be on higher protein diets anyway -- they have a far higher metabolism than large breeds.

Diet is probably the biggest area of canine internet debate and it is hard to know what to think sometimes!

Personally I feed neither the most expensive food, nor supermarket food. I add in some homecooked and occasionally some raw. Most dogs I've come across have no problems with grains either (I've never had to put one on a non-grain diet -- chicken and beef cause about as many allergic reactions, along with daily!). There's a lot of hype out there especially on the internet. :)

ilsamom
4th May 2009, 09:38 PM
Ilsa had gained a bit of weight so I was advised (as I cook for her) to put her on a bit of a diet. I (with help from the vet) reduced her grains, added more veggies and replaced some of her meat with chicken breast. A few weeks later we did a full blood workup and her urea levels were high. I panicked (as I do) even though the vet assured me that all of her other levels were normal and it was not indicative of kidney disease. However, long term levels would stress the kidneys over time. I was told that it was likely due to her eating too much protein, to add the grains back in her diet and retest in 2 weeks. Her next test came back normal so we have kept her old diet, with the addition of more chicken and a lighter cut of beef. If anyone is worried it is possible to check these things in the bloodwork and see if they are eating too much protein.

Jen and Ilsa