Proteins are essential for your dog's health, but be careful because, when choosing a good food, you should not only look at the% protein indicated on the product label ...

Protein is essential for your dog. It forms part of the structure of your dog’s body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and fur. It’s also essential to the immune system and for cell growth and reproduction. However, you should proceed with caution because when it comes to choosing the right food for your dog, it’s not enough to simply look at the percentage of protein shown on the product label.

It’s not just the quantity that matters here, but also – more importantly – the quality. Here are a few tips on how to find this information.

Digestibility and biological value

The way in which a dog’s body is able to make use of protein depends on the protein’s digestibility and biological value. This is key. But what’s meant by digestibility and biological value?

Digestibility: The proteins that are most easily digested are those that are converted most easily into substances that are useful to the dog. These tend to be the ones that contain the largest quantities of essential amino acids that meet the animal’s needs.

Biological value: The biological value of animal protein relates to the animal’s ability to make use of or absorb the protein available in the diet.

What to look out for: To find out for sure whether the food you are buying your dog is complete and balanced, take a look at the following advice:

  1. Don’t just look at the percentage of protein stated on the product label the digestibility and biological value of the protein will vary, depending on where it comes from. It’s not just the quantity of protein that matters here, but also – more importantly – the quality.
  2. Check the origin of the protein: if the protein comes directly from fresh animal meat (fresh protein), it will be high in quality. Animal protein tends to have a biological value of over 90%, while vegetable protein is around 50%.

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