Benefits Of Novel Proteins For Dogs

Benefits Of Novel Proteins For Dogs

Many pet parents are surprised to hear that beef, dairy, and chicken account for 66% of total food allergies seen in dogs, with beef accounting for 34% alone. The reason our dogs often have allergic reactions to these proteins is because of how common they are in commercial dog foods. Overexposure to meals created with limited ingredients is a great way to give our dogs an allergy that can affect them for the rest of their lives. 

Unfortunately, most pet parents are never told this and only find out about it when it’s too late, i.e., their dog has a food allergy. This is why we are seeing a surge in meals created with novel proteins. Novel proteins are protein sources uncommon in mainstream commercial foods. Novel proteins include bison, turkey, pork, rabbit, and fish. There are even insect-based dog foods! Yes, really! 

The benefits of novel proteins don’t stop at their ability to help us tackle food allergies, however. Join us as we explore the many benefits of novel proteins and whether they are right for your dog. 

Pros and Cons Of Traditional Proteins 

There is nothing inherently wrong with feeding our dogs traditional sources of protein like beef. The problem is when we solely rely on giving our dogs just one or two, overexposing them to meals that lack diversity. 

Pros

  • They Are Familiar: If you’re a meat eater, you’re probably familiar with traditional proteins like beef and chicken. When looking to create your dog’s food for them at home, these protein sources are great places to start with. And they are very easy to find in grocery stores. 
  • Affordable: Due to how common traditional proteins are, they are traditionally cheaper than their novel counterparts. Then, it’s very easy to find grocery store deals on traditional proteins like chicken.

Cons

  • Common Allergens: The more often a dog eats the same protein in their meal, the more likely they will develop an allergy to it. Despite wheat being a common ingredient in dog foods, it only accounts for 13% of cases. 
  • Antibiotic Concerns: Traditional proteins come from large industrial factory farms that are prone to over-reliance on antibiotics and other treatment measures due to overcrowding that promotes these settings to see more diseases. 

Pros and Cons Of Novel Proteins 

Pros

  • Reduced Allergy Risk: The biggest benefit of novel proteins is their ability to allow your dog to continue to have affordable homemade high-protein meals, without having to switch to expensive allergy-control dog foods. 
  • Sustainable: Several novel protein sources are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than traditional protein sources from animals that are raised in industrial farms. 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Novel protein sources such as salmon can offer our dogs all the essential omega-3 fatty acids they need. Reliance on traditional land-derived protein sources will result in the need for omega-3 supplementation.  
  • Lower Calories And Less Fat: A 4-ounce serving of bison ribeye has 177 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein, whereas your typical 4-ounce beef ribeye contains 265 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 27 grams of protein.
  • It’s Exciting: New smells and new flavors, what’s a dog not to love? 

Cons

  • Cost: Due to their rarity, novel proteins can have a higher price point than traditional proteins. However, this rarity also creates less of a demand for them, so with some shopping around, it is possible to find novel proteins at the same prices or cheaper than traditional sources. 
  • Harder To Find: Chicken is very easy to find in the grocery store, rabbit on the other hand not so much. However, pork and turkey are considered novel proteins, and they are pretty much as easy to find as chicken and beef. As well, bison is quickly finding itself a staple in big-box grocery stores. Other novel protein sources can be easily found online to order. 

Which Protein Source Is Best For My Dog?

In many cases, a combination of traditional and novel proteins will work best. Not only does it diversify your dog’s meals, which will greatly help discourage allergies, but it also allows you to shop around, saving you even more money by making your dog’s food at home. 

Now, if you suspect your dog is experiencing food allergies, a switch to meals created with novel proteins is a great way to kick off the elimination diet. The elimination diet is the most accurate way to diagnose food allergies in dogs. 

Due to food intolerance, which shouldn’t be mistaken for a food allergy, unless otherwise recommended by your vet, gradually introduce novel proteins into your dog’s regular diet. You only want to introduce one source at a time to confirm it doesn’t cause any issues before introducing another. 

Creating High-Protein Meals With ChefPaw

Thanks to ChefPaw, the handy countertop assistant who does all the prep work and cooking for you, creating high-quality affordable meals rich in protein at home has never been easier. With a built-in library of over [#] recipes, ChefPaw gives you a range of recipes that utilize a large range of protein sources — both traditional and novel. 

With the ability to customize any of the recipes, you can easily combine traditional and novel protein sources or switch them out without having to change the entire recipe. ChefPaw’s nutrient analyzer will make any small changes to the recipes as needed when switching one ingredient for another, ensuring your dog’s meals stay complete and balanced. 



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