A complete and balanced pet diet in the US is essential to meet the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. While it’s a good thing that nutrient profiles exist, our pets definitely need all the required nutrients at adequate levels – what the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles lack is that they don’t take into account Many pets consume fewer calories than current complete and balanced nutrition systems. allows.
AAFCO nutrient profiles are based on nutrients per calorie. For example, the AAFCO nutrient profiles require at least 45 grams of protein per 1,000 kcals in an adult dog’s diet, and 65 grams of protein per 1,000 kcals in an adult cat’s diet. The level of each nutrient your pet gets from their pet food is based on how many calories (kcals) they eat.
Unfortunately, the AAFCO system is one-size-fits-all, taking into account only the caloric needs of active cats and dogs. But what about pets who are sedentary (couch potatoes)? Sedentary pets need fewer calories, but the AAFCO Complete and Balanced System is only for active pets that consume more calories – and that can be a problem.
Pets that are fed fewer calories per day than those that require a complete and balanced pet diet may be deficient in nutrients. Importantly, pets that consume fewer calories per day may be deficient in protein. This potential concern is not limited to any one style of pet food, protein deficiency can come from dry foods, cooked foods, canned foods and raw foods – depending on how much your pet consumes daily. does day).
Thanks to pet food formulator Steve Brown, below are the minimum protein requirements in grams for cats and dogs.
For adult cats, the minimum protein requirements are:
For adult dogs, the minimum protein requirements are:
How do you know if your pet’s diet is providing this minimum amount of protein?
Steve Brown to the rescue again. Steve developed a calculation to determine the amount of pet food that must be fed to meet minimum protein requirements.
All you need are two very basic pieces of information provided by your pet’s food:
- The protein percentage of your pet’s food.
Where to find it: Listed in Guaranteed Analysis.
- kcal per kilogram (kcal/kg) or kcal per pound (kcal/lb) information.
Where to find it: Usually provided with guaranteed analysis information or may be provided separately with calorie information.
With the above information, TruthaboutPetFood.com used Steve Brown’s calculations and created an easy-to-use form where pet owners can enter the required information and the math is done for you.
Click here Calculating Cat Food Protein
Click here Calculating Dog Food Protein
A big thanks to Steve Brown for helping provide this important information to pet owners!
Best wishes to you and your pets,
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