Does Too Much Protein In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea

Does Too Much Protein In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

A dog's stomach upset can result in diarrhea if he eats too much protein in his diet. It is referred to as keto diarrhea.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Does Too Much Protein In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?“.

As a dog owner it is inevitable that at some stage your dog will have a bad dose of diarrhea.

Does Too Much Protein In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea

In addition to all the time it takes to clean up the disgusting mess theres also the hassle of trying to figure out why it happened.

Your dog may have gotten into your trash unsupervised in which case the cause is obvious but…

Even if nothing out of the ordinary has happened how can you explain the pile of diarrhea you find when you get home from work?

The possibilities surrounding why your dog might have an upset stomach can leave you grasping at straws.

Another straw is that the diet they are on contains too much protein.

My article today focuses on that topic.

I would like to start by looking at the main causes of diarrhea. 

What Are The Main Causes Of Diarrhea In Dogs?

Your dog can have diarrhea for a variety of reasons. 

Diarrhea can be caused by many things ranging from intestinal infections to viruses to eating garbage. 

Often stomach upset is also caused by stress so if your dog recently traveled or had a traumatic experience at the vet this could also account for the problem. 

Can too much Protein in Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

Despite the fact that the causes for diarrhea seem endless there is little correlation between too much protein and diarrhea in the vast majority of dogs. 

This does not apply to two exceptions.

To begin with some dogs are more sensitive to protein than others resulting in diarrhea and allergic reactions. 

Do not worry as this is an extremely rare condition known as dietary protein intolerance. 

Symptoms include nausea agitation itchy or irritated skin swelling of the tongue or throat and bald spots. 

In consultation with your veterinarian you can perform food elimination trials to determine if your dog has this problem. 

Another exception is when your dog experiences diarrhea from undercooked protein.

Meat is an excellent source of protein but some raw meat is contaminated with parasites and bacteria.

Among the most dangerous meats are chicken and pork. 

Bacteria and parasites can sometimes be found in raw eggs. 

Cooking the meat thoroughly is the only way to kill them.

In addition to causing diarrhea undercooked meat can also cause vomiting. 

Some dog owners mistakenly believe their dogs diarrhea is caused by an overdose of protein rather than by not cooking it enough. 

Why Does A Dog Need Protein In Their Diet?

A dogs diet must provide a sufficient amount of protein to prevent health issues such as those listed above. 

Protein is essential for the proper functioning of a dogs body as it contains amino acids that are vital to the development of their hair skin and muscles. 

As protein cannot be stored in the body as fats can dogs must be provided with protein every day. 

Dogs that work like assistance dogs sheepdogs or police dogs are especially susceptible to bites. 

The lack of protein in your dogs diet can cause weakness vomiting diarrhea and weight loss. 

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Had Too Much Protein?

If your dog has too much protein there are a few ways to tell. 

It should be noted that dogs only use a certain amount of protein that is absorbed by the body and the rest is excreted through urine. 

As a result yellow spots on your lawn indicate your dog is doing its business. The second reason your dog is gaining weight is that he is consuming too much protein. 

If your dog is on a diet of canned food or kibble made by a reputable company with quality ingredients your dog is unlikely to receive too much protein. 

To ensure that your dog is not getting too much or too little protein you should feed him the highest quality food you can afford. 

These companies must comply with strict guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. 

It is required that dog food contains a minimum amount of protein so your dog will stay healthy. 

On a dry matter basis this equals 18 percent crude protein for an average adult dog but it varies with breed age and activity level. 

For this reason its best to talk to your vet about the best food for your dog to ensure that it does not get too much protein. 

What Other Ingredients In Dog Food May Cause Diarrhea?

Aside from the protein level your dogs food may contain other ingredients that cause diarrhea. In addition to allergies your dog may have other digestive issues. 

A dogs stomach can be upset by gluten and dairy so if you suspect an allergy you should consult a veterinarian. 

Filler ingredients in dog food are often corn and rice. 

Dogs do not need carbs to survive so they should not eat a high-carb diet. This will merely cause chronic problems such as diarrhea gas and bloating. 

What Are The Other Dangers Of A Dog Eating Too Much Protein?

Dogs are actually omnivores despite many people believing that they are carnivores. 

They consumed both plant and animal sources of food even their wolf ancestors. Consequently a diet consisting solely of protein can pose a problem since this is not what dogs are designed to eat. 

Various health conditions such as kidney damage and osteoporosis can occur if their diet is unbalanced.  

What Is The Propensity Of Wet Food To Cause Diarrhea?

The majority of dog owners who buy processed foods for their pets buy kibbles and dry foods. There is less demand for wet food for dogs even though it is available on a smaller scale. 

It is generally safe for dogs to consume wet food without becoming ill despite the belief that wet food causes diarrhea. 

In spite of the fact that it contains more water than dry food stomach problems are usually caused by something else such as scavenging or parasites. 

The reason is that wet food still needs to meet the AAFCOs specific nutritional guidelines. 

What Types Of Dog Need A Diet With Higher Levels Of Protein?

Protein levels in dogs’ diets do not need to be very high. 

Some dogs however need a lot of it because they are very active or if they are in a vulnerable stage of their lives. 

In the first place these include working dogs such as farm dogs or sheepdogs since they run throughout the day. 

For example dogs who go on runs with their owners or who do agility training with them will need more protein.

Additionally dogs that are in extreme age categories should be fed high-protein food. Growing puppies should eat plenty of protein to maintain their growth and development. For their puppies’ nourishment pregnant and lactating dogs require a high protein intake. As a final note senior dogs and frail dogs require a high protein diet to maintain their weight and strength. 

What Is The Average Amount Of Protein In Each Of These Types Of Food?

In spite of the fact that some dogs require high-protein diets its important to adapt the kind of food you give your dog based on their specific needs. 

Protein is a key component of the raw dog food diet. For dogs with advanced kidney disease or liver failure as well as inactive dogs this product is not recommended. A single chicken breast for instance contains over 54 grams of protein which if given every day may cause your dog to become severely overweight. 

The average dog needs an adequate amount of protein in its diet usually between 18 and 29 percent. Foods that are dry contain 25 percent protein while those that are wet contain 9 percent. The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) points out however that its difficult to make direct comparisons between dry and wet food due to the ingredients’ differences. Approximately 60-80 percent of your dogs food is water and the dry elements (which contain nutrition) make up a much smaller percentage.

This might seem like dry food is superior to wet food in terms of protein intake but you should actually feed your dog a greater quantity of wet food than dry so your pet will still receive the same nutrition from a solely wet diet. 

It is always important to consider the nutritional value of the food you provide your dog whether that is wet food kibble or raw meat. Thus there will be fewer chances of serious health issues down the road as well as short-term problems like diarrhea and weight issues. As a result you would not have to worry about paying hefty vet bills and your pup will certainly reap the benefits. 

Your dog will have the best chance of living a long and healthy life if you understand their diet well! Wouldnot it be great if you could talk to your vet about ways to improve your dogs protein intake?

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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