Dogs, Protein and Amino Acids

If you're feeding your dog home cooked food like us, or you're wondering if you should start - I'm sure you would've wondered how much protein your dog needs to keep him happily bouncy.
Proteins have different compositions of amino acids, which are building blocks for our dogs' bodies (Ours too!). Amino acids come in 2 categories - essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids must be supplied in enough quantities in the diet, while non-essential amino acids can be 'synthesized' by the dog if its body has access to spare nutrients in its diet. (Sabine Contreras)

The amount of fat and protein in a dog's diet needs to balanced as the 2 interacts during metabolism (Dr Pitcarin). Last we checked, the AAFCO advice is for protein to be 22% of daily diet for reproduction & growth and 18% for maintenance.
We were glad to know that dogs would get most of their protein or amino acids requirements from muscle meats. Eggs are one of food with the most complete protein and readily available. We avoid feeding our dog raw eggs because there were some studies saying it can cause a biotin deficiency and is a potential cause of salmonella food poisoning (humans susceptible too :p). Once in awhile, we'll pop an egg into the cooking pot to make his meal a special treat.
Anyway, here are some of the essential amino acids our dogs need (with links to its wikipedia entry):
Sabine Contreras (2004-2007) The Dog Food Project. [reviewed in Jan 2008]
Richard H. Pitcairn (2005)
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

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