Protein: The Cornerstone of Your Dog’s Diet
This is our series on the ingredients in Wild Earth’s Clean Protein dog food called ‘Ingredients With A Purpose’. We understand there are A LOT of options when it comes to what you feed your dog. We also understand you want to feed them the best food possible and labels can be confusing. The goal of this series is to give you insight into the role each ingredient plays in our food and the components that make a complete dog diet. We’ve broken the articles down into the components that make a healthy dog diet: Protein, Fats & Carbohydrates, Fibers, Vitamins & Minerals.
Protein, protein, protein. It’s the most popular topic in dog food. It’s the largest call-out on almost any bag of dog food (including ours!). It’s how most companies (try) to differentiate their food. It’s also for good reason. Protein is the cornerstone of a complete dog diet.
What Does a Dog use Protein for?
Think of almost any aspect of a dog’s health and wellness and protein is likely providing a key function. Proteins – which are made up of a variety of amino acids that serve different roles – can be found in plants, animals (not in our food!), fungi and even algae. As we’ve written about multiple times, dogs have the ability to digest protein from a wide variety of sources, so as long as they’re getting the 10 essential amino acids, they’ll thrive!
- Grow strong bones and muscles
- Healthy skin and coat
- Provide energy
- Assists in creating hormones and enzymes needed in everyday function
- Immunity against disease
Wild Earth gets protein from fungi and plants. This gives our food protein from a variety of sources, great flavor, high digestibility and ensures that the protein is CLEAN.
Yeast, which is a fungi, is the first ingredient in our food for good reason. Yeast is an excellent source of clean protein and healthy fibers as well as adds a savory, umami flavor. We’ll highlight the healthy fibers, but in this article we’ll look at the protein benefits.
Coming in at 40%+ protein by weight compared to 24-26% in beef, yeast packs a protein punch. It is also a complete source of protein, containing the essential amino acids dog’s need to thrive. Furthermore, yeast is extremely digestible, so a dog’s digestive system doesn’t have a difficult time extracting all the nutrients after a meal.
Yeast has been used as a source of protein for centuries and can be grown in very efficient, sustainable, and clean environments.
At Wild Earth we feel yeast is an absolute superfood and are proud of it being our first ingredient. Throughout this series you’ll see yeast pop up in other sections because it serves so many benefits to our dogs.
Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product (aka Koji)
Another fungal protein, koji offers many of the benefits of yeast. Koji is the main source of protein in our treats as well. While koji and yeast are both fungi, koji is not yeast and yeast is not koji. It gets technical, but it’s worth noting.
Pea protein, the first of our two plant-based proteins offers another highly digestible protein. Being plant-based, rather than fungal, means your dog will get protein from multiple sources – which just like in a human – goes a long way towards a balanced diet. We chose pea protein because it is well known to be safe and sustainable.
We wanted to ensure that our food had a high amount of protein, considering how important protein is to a dog’s diet. We also wanted to ensure that every protein source was sustainable and digestible. Potato checks all those boxes and rounds out our 31% protein count. Similar to peas, potato protein contains beneficial trace minerals and micronutrients.