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Calories Per Ounce In Protein For Dr. Harvey’s Base Mix

Getting your dog that has been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) off kibble to a fresh food diet is a must for reasons I will go into, in another post.

For now, I wanted to create a very quick guide on the calories per ounce in the protein when you are adding it to your CKD dog’s meals made with Dr. Harvey’s Base Mix.

The reason why you want to know this is because I observe that parents of CKD dogs are told to feed as little as two ounces of chicken breast for example into a bowl. That equates to less than 100 calories and if your dog needs 1000 calories per day, you are underfeeding your dog which will lead to a host of other problems.

List of protein by ounce

Duck | 62.88 calories

Chicken Thigh | 56.42 calories

Chicken Breast | 48 calories

Chicken Egg | 43 calories

Duck Egg | 55 calories

Ground Pork 95% lean 5% fat | 41 calories

Ground Beef 90% lean 10% fat | 43.94 calories

Elk | 68 calories

Ground Lamb | 66 calories

Pork Loin | 62 calories

Lamb Chop | 61 calories

Sardines | 59 calories

Ground Turkey | 55 calories

Salmon | 52 calories

Bison | 52 calories

Rabbit | 48 calories

Chicken Egg | 43 calories

Lean Beef | 43 calories

Quail Egg | 14 calories

Note that variations will occur based on how much fat is in the meat, and how you prepare it.

Don’t Restrict Your Dog’s Protein

Restricting your dog’s protein can be detrimental to their health.

Protein builds tissue and depriving the body of what it needs will make your dog more sick.

The guideline to restrict protein is meant for end-stage renal disease. We do not want to restrict the protein in stage 1, we can modify the protein level a little in stages 2 and 3 depending on your dog’s test results.

There are other nutrients to manage instead of lowering protein and I am happy to help you if you want a recipe formulated with fresh, whole-food ingredients.

Unpacking Protein: The Building Block of Your Dog’s Body

When you think about your dog’s diet, protein is likely one of the first things that come to mind. We often see it prominently advertised on dog food bags and cans, but do we really know what protein does for our dogs? And why is it especially important for dogs with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? Let’s delve into the fascinating world of protein.

Protein, The Fundamental Component

Proteins are the building blocks of life, and this is as true for dogs as it is for humans. They’re complex molecules made up of chains of amino acids. When a dog eats a meal rich in protein, their body breaks down the protein into these amino acids, which are then absorbed and used to build and repair body tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and support the immune system.

The Evolution of Understanding About Protein

Initially, it was believed that dogs, particularly those with CKD, should be put on a low-protein diet to prevent ‘overworking’ the kidneys. This notion was based on the fact that the breakdown of proteins produces waste products that are excreted by the kidneys. The less protein, the less ‘work’ for the kidneys – or so the theory went.

However, our understanding of protein in a dog’s diet, especially those with CKD, has greatly evolved.

The Protein CKD Connection – A Revised Understanding

Research in recent years has highlighted the importance of dietary protein for dogs with CKD. While it’s true that protein breakdown can produce waste, the benefits of dietary protein far outweigh this concern.

The breakdown of body tissues is a normal part of the metabolic process, even more so in dogs with CKD, who may lose protein through their urine due to compromised kidney function. To counter this, dogs need a supply of quality dietary protein to replace the lost protein and maintain their muscle mass and overall body condition.

Moreover, dietary protein provides essential amino acids, which are critical for a host of bodily functions. For instance, they help to maintain a healthy immune system, which is often compromised in dogs with CKD.

It’s important to note here that the quality of protein is as crucial, if not more so, than the quantity. High-quality protein provides a broad array of essential amino acids and is more easily digestible. This means less waste for the kidneys to handle and more building blocks for the body to use.

Why We Keep an Eye on Uremia and Proteinuria in Dogs

Uremia and proteinuria are important indicators of your dog’s kidney health. They serve as early warning signs, alerting us to potential kidney dysfunction.

Understanding Uremia

Uremia, traditionally, is a condition that occurs when the kidneys aren’t able to effectively filter waste products from the blood. The term itself derives from “urea”, one of the primary waste substances that our kidneys filter out of the bloodstream, and “-emia” denoting something in the blood. This failure of filtration results in a buildup of waste products, like urea and creatinine, in the bloodstream – a condition that’s far from ideal for any dog, let alone a senior one.

Shifting Perspectives on Uremia

However, recent studies have shown a more nuanced understanding of uremia. Today, it’s recognized not just as a condition of increased waste products in the blood, but as a complex syndrome with a myriad of symptoms. These symptoms can range from loss of appetite and weight loss to more severe manifestations such as oral ulcers, anemia, or even neurological complications.

Management of uremia typically revolves around addressing the underlying kidney disease and alleviating the symptoms. Depending on the severity, this might include dietary adjustments, fluid therapy

Decoding Proteinuria in Dogs

While we’re on the topic of kidney health in our dogs, another term that you might come across is proteinuria. It can sound intimidating, but what exactly does it mean?

Proteinuria – The Early Conception

Traditionally, proteinuria is understood as the presence of excess protein in a dog’s urine. This occurs when the kidneys, which normally filter out waste while keeping essential elements like proteins in the blood, start to “leak” protein into the urine. Proteinuria was often associated with kidney damage or disease, leading to the erroneous belief that a high-protein diet could exacerbate this condition.

Revising Our Understanding of Proteinuria

Today, our understanding of proteinuria has evolved. We now know that while proteinuria can indeed be a sign of kidney disease, it can also be caused by a multitude of other factors. For example, extreme physical exercise, exposure to cold, fevers, or even certain drugs can lead to transient or benign proteinuria.

Current Perspectives on Proteinuria

Even in dogs with chronic kidney disease, proteinuria is not necessarily a reason to drastically cut down on dietary protein. Quality protein in the diet is essential for maintaining your dog’s health and muscle mass, especially as they age. If proteinuria is detected in your dog’s urine, the best course of action would be a thorough veterinary examination to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. The presence of proteinuria may indicate a need for closer monitoring of your dog’s kidney function and, if necessary, specific therapeutic strategies to manage any underlying disease.

Depending on your dog’s test results it might be that protein is lowered to a moderate level but never to the amounts as low as in the k/d diets which are meant for end-stage renal disease.

Don’t Be Afraid

As a dog mom of three, I understand the swirling emotions that come with the ups and downs of a pet’s health journey. Particularly when dealing with conditions like CKD, emotions play an interesting, sometimes overlooked, role. One emotion that stands out in this conversation is fear. And to delve deeper, let’s take a detour to the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Different Perspective

Traditional Chinese Medicine operates on a philosophy that our physical health is intricately connected to our emotional state, and vice versa. This concept extends to animals as well.

In TCM, the body is seen as a harmonious whole where physical organs are tied to specific emotions. For kidneys, that emotion is fear.

The Kidneys and Fear: An Intertwined Relationship

The kidneys, according to TCM, are the source of our vital life energy, or ‘Qi’. They control growth, development, reproduction, and aging. But more than just a physical organ, kidneys represent the emotion of fear.

Imagine when a dog is frightened; they may tuck their tails, their bodies may stiffen, and in severe cases, they may even lose bladder control. These are physical manifestations of fear that are closely tied to the kidneys.

From the TCM perspective, sustained fear or chronic stress can negatively impact the kidneys. This has been translated to mean chronic fear could potentially play a role in kidney problems like CKD.

The Takeaway: Balancing The Emotional and Physical

While Western medicine doesn’t directly link emotions like fear to kidney health, understanding the TCM perspective provides a broader view of our dogs’ well-being. It’s a reminder of the importance of a nurturing, stress-free environment for our pets, especially for those managing diseases like CKD.

In conclusion, whether or not fear plays a direct role in kidney health, it’s evident that a dog’s emotional well-being is crucial. After all, a happy dog makes for a healthier dog. So, as we continue on this journey with our beloved dogs, let’s remember to address not only their physical needs but their emotional ones as well.

Don’t fear protein when it comes to your dog’s diet – but do keep an eye on their overall health and consult your vet if you notice any changes.

Again, regular check-ups will be essential in catching and managing CKD in your dog, ensuring that they can continue to live their golden years in comfort.

Thank you for stopping by. Wishing you and your dogs Good Health!

Further Reading: Chronic Kidney Disease In Dogs

Author Biography

Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying for her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.

She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.

She is available for one on one consultations. Additionally, you can find her sharing free content on Instagram.

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