Pet Health Tip - Biological Protein Value
Have you ever heard the term Biological Value? It is a very important term that everyone should be aware of because it pertains to how the proteins your dog or cat eats are utilized by the body. Not all proteins are the same when it comes to your animal, but they are considered the same when listed on a pet food nutrition panel. Feeding your animal a diet with a majority of protein that has a lower Biological Value, unless expertly combined as with a vegetarian diet for people, is not optimal because deficiencies will occur due to essential amino acids that are missing or present in low numbers. Most animal protein sources have high Biological Values and are considered to be complete proteins because they contain all essential amino acids in a balanced profile, while most plant sources have to be properly combined to attain this status and often require additional supplementation as well.
Consumers are now more aware than ever to look for a meat source on the pet food ingredient panel. But many are still fooled into thinking that a pet food is a good choice when seeing a meat source listed first in the ingredient listing. If you look further you will often find more inexpensive, lower Biological Value sources of protein like pea, beans and rice that actually make up the bulk of the protein for that pet food. Like this example from Nutro®: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Split Peas, Chickpeas, Whole Brown Rice, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Pea Protein.
Taking Biological Value into consideration when choosing a diet for your animal is very important because meat based protein sources contain essential amino acids in a proportion similar to that required by a canine (10) or feline (11 - taurine). This is why we highly recommend you feed your animal a raw or cooked whole food diet utilizing a meat protein source. If budget or other factors make it necessary for you to feed a processed kibble diet, consider adding a pasture raised egg (BV 94) or our Whey Protein Isolate (BV 104!) to boost the essential amino acid profile of your dog or cat’s food.