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How Fat Affects Your Dog’s Performance
How Fat Affects Your Dog’s Performance

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How Fat Affects Your Dog’s Performance

Diet and Performance

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Diet plays an important role in the endurance potential of canine athletes. The Alaskan sled dog might be considered the ultimate canine athlete, sometimes pulling a sled more than 1,000 miles in subzero temperatures. Providing a well-balanced diet is essential to meet the special needs of dogs in such nutritional-stress situations. Not only should the diet fed to these dogs be high in protein, but it also should be high in fat, which serves as the major energy source for exercising muscles.

 

High Nutrient Demands

Dietary Effects on Performance
 

A high-fat diet can help muscles burn fat more efficiently. During sustained exercise, fatty-acid oxidation is the primary source of energy for the muscles. Increasing the efficiency of fat metabolism spares the body’s use of carbohydrates, and because most dogs have in excess of 10 to 50 times more energy stored in fat than in muscle glycogen (carbohydrate), this might boost the animal's exercise performance.

IAMS™ studies1 have shown that in trained sled dogs as in ordinary dogs, exercise performance was enhanced by switching from a low-fat to a high-fat diet (from 25 to 65% of calories from fat), as indicated by increased:

  • Mitochondrial volume—Increasing the volume of the muscle cell's 'power houses' increased the capacity for fatty-acid oxidation.
  • Aerobic capacity—Muscles were better equipped to utilize fatty acids for fuel because of increased ability to utilize oxygen.
  • Fatty-acid oxidation—By increasing fatty-acid utilization during exercise, more energy was released for the muscles to use.

When dogs were switched back to a low-fat diet, all of these criteria decreased to their previous values.

These results indicated that by increasing the availability of fat stores and capacity to metabolize fat for energy, a high-fat diet promotes exercise endurance in canine athletes.

1 Reynolds AJ, et al. “The effect of diet on sled dog performance, oxidative capacity, skeletal muscle microstructure, and muscle glycogen metabolism.” Recent Advances in Canine and Feline Nutritional Research: Proceedings of the 1996 IAMS International Nutrition Symposium. Carey DP, Norton SA, Bolser SM, eds. Wilmington, OH. 1996. 181–198.

  • 3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
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    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

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    A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.
     

    Author: Dr. Saza Curaming
     

    Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores. 
     

    The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal. 
     

    Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet. 
     

    Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet. There are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.
     

    Not all proteins are created equal 

    Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.
     

    Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.

     

    Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

    A dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.
     

    That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal. 

     

    Protein a day, keeps doctors away

    Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine. 
     

    While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein. Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.
     

    To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians. 
     

    Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit https://iams.asia/my/. IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.