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Diet & Nutrition

7 Benefits of Novel Protein Dog Food & Snacks

by Amanda Brahlek | 08.10.2022
A happy dog whose owner switched them to a novel protein diet

Our dogs rely on us to provide them with a diet that supports their health and happiness. For dog parents whose furry companions live with dietary allergies, this can be quite the feat. Navigating the world of dog food can quickly become overwhelming but when choosing a novel protein diet for your dog, it can be a great way to provide relief from itchy skin and an upset tummy. Opting for a novel protein dog food and treats also comes with a wide array of other health benefits for your BFF (best furry friend).

What Is a Novel Protein Diet for Dogs?

A dog chowing down on their novel protein dog food

A novel protein diet uses a single-protein dog food and snacks with an uncommon protein source, such as grubs, rabbit, alligator, or venison. More importantly, a novel protein diet eliminates the more common meats and protein sources such as chicken, beef, and soy.

The purpose of a novel protein diet is to replace the most likely allergen in a dog’s diet with a protein that their body hasn’t been exposed to. This reduces the chances that your dog will have a negative immune response to the protein.

How Will a Novel Protein Diet Benefit Your Best Friend?

Two Golden Retrievers with lots of energy after switching to a grub diet

Switching to a novel protein diet for your dog can be a costly and tedious endeavor. But you can rest assured that the switch is well worth the investment. In fact, many dog owners are surprised by the wide range of benefits their pups enjoy once they switch to novel protein dog food and treats!

1. Relief from Itchy Skin & Upset Tummy

We’ll start with the most obvious: Switching to a novel protein diet is often the quickest way to eliminate the allergen making your dog feel miserable.

While some dogs struggle with ingredients other than protein in their diets, meats and cheap proteins account for 95% of dog allergies. So, by switching your pup to a novel protein diet, you have the greatest chance of eliminating their allergen without having to go through a complete elimination diet process

This means your dog’s skin will heal while their digestive system will get back on tract (pun intended) sooner rather than later. Most dogs get relief from itchy ears and rears along with digestive peace within two to four weeks after transitioning.

2. Increased Energy

    One of the often-overlooked side effects of a dietary allergy is lethargy. This is because, in an attempt to evacuate/expel the allergen from its system (often through diarrhea), the body doesn’t adequately absorb nutrients from the food. The result is a nutritional deficiency. Dogs with limited nutritional absorption suffer from a lack of usable energy and a suppressed immune system.

    Once a dog’s nutritional needs are restored, they often get a much-needed boost of energy (Hello, Zoomies!).

    3. A Boost in Mood & Metabolism

      Nobody enjoys having an upset stomach or feeling itchy all day long! Neither do dogs. These chronic allergy symptoms really put a damper on their mood and even cause increased depression and anxiety. Plus, issues like diarrhea can have a profound effect on your dog’s gut biome, which is linked to brain processes, including hormonal balancing and metabolism.

      As your dog finds relief from digestive issues and incessant scratching, plus a healthy metabolism, you can bet they’ll feel happier!

      4. Better Hydration for Long Term Wellness

        Water is the most important ingredient for a healthy life for your dog. Every bodily function requires water. Dogs with allergies often become victims of long-term dehydration from a loss of water and electrolytes due to diarrhea. This leads to a long list of health problems, including decreased organ and muscle function.

        Through a novel protein diet, your dog can better maintain their hydration level along with the minerals that help the body better utilize water.

        5. Less Fillers & Artificial Ingredients

        Novel protein dog foods are often formulated with limited ingredients. Why? The fewer ingredients, the fewer potential allergy triggers. Plus, dog owners expect higher quality considering the higher price point of many of these foods. 

        A shorter list of ingredients comes with benefits beyond just eliminating allergens, such as giving dog owners more control over exactly what goes into their dog’s diet. Most limited ingredients dog foods also opt for natural preservatives instead of artificial preservatives which can be harmful to dogs.

        These high-quality ingredients include real meat protein from a single source, instead of a blend of lower-quality proteins–and fewer fillers like soybeans, corn, and rice.

        6. A Gleaming Coat & Better Skin Health

        Most novel proteins are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support coat and skin health. And, we all know that glowing skin and a shiny coat are more than just about appearances. They serve an important role in protecting your dog’s internal health by promoting quicker healing from abrasions, reducing the chances of infection, and regulating their temperature.

        Proteins like grubs and kangaroo protect your dog’s skin from the inside out with omega fatty acids, iron, zinc, amino acids, and vitamins.

        7. A Lower-Fat Diet

          As you compare novel proteins, you will likely notice that the vast majority of them are lean meats. This is great for dogs that struggle with their weight (a current epidemic in the U.S.). While dogs do need fat in their diets, many vets recommend dogs who are on the chubby side stick to a low-fat diet.

          The high-quality, unsaturated fats found in novel proteins, like venison and duck, offer optimal benefits while reducing saturated fats that add unnecessary calories and cholesterol to your dog’s diet.

          Novel Proteins: Your Pup’s Ticket to a Healthful Life

          A dog with Vroomies enjoying the sunshine

          As your dog begins their novel protein dog food journey, we suggest taking a before photo and an updated picture of your dog every week. Keeping a journal of their improvements can also be a great way to track progress to share with your vet! Just keep in mind that a novel protein diet includes your dog’s primary food, novel protein treats and snacks, and medications and products with hidden protein flavorings (such as toothpaste).

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          Amanda Brahlek

          Amanda Brahlek

          Amanda, author of The Complete Guide to Owning a Deaf Dog, is a lifelong animal lover that has dedicated her life to making pet ownership easier through her writing. She holds a certification in Chicken Behavior and Welfare through the University of Edinburgh. She is the proud pet parent of two dogs, a cat, and a small flock of chickens.

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