Single source protein means that your Dog or Cat Food contains the protein from only one animal source. If it says Turkey on the front of the bag and it only contains Turkey in the Composition/Ingredients, it is Single Source Protein. You should also check the gravy, stock, oil or fat source, they would also need to be Turkey. If you see any other animal or fish named on the label it is not Single Source Protein and this also applies to ingredients such as Poultry Meal, Meat Meal or Meat & Animal Derivatives, as they can contain multiple types of Birds and Animals. So, for Single Source Protein you are looking for that specific meat or fish to be named throughout the list of ingredients.
WHY DO I NEED SINGLE SOURCE PROTEIN?
Vets recommend Single Source Protein diets when presented with allergy symptoms in Dogs and Cats. Vets will also specifically recommend you try a Novel Protein Source. A Novel Protein Source is very simply a protein that is Novel to your Dog or Cat, it is not necessarily anything exotic like kangaroo or crocodile but it also could be!! The first thing you need to do is take a look at the food you have been feeding your Dog or Cat but this means flipping the bag over and looking at the entire composition/ingredients list. You may be shocked to find that what you thought you were feeding your dog, may not seem to fit with what is really in the ingredients. A dog food has only to include 4% of a specific ingredient for a manufacturer to be allowed to use it as a flavour on the label on the front of the bag and they don’t have to specify the quality or the preparation method of that ingredient on the front of the bag. So basically they can call Turkey Meal ‘Turkey’, this is to make it more appealing to the buyer.
Anyway, back to Novel Protein…… If you Dog or Cat is showing Allergy Symptoms or Intolerance Symptoms you need to try a Novel Protein. By process of elimination you can figure out which Novel Protein your Dog or Cat needs to try. For example I will use a common supermarket, mid-price Dog food.
Dry Complete, Rich in Salmon & Potato (apparently!!) £24.99 for 12kg (ouch, considering the quality of this food that is daylight robbery)
Maize, Salmon Meal (14%), Potato (14%), Meat Meal, Barley, Rice, Poultry Fat, Poultry Digest, Linseed, Beet Pulp, Minerals, Kelp (0.2%), Yeast (0.1%), Citrus Extract (0.04%), Yucca Extract (0.01%).
Maize – Grain (no exact percentage)
Salmon Meal – Meal is all the crap bits ground up to make a flour like substance (14%)
Meat Meal- MEAT is non-descript and by law can mean ANY warm blooded land animal and Meal means all the crap bits ground up to make a flour like substance. (no exact percentage)
Barley – Grain (no exact percentage)
Rice – (no exact percentage)
Poultry Fat – CHICKEN, DUCK, GOOSE, TURKEY etc – Basically all poultry
Poultry Digest – CHICKEN, DUCK, GOOSE, TURKEY etc – Basically all poultry
You see… your Rich in Salmon & Potato isn’t so Rich in Salmon and Potato after all, there is only 14% Salmon Meal and a concoction of possibly any other warm blooded animal and poultry in there plus the preparation of the Salmon is Meal (not the best quality).
So, when a vet tells you to switch to a different protein source, where on earth do you start? How is it possible to find a Single Source Novel Protein when you have possibly been feeding them all. Easy, start at the beginning. Start over with a protein source that is not a well know allergen. Our Vet recommends a Grain Free Turkey or Duck. Fish is also a good place to start and you can go Single Source (as in all Salmon) or stick to a 100% Grain Free Fish Recipe. If you do not want to go Grain Free then try Hypoallergenic Single Source Protein. Our Hypoallergenic Recipes do contain some Grains but they do not contain Wheat, the one most commonly responsible for Allergies and Intolerance.
Personally I would cut out all grain until you find a single source protein that alleviates symptoms and then slowly start adding other ingredient one at a time and watch for a reaction, we find reactions are pretty instant if the problem ingredient is of a substantial %. We also find recovery from allergies is pretty quick once you cut out the problem ingredient.
Take a look through our Single Source Protein Recipes, have a read of the Composition/Ingredients and you will see we use High Percentage Real Meat or Fish, with a percentage of Freshly Prepared which is a far more superior method of preparation than Meal. We also have varying Protein Sources with Varying Protein Levels. We like to stick to a Protein Level between 20%-30% (not to be confused with meat content) as this is recommended by Pet Food Nutritionists.
And remember all treats etc should follow suit with what you are feeding. There are lots of Single Source Protein Treats out there and lot of Natural Treats & Chews that do not contain grains.
ONCE YOU FIND A SINGLE SOURCE PROTEIN THAT SUITS YOUR DOG SHOULD YOU STICK WITH IT?
Well, you could do but research show that sticking with the same single protein source can increase the chance of developing an allergy to that protein. Without Allergy testing it is a case of trial and error while finding the right ingredients for your dog. Some dogs have no choice but to stick with one type of food but if possible try switching between single source protein recipes and look for symptoms. You can eventually build up a list of proteins that do not affect your dog or cat and swap between them or use start to use multi source meat or fish recipes. Our Ranges include multi source and various single source protein recipes making it easy to swap between proteins without causing too much upset to a sensitive tummy as the rest of the ingredients remain pretty much the same.