Dog Nutrition Guide | What are Novel Proteins in Dog Food?

The amino acids in proteins allow our dogs to function in the most optimum way, promoting muscle, organ, skin, coat, metabolism and nerve health. Frustratingly for your pooch, the greatest source of protein in their food can sometimes be the very thing causing them discomfort. If your beloved dog is affected by an intolerance, novel proteins could be the solution, fully supplementing your dog’s nutritional needs, without worsening their symptoms.

Novel proteins are made up of animal proteins, not previously eaten by your dog. It appears that as dogs age, they develop intolerances to food, having negative reactions to ingredients that had never before caused a problem. The most common culprits are beef, chicken, lamb and turkey. Novel proteins could include: duck, bison, rabbit, salmon, venison or herring. Fish-based recipes are a very popular alternative. Take a look at our Limited Ingredient Diet advice for extra options.

Things to consider if you decide to try novel proteins:

  •  Check the full list of ingredients. Even if a novel protein is the key ingredient, the protein causing the insensitivity may still be in the food. We want to completely eliminate the problem protein from your poorly pup’s diet
  • Transition your dog onto the novel protein gradually. Many vets recommend the ‘7-day-switch’, mixing the two foods during the week and slowly decreasing the quantity of old food, whilst increasing the quantity of new food
  • If the effects aren’t immediate, don’t panic. This can take time – up to 3 months in fact, so persevere. Track your dog’s responses and symptoms, reporting back to the vet if there’s no marked improvement.

Many of our customers have had success with the Naturediet Salmon, Vegetables and Rice dog food, but we have a whole host of different foods to choose from, here. You can find information on novel proteins in cat food here.