What are Novel Proteins
With fresh food feeding on the rise in the pet industry, we are seeing more and more options available on the market wether it be raw food or cooked food. It’s not just your run of the mill foods either but there are some not so common foods we refer to as novel proteins. This is a good and a bad thing. I’ll explain why but first, let me share with you what novel proteins are.
What are novel proteins?
Novel proteins are meats that are not common or easy to find. Proteins that typically you wouldn’t feed your pug. Some novel proteins that I have been seeing more and more in the market are meats and bones from crocodile, wallaby, emu and even possum. You could even say goat, venison, rabbit, quail and spatchcock are novel proteins but have become more mainstream when fresh food feeding pugs.
Novel proteins are becoming more readily available. Here in Australia, I am seeing a lot of pet stores stocking Prime100 Crocodile rolls and bones. I am even able to buy wallaby tails, pelvis and ribs along with emu & possum meat. The variety available is fantastic but it can also be problematic.
Why You Shouldn’t Feed Novel Proteins
You’re probably thinking I’m crazy saying you shouldn’t feed novel proteins considering I just said it’s fantastic that they are available. Well here’s why….
Have you ever had a pug that was constantly itchy? I have and I needed to do an elimination diet. An elimination diet is where you feed one protein that your pug has never had before for at least 6 weeks to see if the itching stops. If the itching stops then it is likely that your pug has a food intolerance or allergy. This is where it is super important that you don’t feed novel proteins like crocodile, wallaby, emu or possum. Because if you are already feeding novel proteins, it is going to be extremely difficult to find a protein that has never been fed to your pug before. This is even more so if you feed kibble as kibble is likely to include products from animals that you think you aren’t feeding them. And if you change food frequently, there’ll be even more proteins you won’t be able to feed.
So it’s super important that you keep those novel proteins away from your pug’s diet in case you ever need to do an elimination diet. Once you have used a novel protein for an elimination diet, then you can continue to include it in their regular diet. But in the mean time, when you see crocodile bones or cooked rolls and think that would be cool for something different, refrain from buying it. You just never know when you will truely need it as a novel protein for your pugs health.