Got an allergic dog, or one with sensitive GI? Or perhaps an elder dog with arthritis or one recovering from a surgical procedure? Consider duck meat as dietary addition or main protein.
When it comes to feeding protein to your pets, the default choices that typically come to mind are chicken and beef. However, there may be times when you want to explore more novel forms of protein as a way to introduce new flavors, and duck meat is one option. Not only is it tasty, it’s also filled with bioactive compounds that may support health. And duck eggs are no slouch in the nutrition department, either.
👉In a survey, researchers found that the top allergens for dogs were beef, chicken and lamb, If your pet has food sensitivities, try replacing the protein source in their a diet with duck meat (if they haven’t tried it yet). You can offer duck eggs (including the shell) as a treat as well. They’re exceptionally nutritious and beneficial for your pet’s health! 👌
Duck Meat as a Novel Protein Source
In a study published in 2016, researchers noted the top allergenic proteins for dogs that were surveyed were beef, chicken and lamb. With this in mind, novel proteins can be used in place of typical ones when you’re figuring out food allergies via a dietary elimination trial. Duck meat can be considered novel because it may be a protein source your pet hasn’t consumed before. If your pet is allergic to a certain protein, duck may be the foundation of a nutritionally complete homemade diet that works well.
Amino Acids and Healthy Fats in Duck Meat
According to a study published in 2020, duck meat contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, it contains amino acids such as creatine, carnosine, anserine, betaine and L-carnitine. Each of these compounds is essential for protein synthesis and each plays a role in keeping animals healthy.
👉L-carnitine is used for energy metabolism. In a 2021 canine study, L-carnitine was described as an antioxidant. In another study, researchers found that increased L-carnitine intake was associated with increases in lean muscle mass and enhanced muscle recovery as well as lower oxidative stress during vigorous exercise.
👉As for creatine, it’s another bioactive compound related to production of energy. In a study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, creatine is found in animal tissues, and plays a role in the regeneration of adenosine triphosphate during short bouts of exercise.
👉Carnosine, on the other hand, is shown to be integral to the health of all vertebrate animals. It acts as an antioxidant, as well as helps chelate heavy metals, reduce lipid peroxidation and manage inflammation.
Duck Meat Also Contains a Variety of Vitamins and Minerals
Duck meat also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that may support your animal companion’s health. One ounce (28 grams) already provides a microgram of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 1.4 milligrams of niacin (vitamin B3) and 6.3 micrograms of selenium. Taking a closer look at the mentioned nutrients, published research suggests that riboflavin plays a role in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase. Another study noted that riboflavin is essential for growth, as well as energy metabolism.
Niacin also plays a role in energy metabolism in both animals and humans, as it is incorporated into the coenzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate). In the case of selenium, adequate intake may help with thyroid metabolism, DNA synthesis and reproduction. Researchers suggest that selenium may also help lower the risk of cancer.
Duck meat also happens to be a good source of protein, providing 6.6 grams in just an ounce. Protein is required by animals for hormonal and enzymatic production, as well as maintaining the proper function of muscles and organs.
Don’t Forget About Duck Eggs
In addition to duck meat, duck eggs may be introduced as a nutritious pet treat as well. I’m a big fan of feeding pastured eggs to pets, as I believe they’re the ultimate longevity snack. Low in calories while simultaneously rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins, eggs (from duck, quail or chicken) are a well-rounded treat.
A single, raw duck egg contains 8.96 grams of protein as well as 44.8 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 11.9 mg of magnesium and 155 mg of potassium.19 All these nutrients can support your pet’s health, so don’t forget to ask your local farmer for duck eggs when sourcing duck meat.
Huge thanks to Dr. Baker and Pet Food Facts for the educational resources in this article.