There are many different reasons why owners are researching and giving their dogs high-protein dog foods. Dogs can use protein for growth, repair, and for the majority of their energy. Therefore owners are interested in finding the best high-protein dog foods to compare in the market.
Higher levels of protein can be great for underweight dogs, owners trying to increase dog muscle mass, and even those overweight! We have evaluated all the best high-protein foods for dogs for you to compare for pros and cons. So you can pick the best dog food for your pup and for your wallet!
What are the Best High-Protein Dog Foods?
High-protein dog foods are those with a higher percentage of protein than the average dog food on the market. The average dog food will have around 15 – 20% of protein in their contents. Whereas a high-protein dog food will have a percentage of around 30% of protein.
Those that own underweight, overweight, or dogs they wish to increase their muscle mass can truly benefit from high-protein dog food. That’s not all! These diets can give your dog more energy as well as giving them healthier skin and a shinier coat. But where do all these benefits come from? Firstly, protein contains 10 amino acids that dogs cannot produce on their own. Each one offers a benefit to your pup’s health that they cannot get without protein. These can help to benefit different areas of their health giving them a healthier lifestyle.
One of the main benefits that protein implements is a higher energy amounts. This is because protein can substitute a large amount of energy supplied by carbohydrates in regular dog food. Furthermore, dogs can break down almost every part of protein molecules, whereas many carbohydrate molecules are stored as excess fat. Therefore, dogs can feel more active and get the energy they need from protein, without the worry of weight gain.
How To Choose High-Protein Dog foods?
There are multiple factors to consider before the purchase of a high-protein dog food including the age of your dog, their size, breed, and weight.
Age of dog
The age of your dog is a crucial factor to consider before the purchase of high-protein dog food. Puppy nutrition requires different percentages of each food group to aid with their proper growth and maintain high levels of health. A growing puppy requires 29% protein according to the National Research Council which is around the percentage of an adult’s high-protein based dog food. Therefore, what is considered high-protein for an adult dog is considered the norm for a puppy. This does not mean that you should be searching for a puppy food with ridiculously high-percentages of protein. But it is a factor to be aware of when a puppy food is advertised as high-protein and it is in fact normal.
Furthermore, make sure to never give your dog too much protein. A high amount of any dog food type can be detrimental to your dog. They should be receiving a balanced and nutritional diet in order to remain healthy and happy.
Your dog’s breed influences their average and high-protein requirements immensely. Firstly, your dog’s breed influences their size, and larger dog breeds will require more energy and more protein for growth. This is especially important for fast-growing or large breeds. Furthermore, some breeds have more muscle mass to others, they may also require larger amounts of protein to grow and maintain this muscle mass. Dogs such as Pit Bulls will require more protein than a Chihuahua, for example. Therefore, you need to be aware of the estimated muscle mass for your dog and how much protein they need to sustain this.
Finally, it is worth considering your dog’s unique features. If your dog has a long, silky coat, a higher level of protein may provide them with a full shiny coat. Also consider that dogs with higher energy levels, such as a Border Collie, may need more protein to aid those average energy levels.
Food allergies are common in a lot of dogs, and one of the most common allergens is chicken. Many sources of protein are common allergens for dogs such as beef, lamb, pork, and fish. These are some of the most common ingredients supplied as a source of protein in high-protein dog foods.
But how do you find out if your dog has a food allergy and what ingredient it is? Dog food allergies, unfortunately, are often discovered through a process of elimination. This means removing a dog’s current food and supplying a new food without a certain ingredient. Then you monitor to see if common allergy symptoms fade or continue. Common allergy symptoms include hair loss, itchy and red skin, gas, negative respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing), vomiting, and diarrhea, to name a few. Always visit the vets with any concerns first to be sure that an allergy is the cause.
High-protein diets can both aid weight gain and loss, but how can one diet do both? Well, Protein can help weight gain because of its properties of growth and repair, along with it being extra tasty for dogs. As for weight loss, high-protein meals provide more energy to your dogs which allows them to exercise to lose weight. Furthermore, protein helps to build muscle, and muscle mass helps to build fat.
But how do you know which brand to buy depending on your dog’s weight? Well, if your dog is slightly underweight, consider a high-protein and high-fat diet to aid the increase of weight in the healthiest manner. However, if your dog is severely underweight, this will require a vet visit as soon as possible and there is probably an underlying cause that needs aid. If your dog is overweight, consider a low-fat and high-protein diet to help with energy, muscle growth, and fat loss.
10 Best High-Protein Dog Dog Foods
Here is our comprehensive list of the best high-protein dog foods for you to check out.
1. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food
With a crude protein of 30%, Purina’s sport formula is ideal for dogs looking to increase their muscle mass. This dry food mix comes in a 37.5 pound mix full of arrow shape biscuits good for any breed size. Be aware if your dog has a chicken allergen as this is a key ingredient.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and glucosamine are also supplied in this mix to help with your dog’s mobility and joints. This is a great add on for elderly dogs or breeds that suffer from milder forms of hip dysplasia. The amino acids in this dog food also help to ‘nourish muscles‘, especially after exercise.
Owners have bragged about the energy boost of their dogs have gained after consuming this food for a few days. Furthermore, many owners have mentioned how picky eaters adore this good tasting mix. However, multiple users have complained of a smell from the food and packaging.
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Kibble
Blue Buffalo offers a grain-free dog food mix to try to prevent inducing grain allergies. Animal nutritionists and veterinarians have had influence over the combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants provided. Real chicken has been used to create this tasty, high-protein bled and it is stated that it contains no chicken by-products.
This 24 pound mix can be used for small and large breeds. Blue Buffalo recommends offering one meal for small breeds and two meals for medium to large breeds a day. Omega 3 and 6 different fatty acids are provided for good skin and coat health in your dog.
Buyers love that the product is grain-free because it is such a common dog allergen. Dogs stay in great shape with this mix and buyers describe them as muscular and in great shape. As for a negative, reports have claimed that the standards of this mix have gone down recently. With multiple users reporting their dog having diarrhea after eating this.
3. Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs
This dog food is targeted towards smaller dogs and small breeds of dog. With a small kibble size, it won’t be too large or difficult for your dog to chew, so you don’t have to worry about a choking hazard! The number one ingredient is farm-raised beef to give it a high-protein content and a delicious flavor.
This 3.5 pound bag adds both carrots and peas to your pup’s diet to balance the nutrients your dog needs. Including veg into your dog’s meals is crucial to ensure they are receiving the nutrients and minerals they need.
Owners comment that this mix is recommended by vets and can tempt even the pickiest pup. This is because of its great flavor and fresh taste. However, it is listed in multiple reviews that the advertisements states you receive four bags of food but they only received one. This makes the pricing far too high for the purchase.
4. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition
Royal Canin offers their high-protein food in three different sizes: 6, 17, and 30 pound bags. This dry dog food is specified to meet the criteria for dogs 1–7 years old weighing 23–55 lbs. Prebiotics and antioxidants combine to create an immune-boosting formula perfect for your dog’s health.
High levels of EPA and DHA aid your dog to have healthy skin and a glossy coat. The high content of fiber helps your dog to have a healthy digestive system and pass stools normally. The texture is soft and palatable so every type of dog can enjoy chewing the kibble.
Users adore the reasonable cost of this brand in combination with all the health benefits it offers. Furthermore, its taste and texture have picky dogs running back for seconds. On the other hand, owners have concluded that this food can cause diarrhea and a few have stated to avoid it.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Grain-Free Natural Open Range Recipes
This grain-free high-protein mix by Rachel Ray comes in three different flavors: northern woodlands with turkey, duck, and quail; open range with beef, venison, and lamb; wetlands with chicken, duck, and pheasant. These are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater.
This dry dog food is offered in 4, 12, and 23 pound bags with no grain, gluten, or filler ingredients. It is cooked, made, and processed all in the USA with fresh and natural ingredients. The protein count is 30% which is an excellent amount for a high-protein dog food.
Dogs adore this dog food, the taste and smell attract nearly every kind of pooch to try. Owners have also been pleased about how it has helped mobility issues and minimized joint pain. However, some owners have commented that their dogs have lost weight while on this product.
6. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct High-Protein Dog Food
Purina’s salmon and tuna dry dog food is a great protein source with a great taste. The number one ingredient is salmon leading to a 30% protein content for the whole mix. Because of this, it is great for a dog with an active lifestyle, whether it be hiking or strength-based sports.
With its omega-3 fatty acids and 4 antioxidant sources, your dog will have a brilliant immune system after consuming this mix for just a short period of time. Furthermore, these triangular-shaped pieces of kibble are easy for any dog to chew, regardless of their size. Also, the pieces are chewy and soft so do not worry about them being a choking hazard.
This is a great value dog food and it has benefitted adult dogs and elderly alike in the reviews. Pups that have been reluctant to eat other brands adore this mix and even look for a second bowl. Weight gain is also easy with this provision. Negative reviews comment on finding bugs in their dog food when buying from certain websites.
7. VICTOR Professional Formula Dry Dog Food
Victor dog food offers us their nutrient-dense dog foods. Their protein substances include beef, pork, and chicken. This brand has researched the right ingredients for a good immune system as well as a healthy digestive tract. This can help your dog defecate normally and avoid getting ill.
DogFoodAdvisor gave this product the highest rating they give because of how impressed they were. This mix also combines prebiotics, probiotics, selenium yeast, and mineral complexes to create a healthy balance for your dog. They also advertise that this mix is great for pregnant dogs and lactating bitches.
Owners of dogs that are immunocompromised mention how this dog food has aided in their dogs gaining weight among them being more active and happy. Unfortunately, some dogs seem to have little interest in consuming this brand and will often ignore it looking for treats. Others will pick food toppers off this mix and leave the main meal.
8. Crave with Salmon & Ocean Fish Protein
This dry dog food by Crave comes in two main, meaty flavors of chicken and beef. This means if your dog has the common allergy of chicken, just buy the beef version! Choose from the 4, 12, and 22 pound food bag sizes. Made with a massive protein content of 34%, this dog food is ideal for building muscle mass.
Not only that, but this mix is grain-free and has ‘no chicken by-Product meal, no corn, wheat, or soy protein, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives’. This dog food can also be used for any sized dog and any breed, your dog qualifies for this mix.
Owners have noticed that their dogs are defecating less but eating the same amount of food as before they gave their dog this mix. Therefore, they deem that more of this mix is digestible and therefore your dog is benefiting more from Crave. Users have commented that the bags have arrived ripped sometimes.
9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed
Wilderness dog food by Blue Buffalo offer a high-protein dog food specially made for puppies. This mix is both wheat-free and soy-free and offers a protein source of chicken. Recommendations of this brand state to feed this to large breeds of dog.
Different fatty acids found in your pup’s mother’s milk are included in this mix to aid with their transition to adult food. Blue Buffalo have included their LifeSource Bits formula into this mix, a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by dog professionals.
One review loves how this mix is not only brilliant for puppies, but those with sensitive stomachs. This prevents breeder’s puppies from getting ill, which is of big consequence with young individuals. Customers complain that the bags bought online are of much lower quality than the ones bought in store.
10. American Journey Landmark Plateau Blend with Angus Beef
American Journey presents their antibiotic-free, USA-raised Angus beef dog food. A variety of protein types are provided in each mix for varied tastes and amino acids. Making the consumption wonderful for your dog, and the food great for your pup’s health.
This mix has 70% naturally-sourced proteins and fats for your dog to enjoy. Furthermore, a multitude of omega fatty acids have been provided to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. The bag also comes with a recommended feeding guide for adult dogs weight 3 to 100 pounds.
Described as fresh and tasty by one user, dogs love this flavor and owners adore its high-quality. Different breeds and sizes of dogs all flock to try some of this delicious kibble. However, some have complained about the price of this dog food.
High-Protein Dog Foods – FAQs
Do you find yourself to still have some questions about high-protein dog food? Don’t fret! We have answered the four most searched questions about high-protein dog food below.
Is a High-Protein Dog Food Good for Dogs?
High-protein dog food holds many benefits for dogs. Just be sure that they are getting a balanced diet and are receiving the right amount of protein for their age, breed, and weight. High-protein dog foods should have around 30% of protein for your dog. Therefore, if the percentage amount is hugely increased from this percentage, it can be worrying. Be sure to look more into dog nutrition here to know what your dog needs.
What is the Best Dog Food Recommended by Vets?
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog foods recommended by vets. Not only that, but dog nutritionists have also helped to develop its formula. So you can rest easy knowing your dog is getting good quality.
What are the Top 10 Best Dog Foods?
This all depends on what you need. Find a list below of some of the best dog food reviews we have done. Here are the top 10 best:
There are a lot of different dog foods to consider, make sure to take a good look at everything before making a purchase.
What Is High-Quality Protein for Dogs?
High-quality protein for dogs is protein from a reliable source that has no additives, hormones, or by-products. It also means that the meat has come from animals that have been well fed and cared for.
Consider your individual, their needs, and traits before a purchase. There are many brilliant brands to consider, but be sure to avoid all brands that do not possess the quality your dog deserves.