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Protein Powders for Dogs – Types, Safety, Dosage & Reviews

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Protein powders for dogs are powdered supplements formulated to optimize a dog's nutrition using different amino acids.
  • They are commonly given to athletic dogs as they help build and maintain muscle strength.
  • The best protein powders for dogs are safe to consume and do not contain additives.
  • Choosing supplements with high bioavailability ensures that dogs can extract the maximum benefits from them.
  • Protein powders for dogs are only necessary for certain breeds with lean muscle mass as an important factor.
  • Flavored protein powder is not recommended for dogs, especially chocolate or cocoa-based flavors, due to added chemicals and additives.
  • Protein is essential for muscle growth and is considered the building block of tissues.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Highly educated researcher and DVM with extensive experience in Clinical VetMedicine, Veterinary Nano Medicine, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Wednesday 6 March 2019
Last updated on
Monday 6 November 2023
whey proteins for dogs
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Protein powders for dogs are protein supplements in the form of a powder formulated to optimize a dog’s nutrition using different amino acids. Protein powder for dogs is also commonly referred to as whey protein for dogs and generally given to athletic dogs.

Indeed, amino acids help build and maintain muscle strength in the canine species. Protein powders for dogs replace the protein that is normally found in the foods they eat or drink. The best protein powders are the ones that are safe to consume and do not contain additives and are commonly found in protein shakes for dogs.


Digestion plays a major part in dog nutrition. The extent to which any nutrient found in the body is ready for assimilation is an important factor when it comes to supplementing your dogs with protein powders.

Proteins, just like any other macro or micronutrient are not fully digested and some go to waste. The best supplements are those in which most of the contents ingested are fully digested in the body and then fully processed without losing any of its remains. When the protein supplements, especially whey protein for dogs, can fully be recognized in the body to do their work, the more dogs can extract the benefits.


Protein powders for dogs are extremely safe to administer to dogs. Many humans take it for the same reasons and benefits that dogs do. They are totally safe, of course, when you are diligent and take the extra care in not giving too much, especially at one time. Some people may get carried away and feed their dogs too much protein.

Protein is essential in a dog diet, but supplementation is not the best way to maintain their health. They are not miracle workers, as many people may presume. They will do their part but they are not a cure for all. You should always consider the total amount of proteins in the dog’s diet, aggregating the meals, the snacks, and the supplements as a sum.

Benefits of Protein Powders for Dogs

The benefits of giving dogs whey protein are not valuable for every dog owner. Using a protein supplement is ideal for hard-working dogs and other highly active breeds. A regular home pet would not benefit much from more proteins in their diet.

Muscle building

Protein is essential for muscle growth. Technically, muscles will not build and continue to grow without protein in the diet. Protein is an integral part of the dog’s physical body. Comprising of 20 amino acids, it is considered the building block of the tissues. Additionally, protein is constantly being broken down in the body so new protein molecules need to be introduced.

Muscle recovery

Not only is protein for dogs an important factor in the building of muscle, but also in the recovery as well. They help the muscles repair after exercise. Just like when humans go to the gym and work out, the muscles of a dog can begin to wear and tear as well due to overactivity or lack of nutrition. The added protein benefits in protein powder or protein shake for a dog will assist in the recovery process of the muscles as well.

Lean mass gains

Protein supplements are not only used to gain muscle or to recover from muscle loss and weariness. Lean mass protein is also very beneficial, especially when one is looking to lose weight or maintain it. Lean mass gains can help one achieve a healthy gain in mass without unnecessary body fat added on. This results in quality weight and muscle mass gain.

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Check out our American Bully guide for owners and breeders.

Disadvantages of Protein Powders for Dogs

Whey proteins for dogs are only worth it for owners for bully breeds and other breeds in which the lean muscle mass plays an important role (Greyhounds, GSD, farm dogs, weight pulling dogs, etc). But here are some clear disadvantages of using powdered proteins for your pets.

Cost factor

As much as protein powders for dogs are a beneficial addition to a dog’s diet, it also has its downsides. For one, protein powders can prove to be quite expensive, especially when compared to other food types. When one looks at the cost factor of a protein supplement, one has to decide at that point if it is really worth the buy. Since protein powders are not necessary, many do not see the inherent need in spending the extra money.


Protein supplements, powders, and shakes are just what they are: protein. Therefore, supplementing on just these products alone is not going to do any good for your dog’s overall health. It is very unbalanced. Basically, it’s only protein and it does not offer much, or any for that matter, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that the body needs. Additionally, there are no fats and carbs that are also part of a healthy overall diet plan.

Expectation management

A lot of dog owners and breeders will make the mistake of believing that these protein supplements are going to “magically” do the trick. They erroneously believe that the powder will make their dogs as strong and muscular as they would have initially hoped for them to be.

However, the truth is, that is not always the case. Due to this, many dog owners end up cutting some slack on exercising thinking that the powders will do all the work. Supplements are meant to assist, not do the entire job.


Whether a protein supplement for dogs is going to make any difference is determined not only in the type but in the dosage. Considering the right dosage for your dog depends on the dog’s body weight. A great point to keep in mind is that for every kilogram of body weight, a dog would need two grams of animal protein. This is in reference to a high-quality kind of protein. This general rule is applied as a daily dosage. Obviously, this also depends on the supplement you use and its concentration in protein content per serving as well.

During the growth phase of an animal, the amount will have to be greater. After six months, the demand begins to lessen, so for a young puppy, the intake will be about twice as large as an adult until 40% of its adult weight is eventually reached.

Types of Protein Powders for Dogs

There are many forms of protein powders found on the market today. These come in different types and packages all formulated to provide different benefits.

Whey Protein for Dogs

Whey is a type of protein is made from coagulated milk during the cheese production phase. This is the process from milk to whey isolate protein powder. Obviously, whey protein for dogs is not a type of protein that is found in nature or in the body as most other proteins are found.

Therefore, having whey protein in your dog’s diet is not a good idea as it is merely void of the right protein substance their body normally thrives on. These extra protein supplements are just not needed due to the fact that dogs do not need to lift weights as humans do. They just need to keep active, not maintain their muscle mass.

Yes, dogs need protein, but the reality is, they should be deriving their protein requirements through natural means, not through these processed mechanisms.

Casein Protein for Dogs

Casein protein for dogs, like whey protein, is derived from cow’s milk. It is a high-quality protein. These types of proteins contain all the essential amino acids that your dog needs.

Furthermore, they are easily absorbed and digested as well. During the cheese-making process, the acids and enzymes cause the casein in the milk to coagulate. This means it separates from a liquid state to a solid state. The curds can be dried to make protein powders for supplements.

The peptides in casein protein are known to enhance the immune system and digestion, as well as helps reduce blood clots by systematically lowering the blood pressure. They are also beneficial in carrying minerals throughout the body such as phosphorus and calcium. This ultimately assists in the digestion process of the animal.

Muscle Gain and Recovery Powders

The muscle gains and recovery powders make up the “other” category of protein powders. Generally speaking, this is fabricated through the mixing up of protein sources – e.g. milk protein powder, pea protein, fish proteins, soybean proteins, etc.

Diversity is always good, however, in this sense, digestibility can be slower or less efficient as a result of these processes. In other words, this is not a means to provide the protein supplementation and nutrition for your dog in its most natural form, therefore, not the best.

Additionally, most of these are most likely using different sources of proteins simply to cut costs.

isolate whey protein for dogs
Always favorite the proteins with the least additives, preservatives, flavorings, and chemicals.

Top 5 Best Protein Powders for Dogs

Cutting through the noise during your research phase will take time so here are our favorite best protein powders for dogs reviewed. They are all healthy and well-formulated.

Make sure you check your pick’s instructions for dosage.

1. Bully Max Ultimate Canine Supplement

The ultimate canine supplement on the market, the protein supplement made by Bully Max has gained a lot of attention due to its performance strength. The Bully Max protein powder for dogs assists in building muscle, maximizing their growth, and boosting overall health. This supplement works for all breeds of dogs for ages 7 weeks and older. It is completely 100% safe and does not produce any side effects. This set also conveniently comes with Gorilla Max Combo supplement tablets. Both work together to speed recovery and raise the health and immunity of your pets.

This combo set that you get on your purchase comes with a Bully Max 60-day supply and 30 complete servings of Gorilla Max. The Bully Max is made with the best 19 muscle-building ingredients for all the major muscles in the body including manganese, lysine, methionine, histidine, and much more. Your dogs will benefit from a higher metabolism, a stronger immune system, and better vision.

The formulated package also helps to nourish bones and strengthen tendons. According to users, Bully Max has helped in a number of ways including the treatment and healing of various ailments such as a tear in the cranial cruciate ligament and ACL injuries. It has proved its worthiness for athletic dogs as well.

2. Muscle Bully Protein Powder

The Muscle Bully protein powder for dogs is great nutritional support for your dog. It is formulated specifically for muscle development and recovery. It helps in body composition and performance and helps maintain overall balanced health.

You can now turn any kibble into a high-protein meal dog food. Build your dog’s muscle definition and size with this mighty supplement that contains all of the beneficial amino acids your dog needs. This includes alanine, glutamic acid, arginine, and much more. This exclusive product includes beef bone broth for a punch of powerful flavor your pet will love. The Muscle Bully is great for nails, skin, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

It aids in immunity, helps support joint health, detoxifies the liver, and engages the gastro tract to work at its maximum. For younger puppies, this protein powder for dogs is a top choice for helping them in their growth phase.

3. BSN Amino X Muscle Recovery & Endurance Powder

The Amino X protein supplement for dogs is an amino acid interfusion. Containing 10 grams of micronized amino acids per serving, the Amino X is designed to enhance your dog’s performance and give him maximized recovery. This dietary supplement for dogs comes in a delicious watermelon flavor for your dog’s enjoyment and is sugar-free.

With 30 services contained in one bottle, the Amino X supplement with its high-level amino acids gives that extra support after strenuous activity for the rebuilding of the muscles. With the inclusion of the BCAAs in this patented formula, dogs can push harder and train longer as performances are taken to the next level. It mixes easy and it does not clump as other powders can and can always be bought in 8 other flavors.

4. Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

This ultimate protein powder for dogs by Isopure is a 100% Whey protein isolate. This protein supplement contains zero sugar and comes in seven different wonderous flavors including cookies & cream so your dogs won’t get bored. These flavors allow you to create some dynamic recipes. Dog owners can choose from low-carb options for their pets to choosing zero carbs. Weighing in at 1.36 kgs, the Isopure protein powder contains 25 grams of protein from the whey protein isolate per one scoop of serving.

This blend comes with added vitamins and minerals including magnesium, L-glutamine, vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc, and niacin. It also comes as gluten as well as lactose-free for more sensitive dog breeds. The Isopure is made with a complete microfiltration process designed by the manufacturers resulting in a unique clear milk protein when dissolved in water.

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder

This Optimum Nutrition designed for dogs is a top seller on today’s market due to its high-quality ingredients. This gold standard protein powder comes in five flavors including the natural french vanilla. Manufactured with 100% casein protein, this slow-acting protein delivers the goods while maintaining its benefits. The benefits of casein include delivering branched-chain amino acids to the muscles that are in recovery for up to eight hours. The Optimum Nutrition protein powder is made exclusively with micellar casein. It contains no artificial flavors, synthetic colors, or sweeteners so you can expect a more natural quality to your pet’s supplements. There are 24 grams of slowly digested protein per serving.

For best results, use this protein powder between meals that will help support satiety in your dog or it can also be used before bedtime hours as his PM protein. The slow digestive protein works great at night while the body is at rest. The casein is acid sensitive and able to thicken in the stomach. There are nearly five grams of the naturally occurring BCAAs per scoop and it is made in GMP certified ON owned and operated facilities.

Protein Powders for Dogs – Types, Safety, Dosage & Reviews
Protein Powders for Dogs – Types, Safety, Dosage & Reviews

Protein Powder for Dogs – FAQ

We thought we should round up these common questions about whey for pets with some quick answers.

Can I give flavored protein powder to my dog?

No, this is something that is not generally recommended in the canine community. This is especially true for chocolate or cocoa-based flavors. Instead, opt for isolated whey protein supplements with absolutely no flavoring whatsoever.

A lot of dog owners believe that there isn’t enough flavor in the protein powders normally formulated for dogs and try to compensate with fun flavors but that is not the way to go. One must take into consideration the number of chemicals and additives that are added to these flavored proteins powders and shakes. These forms are anything but natural and can actually do more harm than intended. Therefore, although you can give flavored protein to a dog, you shouldn’t.

Can I give human protein powder to my dog?

Yes, you can give human protein powder to your dog. Protein is protein basically. Proteins and amino acids are the same actually for both humans and dogs. They act the same way in both species as well as provide the same benefits for both. However, they do differ in the essential amino acids for each.

Furthermore, they are different in that they do not act in sync according to the same dosage. This is due to obvious reasons of course. Dosages in humans can be an outrageous number when given the same dosage for dogs, for example. You must consider the weight of both individuals, a dog’s weight compared to its human counterpart. Also, body mass and muscular frames all come into play.

Can dogs overdose by eating too much protein?

It is possible that dogs can take “too much” protein if it is the only source of nutrients they are consuming and nothing else. Although protein is an essential building block for dog bodies and is a must-have in any balanced diet, it can have its side effects if not taken correctly.

Overdoing it on protein may be an issue if the protein is not digestible. A lot of the brands on the markets today come with fillers that are not as easy on the digestive tract. Essentially, both the quality and the type of protein can cause an uneasy feeling in a dog. Not all protein supplements and powders are created equal. In order to avoid trouble, the protein needs to be of a good quality source.

Are protein powders good for dogs?

Yes. For the most part, protein powder is good for dogs in a general sense but it is depending on the dosage. As long as the dosage is correct for their weight and size, they will be able to retain the benefits from these supplements. It may not benefit all dogs, though. Generally, only active dogs and the muscular type breeds would greatly benefit from dog protein powders in order to gain lean mass and thereby, boosting their muscle recovery.

Is protein powder safe for dogs?

Absolutely, protein powders are safe for dogs. Always keep in mind to not give dogs too much of these protein powders, however. And always provide a lot of water to your pet throughout the day to prevent risks and dehydration.

The most common mistake dog owners make is overdoing it on protein shakes for dogs. A dog’s digestive system is smaller in size than humans and due to this, they may respond poorly to these powders when given too much. Whey protein, in particular, is not always healthy for dogs. It is recommended to stick to more natural sources of protein.

Protein powder for dogs is a great alternative when dogs are not able to obtain their nutritional protein through other means.

Is there lactose in protein powders for dogs?

No, there is no lactose in protein powders for dogs. Isolate proteins are isolating the proteins from the carbs and fats. In this case, lactose is a carb. With that said, giving isolated protein powder to dogs is ok as a general rule since it contains no lactose. Many assume since whey protein is a byproduct of cheese, naturally, it is going to contain lactose. However, studies show that isolate protein actually contains less than 1% of lactose.

So, your dogs can consume pure whey isolate protein without worrying about anything and they won’t have a lactose intolerant reaction. To be on the safe side, however, always read the labels of the protein powders you purchase for your pets.

A lot of dog breeders working with weight pulling dogs (e.g. American Bullies, APBT) email us asking questions about giving their working athlete dogs some extra protein.

One comment on “Protein Powders for Dogs – Types, Safety, Dosage & Reviews”

  1. Sita

    How about collagen protein?
    My pug is weakened from ataxia and resulting little exercise over years and weak muscles she is now going to the chiropractor straightening her spine and I think protein powder could help with making her muscles stronger 🌟❤️which would be best?
    Thank you

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