Best High Protein Dog Foods
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Below, we offer a detailed overview of each of these high protein dog food options, including the ingredients featured in each one, what we like about them, and what pet parents have had to say. Each of the high protein formulas featured in this review are made by highly regarded manufacturers and contain premium quality ingredients.
If youre on the market for high protein dog food and you dont know what to choose, weve compiled a list of the top five high protein dog food options that are currently on the market.
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High Protein Dog Food And Food Allergies
Grains and gluten often get a bad rap for causing allergies and skin problems in dogs. The truth, according to Tufts, is that food allergies in dogs are relatively rare occurrences. What’s more, when they do happen, the culprit is usually meat. Tufts lists proteins found in chicken and beef as two of the most common causes of dog food allergies. So while high-protein, grain-free dog foods are sometimes touted as a remedy for allergies, they can actually make things worse if you don’t know exactly what your dog is allergic to.
What Are The Best Sources Of Protein For Dogs
Chicken and beef are the best and most commonly used protein sources for dogs. However, dog food brands use a wider specter of meats. Here is a list of some of the best protein sources:
- Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, quail, and poultry
- Red meat: beef, pork, venison, lamb, and bison
- Fish: salmon, herring, whitefish, and trout.
In addition to meat, some dog food recipes use plant-based protein sources such as:
- Legumes: peas, chickpeas, soy
- Grains: quinoa, buckwheat, oats.
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Merrick Classic Healthy Grains High Protein Formula
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Merrick Classic product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Growth
- Best For:All puppies
- Other recipes: Real Beef, Real Chicken, Real Lamb, Small Breed Recipe, Senior Recipe, Healthy Weight and others
This Merrick Classic product derives the bulk of its animal content from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis shows the food contains 31% protein, 18% fat and 43% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
A top-rated dry puppy food thats completely based on a safe, proven grain-inclusive design. Contains no legumes.
What Should You Look For On The Label Of High
Remember, a label may say high-protein but theres a deeper method to the madnessand youll need to pay attention to the fine print. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials , there are four classifications that labels must follow if they are to claim a certain percentage of protein. They are:
The 100% Rule:
Its just as it sounds. For example, to make the claim of all-chicken treats, the food must be just that, with trace amounts of water, coloring, or preservatives.
The 95% Rule:
A dog food can name it in its productBuffys Chicken Meals, for examplebut only if the ingredient named constitutes 95% of the product by weight, excluding water.
The 25% Rule:
When you see labels like Matties Lamb Entree or Poultry Platter for Puppies for example, where words like entreedinner or platter are present, that means the named ingredients must make up at least 25% of the product by weight, not including added water, and at least 10% of the total product by weight.
The With Rule:
Anytime you see with on a labelCountry Cowboy Meal with Chicken and Beefmeans each named ingredient, in this case, chicken and beef, constitute 3% of the total.
The Flavor Rule:
Whenever you see, for example, lamb-flavored dog food, that means one of the listed ingredients is providing the flavor.
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Consider The Breed Of Dog
When it comes to creating a healthy diet for your dog, one of the most important things to consider is the breed of dog. Different breeds have different dietary needs and feeding your dog the wrong type of food can lead to health problems. For example, dogs that are bred for hunting or working need a lot of protein in their diet to support their active lifestyles. On the other hand, breeds like bulldogs or basset hounds who are bred for companion purposes dont need as much protein and can actually suffer from health problems if they eat too much. There are many commercially available diets designed specifically for dogs of all breeds and ages, but you can also create a custom diet by mixing together superfood products from Badlands along with other healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables.
Overall, creating a healthy diet for your dog is important in order to maintain their overall health and well-being. There are many different tips that can be followed in order to create a balanced and nutritious diet for your pup, such as ensuring they are getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals, as well as incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet. By following these tips, you can help your dog stay healthy and active for years to come.
About Zipporah Sandler
Zipporah Sandler AKA Zippy is a lifestyle and travel specialist who after living everywhere from Providence to Paris found herself suddenly residing in South Florida .
Performance Dog Raw Food
Though performance kibbles are few and far between, many high-quality raw dog foods work well as performance diets because they are naturally high in protein and moderately high in fat.
The type of diet does matter. Look for diets where 80% or more of the protein comes from animal ingredients. This will ensure a protein and fat-rich feast that will support your dogs muscle maintenance and energy requirements.
Check out some of the top raw dog food brands to find a performance diet for your dog:
This raw brand hails from our neighbours in Saskatchewan. Using locally sourced ingredients, Carnivora offers whole prey raw diets in a large variety of proteins allowing you to customize your dogs diet to suit their dietary needs.
Big Country Raw
Using fresh and high-quality ingredients sourced from local Canadian farmers and ranchers, Big Country Raw offers an extensive line of complete raw meals, customizable diets, and natural supplements to support the health of canines.
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Why Is Feeding A High Protein Dog Food Is Important And Healthy For Your Dog
When high quality meat-based proteins such as turkey, chicken or salmon are included at increased amounts into a dogs diet this can deliver nutrition that is tailored to how a dog was meant to eat to vitalize their wellbeing:
- As a key macro nutrient, dietary protein is essential for the growth and for the maintenance of almost all tissues in a dogs body.
- Protein works to supply the amino acids necessary for the dogs body to build hair, skin, muscles, cartilage, tendons and ligaments
- Protein makes up the enzymes that drive all metabolic reactions, the hormones that act as the bodys chemical messengers and antibodies that comprise the immune system to help keep dogs healthy.
- Protein helps ensure a soft and shiny coat, lean, strong muscles and strong immune systems
- Protein helps your pup love every bite of their food to ensure bowls are always empty.
When meat rich proteins are included in higher amounts in dogs diets, a dog will not only look great but feel great too.
High Protein Dog Food
Dog foods marketed as high in animal protein tend to take advantage of the common perception of dogs as domesticated wolves. Dogs are not wolves. They not only have the means to digest plant matter, but their digestive systems are equipped to access the amino acids in plant-based proteins. According to Petfood Industry, it’s not the amount of protein in a dog’s diet that is important, but the digestibility and bioavailability of amino acids. Often, high-protein, meat-based dog foods include protein sources that are neither highly digestible nor bioavailable to your dog. Unused protein ferments and goes into fecal matter, making your dog’s solid waste stinkier, says Petfood Industry.
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How Much Protein Is Too Much
While there are many dog foods that are marketed specifically as being high protein, others may appear to be very broad-based products but still actually contain dangerous amounts. For this reason, it is important to check food labels carefully so that you can be sure you pick a brand that has moderate protein levels. For your information:
- Food with more than 30% protein is considered high
- Food containing between 21% 29% are considered moderate
- Food with less than 20% protein is low and is usually only available by prescription for those dogs who have medical issues that dictate that they need a particularly low protein diet.
Getting your dogs nutrition right is essential if he is to enjoy a long, healthy, and active life. If you arent sure which is the best food to feed your dog, or if you have further questions about high protein diets, please do not hesitate to seek the advice of our friendly veterinary team today at 951-676-4690.
Is My Dog Getting Too Much Protein
In humans, excessive amounts of protein can lead to kidney disease. A kidney disease is any condition that causes the kidneys to stop functioning correctly. However, kidney diseases in dogs may be hereditary or may come from chemicals, toxins, or even cancer.
According to Dr. Kenneth C. Bovée, professor emeritus of medicine in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, there have been some studies over the years that debunk the assumption that too much protein causes renal damage in dogs. In his study, Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function, Dr. Bovée states that the following assumptions are myths:
Increased protein intake increases urea, which causes the kidneys to work much harder.
A diet rich in protein damages a dog’s kidneys.
A diet rich in protein causes hyperkalemia, which means high levels of potassium in the blood.
A diet rich in protein causes acidosis.
Protein intake increases toxins.
Reducing protein in the diet will slow down the deterioration of the kidneys.
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High Protein Raw Dog Food
One of the benefits of raw dog food is that is high protein and low carb by nature. Even raw diets that contain fruits, vegetables, or even grains still will offer more protein and fewer carbs than an average kibble diet.
Depending on the style of the raw diet, you can opt for even higher protein content by choosing a whole prey diet that limits or excludes carbs. Look for a raw diet with a very high animal inclusion to guarantee that your dog will get plenty of protein and other vital nutrients to support weight and activity.
Here are a few awesome raw brands that are high in protein:
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw
All the benefits of raw without jamming up your freezer. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dinners contain 95% meat bone and organ, providing your pooch with plenty of easily digestible protein and calories.
By crafting diets that are species and biologically appropriate, Iron Will raw dog food is a great option for raw feeders looking for high protein and low carb. They offer both complete and balanced low-carb meals and customizable raw that you can supplement to suit your unique pooch.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Next up on our list of the best dog food brands Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Blue Buffalo dog food is one of the most trusted brands, and for good reason: the manufacturer hand selects the ingredients that are used in each formula to ensure optimal nutrition. If your pet requires a high protein, grain free dog food, then this is an excellent formula to consider.
The first ingredient featured in this formula is deboned beef, which is an excellent source of protein. It also features chicken meal, a natural source of glucosamine, a nutrient that is important for healthy muscles and joints. Instead of using corn, wheat, and soy as carbohydrates , Blue Buffalo uses peas, barley grass, sweet potatoes, and other natural and easy to digest carbs, so if your pet needs a dog food for sensitive stomachs, this recipe is a great option. A bevy of fruits and vegetables, like cranberries, blueberries, dried kelp, and potatoes are also featured. Its also infused with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, copper, taurine, calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins. Lastly, like all other dry dog food from Blue Buffalo, this recipe features Life Source Bits, which contain a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
What We Like About It
Reasons to Complain
- The price is a bit on the high side
- Some customers said that they think the formula they ordered online is different from what they purchase in the store
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Choose The Right Food For Your Dogs Age And Activity Level
A healthy diet is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for puppies and senior dogs. Puppies need a diet that is high in protein and calcium to help them grow, while senior dogs need a diet that is low in fat and salt to prevent health problems. In addition to age, you also need to consider your dogs activity level when creating a diet. A high-activity dog needs more food than a sedentary dog, while a pregnant or nursing dog needs more food than usual. Dogs who are overweight should be fed a lower-calorie diet, while dogs who are underweight should be given a higher-calorie diet. There are many different types of food available for dogs, so its important to choose the right one for your pet. Wet food contains more moisture than dry food and is therefore better for dogs with urinary tract problems.
High Protein For Puppies
You can also feed puppies high protein diets as long as long as you are feeding a good puppy food or all life stage food. You do need to pay close attention to the calcium percentages when dealing with high protein foods and puppies.
The calcium percentage needs to be 2 percent or less for large breed puppies under six months of age. Large breed puppies, in particular, can grow very fast. They can be susceptible to skeletal and joint problems if they have too much calcium at a young age.
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Myth: Dont Feed Dogs Pork
But then I started to wonder why so few commercial foods contained pork. Some rumors include suggestions that porks high fat content will cause pancreatitis in dogs , that it contains something toxic to dogs livers , that pigs eat disgusting things including bugs , and that pig meat is hard to come by .
A few dog food companies do offer pork-based foods. Its scarcity may simply be because so many parts of a pig are used for human consumption that snouts and feet and such dont make it to the dog food plant. And because of the possibility of trichinosis in uncooked pork, nobody is going to suggest it as a great raw-food ingredient.
According to Eagle Pack staff veterinarian Al Townshend, DVM, Pork is a highly digestible animal protein, an excellent source of amino acids, and a unique protein source that not all pets are typically exposed to. Its less likely to cause an allergic reaction that some pets may have to other proteins. We recommend pork as a protein because it contains more calories per pound.
High Protein For Adult Dogs
Today many grain free dog foods are particularly high in protein. Some of the protein comes from meat protein but often some of the protein comes from peas and lentils.
Your dog can benefit from plant-sources of protein but dogs do not digest these sources of protein as well as animal-based sources. This was one of the complaints about using grains in dog foods they are also a plant-based source of protein as well as a source of carbohydrates, just like legumes.
Grain free dog foods that dont use legumes typically use starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and other carb sources.
While some of these high protein foods may have lower carbohydrates than foods with grains, they can have their own dietary issues for dogs.
If you look for foods that have more meat protein, they will generally have fewer carbohydrates, no matter the source of the carbs whether it is peas and lentils, potatoes, or grains. However, many high protein dog foods are also high in fat.
While fat is not all bad, especially for very active working dogs, its not good to see too much fat in a diet for most of our couch potato pets. If your dog is overweight or if he has problems digesting fat, look for dog foods that have slightly less fat but are still high in protein.
You dont have to choose a low calorie or weight control dog food. Just check the fat percentages and opt for a food that has slightly less fat.
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