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The 11 Best High-Protein Dog Foods

Just like people, various sorts of dogs benefit from different kinds of diets. Most dogs do not require a high-protein diet, although puppies, athletic dogs, and pregnant or nursing dogs can thrive on protein-rich meals.

Finding the right high-protein dog food for any of these types of dogs can do a lot to help them stay healthy and improve their overall quality of life.

Before beginning a high-protein diet, we advise that you check with your veterinarian. Dogs can only consume a certain quantity of protein for tissue repair and muscular growth; any surplus is turned into energy or stored as fat.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has reviews of some of the best high-protein dog foods to help you make a decision.

Continue reading and consult our buyer's guide in order to get the ideal food for man's best friend.

Reviews

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages – Best Overall

 

 

  • 36% crude protein (39.5%-43.5% dry matter)
  • Type of Protein: poultry meal, millet, chicken liver, and dry egg product

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is the greatest overall high-protein dog food that we carry. In this recipe, chicken meal and millet are the key components, while vegetables and fruits are minor.

In addition to the high-quality ingredients, this mix is loaded with the vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that every active dog requires to flourish. Nature’s Logic has an excellent reputation for producing dog food free of GMOs and artificial colors.

While Nature’s Logic is a touch more expensive than other, more common brands of dog food on the market, the majority of users were happy with how much their dogs appreciated this formula.

A few dog owners, however, reported that their canine did not enjoy this meal as much.

Pros

  • Protein-rich chicken meal is the primary component.
  • Formula contains vitamins, minerals, and probiotics by nature
  • A high crude protein content

Cons

  • A bit costly
  • Contains egg allergens

 

Crave Adult Grain-Free High-Protein Chicken Dry Dog Food – Best Value

 

 

  • 34% crude protein (40% dry matter)
  • Type of Protein: Chicken, chicken meal, and pork meal

It is not always necessary to spend a lot on high-protein dog chow. Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is the most cost-effective high-protein dog food since it includes a high amount of protein without losing quality.

In addition to chicken and pork, the recipe also calls for nutrient-dense veggies. Not made with corn, wheat, or soy. Additionally, there are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The mixture is suitable for all adult dog breeds and encourages a healthy immune system, allowing your dogs to remain active for longer.

Although this meal is suitable for many dog breeds, the kibble in this recipe tends to be on the tiny side. Therefore, smaller dog breeds will like it, however extra-large breeds may find it unsuitable since they may swallow the chunks whole.

Pros

  • Affordable source of protein
  • No synthetic flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • No wheat, corn, or soy

Cons

  • Too little for extra-large breeds is kibble

 

Puppy & Performance Dogs Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

 

 

  • 30% crude protein (33% dry matter)
  • Type of Protein: poultry meal, brown rice, and chicken fat

The Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe includes all of the ingredients necessary for a puppy’s healthy growth and development.

The formula combines a combination of quality proteins that supply your puppy with the DHA, critical vitamins, probiotics, and minerals necessary for a healthy transition into maturity.

Chicken meal and brown rice are the first two components. Both components are basic yet strong in protein content. Deboned chicken and chicken meal combined with oats and barley provide a significant amount of the protein active dogs require.

Slow cooking the dish ensures that every bite is tasty! It is a safe and dependable alternative that satisfies the demands of your developing dog.

This recipe has 20% more fat than some other dog diets, and any excess fat and protein will be stored as fat.

Pros

  • Simple ingredients
  • Includes flaxseed oil and fish oil for skin and coat health

Cons

  • A high fat content (20%)

 

Wellness CORE Original Wholesome Grains High Protein Dry Dog Food

 

 

  • 34% crude protein (37.7% dry matter).
  • Type of Protein: boneless turkey, chicken meal, and turkey meal

This recipe is a nutritious combination of actual meat and nutrient-rich additives. The first three components are poultry meat and meat meal, followed by healthful fruits and vegetables such as apples, blueberries, broccoli, and kale.

Although the recipe calls for grains, it’s oatmeal, so there’s no need to worry about carbohydrate fillers.

In addition to a nutritious combination of meat and vegetables, the recipe is supplemented with vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system and maintain healthy skin and coat.

This dish features one of the most well-considered formulations, but it comes at a cost. High-protein dog meals are typically more expensive. Nevertheless, you can feel confident that you are providing your dog a balanced and healthful diet.

Pros

  • Optimal ratio of protein to carbs
  • The first three elements are meat-based
  • No carbohydrate fillers

Cons

  • Considerably pricey

 

Pacific Catch Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Recipe Dry Salmon, Whitefish, and Trout Dog Food

 

 

  • 30% crude protein (38% dry matter)
  • Type of Protein: boneless salmon, salmon meal, and whitefish meal

This dog chow is a tasty, protein-rich composition that is ideal for fish-loving pets. It has no grains and contains no poultry, making it easier for many dogs to digest.

It comprises a combination of kibble and freeze-dried raw bits, creating a texture that is both enjoyable and engaging for dogs to chew.

Due to the abundance of fish in the recipe, dogs will ingest adequate amounts of omega fatty acids, which promote good skin and coat, decrease inflammation, and strengthen the immune system.

This dish is not at the top of our list since potatoes are prominently included on the ingredient list. We would want to see more nutritional veggies instead of these fillers.

Pros

  • Poultry-free
  • A tasty blend of kibble and freeze-dried raw treats
  • Excellent omega fatty acid source

Cons

  • Contains carbohydrate fillers

 

High-Protein Purina Beyond Organic Chicken Recipes Variety Pack Dog Food

 

 

  • 7.0% crude protein (35.0% dry matter)
  • Type of protein: organic chicken liver and organic chicken

With this dish, Purina goes above and above by using only organic meat and veggies. The first component is antibiotic- and growth hormone-free organic free-range chicken.

Additionally, each can of food has the USDA Certified Organic Seal. You may thus feel comfortable that your dog is not consuming vegetables cultivated with industrial fertilizers and pesticides.

In addition, it is devoid of artificial flavors and preservatives, maize, wheat, soy, and chicken by-products.

However, organic recipes come with some restrictions. The wet dog food in this recipe is rather pricey. Due to the absence of preservatives, it cannot remain at room temperature for more than a few hours.

Pros

  • Pure and wholesome recipe
  • Organic meat and produce
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Easily spoiled once opened
  • Considerably pricey

 

Dog Chow High Protein Wet Dog Food with Real Beef and Real Chicken in Savory Gravy Variety Pack

 

 

  • Protein content: 11% (50%).
  • Type of Protein: Chicken, Meat By-Product, and Liver

This dish has one of the greatest protein-to-dry-matter ratios, which might be beneficial for very active dogs. However, excessive protein can be harmful to a dog’s health, therefore it would be prudent to visit a veterinarian to determine if this diet is suitable for your dog.

The recipe calls for actual meat chunks coated in a tasty sauce, so dogs will find this dish irresistible. Additionally, it has no artificial flavors or preservatives.

While chicken is listed as the first ingredient in the recipe, it also contains a meat by-product, which is a fairly confusing item. It includes wheat, soy, and maize, so it may not be ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros

  • Extremely high proportion of protein
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Chicken is the primary element

Cons

  • Contains a meat derivative
  • Includes wheat, soybeans, and corn

 

Dry dog food from Diamond Naturals named Extreme Athlete Formula

 

 

  • Crude Protein: 32% (as dry matter: 35.5%)
  • Type of protein: chicken meal, poultry, chicken fat, pearl barley

Extreme Athlete Formula by Diamond Naturals is a wonderful option for dogs who are always on the go. This recipe is loaded with protein, since it contains chicken, chicken meal, rice, and barley.

This mix of ingredients, including kale, chia seeds, and blueberries, will provide your dog with the daily vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants he or she requires.

Customers frequently commended Diamond Naturals, claiming that their dogs enjoy the flavor.

However, not all dogs have the same taste preferences, and some owners reported that their pet did not enjoy this meal as much as prior brands. This product contains egg products, to which some canines are allergic.

Pros

  • Primary components are chicken and chicken meal
  • Blend of protein-rich grains
  • Enhances and supports digestive and immunological health

Cons

  • Contains egg product

 

Tiki Dog Meaty Grain-Free High Protein Chicken Dog Food

 

 

  • Protein content: 14% (70% dry matter)
  • Chicken, chicken broth, and duck are examples of protein sources

This protein-rich meal is a tasty and simple solution for small-breed dog owners. Each portion is carefully packaged in cups to make serving effortless and convenient.

The first three ingredients are chicken, and the dish contains neither wheat nor carbohydrates. However, dogs do require a certain quantity of carbs in their diets.

This recipe has no vegetables, thus it is not the most nutritionally balanced dish. Therefore, it is likely that you will need to supplement your dog’s diet with additional natural substances.

Pros

  • Excellent protein content
  • No grains
  • Convenient packing

Cons

  • Not a nutritious meal
  • Unique to petite dog breeds

How to Select the Most Beneficial High Protein Dog Food

Not all high-protein dog foods offer nutritious, high-quality ingredients. When selecting for this sort of dog food, you should bear in mind the following characteristics.

Protein Content

Dogs require a minimum of 18% protein in their diet, and closer to 22% protein for developing dogs. For dog food to qualify as a high-protein diet, it must include at least 30 percent protein.

On all dog food labels, the crude protein proportion shall be shown. Typically, it is located on the back near the ingredient list. To evaluate various diets on an equal footing, you must compute protein as a proportion of dry matter.

This accounts for the substantial difference in moisture content between wet and dry diets. Wet diets will always have a low crude protein value, hence this figure must be converted to dry matter.

As a reminder, the presence of more protein does not automatically indicate that a dog food mix is superior. It depends on your dog’s specific requirements, and much protein might be harmful.

Life stage, health circumstances, and amount of physical activity all influence protein needs. Working with a veterinarian is the best approach to discover the right protein proportion for your dog.

Protein Grade

In addition to obtaining dog food with a high crude protein content, it is as necessary to evaluate the protein quality. The first item in the ingredient list should be a designated animal protein, such as chicken, beef, or salmon.

It is okay to use beef meal as a supplementary component, but keep in mind that there is more than one way to make it.

Avoid picking foods that include meat meal as the primary component. Important is the biological value (BV) of the protein, which is the quantity that can be digested, absorbed, and used by the body to produce its own proteins. There are tables of biological values available for comparing sources.

Dry vs Wet Food

Both dry and wet dog food recipes contain nutritious nutrients, therefore one is not always superior to the other. It will mostly depend on your own tastes and your dog’s preferences when picking dry versus wet food for your dog.

Hard Food

There are several advantages to dry food. Dry food is often less expensive than wet food, and each kibble is filled with critical nutrients.

If you are unable to feed your dog at specified mealtimes, you may keep dry food out for longer without worrying about food poisoning or insects.

Because the chewy and crunchy texture of kibbles prevents plaque development, dry food is also a preferable alternative for dogs with dental concerns.

However, it is difficult to obtain dry dog food with straightforward ingredients. The kibbles must maintain their form, hence various binding agents and starches are used in the mix.

Therefore, it may be more difficult to locate suitable dry food recipes for dogs with food sensitivities and allergies.

Dry dog food is also very low in moisture, so you must take additional precautions to ensure that your dog stays hydrated and drinks enough water.

Wet Food

Let’s begin with the axiomatic. Wet food contains far more water than dry food, so you should not be as concerned about your dog’s hydration. It is also more fragrant, which may make it more appealing to dogs with discerning tastes.

Additionally, it will be easy to locate moist food with a basic ingredient list. Some dog meals may thicken their gravy with a starch, such as tapioca or potato starch. However, there are some recipes that exclude additional carbohydrates.

Wet food is also a fantastic alternative for dogs who need to maintain a healthy weight because it normally contains less fat and calories than dry food. Because wet dog food cannot be left out for lengthy periods of time, it is also easier to monitor their food consumption.

If you have a hectic schedule and are unable to feed your dog at regular intervals, wet food will be an inconvenient alternative. Even when refrigerated, a can or package of moist food has a limited shelf life once it has been opened.

Wet food can both benefit and harm older pets. Because it is softer, it is less difficult to chew and digest. However, if your dog is prone to tooth rot, moist food can do greater damage to their teeth, particularly if they do not receive regular dental care.

Conclusion

Based on our assessments, Nature’s Reasonable Chicken Meal is the best overall protein-rich dog food. It has a high proportion of crude protein and high-quality components. Its reasonable pricing is an advantage.

The Crave High-Protein Chicken Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food comes in second due to its reasonable pricing without sacrificing quality.

Some dog breeds can benefit greatly from high-protein diets, but modification is necessary. Ensure that your dog receives the appropriate amount of protein by discussing their diet with your veterinarian on a frequent basis.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our visitors for visiting our website to learn about and research the best high-protein dog foods. We hope that you have selected a protein-rich diet for your dog.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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