Did you know that in the year 2020, pet parents spent more than $38 billion on their pet food and treats?
Don’t believe me? Well, I’m not saying this. It is according to a report published by the American Pet Products Association.
A high percentage of those sales include high-protein dog food in different forms such as kibble, canned, high-energy formula, and what not!
The protein requirement in your furry buddy’s diet varies depending on their temperament, life stage, age, overall health condition, activity level, and protein quality.
Now, dogs are naturally omnivorous. So, it is a no-brainer that there will be a lot of protein in their wholesome diet.
As you are reading this, then the chances are that you are looking to add some more protein in your pup’s food bowl, isn’t it?
So, which foods are the best sources of protein for your doggo? In this post, we have come up with a list of some of the best high-protein dog foods available in the pet food market.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein||• No grain|
• No preservatives
7 No artificial flavors
|Diet Dry Dog Food||• For sensitive stomach|
• Recommended by vets
• Easily digestible
|Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog||• For all dog breeds|
• Multiple flavors
• Perfect for multi-dog families
|ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food||• Different sizes.|
• Fresh and raw ingredients
|IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food||• 100% nutrition.|
• 0% fillers.
• No added preservatives.
|CRAVE Premium Adult Dog Food||• No colors|
• No grain
• 34% high protein
|Victor Dog Food Classic||• 88% protein from meat sources|
• 10% protein from grain sources
• 2% protein from veggies and plants
What is High-Protein Dog Food?
Before I give you the best high-protein dog food list, it is important to note what I mean by high-protein dog food.
According to Dr. Crissy Alstott, AskVet’s director of veterinary operations, “A high-protein diet can help provide the essential amino acids their bodies need to support that.”
If you give more protein in your dog’s everyday meal, they will just excrete the extra portion from their body.
So, how will you get to know if you are giving the right amount of protein to your canine companion?
Alstott explains that if the protein levels rise about 30%, it means it is high.
When you buy good quality, high-protein food, it will have a combination of plant-based and animal-based protein in its formula.
This suggests, there can be animal by-products, wheat gluten, and corn in many high-protein dog foods that are not grain-free. However, Alstott says these ingredients are not always bad for your doggo.
“By-products come from some of the most nutrient-rich organ meats like the liver, spleen, and heart. As long as a reputable manufacturer produces the food, these ingredients are an excellent and healthy source of nutrition for our pets,” she further added.
Best High-Protein Dog Foods
To make it easier for you to get your hands on the best high-protein food for your pup, I have handpicked the best ones available. Have a look!
#1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
Do you want to satisfy your pup’s natural urge to eat meat?
Well, look no further. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein dog food is all you need!
Did I tell you that this dog food comes with real chicken?
It can help build and maintain your pup’s lean muscle.
The brand has paid a lot of attention to the other ingredients in this recipe. It is made using healthy carbohydrates such as peas and sweet potatoes. This, in turn, fuels your pup’s active lifestyle.
The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also there to improve your furry buddy’s coat and skin health.
And did I tell you that this amazing dog food is grain-free?
I like the most about this product because to develop it, animal nutritionists and renowned vets have come together and carefully selected the ingredients, keeping your dog’s health in mind.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein contains minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. All these minerals are needed to support your four-legged buddy’s immune system and other needs.
I like natural food for my doggo. And this dog food from the house of Blue Wilderness provides just that! It is made with the best natural ingredients. You don’t get any chicken by-product, wheat, artificial flavors, soy, corn, and preservatives in it. And this is where it won my heart!
- It contains real chicken and not the chicken by-product.
- The finest natural ingredients are used in the making of this dog food.
- It is full of antioxidants.
- The healthy carbohydrates in it keep your pup’s tummy full in a healthy way.
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are there to take care of your dog’s coat and skin health.
- There is no wheat, soy, artificial flavors, corn, or preservatives.
- To create this recipe, the brand has taken the help of pet nutritionists and vets.
- Non-availability – most of the time, it remains out of stock in Amazon
#2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
Does your adult dog have a sensitive stomach?
Then you can give Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food a try! It is one of the best for pups with a sensitive stomach. It not only improves your pup’s digestive health but also nourishes their skin.
Did I tell you that it contains prebiotic fiber?
The brand has formulated it to be extremely digestible to provide your pup with optimal nutrient absorption. Also, it helps in easier stool passing.
Did you know that Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is filled with omega-6 fatty acids along with vitamin E?
This helps your doggo to have healthy skin and a gorgeous coat!
It is made with some of the best ingredients sourced from worldwide.
What I like the most about Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is that vets from all over the world recommend it.
- It contains prebiotic fiber, which gives a huge boost to your pup’s gut microbiome
- It improves your dog’s digestive health
- It enhances the cost of your pup
- It is formulated with some of the best ingredients sourced from all over the world
- It is vet-recommended high-protein dog food, which means you can buy it without any doubt
- It contains omega-6 fatty acids and the essential vitamin E to make your pup look good and feel good
- It is not always available on Amazon
#3. Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog
Do you have multiple dogs at home? Are you looking for a high-protein dog food that can be fed to all of your dogs?
Then the Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog is the answer!This premium dog food is perfect for families with more than one dog.
Did you know that you can get them in different flavors like turkey, chicken, and lamb?
So, this is like one product, multiple benefits. I like this the most about this pet food.
The kibbles are made nutritionally dense, keeping in mind the nutritional needs of your doggo. Your pup will fall in love with this kibble in every bite!
Did I tell you that it is free from soy, wheat, and corn?
Well, I just gave you more reasons to love this yummy dog food! It offers balanced and complete goodness for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. All you need is to get one bag of this premium grain-free dog food, and all of your dogs’ food needs are met!
What more could you ask for?
The probiotics and antioxidants in the Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog help your furry buddy to have a healthy immune and digestive system.
Also, it is rich in minerals and vitamins to support your dog’s healthy skin, coat, and joints.
Now, let me say a few words about this brand. Canidae is doing its best to create a world of goodness for dogs. Their regeneratively farmed ingredients and premium proteins are all set to provide pets with good health in every bowl. As a result, the brand is setting a new standard for dog food.
So, why not get this goodness for your favorite doggo too?
- You can feed it to all pets of all sizes, breeds, and ages. This makes it a must-have in your home.
- It contains wholesome grains.
- It doesn’t have wheat, corn, or soy in it, which is a huge plus point.
- There are tons of minerals and vitamins to support your pup’s healthy coat, skin as well as joints.
- There are probiotics and antioxidants in this premium dog food to support a healthy immune system.
- With every bite, your dog gets to have turkey, chicken, and lamb, along with other essential ingredients.
- Some sellers are selling counterfeit products of this brand. So beware when you purchase it.
#4. ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food
Are you looking for high-protein food for your senior doggo?
Have a look at the ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food.
This dog food from the house of Orijen offers a diet-rich and protein-filled dog food – perfect for your senior buddy!
I like the most about this dog food because it contains fresh, whole animal ingredients. This includes wild-caught fish, turkey, free-run chicken, and cage-free eggs.
If you look at the list of ingredients, you will find it unique.
Did I tell you that it has 85% premium animal ingredients?
Depending on your pup’s biological, natural needs, it provides nourishment to your doggo.
The fresh and raw animal ingredients have cartilage, organs, bone, and meat.
The ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food is one of the best foods that you can get for your senior pup. It is biologically appropriate for them.
The fresh ingredients used are regional, and the brand gets them straight from the farm. So they receive it in their most natural, raw, and nourishing form.
Isn’t that great?
- It contains fresh, raw, and whole animal ingredients from wild-caught fish, turkey, free-run chicken, and cage-free eggs.
- It has 85% premium animal ingredients.
- It is high in protein – great for senior dogs.
- The fresh regional ingredients are supplied directly from the farm – this means no harmful animal by-product is used in formulating this dog food.
- You can feed it to dogs of all breeds.
- You can get it in different size packages. So you can choose the package size according to your requirement. No more wastage.
- Availability can be an issue.
#5. IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Do you want to feed your furry buddy with some protein-rich dog food?
Give the IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food a try!
Did you know that it is free from artificial flavors and preservatives too?
I always look for a natural and preservative-free formula, so I quite like this dog food. It will meet all the protein needs of your canine companion.
I bought one for large breed dogs, as I have a huge furry buddy. However, you can get this for dogs of small and medium breeds. All you need to do is select the size of your doggo while placing your order on Amazon.
Also, it comes in two varieties. This one is chicken, and the other one is lamb and rice. So you get to choose the flavor your four-legged buddy likes the most.
Did I tell you that the 1st ingredient used in this dog food recipe is farm-raised and real chicken?
The size of the kibbles that you get with it is small. This is to save your doggo from choking hazards.
It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which help maintain your doggo’s joint and bone health. This is great for large, active dogs.
It comes blended with prebiotics and wholesome fibers, which improves your pal’s immunity system and promotes healthy digestion.
The IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food can make your pup’s muscles strong. The high-quality real protein is sourced from real, farm-raised chicken.
And last but not least, the IAMS Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is recommended by vets!
Got more reasons to buy it?
- The 1st ingredient used in this dog food recipe is farm-raised and real chicken. This makes it protein-rich.
- It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which help maintain your doggo’s joint and bone health.
- It has two variants. One is chicken, and the other one is lamb and rice. You get to choose the flavor your four-legged buddy likes the most.
- You have options to select it according to the size of your pup.
- No preservatives or additives are used in the making.
- It comes blended with prebiotics and wholesome fibers.
- It improves the immunity system of your dog and promotes healthy digestion.
- It is recommended by vets.
- You can get it only for large breed dogs
#6. CRAVE Premium Adult Dog Food
Are you looking for high-quality grain-free dog food for your pup?
This dog food from the house of CRAVE can satisfy all your needs!
It is a high-protein, premium dog food with all-natural minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.
The brand took its inspiration from the diets of your pup’s wolf ancestors. It is made with real ingredients, including animal protein and a high-quality meaty flavor that your doggo loves.
Did I tell you that the first ingredient of the CRAVE Premium Adult Dog Food is real chicken?
This is what I like the most about this dog food. It will satisfy your pup’s natural craving for animal protein for sure!
And did you know that with its 34% high protein, it supports a lean, strong body?
I like everything natural. And this dog food from CRAVE is just that. It has no grain, no soy, no wheat, no colors, no artificial flavor, and no preservatives.
What more can you ask for?
It provides your doggo with energy as it has grain-free sources of carbohydrates, such as peas.
If you have a small to large dog, this high-protein dog food is all you need!
- This is all-natural dog food, which means it will cause no harm to your doggo
- It is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients
- It has chicken as its first ingredient
- It has no grain, no soy, no wheat, no colors, no artificial flavor, and no preservatives
- Great for small, medium, and large pups
- You can get it in two flavors: beef and chicken
- You get to choose from three sizes package options
- Some users have complained that their pups had an allergic reaction after having this dog food. However, I didn’t face any issues as such.
#7. Victor Dog Food Classic
Are you looking for a premium protein-rich dog food that can provide your doggo with all the essential nutrients they need?
Have a look at the Victor Dog Food Classic!
This dog food from the house of Victor has a nutrient-dense recipe.
Did I tell you that it is formulated with high-quality chicken, beef, fish, and pork?
Do you have a growing puppy? Or, are you a parent to a pregnant or nursing pup?
Then this dog food can prove to be highly beneficial for them. It will provide them with the premium-quality protein that they need.
Also, it comes filled with essential minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids.
The Victor Dog Food Classic is formulated with scientifically proven, high-quality ingredients which help promote healthy digestive and immune systems.
Did you know that it is made from gluten-free grains?
I like the superior digestibility it offers.
- It is formulated with high-quality chicken, beef, fish, and pork
- It comes filled with essential minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids
- It is made with scientifically proven, high-quality ingredients
- It offers superior digestibility
- It is perfect for puppies, senior and pregnant or lactating dogs
- The grain that is used in it is free from gluten
- It supports cellular regeneration, metabolic function, and a strong immune response
- You doggo will have healthy cost and skin along with paw pad integrity
- It has received the highest ratings from Dog Food Advisor
- Some users have complained that their pups had suffered from an upset stomach after eating this
What to Look for in a High-Protein Dog Food?
When you walk down the dog food aisles in a pet supply store, it can be really confusing to select that one high-protein dog food that is right for your furry buddy. The same thing happens when you look for high-protein dog food online.
There are tons of varieties available, such as wet dog food, grain-free dog food, dry dog food, active dog formulas, and dehydrated versions.
And this is enough to make you dizzy!
So, to make it easier for you to choose the right high-protein food for your doggo, I have made some points on what to look for when you buy one.
#1. Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Before zeroing on THE ONE high-protein dog food, make sure to look for the statement on the nutritional adequacy on the product label. This label means it is made to meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You also get to know if there were any feeding trials and which stage the dog food is meant for.
When it comes to choosing the best high-protein dog food, it should always be quality over quantity. Of course, the protein should be of the best quality. After all, it’s your favorite buddy we are talking about.
#3. Don’t fall for overhyped Marketing Tactics
Don’t always believe over-the-top marketing claims until you see them for yourself. Of course, there are some high-protein dog foods that pet nutritionists and vets formulate.
Also, some dog foods are recommended by vets. So try to get high-protein dog foods.
Now, about believing some exaggerated marketing claims, Dr. Crissy Alstott, AskVet’s director of veterinary operations, said, “Pet foods cannot cure cancer, cannot remake your pup into a show dog, and if the claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Which Kinds of Dogs Need a High Protein Diet?
There is some kind of protein in each dog’s everyday meal. And there are only some particular types of dog that needs some extra dose of protein. This is when they are provided with high-protein food.
So, which dogs need high-protein food the most?
Puppies are always developing to be an adult, just like their parents. So they need the right amounts of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, omegas, calorie content, and of course, proteins.
If they have the required protein in their everyday diet, they will develop great bone mass, muscle tone, and body weight.
Did you know that protein plays a direct role in the functionality of your pup and the growth of their nerve and cell?
Also, it helps in healing sickness or other kinds of bodily injury. This continues until they become mature and at least two years old. During this time, they will need food with high protein content.
Almost all puppies already have their required everyday protein in their food. So, pet nutritionists suggest that you feed them according to their current life stage.
2. Overweight or Obese Dogs
Is your canine buddy overweight? Then know that you can give them food with low carbohydrates and high proteins.
This will help them build up their muscle and bone strength.
The best part?
They will not gain any extra pounds.
However, you need to make sure that you are giving low-calorie and low-carb food to your doggo. Otherwise, you will do more harm than good to your chubby pal.
Dogs gain weight, especially when they get older. This can lead to several other health problems, including diabetes, breathing issues, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.
In order to prevent all these, make sure your chubby buddy gets the right food portions.
3. Lactating or Pregnant Dogs
A mother dog can have one, a few, or more than a dozen of puppies. It depends on the size and the breed of your doggo.
It is a no-brainer that a pregnant or lactating mommy needs all the more nutrition they can get. This is because they are not just eating for themselves; they are eating for their whole family!
If you have a doggy mommy, know that you need to give them a protein-rich diet so that they can get what they are losing.
According to pet nutritionists, always give a nursing or pregnant pup a balanced diet so that they can stay healthy.
4. Athletic Dogs
The more active the dog is, the more calories they burn. As they are losing a lot of energy in the process, they should be replaced by essential nutrients.
Nutritionists say that you don’t need to worry about how many calories or carbohydrate content is there in the food they are eating in this kind of situation. This is because all they need is some extra boost.
Sporting and working dogs fit under this category. They could be racing dogs, hunting dogs, or k9 police dogs. They need to eat high-protein food to maintain lean muscle mass and body weight.
5. Senior Dogs
Senior dogs need to keep their tissues and muscles strong. So you need to give them high levels of protein.
But you need to be cautious. If you give them a diet that contains too much protein, it will do more harm than any good. But, of course, it depends on whether your senior buddy has any medical issues or not.
You already know that high-calorie food can make your pup obese. As these two are interlinked, it can have a negative impact on your senior doggo and cause them to gain weight. So you need to even out the calories.
There are some great options in my list of the best high-protein dog food. However, before you give them any new food or introduce them to some high-protein dog food, always make sure to consult your vet. This is because not all dogs are the same, and not everyone has the same nutritional needs. Let your vet know your pup’s activity level, health, and if they have any medications. This will help your vet tell you if a high-protein dog food will suit your pup and their overall health.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.