Deciding the Best Proteins for Your Dog

Table of Contents

Why is protein necessary for your pet?

Protein is necessary to grow and help repair and create new cells in your pet’s body. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. Your pet requires some of the following essential amino acids: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids build a healthier coat, muscle and hormone production in your pet. But most of these are not included in the proper proportion in your pet’s food, with a careful mixture of these can lead to a balanced protein intake and proper body function.

How to measure your dog’s protein intake?

Protein is the building block of our pet’s nutrition, as suggested by the Ohio State University of Veterinary Medicine, adult dogs generally need at least 1 gram per for every pound of their weight. Younger pets need more grams of food per their weight as they require it for growth and development. Elderly dogs break down more tissue with time so they also require more protein in their diet. Scientific research shows that an adult dog’s diet contains up to 50% carbohydrates, and 2% of fiber, and a minimum of 5% of your pet’s diet should come from fats, and 10% from proteins.

A few methods of protein measurement:

  • Calculate the dry matter percentage in your pet’s food, you can use the following formula: first identify the dry matter in the food by subtracting the moisture percentage by 100 and then divide the recommended feed percentage by the percentage of dry matter.
  • To calculate the calories in your pet’s food, look up the ingredients or refer to the nutritional label on the packaging.
  • To calculate the grams of protein for every 1000 calories you can use the following formula: divide the number of grams by the number of calories and then multiply it by 1000.
  • Below is a chart of recommended protein percentage for your pet’s age group:
Species and Growth StageRecommended Protein %
Adult dog18%
Performance dog25%
Racing sled dog35%
Lactating dog28%

Best sources of protein:

Meat is the primary source of your pet’s diet, but your pet can have a balanced meal of both plant and meat derivatives. But dogs are not herbivores and should be treated primarily as carnivores to fulfill their nutritional needs. With a high protein diet there are many health benefits when administered properly such benefits include a shinier coat a strong immune system improved skin and muscle growth. You never want to over do it with the protein because too much of something can also be harmful as it can be good. Senior dogs precisely can benefit greatly from a high protein diet as it promotes muscle recovery and as your dog ages so does their muscle. Most dogs do fine on any type of meat protein, but some dogs may experience allergies to certain foods overtime, so it is always recommended to consult your vet first before changing your pet’s diet. Common plant-based proteins include grains, corn, wheat, rice, barley, soybeans, oatmeal. The most common animal-based proteins used in pet food include chicken, beef, lamb, fish, turkey, and rabbit.

  • Chicken– the most widely available and used source of protein for pets. It is a great source of protein that provides dogs with lots of energy. Chicken contains Omega 6 fatty acids which are beneficial for the skin and coat, it carries essential amino acids, and contains glucosamine for healthy bones.
  • Beef-is one of the more affordable meats but not all beef is high quality. Nonetheless, it is high in protein and contains iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B which are essential to your pet’s diet.
  • Lamb-is a high-quality protein it provides essential amino acids necessary for tissue repair and maintains your pet’s immune function; it is a perfect source of dietary fats to promote energy.
  • Turkey– similar to chicken it is lean and rich, it assists in muscle build and an easily digestible protein. Turkey based foods are recommended for pet’s who have food sensitivities or allergies. It Is also recommended for pet’s that can not eat beef nor chicken.
  • Fish-dogs who suffer from allergies and food sensitivities are advised to eat fish as it is a hypoallergenic food, it is also low in fat, enriched with omega oils and an excellent source of protein.
  • Rabbit-is the highest protein ratio compared to chicken, beef, and lamb, it helps boost your dog’s immune system and is a healthy option as rabbit is low in sodium and low calories, but it should be given in moderation.

Natural Cravings Pet Treat Suggestions:

The following recommendations boost your pet’s welfare and promotes healthy protein:

Disclaimer: We are not certified veterinary practitioner’s; we cannot provide medical consultation. Any concerns regarding your pet’s health should be urgently addressed to your nearest veterinary specialist. We only provide tips and suggestions based on our own judgment and care that we provide for our own pets. We do the research, so you do not have to.


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