Table of Contents
- Why Is Protein for Dogs Essential?
- How Much Protein Does A Dog Need?
- Best Sources Of Protein for Dogs
- Five Different Natural Protein Sources For Your Dogs
- Top 10 Best Protein Dog Food For Your Dogs
- #1: IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food
- #2: Purina Pro Plan Sport
- #3: Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains
- #4: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
- #5: Diamond Naturals Premium Formulas Dry Dog Food
- #6: Pedigree High Protein Adult Dry & Wet Canned Dog Food
- #7: Orijen Dry Dog Food
- #8: NUTRO ULTRA Small & Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- #9 ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food
- #10: Wag Salmon and Lentil Recipe
Several dog owners, including you, take strict importance on their pet's diet because the nutrients keep them strong and healthy from the food they eat. Indeed, as far as we all know, one of the essential nutrients is protein for dogs.
Of course, just like humans, a dog also needs protein for several reasons. It is mostly because of their overall health.
Did you know that protein is best known to supply amino acids and improve hormonal production? In addition, you can also get them for your dog through animal and plant sources, or both.
However, do you know why is protein vital, and why do dogs need them? Indeed there are many factors that you may or may not know.
This article will certainly talk about why protein is essential for your dog's diet and how you can get them. While doing so, we will also discuss the best protein products we've searched for from Amazon, along with their pros and cons.
Read more to know more about this topic.
Why Is Protein for Dogs Essential?
Protein is essentially a type of nutrient that serves as a fundamental source of energy for living things. It also comprises several amino acids that play a vital role in keeping a dog healthy, including maintaining its furs, muscle, skin, and nails.
A large sum of domestic dogs is definitely omnivores. However, dogs have a similar body structure to their ancestors.
So far, these ancestors include some of the known predators in the wild such as wolves, foxes, jackals, and also coyotes.
A dog's gastrointestinal tract cannot consume a large number of plant-based products. However, they have enlarged carnassial teeth that allow them to chew on meat.
Hence, dogs are not only considered carnivores, but they are omnivores. However, they primarily require meat in their diet to fulfill the nutritional requirements their body needs.
Thus, to achieve a healthy body for your dog, you need to give them the right amount of protein by giving them a meat-based diet.
How Much Protein Does A Dog Need?
When a dog consumes protein, the digestive processes release amino acids that reassemble the protein that your dog needs.
However, dogs consuming less protein results in the breakdown of their muscles and tissues. Thus, resulting in muscular atrophy, immune dysfunction, poor quality of fur, and other health issues.
Your dog's daily consumption of protein depends on several factors. Such factors include their age, size, activity level, reproductive, and health status.
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), protein consumption varies significantly on a dog's age. An adult dog needs to consume 18% protein in its diet, while a young pup needs 22.5%.
In contrast, the European Pet Food Industry recently released a more specific nutritional guideline than AAFCO. On it was the following:
- Adult dogs that eat less due to low energy needs: 21 grams protein/100 grams dry matter
- Adult dogs that eat more due to high energy needs: 18 grams protein/100 grams dry matter
- Early growth (<14 weeks) and reproduction: 25 grams protein/100 grams dry matter
- Late growth (>14 weeks): 20 grams protein/100 grams dry matter
It may not be easy to understand at first, but we advise that you go to your local veterinarian for help. Additionally, if you do, they can indeed determine the best dietary protein range that would work best for your dog.
Best Sources Of Protein for Dogs
Contrary to belief, there is only one type of protein that all living things consume. However, they can have a couple of effects on one's body depending on its capacity to break down amino acids, says Dr. Richter.
All living things, including dogs, have their production of protein. However, they can't survive on this alone.
Thus, the best way for a dog to get its protein is to go for a meat-based diet. According to Dr. Richter, “While it is theoretically feasible to turn a dog into a vegetarian, it is not ideal.”
Although vegetarian dog meals are nutritionally packed and balanced, they are still not recommended for dogs. However, that doesn't make meat-based meals superior as they can also be detrimental to your dog's health if not monitored accordingly.
Diets including complete meat proteins are composed of animal by-products. These are carcasses of animals used in animal food products that have low to no protein content.
This fact implies the spectrum and quality of nutrients also might change, even within the same brand.
Thus, if your dog doesn't have a specific food sensitivity, you should constantly change its protein source. For this reason, you can have multiple sources of amino acids and nutrients you can get for them.
Five Different Natural Protein Sources For Your Dogs
Different protein sources that are best for your dogs can come from chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish, rabbit, and eggs. In addition, these ingredients can also be added to your dog's diet, especially if you opt for homemade dog food.
Even so, try and see it for yourself.
Protein for Dogs #1: Eggs
According to the American Kennel Club, eggs are a great source of protein that is both safe and nutritious for your dogs. It contains several health benefits for your canine, including omega fatty acids, riboflavin, folate, iron, selenium, and vitamin B12.
With one egg, your dog can get 6 grams of protein. However, it differs from what type of egg it is (e.g., chicken, duck, or quail eggs).
While eggs can be highly healthy to many dogs, some may develop allergies. Thus, it would be best if you had your dogs check for allergies by a veterinarian first.
Furthermore, never feed your dog with a raw egg. Otherwise, you could risk its health from contracting Salmonella infection.
Protein for Dogs #2: Chicken, Duck, and Turkey
Duck, chicken, and turkey are all excellent sources of lean white meat protein with high protein content.
Furthermore, it contains unsaturated fats, pantothenic acid, copper, iron, and thiamine that are good for your dog's body.
It has less fat than beef and other red meats, making it an excellent choice for dogs that need to lose weight.
However, some dogs may be allergic to these types of meats, so keep an eye out for any reactions.
Protein for Dogs #3: Fish
Fish contains high protein content, also making it an ideal source for dogs on a low-calorie diet.
Aside from this, it also has other nutrients that no other protein-containing product has.
These are calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and Iodine.
Flounder, whitefish, salmon, cod, and tuna are fishes that serve good protein sources.
Some dogs may be allergic to fish, so if they have any adverse reaction, discontinue serving it.
You can have your veterinarian do a fact check if your dog has a fish allergy.
Protein for Dogs #4: Venison
If you're a hunter, you might be able to provide your dog with some fresh venison.
Venisons are a type of meat made from the flesh of animals such as deer and elk. Due to its leaner and no fat texture, it also contains richer protein content than other red meats.
Besides, it also includes calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin, and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, since it's hormone-free, it's an excellent choice for at-home meals and snacks. You may even make jerky meat out of it.
Although it may be challenging to find one in the market, it is truly a healthier alternative but more susceptible to protein allergies.
Protein for Dogs #5: Plant-based Protein
Did you know that you can also offer plant-based proteins in addition to your dog's meat-based diet? Of course, it doesn't have to be strictly meat, so you can also slip them in for a balanced diet.
Dogs, like other animals, require plant-based protein that provides several nutritional advantages to dogs.
Peas, lentils, and chickpeas are some examples that you can find in various dog food products.
Aside from protein, these plant-based products also contain potassium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium.
However, some dogs are also allergic to such ingredients. You may have to consult your veterinarian first before giving your dogs some of it.
Ultimately, there is no best protein for your dog. It will only depend on you and your dog's personal preference.
Top 10 Best Protein Dog Food For Your Dogs
#1: IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food
Aside from being the number one protein dog food choice, veterinarians strongly recommend you to try IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food.
Their formula is primarily farm-raised chicken, egg, wholesome grains, carrots, chicken fat, and also beet pulp.
The protein in the chicken helps your dog have stronger and finer muscles. At the same time, its other ingredients provide them healthier digestion, skin, and also their coat.
Furthermore, IAMS claims that its product has no fillers and artificial preservatives. Thus, you can assure that your adult or giant breed dogs will receive complete and balanced nutrition.
#2: Purina Pro Plan Sport
Purina Pro Plan is a dog food product that optimizes oxygen metabolism in its formula (VO2 MAX) also for increased endurance. Besides, it also contains 30% protein and 20% fat that helps your dog have leaner muscles while nourishing their metabolic fuel needs.
Aside from their “chicken and rice” flavor, they also offer “salmon and rice,” “turkey duck and quail,” and “turkey lamb and venison.”
To conclude, Purina Pro Plan is perfect for all sizes and breeds, in addition to a whole meal for your pet.
#3: Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains
If you prefer that your dog not consume whole grains, you may also choose Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grain Recipes. In contrast to other dog food, there is no corn, wheat, or artificial flavoring in their recipe.
Instead, they emphasize their product's high protein and fiber in ancient grains and pasture-raised meat, which will help your dogs develop healthier and stronger muscles, joints, and bones.
Their ancient grains include sorghum, millet, quinoa, and also chia seeds. Furthermore, aside from roasted lambs, it comes in smoked salmon, roasted venison, roasted bison, and roasted fowl.
#4: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein is a recipe made for your dog's love of meat. This high-protein dog food additionally has real chicken to definitely help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Blue Wilderness's formula is composed of a precise blend of calories, fat, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Professionals select these ingredients to help your dog achieve and maintain an ideal weight with healthier joints and muscles.
Furthermore, this product doesn't contain chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Thus, you can ensure your dog's well-packed nutrition.
Additionally, aside from its chicken flavor, it also has bison, duck, red meat, and rabbit.
Your dog's diet varies accordingly with age, breed, environment, and also activity level. Don't forget to consult your veterinarian if needed.
#5: Diamond Naturals Premium Formulas Dry Dog Food
On the other hand, Diamond Naturals is another product made with ingredients of exceptional quality. It provides complete and holistic nutrition for your pet, guaranteeing a healthier mind and body.
In addition, Diamond Naturals has actual lamb protein, an excellent source of high-quality protein.
It contains no wheat, soy, or corn but has vitamin E, selenium, omega 6, and 3.
Their flavors vary from chicken and rice, salmon and potato, and beef and rice.
#6: Pedigree High Protein Adult Dry & Wet Canned Dog Food
Indeed, the Pedigree High Protein Adult Dry & Wet Canned Dog Food is another nutritionally balanced dog food made by Pedigree.
Its formula has real red meat, thus comprising 25% more protein. It has essential fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants, that keep your dog's body clean and healthy.
Furthermore, Pedigree's High Protein formula has no added sugar, no artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup.
Aside from its famed “beef and lamb” flavor, it is also available in “chicken and duck” and “beef and bison.”
#7: Orijen Dry Dog Food
Orijen's Original Dog Food is unlike any other protein dog food you encounter.
Their brand delivers a diet rich in fresh and whole animal ingredients such as chicken, turkey, fish, and also eggs.
Not only does this brand use meat, but Orijen also includes organs, cartilage, and bone, which are all safe to eat.
Aside from its original flavor, it also offers the Regional Red. It has beef, lamb, wild boar, pork, and fish mixed in its recipe.
Furthermore, Orijin also offers its Six Fish flavor, which contains whole fish ingredients such as mackerel, herring, monkfish, Acadian redfish, flounder, and silver hake.
With their high-quality ingredients, they also make sure to deliver every nourishment your dog needs.
#8: NUTRO ULTRA Small & Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Indeed, NUTRO ULTRA Small & Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is one of Amazon's best protein dog foods for smaller dog breeds. It contains a trio of high-quality proteins, such as chicken, lamb, and salmon.
Furthermore, it contains no whole grain products like corn, soy, or wheat. In addition, it also has no chicken by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Their premium kibble also provides the exact amount of nutrition needed by your dog in every serving. However, each serving depends on the weight of your small breed dog.
#9 ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food
ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food, also awarded as Amazon's Choice contains air-dried ingredients in its recipe.
It also includes mackerel, lamb, organs, bones, and green mussels. Furthermore, this dog food also comes in beef, chicken, tripe & lamb, and venison.
However, it doesn't have fillers such as grain, potato, or green peas since these ingredients might cause food allergies and other health concerns.
ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food can be a topper or a full meal for dogs of all breed sizes.
#10: Wag Salmon and Lentil Recipe
Wag Salmon and Lentil Recipe is a dog food product particularly made and distributed by Amazon in California, USA.
With the help of veterinarians and pet nutritionists, their formula is, in fact, composed of real meat and other high-grade ingredients. Thus, you can guarantee that the product is also, indeed, premium quality.
Aside from salmon, Wag offers various flavors, such as beef, lamb, turkey, and chicken, with each serve containing 35% protein.
In addition, their other ingredients include peas and lentils, with no added grain, corn, or wheat. Wag also claims that they have added no artificial colors, flavors, or chemical preservatives.
If you are new to using this product, introduce it gradually to your pet for at least 7 to 10 days. Subsequently, this process will prevent them from having an upset stomach too.
Wag Salmon and Lentil Recipe's formula is specially made for dogs at all life stages, also including large (70 lbs. or more) and pregnant or nursing dogs.
Now that you know where to get the protein for your dogs, don't forget to also consult your veterinarian on which one is best. There are instances that the food you give your dogs may also pose a risk to their health.
However, before consulting, make sure that you are aware of your dog's food allergies.
In addition, doing so will prevent you from buying a dog food product that might cause your dog to not only have allergic reactions but also adverse effects.
Not only that, but you must also determine if there are further points to keep in mind when it comes to their food intake.
Otherwise, you might accidentally expose them to risks to their health.
Ensuring that your dog also gets enough high-quality protein in their diet does take some work. Even so, the reward of keeping these Fidos fit and healthy is always worth the effort.