Best Protein for DogsBest Protein for Dogs

It’s important to choose the best protein for dogs’ general health and wellbeing. Although dogs are omnivores, their dietary needs revolve around high-quality animal-based proteins. Lean meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish are many of the best alternatives.

Essential amino acids found in these protein sources support immunological responses, muscle growth, and general health.


Proteins are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks required for maintaining body functions such as muscles, hair, skin, coat, and immune system. They additionally form enzymes that activate chemical reactions on the cellular stage. They also produce enzymes, which start chemical processes inside cells. When dogs consume more than the required amount of protein, they can use the excess for energy.

Best Protein for Dogs

The best protein for dogs is typically meat-based. A common misconception is that there is a significant difference between various protein sources, but the most important difference is the amino acid breakdown of each. Most dogs should respond well to any protein source as long as it meets their daily intake targets.

Generally, the best protein for dogs from whole meat combined with animal by-products (also known as meat meals) are of high quality. However, it is difficult to determine what these by-products consist of, making it challenging to know if they meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

Importance of the Best Protein for Dogs

Protein plays numerous vital roles in the body: it maintains the health of muscles, coat, skin, and nails, boosts the immune system, and serves as an energy source for your dog.

When your dog consumes protein, their body releases amino acids that then reassemble into important proteins. If your dog doesn’t get enough protein, their body will be forced to access amino acids from their muscles and other tissues.

For optimal health, your dog should regularly consume adequate protein. Signs of protein deficiency in dogs include:

  • Reduced strength
  • Dull, lifeless coat
  • Weakened immune system (higher risk of illness)

6 Best Protein for Dogs

There are many proteins for dogs health and nutritions, but the best protein for dogs are here to explores include:

1. Beef

Beef, along with chicken, is one of the most commonly fed best protein for dogs. It is not only tasty but also provides all essential amino acids needed by dogs. Iron and zinc, two vital elements that support heart health and endurance, are abundant in beef. It also contains minerals like manganese, selenium, and potassium, and B vitamins that improve the absorption of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Protein-rich beef is also an excellent base for a ketogenic diet, which may be recommended by veterinarians for dogs with epilepsy or diabetes.

2. Fish

Fish is a healthy protein source for dogs, often used as an alternative for dogs allergic to chicken and beef. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon and tilapia help reduce inflammation. 

Only 2% of dogs are allergic to fish, but start with small amounts when testing your dog’s tolerance to specific fish. The Victor Select Ocean Fish Formula, for instance, blends plant, grain, and fish-based proteins to support better digestion and immune health.

3. Chicken

Chicken is another commonly best protein for dogs. It is generally leaner and easier to digest than beef. Wet food can provide hydration and is often more appealing for picky eaters. 

Chicken is rich in trace mineral selenium, which supports thyroid health and boosts the immune system. It also has high levels of B vitamins, which help control glucose levels and convert protein and fat into usable energy. Vitamin B6 supports energy metabolism and cardiovascular health.

4. Turkey

Turkey is a lean meat rich in vitamins and minerals that help control blood pressure, boost the immune system, and facilitate healing processes. Turkey meat is an excellent source of essential amino acids and has lower saturated fat and cholesterol compared to chicken or beef. It contains the essential amino acid tryptophan, which plays a significant role in strengthening the immune system.

Since more dogs are developing allergies to beef or chicken, turkey serves as a great alternative for dogs with stomach issues or allergies.

5. Duck

Duck is the best protein for dogs with low saturated fat. It is rich in most B vitamins and provides useful amounts of phosphorus and potassium. It is a great source of vitamin B niacin, which helps control glucose levels and convert proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into usable energy. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) supports energy metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Duck is often used as a “novel” protein, meaning it is less common in the market compared to chicken, beef, turkey, or pork.

6. Lamb

Lamb is a good protein source and a healthy red meat alternative for dogs that may be allergic or intolerant to other traditional red meats. Lamb is rich in zinc and provides essential minerals like potassium, iron, manganese, thiamine, vitamin E, B12, and D3.

Like duck, lamb’s novelty makes it ideal for elimination diets. Lamb bones also make a great addition to a healthy diet, aiding in dental health and diversifying your dog’s diet.

Protein Requirements for Dogs

Dogs need a complete and balanced diet of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins to stay healthy and active.

Daily, your dog needs 1 gram of protein per pound of their ideal body weight. For example, if you have a 40-pound dog (which is its ideal body weight), it would need 40 grams of protein per day. If your dog is overweight, you still need to calculate its protein needs based on its ideal body weight. So, if your dog is carrying a few extra pounds at 48 pounds but should ideally weigh 40 pounds, it would still need 40 grams of protein daily.

Protein Percentage in Dogs

Your dog’s protein intake depends on factors like age, size, activity level, and overall health. Protein content in your dog’s food plays a significant role in their well-being. It’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian about the ideal amount of animal protein for your dog. Highly active dogs benefit from higher protein content to fuel their adventures. However, if your pet has specific dietary needs, choosing low-protein options can ensure a balanced diet that meets their requirements.

Adult dogs typically need a diet with about 18-25% protein on a dry matter basis. However, puppies and highly active dogs might require slightly higher levels, around 22-30%. On the other hand, senior dogs might benefit from diets with slightly lower protein content to accommodate lower activity levels and potential kidney issues.


The best protein for dogs is typically meat-based, offering essential amino acids crucial for their health. While various protein sources like beef, fish, chicken, turkey, duck, and lamb each provide unique benefits, the primary focus should be on ensuring that the chosen protein meets your dog’s daily nutritional needs. 

By consulting with a veterinarian and information about your dog’s unique necessities, you could pick out the most efficient protein assets to sell their typical proper-being and vitality. Regularly providing adequate protein will help maintain their muscle health, immune function, and energy levels.