Puppy Food With High Protein

6

Puppy Food With High Protein

Puppies are cute, energetic and playful. They require special attention and care to grow healthy and strong. A good diet is very important for puppies as they require high-quality protein level in their food.

It is the period when a puppy is growing up, so it has to take extra nutrients to grow properly. A poor diet can cause many problems such as poor digestion, weight gain and even skeletal problems in later life. It is essential that you provide your puppy with the correct nutrition to ensure that it remains healthy throughout its life.

If you are looking for a good quality food for your dog then this article will help you find out which foods are best for your dog’s health and well-being.

Puppy Food With High Protein

On this page… The Dog Food Advisor takes an in-depth look at some of the best high protein dog foods on the market. And we’ll rate each of our top picks.

But first…

What Is High Protein Dog Food?

Most dry foods contain 23 to 27 percent protein. Wet food… a bit more.1

Since some recipes contain more moisture than others…

We used simple math to first remove all the water from each recipe. This makes it possible to accurately compare the protein content of ANY 2 recipes… wet or dry.

After rating more than 5750 recipes, we consider any food that contains over 28% protein… “high in protein”.

Life StageAAFCO 2High Protein
Puppy22.5%Over 28%
Adult18%Over 28%

Which Types of Dogs Benefit
from a High Protein Diet?

Since dogs tend to lose muscle mass with heavy exercise and as they age, high protein recipes are ideal for active or athletic pets and seniors.

But keep in mind…

Older dogs who have been diagnosed with kidney disease should probably avoid these types of foods.

Caution — Avoid Legume-Heavy Recipes

Due to their suspected link to a type of heart disease3 in dogs, high protein recipes that contain legumes (peas, lentils, etc.) within their first 5 ingredients have been excluded.

On the list below…

We’ll reveal The Advisor’s best high protein dog foods… and we’ll show you which ones are a good fit for the age and breed size of your particular dog.

We’ll also answer the most frequently asked questions we get about choosing and feeding high protein diets.


Editors Choice Logo for Best High Protein Dog Food page

Best High Protein Dog Food
May 2022

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s best high protein brands for May 2022.


Taste of the Wild Ancient Streams with Ancient Grains High Protein Kibble

Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains High Protein

Rating: 

Ancient Stream is one of 4 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, ocean fish meal, grain sorghum, millet
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (sorghum, millet, barley, rice)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: All dogs (including large breed puppies)
  • Other recipes: Ancient Mountain (lamb), Ancient Prairie (buffalo), Ancient Wetlands (duck)

Taste of the Wild Ancient Streams derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh salmon in addition to both salmon and fish meals. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 17% fat and 42% estimated carbs… which produces a favorable fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

A new, grain-inclusive product line from one of the industry’s most popular brands. Contains no legumes. A top pick.

Sample buyer review… “Being in the K9 industry for the past 10 years, TotW is one food that’s always reliable. I recommend it for working dogs and family pets alike. We rotate between the grain-free and ancient grains formulas to ensure proper taurine absorption. If you have a picky eater or a dog who has trouble maintaining weight, I highly recommend this food.”


Raised Right High Protein Beef Recipe

Raised Right Fresh Human-Grade Dog Food

Rating: 

Adult Beef is one of 11 wet recipes covered in our review of the Raised Right Fresh product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef heart, carrots, beef liver, cranberries
  • Type: Grain-free (carrots, cranberries)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Turkey Recipe, Pork Recipe, Chicken Recipe, Turkey and Pumpkin, Puppy Growth (multiple recipes) and others

Raised Right Adult Beef gets most of its meat protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis shows the recipe contains 61% protein, 24% fat and 8% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 39%.

All recipes contain a single source of animal protein with no hidden fillers. One of the best high-protein fresh foods on the market. Easily recommended.

For More Choices:  See our Best Fresh Food for Dogs page

Sample buyer review… “Raised Right Beef is the perfect food for my dog. She loves the taste and I love there is finally something she can eat with all her food sensitivities.”


Orijen Grain Free High Protein Kibble

Orijen High Protein Dry Dog Food

Rating: 

Orijen Original is one of 9 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Orijen product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, chicken liver
  • Type: Grain-free (lentils, pinto beans)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Puppy Large, Six Fish, Regional Red, Senior and others

This particular Orijen recipe obtains the better part of its animal protein from fresh chickenturkeyflounder, and whole mackerel. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 20% fat and 28% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Ever since its founding, Champion Petfoods, the maker of Orijen, has supported a meat-based, “biologically appropriate” diet. This is a proven, balanced design and a top high-protein option. Recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “A few months ago I adopted a 14 month old Labradoodle, and I have had a difficult time getting weight on her because she just isn’t interested in eating. This dog food has helped tremendously! Apparently, it taste good to her and is very nutritious because she looks and acts so much better. It is wonderful to see her playing, and her coat looks fabulous.”


Dr.Tim's Pursuit High Protein Formula

Dr. Tim’s Pursuit Active Dog High Protein Recipe

Rating: 

Active Dog is one of 8 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Dr. Tim’s product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole oat groats, dried beet pulp (sugar removed)
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, whole oat groats)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adult and small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Kinesis All Life Stages, Metabolite Weight Management, Glacier Athletic Blend and others

Dr. Tim’s Pursuit Active Dog gets the better part of its meat protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis demonstrates the formula contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 36% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Dr. Tim’s products are prized by members of the large breed athletic and sporting dog community. A top choice and one that’s especially easy for us to recommend.

Sample buyer review… “My English setter, a Llewelyn has been on Dr. Tim’s Pursuit dog food since she was a puppy, over ten years ago. She is a very active dog and thrives on this food. She has been very healthy. Her white and spotted fur coat is shiny!! I highly recommend this product.”


Acana Meadowland Grain Free Dog Food

Acana Highest Protein Formula

Rating: 

Meadowland is one of 4 dry recipes contained in our review of the Acana product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), chicken meal
  • Type: Grain-free (lentils, pinto beans)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: Adults and puppies (including large breeds)
  • Other recipes: Red Meat Recipe, Poultry Recipe, Freshwater Fish Recipe and others

Acana Meadowland receives most of its meat content from deboned chicken and deboned turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 19% fat and 35% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

A superior, grain-free kibble, offering balanced nutrition. Made by the same company that makes Orijen.

Sample buyer review… “I have a very fussy fur son. There are about 2 or 3 foods he will eat without turning his nose up and walking away. Acana I have had EXCELLENT results with all blends!!! It’s a good feeling when he actually eats a food that has such excellent ingredients and the best part – ONE THAT YOU CAN TRUST!”


Merrick Classic Healthy Grains High Protein Puppy Food

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains High Protein Formula

Rating: 

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Merrick Classic product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, barley, oatmeal)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies (including large breed puppies)
  • Other recipes: Real Beef, Real Chicken, Real Lamb, Small Breed Recipe, Senior Recipe, Healthy Weight and others

This Merrick Classic product derives the bulk of its animal content from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis shows the food contains 31% protein, 18% fat and 43% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

A top-rated dry puppy food that’s completely based on a safe, proven grain-inclusive design. Contains no legumes.

Sample buyer review… “After weeks of searching for a reliable dog food for our toy poodle puppy we finally found Merrick, he is healthy and and is fur is so soft, he is only ten weeks old yet he has so much energy, we are very glad.”


Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete High Protein Recipe

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete

Rating: 

Extreme Athlete is one of 13 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (ground white rice, barley)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Small and Medium Breed Puppy, Small Breed Adult, All Life Stages and others

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete draws much of its animal content from chicken meal and fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the formula contains 36% protein, 28% fat and 29% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.

An exceptional grain-inclusive formula, offering multiple recipe and flavor options. A top-rated, high-protein pick, containing no plant-based protein concentrates.

Sample buyer review… “Dogs love it, and do great. I’ve tried several types of foods, but always come back to this. It also makes my dogs coats shiny, and keeps a good weight on them. Especially since they are very active Belgian Malinois”


Natures Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast High Protein Kibble

Nature’s Logic High Protein Dog Food

Rating: 

Canine Chicken Meal Feast is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Nature’s Logic product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, millet, chicken fat, pumpkin seed, yeast culture
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (millet)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Puppies and Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Canine Beef, Canine Duck and Salmon, Canine Venison and others

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal acquires the bulk of its meat fraction from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis shows the recipe contains 40% protein, 16% fat and 36% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Nature’s Logic is one of only a handful of brands that meets AAFCO nutrient guidelines using actual real-live canine feeding trials. Top choice from a trusted and ethical manufacturer.

Sample buyer review… “I have been looking for a more natural dry food with some greens and fruits. I have used this product in the frozen form, and was pleased to find it also as a dry food. I like the small kibble. My dogs are doing great on it, maintains weight and coats are beautiful. Thanks fir a great product!”


Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused

Rating: 

Great Plains Red Recipe is one of 7 dry recipes covered in our review of the Merrick product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned beef, lamb meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free (sweet potatoes, potatoes)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Other recipes: Hero’s Banquet (beef, turkey and lamb), Pacific Catch Recipe (salmon, whitefish and trout) and others

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe receives the better part of its animal protein from deboned beeflamb meal, and salmon meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 19% fat and 30% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

An above-average kibble fortified with bits of freeze-dried raw beef. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “Love this food !! My dogs are so healthy no majors problem with them ! Keeps them full longer and the skin is so shiny ! The best product ever for your dogs”

Victor Classic Hi Pro Plus Dry Kibble

Victor Classic Hi Pro Plus High Protein Dog Food

Rating: 

Hi Pro Plus is one of 5 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Victor Classic product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, pork meal, chicken meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (sorghum)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Adult and small or medium breed puppies
  • Other recipes: Victor Professional (beef)

Victor Classic Hi Pro Plus receives most of its meat content from beef meal. Dry matter label analysis demonstrates the food contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 37% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

One of the best grain-inclusive kibbles on the market. A classic, fully-balanced high protein recipe. We’ve always admired Victor’s simple designs. Feed with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “Our breed recommended this dog food & our Goldendoodle has been on this food for over a year now. He absolutely loves his food & runs to his bowl every time he knows it’s time to eat. He has a great coat, maintains a health weight & has solid poops. Highly recommend for active puppies & dogs!”

benefits of high protein dog food

A dog’s nutritional needs vary depending on a lot of factors, from age to size or even the amount of energy.

Choosing the right amount of protein is integral to ensure proper physical and mental health. Protein is not just the building block of muscles, but also helps to build strong bones, aids in nerve function, and plays a part in healing wounds. Serving up the right amount of protein in each meal is key to your pup’s overall health.

Good vs Bad Protein

Protein is more than just a number on an ingredient list. There’s more than one type of protein, and the source can make a huge impact on your dog’s health. Meat is the primary source of protein for both humans and dogs, but healthy proteins can also be found in plant sources like beans. Protein is also found in popular by-products like wheat and soy, but should never be the main source of the nutrient. Dog food labels should have a meat or plant source listed as the primary ingredient when choosing the proper high-protein diet for your pup.

How much protein is too much?

Every dog is different, meaning his or her protein needs will vary. Many dogs will benefit from a high protein diet while others could actually benefit from less, and a veterinarian should determine which is best for your furry friend. Healthy puppies typically need higher rates of protein than adult dogs to help them grow, as do pregnant and nursing mothers. High-energy dogs, especially those that compete in agility sports, also require higher than normal levels of protein. But be careful when choosing foods, because too much protein can lead to problems. A dog’s body can only process so much, and any excess will invariably cause an imbalance that might lead to poor bone growth or kidney failure. Dogs who are already suffering from liver or kidney diseases could see a rapid decline in health on a high-protein diet. Since the quality protein is typically found in meals with excellent sources of meat, it can also come with extra calories. In that case, look for food that is specifically low-calorie but still offers healthy sources of protein. If overfed, a dog on a high-protein diet can easily become overweight. It’s important to monitor the amount of food your pup is taking in each day. As always, the larger the dog breed the more nutrients it will likely require. A Saint Bernard will require far more protein than a Yorkie, for instance.

The Benefits of High-Protein Diets

A high-protein diet can lead to many health benefits for your dog when properly administered and recommended by a vet. Some of these benefits include a healthier and shinier coat, improved skin health, lean muscle growth, and a stronger immune system. Many senior dogs can also benefit from high-protein foods. Amino acids in protein help to promote muscle recovery, which is vital in dogs as they age. If your dog’s food is getting him everything he needs and he likes it, but it could use a bit more protein, a topper might do the trick nicely. However, be sure to check in with your veterinarian before making drastic changes—depending on their overall health, a higher protein count could lead to increased risk of organ failure. When switching up your pet’s diet, it’s always important to consult with a professional to ensure there are no underlying health risks. Protein is a great way to increase your dog’s strength and overall health when fed in proper amounts, so consider asking your veterinarian about it during your next visit. 

Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like
Close
TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.
Close