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Best High Protein Dog Food -Top Picks and Buying Guide 2017

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Protein contributes to the development and maintenance of daily physiological functions by supplying your pet various amino acids. Dogs need22 amino acids including 12 non-essential and 10 essential. The deficiency of essential amino acids might cause serious health problems, not mention to many other negative effects on the development of dogs.

Consequently, you need to learn how to find out top-quality food containing the high content of protein for your dog. It is also important to know how to read the labels on the packaging so that you can identify appropriateingredients, as well as their origin and dosage. If you don’t know how to do that,read this post carefully to find out! We have great reviews on best high protein dog food for you, too!

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What Is the Protein Quality?

There are two things that should be taken into account when looking at the protein content of a dog food: the digestibility of protein and the bioavailability of amino acid. Protein digestibility refers to how much protein is separated into amino acids for intake into the body. Amino acid bioavailability refers to a number of amino acids that the protein offers to the tissues and cells for use.

Some proteins are superior to distribute digestibility and amino acid bioavailability than others, mentioned as “protein quality” or “biological value”. The common sources of them contain egg with the biological value of 100 for fish, 92 for milk, 78 for beef, 67 for soybean meal, 50 for wheat, and 45 for corn. 

What Are the Protein Requirements?

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Different dogs have different protein needs, depending on theirbreed, gender, body condition, and lifestyle. For example, a small dog requires more protein than a mature one as she is in the development phase of bone, muscles and organs. Another instance, a mother needs more protein to produce milk for feeding puppies than a girl.

Working pooches, such as herders, sled pets or agility, also require larger protein requirements than mid-aged adults. In general, the protein intake needed for puppies is 28%, adultsis 18 %, mothers is 28%, and athletic (racing/sled) dogs is 35%.

What Are the Symptoms of Protein Deficiency?

Proteinplays an essentialrole in maintaining the well-being. If your dog lacks it, he can meet a lot of unexpected health issues. Some certain signs of protein deficiency are:

How to Choose the Best High Protein Dog Food?

It is very important to read the product’slabel to understand its quality.However, some information like nutrient digestibility is not regularly listed on the packaging, although you can contact the manufacturer for more details. General principles for choosing high-quality protein canine product include:

The Best Protein Source

Chicken, Fish, Beef, etc.

It is no wonder that the highest protein sources with huge biological value are made from real meats, such as chicken, fish or lamb.

Pets like a great deal of low-fat, first-rate protein in authentic lean meats. For example, poultry is avery nutritional ingredient with the purest, finest, healthiest and good digestibility sources of protein. Or fish is the rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which help to bring your dog a glossy, nice coat.

Some like beef and venison are real meats known as abundant sources of protein. The most critical thing is that you must ensure to nottake by-product meat.

Meat Meal

Meat meal is considered as many names, containing meat and bone meal, fish meat meal, lamb meat meal, and so on. Many people misunderstand between “meat meal” and “meat by-products”. However, “meat meal” is really a better form of meat and a large supply of protein. It is the dried formula of meat that the water is eliminated out, leaving a gathered high-quality and well-digested protein source. High-quality meat meals are the meal of chicken, lamb, duck, turkey, buffalo, and beef.

The Worst Protein Source

If real animals make the highest protein sources, some plants and bad by-products produce the worst proteins that we should avoid.

Plant Protein

Some plants, such as corn, wheat and gluten, have the low protein content, but they are not good sources of nutrients. The digestive system of dogs is unable to digest large amounts of cereal foods like gluten and cornmeal. It is no point in using them since they do not contain any essential amino acid like fresh meats.

By-Product Meat

By-product meat is a cheap and unhealthy component that should be ignored at all cost. In addition to the actual volume of meat, they also include other parts such as hooves, horns, feathers or beaks that are really bad for digestion.

Does Excess ProteinCause Bad Influences on Your Dog?

Protein is a high-calorie nutrient, so high-protein diets mean high-calorie intake, which can cause weight gain for your pet. With more than 50% of dogs in the US suffering from overweight or obesity, owners need to keep an eye on those calories.

Whena dog consumes too much protein, his liver and kidneys are forced to work harder, leading to overload and simultaneously disrupting the balance of nutrients. The result, in the long run, will beserious health problems.

Instead of looking for high-protein foods, you should look for a specific formula that suits your dog’s age, size and lifestyle. The safest is the diets formed by companies that invest in scientific research. Besides, you should consult your veterinary to choose the mostappropriate food so that your petcan be provided with a balanced nutritional diet.

Our Reviews on 5 Best High Protein Dog Food

1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

In the first place, Wellness recipes are based on the nutritious philosophy which pets thrive on a portion completely included meat. A large number of grain-free, protein-rich ingredients (whitefish, salmon, herring, Menhaden fish meal, and more)helps to maintain your dog’s optimal well-being.

Especially, the coat and skin are healthy and shiny as the product is full of essential vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants. Besides, fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6 help to promote strong cellular activity and improve the immune system to prevent diseases. All of them produce the tasty smell that the dog can’t wait to eat.

In addition, each 100% authentic poultry-free formula supplies complete and balanced nutrition for your pooches with no meat by-products, corn, soy, additives, fillers, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.


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    High-quality protein​​​
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    Healthy immunity
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    No by-products, additives, or artificial flavors


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    Some dogs don’t like the smell of this food.
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    It includes garlic that might cause allergies to some dogs.

2. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Canned Wet

Because my dog has some food allergies, I need a diet with a proper protein source. So, I decide to have a combination of dry food and wet food.And this one is really a great deal! My dog really loves it, and he hastaken effect on it. So, I have decided to switch to this one so far.

Limited Ingredient Diets is packed with high-quality nutrients. It is made from simple formulas which limit components in a canine diet to lower thepossibility of catching allergies or sensitivities.

More importantly, it is packed with a wide range of premium protein and carbohydrate, includes vitamins and minerals in sweet potatoes, canola oil to improve great skin and luxurious coat. These product lines are designed with the completely grain-free formulas suitable for all puppies, adults, and seniors.


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    Improve the digestibility
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    Prevent allergies issues
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    High-quality protein content


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    The smell is sour and foul.
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    The combination of venison and sweet potato may make the pooch get ill.

3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food

It is the combination of simple, authentic ingredients such as real U.S. farm-raised turkey, beef, and seafood including a range of carefully selected proteins to ensure the safety for health. The first chicken component plays an important in supporting strong organs and lean muscle mass.

Another critical point, the appearance of a plenty of excellent veggies, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in all vegetables is useful for him to create a powerful long life.

For example, peas have a lot of advantages in supporting the digestive system conveniently. Carrots with vitamins B3, B6, carotenoids and brown rice with a carbohydrate source, wholesome fiber help the ability of good immunity.

The taste is more appetizing before. I don’t have any word to express my feeling when seeing him eat deliciously and happily. You can feel free as this doesn’t have any component of by-products or additives.


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    Help digestive system better
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    Simple, natural ingredients such as raised-chicken, seafood
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    Good taste


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    May make the dog itch.

4. The Honest Kitchen Zeal Grain Free Dog Food

One of the leading standards to choose the one is that it comes from wild-caught fish, a novel protein, and dehydrated for digesting easily. Besides, the excellent option is right for the complete and balanced maintenance diet for the adults and seniors of any breed and size.

Furthermore, the product requires the requirements for FDA safety in order to use the brand “human grade”, guaranteeing the first-rate dog food. Also, the absence of by-products, preservatives, and other additives – just put in a little bit water for a tasty and warm meal.

Zeal is not made from common allergens such as flaxseed, grains, white potatoes, or gluten, so it works for sensitive dogs. With an abundance of fat and calories, this food is ideal for the pickiest eaters.


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    Maintain a luxurious coat and glossy skin
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    Support the digestive system
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    No by-products or harmful artificial substances


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    May happen some problems with bloody stool.
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    The appearance of garlic can make the pet allergic.

5. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog

My dog is allergic to some certain foods. Recently, I have started using this type and it seems that scratching and licking have dramatically reduced more than 50%. I would like to use this product for a long time.

The one is formulated with the finest protein content in real beef to bring the active and fun life. It seems more focused, more content and less rambunctious in this product. So, if you are in trouble finding dog food, this is the worth choice because it contains grain-free ingredients at the reasonable price.

Your dog will love to eat Diamond Naturals because it helps maintain and control energy. In addition, the selection of fat, protein and other essential nutrients significantly contributes to the ideal body condition. And antioxidants and fiber support healthy digestion and immunity. All of them provide all the nutrients needed for your dog’s happy life day after day.

Last but not least, it provides Vitamin E, Selenium, Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids for the glossier and shinier skin and coat. Also, there is no corn, no wheat, no by-products, or artificial colors, and noflavors.


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    Highest protein in real beef
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    Support healthy digestion and immunity
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    Improve the shinier skin and nice coat


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    Cause some problems such as lethargy, diarrhea, and sickness.


If you want your pets to grow well, you need to provide the full complement of essential nutrients through their daily diet. However, the choice of canine food types appropriate and good for their health is not known to any owner.

I choose the Diamond Naturals Dry Food as my leading priority. It brings my dog great benefits, including digestion, immunity, shiny coat and skin improvement, that I cannot find in other products.

What is your choice? Let’s us know by leaving your comment below. Thank you!

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