This is our review of the best high protein dog food in 2022.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know which dog food to buy for your pets. Do you buy adult dog food? A high protein food for puppies? Food for active dogs? What about dry dog food – does it necessarily contain a very high protein content and other nutrients? Is it wheat and grain free?
What about taste – Are there any brands or flavours of foods that dogs are likely to go for the most? Sometimes it seems owners need a dog food advisor.
All kinds of ingredients and benefits come with high-quality dog food. Some will promise shiny coats; others will boost healthy skin; one or more might be grain-free, contain sweet potatoes or pea protein and amino acids– there’s a lot to consider.
However, what you should ideally be looking for is high-protein dog food, as this is what your pooch is likely going to want the most when it comes to keeping healthy, staying active and staying strong in the long run.
We all need a good amount of protein! But have you really thought about how much protein your dogs are getting in their food? Have you already started looking at high protein dog food online and are unsure whether or not paying the prices available are really worth the effort?
In this buying guide, I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about high protein dog food. Whether you are a new dog owner or have owned pets for much of your life, there is still plenty for you to learn!
At the end of my short guide to buying a high quality, high protein dog foods, I’ll show you eight of the top dog food products available for you to buy on the web right now.
In this guide, we will be reviewing the following high protein dog food:
- Crave Lamb & Beef Dog Food Pate
- AATU 80/20 Dry Dog Food
- Edgard & Cooper Natural Wet Dog Food
- Alpha Hi Performance Wheat Gluten Free Dry Food
- Forthglade Natural Grain Free Complete Food
- The Hunger of the Wolf Dry Dog Food
- Beau Superfood 2kg British Grass Fed Angus Beef Dog Food
- Lakes Heritage 12kg Chicken Dog Food
Our Best High Protein Dog Foods
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Why is it best to look for high protein dog food in the first place? Is protein really that important to their overall health?
In short, yes. It’s absolutely crucial! Dogs thrive, of course, on many different nutrients and elements that you’ll find in a rich, complex mixture of foods. Protein, such as that from chicken, lamb and beef, helps to build up strength.
In fact, protein probably does more than you think. Protein in your adult dogs’ diets can help them maintain healthy muscles, ligaments, and healthy skin. Believe it or not, protein can also help to maintain nails too.
Why A High-Protein Diet Is Essential
Protein is essential for pets. You will likely find plenty of dog foods out there that are meat-based but don’t necessarily go into too much detail on the protein content. That’s because the protein content of these dog foods isn’t always going to be that high. Many commercial foods skimp on the good stuff and pack out the recipe with fillers such as corn, wheat and grain.
High protein content in dog food – whether it’s turkey meal or dry dog food – is something to shout about. For more on good dry food for dogs, it’s here.
You might want to increase protein in your dog’s food with ingredients such as extra meat or even fruits and vegetables. Yes – plant-based ingredients can be just as good for driving up high protein content, and this means that you can strike a balance between fruits and vegetables as well as various types of meat.
However, be sure to give your dogs a balance. They are carnivores, after all! You should make sure that they are receiving animal protein, such as chicken, beef, lamb and turkey and ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
Let’s take a look at some of the top protein-rich foods you can buy for your furry friend online right now. All eight of the following picks are well-loved and thoroughly reviewed.
Crave is actually a brand of human protein-rich supplements with great nutrition that’s branched out into the dog food game! This high protein meal comes in a simple packet and offers zero grain, along with contents that are sourced, in the majority, from animals.
This is a tasty lamb and beef recipe, but take a closer look at other protein-rich treats out there and you will find chicken and other variants. The ingredient list is chock full of good stuff that you’ve definitely heard of, and a few of these each week will have your pet looking at healthy skin as well as healthy weight.
As mentioned, protein can be one of the best things you introduce into a dog’s nourishment for weight loss but balanced correctly, you can help to bulk up skinnier or underweight pets, too.
- It’s pate, which tends to be a smaller dog staple
If I haven’t put the grain free angle across to you enough in this guide yet, take a close look at this brilliant chicken kibble from AATU. It’s a clear example of a dry dog food recipe being just as chock full of protein as the wet stuff, and this brand’s no-nonsense, ethical approach is pretty refreshing.
Totally free from grain, white potatoes and gluten this recipe uses the finest ingredients and contains no less than 80% protein combined with veggies, fruits, herbs spices and botanicals
I’m reviewing the 1.5kg starter bag; however, there are bigger bags that scale all the way up to 10kg. Available in chicken, salmon, turkey, duck and even shellfish flavours, this is a light, delicious kibble that’s made with plenty of fruit and veg, too.
- May be a little expensive for some
This grain-free wet sachet range is reasonably priced, has more protein requirements than some other tray options and comes in a series of fantastic flavours. Game and duck is the pick for this list, but there is also duck and chicken, salmon and trout plus lamb and beef recipe options available if your pet prefers something a little different.
The information on this meal says the wet option comes with 56% meat packed in, thats fresh slow cooked meat not dried meat or meal meaning there is never any worry that you will be bulking your pets up with any nasty processed stuff full of preservatives.
The beetroot, carrot, cranberries minerals in this recipe and herbs also aid your dog’s digestion and they also do a grain and gluten free range for pups with sensitive stomachs. These small trays are ideal for small dogs however they do 400g cans too although at almost £3 per can it may work out a little expensive if you have a large breed.
- Pricey if you have larger breeds or more than one dog
If you’re trying to keep your dog off the gluten, this high-performance grain free dry dog food mix is a popular choice. This recipe is also wheat free and offers stacks of natural ingredients, including fish meals, and beef meal ideal for working pets, gundogs, high energy breeds like Huskies, Spaniels and Collies or breeding bitches
This complete mix should give you everything you need to get your pet’s health up to the optimum level. There are even more meal recipe options from the same brand, with many choices in flavours and those mixes that work best for dogs, such as greyhounds. You get a fair amount of food in the bag too, making this dry food excellent value
- May not be a brand many people have heard of
Lastly, if you really want to save money on a chicken meal or other types of high protein food, this is a great alternative to dry food. You get a box of four duck, four turkey and four lamb sachets for the price.
This recipe is hypoallergenic and is free from grain, and leads with the idea of completely natural ingredients. Therefore, it’s likely to be a great choice if you genuinely care about what your dog is likely to want to eat; Your dog will love the taste of this high-protein dog food and it’s one of the more affordable dog foods on the market.
- The texture might not appeal to all dogs
If you’re looking for high-protein food for your high-energy dog, Hunger of the Wolf may be a good option. This dry dog food recipe is 32% protein. That doesn’t sound much I hear you cry but remember the moisture has been removed. When you compare the amount of dried chicken meal in 1 kg of food to the amount of fresh meat, it equals 1140g. That’s a lot of protein!
This food also doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, soya gluten or chemical dyes. It’s perfect for pregnant and nursing dogs, as well as active dogs who need a little extra nourishment.
The healthy fats and probiotics help support the digestive tract and improve the condition of your dog’s coat and skin.
- Some reviews mention it makes their dogs a bit gassy
When it comes to dry dog food, there are a lot of options to choose from. However, not all dog food is created equal. Beau Superfood 2kg British Grass Fed Angus Beef Dog Food is a great alternative to wet food and is made with 65% total beef content.
In addition, this dry dog food recipe contains 20% natural superfoods, including carrots, green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, and courgettes.
The food is also grain free and hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. Yes it’s a little pricey, especially if you have multiple dogs but the quality of this dry food is undeniable.
- May be a bit pricey for larger breeds
If you’re looking for a dry dog food that’s high in protein and grain-free, then you’ll want to check out Lakes Heritage.
Made with 50% protein and a combination of sweet potato and herbs. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic and rich in amino acids and vitamins, which are essential for a healthy coat and skin. Plus, the delicious recipes of pork, chicken, salmon, turkey and beef have been developed in the Lakes region, so you know they’re good! They even do a puppy mix and kibble for senior dogs
This is one of the best dry dog foods for picky eaters. So if you have a fusspot at home, this is definitely the food for you. And no matter what breed of dog you have, Lakes Heritage will definitely give them the nutrition they need
- Not a huge variety of flavours
Your Dog’s Ancestors, why they need a high protein diet
One of the best reasons to invest in a high protein diet is for the simple fact that dogs are – by their very nature – carnivores and hunters. Yes, it might be hard to imagine that Bichon Frise hunting down anything bigger than a daddy long legs, but it’s true. Dogs’ teeth are designed to tear meat.
Dogs are descended from wolves. Therefore, it is easy enough to assume that you should be giving them plenty of real meat in their diets. However, you shouldn’t just be giving them meat to eat. They need to get protein and other nutrients from plants, too.
Even if you quickly glance over the general diet in the wild, you will find that they forage for greenery, too, and the best high protein diets are rich with superfoods, amino acids and minerals, which are beneficial to Fido’s healthy lifestyle.
Animal proteins are incredibly healthy as part of any dog diet. Dogs don’t know the best food for them and the average dog will happily chow down on most things. Some dogs need more protein in their diets, such as large-breed puppies, lactating bitches, and working dogs, but in general, a high protein diet will benefit most canines and promote a healthy immune system.
Therefore, try and look into a high protein diet plan that brings together an omnivore approach. Much like human beings, dogs need a diet that’s balanced with all kinds of things – except, of course, unnatural chemicals, grain or filler.
Protein and Weight
What can be difficult is maintaining your dog’s weight. If your pet could stand to lose a few pounds, it is probably tempting to put them on a restricted diet and increase their exercise. However, as your vet will tell you, this does not always work well in practice.
As you may even know yourself, crash diets really should be avoided. They don’t work. If you are really worried about what is going to be the best weight for your dog – whether they need to gain or lose – you must approach your vet in the first instance. The thing to remember is whilst dogs can tuck into most cooked carbohydrates, they are not the best for weight loss.
Protein is something of a magical commodity in that while it can be used to help bulk up and actually gain weight, it’s useful for losing weight, too. Protein is much healthier than carbohydrates, which end up getting stored in the body and converted into unhealthy fat. The same goes for our bodies. Many people try and convert to lean chicken and lamb to try and cut carbohydrates.
Ultimately, high protein dog chow isn’t always going to be formulated to help your pet pile on the pounds. In many cases, a great balance of high protein and low carb will actually help them keep trim and maintain. Again, check with your vet before you make any major changes.
Natural Ingredients Make a Difference
Yes, whether you are buying wet pet food or quality dry dog food, you should always prioritise natural ingredients such as eggs and whitefish as an example. If you wouldn’t feed artificial ingredients and filler to your family, why would your dog expect anything different? High protein dog food should always come with a natural approach first – as top-quality ingredients such as menhaden fish meal instead of a corn-gluten meal can help to build for a healthier future.
Try and avoid anything that’s filler. Ones with grain sorghum, an alternative that contains no gluten filler, as I’ve discussed in other buying guides, is an absolute winner. You can find plenty of chicken meals, lamb meals and turkey meals with high protein meat which goes all out on the grain removal. Ideally, you want to look for healthy ingredients such as animal proteins, whole brown rice and vegetables that your dogs can thrive on.
That doesn’t mean you have to go all out on any ketogenic or organic diet plans. If anything, being careful to look for grain-free grub and healthy ingredients is as simple as just checking the can.
Think about what you’d normally do to check what’s on tinned and packet foods for your family. You’d probably check for high protein content here, too. Therefore, your best shot at getting high protein meat really shouldn’t be any different. Take a close look at that ingredient list and be sure you recognise what’s going into that dog bowl. Your dogs will thank you for a more natural diet.
What Can I Feed My Dog That is High in Protein?
Just as you might normally look for foods that are rich in protein, you’d probably want to do the same for pet foods.
It’s great to look for healthy meat such as chicken, turkey, lamb meal and fish. These are all fairly lean foods that are therefore likely to be low in fat. Chicken meal, pork meal and are also often found in high protein diets.
However, go for a balance. Again, check out that ingredient list. Yes, it’s important to give your pet food that’s as natural as possible – but the best high protein foods for dogs have been thoroughly tested to bring the best out in your dogs; some contain sweet potatoes, joint supplements for senior dogs. omega acids, minerals, kale, fruit and essential minerals
That’s why I’ve compiled this buying guide for high protein dogs’ food. There is a lot of competition and a lot of choice on what to feed a dog out there. One can of dog meat the pet food manufacturers say is high in protein may not always be the best dog food for your hound.
So – take it from me – it’s worth looking at specific chicken, lamb, turkey or fish-based dog foods, at least if you want to give your dogs a really good balance of meat and vegetables. You can get protein from plants and meat, remember!
Dogs That Require High Protein Foods
As any experienced dog owner knows, every dog is unique and has different nutritional needs. Depending on their age, activity level, and health, some dogs may benefit from a diet that is high in protein. For example, pregnant and nursing dogs need a lot of calories to support their growing litter, and a high-protein food can help to meet their increased energy needs. Working dogs that are on the go all day also need a high-energy kibble that is packed with protein, in order to maintain their stamina. Dogs that are kept outside may burn more energy trying to keep warm during the winter months, so they may need a food that is high in protein and healthy fats. And finally, sporting dogs can burn up to four times as many
Other Points to Consider
There are, of course, always going to be a few other things you might want to keep in mind when it comes to buying pet food, in particular high protein dog foods. When looking for the best high protein dog food around, you may forget to check some of the simpler factors and features to tinned and packet foods that apply across the board.
Here are a few general things to look for in dog food before you buy.
There are specific types of high protein fodder for your dog, which might vary depending on their age and size. Any dog food advisor would recommend high protein foods for puppies to help build strong bones and healthy muscles; Senior dogs may also benefit from meals high in protein as they get older especially if they are piling on the pounds. Working and active breeds such as collies, Siberian Huskies and Greyhounds should always be fed high protein meals; even smaller dogs eating smaller portions would prefer for most of their meals to have plenty of animal proteins.
I don’t normally mention pricing too much when it comes to these buying guides, but when it comes to looking for high quality, protein rich dog food, it can be hard to strike a balance.
In some cases, dog food brands such as Pedigree, Bully Max and Purina can really up the price when it comes to protein levels, especially when using costly or unusual ingredients like air-dried Ostrich or fresh Venison; this may be fine if you have a Chihuahua or small breed, but if you have a Dane or multiple dogs it’s going to add up.
At the same time, regardless of what’s in their bowls and regardless of whether or not your dogs are on some form of nutritional plan, do not willfully look into cheaper dog foods just for the sake of it. Many cheap dry and wet dog food may skimp on the high-quality protein and stock up on filler; instead, they may use artificial flavors and sub-par meat meal.
So what’s the answer? Simple – you shop around. Look for foods aimed for adult dogs with a good amount of animal protein, read the list of ingredients on that high protein puppy food. Check if the ingredients are human food industry standard. Can you get senior dog food full of animal protein that doesn’t cost the earth? The answer is yes.
Try and look for a midrange option; personally, if the ingredient lists are healthy and there’s plenty of great protein content, it should be worth every penny.
Flavours And Meats
If you have a really good idea of the meat and flavours that your dog loves the most, this is a great asset to your shopping experience. One of the worst things you can do is buy up dog food that might be high in protein, which really doesn’t interest your dog, something like pumpkin or chickpeas.
Look for chicken, lamb, turkey and fish in particular if you really want to go for particularly high protein dog foods. Beef is good too, but lean meats will generally give you as much animal protein sources as possible per can.
Do also think about texture, too. Some meaty dog foods crammed with high-quality protein will arrive in gravy, jelly, or loaf. There is nothing really wrong with any of these types and it’s mainly down to your pup’s preference. If your struggling to get them to eat it, try enticing them with a dog treat or dog biscuits to start.
Again, your dog may well have a bit of a preference for the texture of animal protein they prefer. Therefore, don’t feel bad if you really want to opt for gravy and a wet dog food option rather than kibble. Providing you check out the ingredients and measure out how much protein there is in the can or sachet, you are already doing a fantastic job.
Dry Or Wet?
Yes, it’s that same old battle. The fact is, dry food and wet dog food can both be high protein, meaning that the idea of dry kibble being nothing but carb is a real misnomer.
Moist, meaty chunks rich in protein are always going to be a winner, but a high protein canine meal can be achieved with kibble too, in a variety of flavours from salmon meal to free range chicken.
I can’t stress this enough – no matter how you balance your dog’s nutritional requirements – go grain-free. look for options with sweet potatoes, brown rice or squash. Wheat, corn, white rice, non of these have a place in your dog’s dinner, even though many cheaper grain free dog food brands have a high proportion of these ingredients. Trust me; your dog will be happier and healthier. I am speaking from experience!
Are dogs carnivores? Back in the day, they were and even now, when they consume wheat, corn and barley, usually coated in chicken fat to make it taste better, you should really opt for high protein foods. It is easy to assume that all dog food is formulated with their health in mind. However, it is always a good plan for pet parents to check those ingredients.
You may already have a firm favourite brand in mind or in place on your shopping list. That’s great – but if you are worried about your dog’s weight, or adding more protein to their daily menu, it may be worth looking into making a few changes. Our personal recommendation would be the Crave Lamb & Beef Dog Pate as it’s full of nutrients without costing a fortune.
What Is The Best Dog Food Recommended By Vets?
Once again, before you up the protein intake or change your dog’s food, always ensure that you speak to your vet about what you have in mind. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good. Vets will often recommend brands like Eukanuba and Royal Canin, but there may be cheaper options that are just as beneficial to Fido’s health, so be sure to browse before buying pet supplies.
Do you have a good idea about what your dog likes to eat and which brands appeal to you the most? Do you know which senior food is high in protein? The top five products I’ve listed here may help!
Take a good look through and really treat your pet to the food they not only love but which has the protein intake to support them long term. Don’t feed them poor quality food full of carbs and fillers– look for lamb meal, real chicken, and nutrients to boost healthy skin, energy levels and more.