High Protein Dog Food Problems

High protein dog food can be a great source of energy and may be recommended in a few dogs, but may also cause a few problems. Proteins are essential nutrients in the diet of a canine, providing the energy for the daily activities. The amount of proteins a dog needs will depend on the age, size and activity level of the dog.

Protein Requirements in Dogs

Proteins are the major source of energy for canines and should be present in all meals. The protein requirements are not the same for all dogs and can vary according to:

  • The age of the dog (senior dogs require fewer proteins, while puppies need more proteins)
  • The size of the dog
  • The energy level of the dog (if the dog consumes more energy, he should get more proteins)
  • The sex of the dog (female dogs require fewer proteins, however pregnant and lactating dogs will need more proteins)

On average, the percentage of proteins needed by dogs will be:

  • 28% for puppies
  • 18% for adult canines

Ideally, an adult dog should eat as many proteins as he consumes. A surplus of proteins can cause a number of problems.

The percentage of proteins may be found on the food labels, but you should know that due to the manufacturing process and the storage, the amount of proteins can decrease.

High Protein Dog Food

High protein dog food can be recommended in a number of instances:

  • Dogs recovering from a severe illness
  • Puppies that are developing
  • Performance dogs, sheep dogs or hunting dogs that are actively used

These dogs may receive between 25 and 35% of proteins on a daily basis.

High Protein Dog Food Problems

Dogs that eat more proteins than they require may develop a number of problems, the most important being the kidney issues.

Other possible problems may include development irregularities, especially if the high protein diet is fed to puppies that are not fully developed. 

Kidney Problems

Dogs that consume a high protein food on a regular basis may develop kidney problems in the long run. The high amount of proteins can be problematic to break down if administered on a daily basis.

Dogs that already have a kidney problem should never get a high protein diet and moreover, they should get a smaller amount of proteins to prevent health complications and to help the kidneys. Dogs with kidney issues should get highly digestible proteins.


Dogs that receive more proteins than they need, can be hyperactive and can develop behavioral problems such as chewing on clothes, shoes or other items in the home.

Development Issues

If puppies receive a high protein diet, or a supplementation of proteins, these can affect the development of the bones and may result in bone deformities.

Puppies require an increased amount of proteins, but it should be carefully monitored and adapted according to the size of the puppy.