High Protein Dog Food

There are mixed reviews in regards to feeding your dog high protein dog food. The question that dog owners who are considering a high protein diet should ask is whether a diet high in protein is right for their dog. Depending on their individual dog’s health, breed, activity level, age and physical condition, their dog may or may not benefit from a high protein diet. In fact, in some circumstances, a high protein diet can harm their dog. Dog owners must consider a variety of factors when deciding whether a high protein food is right for their dog.

Dogs Who Benefit from High Protein Foods

  • Puppies are the first to benefit from a high protein diet. Protein is an essential building block when it comes to muscle, hair, skin and brain development. A puppy’s diet should consist of between 25 to 30% protein in order for him to grow and develop appropriately with approximately 17% fat content for proper brain development, cellular health and skin/coat health.
  • A lactating female benefits from a high protein diet because she is producing milk and feeding her pups. Milk contains a relatively high amount of protein and in order for her body to produce a good quality milk while supporting her own health, she should be getting a high level of high quality protein. Dietary protein and fat percentages are the same for a lactating female as they are for growing puppies.
  • Performance dogs, such as those participating in agility competitions or other high energy activities, also benefit from a high level of protein in their diets. The protein promotes muscle strength and development and provides calories that burn more slowly and for extended periods of time than carbohydrates such as rice and other grains. Dietary protein should be about 25% with dietary fat at 20% in order to maintain a good body weight.
  • While racing sled dogs are considered performance dogs, their protein and fat requirements are highest of all. Again, the protein promotes muscle strength, development and endurance while fats help to maintain good body weight and keep them warm. 35% protein and 50% fats are a good ratio in a sled dog’s diet.

Dogs Who Should Avoid High Protein Foods

While protein is a beneficial nutrient in the canine diet, there are some dogs that do not benefit from a high protein dog food.

  • Dogs who have impaired kidney function should not be fed high protein diets. Protein is more difficult for the body to digest and puts added strain on the dog’s already weakened kidneys.
  • Dogs with underlying health conditions that put a strain on the kidneys should also avoid high protein diets. These conditions, such as diabetes, require the dog to have lower amounts of protein in order to retain as much kidney health as possible.
  • Elderly dogs should also avoid excessive protein in their food. A dog’s advanced age makes it more difficult for his body to digest proteins. A dog food with lower protein content is more appropriate for him.

Feeding your dog a high protein dog food is something that takes careful consideration. Be sure to take into consideration his health, activity level and age before deciding if a high protein diet is right for him.