High Protein Foods for Dogs

High protein foods provide your dog the nutrients he needs to lead a healthy life. However, foods that contain large amounts of proteins are not necessarily the best food for your dog. The most important aspect is the source of proteins in the food. The best protein source is real meat. Depending on the dog’s age, breed or lifestyle, he will need different amounts of proteins to keep in shape. Consult your veterinarian to find out the normal protein requirements for your dog.

High Protein Foods for Dogs

Dogs need proteins in their daily diet. During digestion, proteins are broken down to amino-acids (essential and non-essential) which are important for:

  • Growth
  • Proper maintenance of the body function
  • Building and regenerating tissue
  • Metabolism and hormone production
  • Immunity

Proteins are essential for muscles. Proteins are also a good source of energy because they can be burned just like calories. Dog food that contains higher percentage of proteins is not necessarily better. The most important thing is the source of proteins. The best quality proteins are obtained from real meat. You should consult the product label so that you know what type of proteins you are feeding to your dog. Generally, manufacturers include in dog food a slightly larger amount of proteins than needed, just to make sure that the daily necessary is covered. About 10 to 20% of the amount of proteins may be lost through the manufacturing and storage process of the food.

The daily protein requirements depend on a series of factors. Puppies and lactating dogs need more proteins than older dogs that sleep almost all day long. Dogs with kidney problems should be fed a low protein diet.

Protein Sources in Dog Food

Real meat is the best source for high quality proteins for dog food. The most commonly used meat is poultry. Soy is a good source of proteins and their quality is equivalent to that of meat proteins. It contains considerable amounts of most essential amino-acids. The types of meat proteins vary and they also have diverse quantities of amino-acids. When used together, meat and soy provide the ideal combination of proteins for dogs. Cereal grains are generally used to complete the amino-acids intake. Grains are not sufficient on their own, but combined with soy and meat proteins offer a well balanced and complete protein meal.

Recommended Daily Amount of Proteins

Dogs need 22 amino acids to be in a good shape. Their body can synthesize 12 of them, but the other 10 essential amino-acids need to be taken from food. Dogs need to consume the following proteins:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine,
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Depending of the stages of life, activity, breed and health condition, your dog might need different amount of proteins. Puppies and lactating dogs need a larger amount of proteins: about 28%. Adult dogs would require around 18 % proteins while performance dogs need 25% proteins. Working dogs (e.g. racing sled dogs) need about 35% of proteins in their meal.