How To Choose The Right High Protein Dog Foods For Your Pooch

High Protein Dog Foods

It’s a known fact that, just like humans, dogs need a protein-rich diet for optimal health. However, do you know the protein level your dog needs? Or which protein works best for their growing body?

The good news is that giving your dog enough protein is as simple as feeding them pet food high in protein. The only tricky part is finding the right one that suits their appetite and provides their body with the additional nutrients they need. This guide will help you decide which high-protein dog foods are worth a try and tell you what exactly you should be looking for when choosing the best dog food for your pet.

Table of Contents

The Top 5 High Protein Dog Foods for Your Dog

Best Overall
Best High Protein Dry Food
Best Choice for Picky Eaters
VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food – 30% Protein, Gluten Free - for High Energy and Active Dogs & Puppies, 40lbs
CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Beef, 22 lb. Bag
PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food – 30% Protein, Gluten Free - for High Energy and Active Dogs & Puppies, 40lbs
CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Beef, 22 lb. Bag
PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
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Best Overall
VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food – 30% Protein, Gluten Free - for High Energy and Active Dogs & Puppies, 40lbs
VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food – 30% Protein, Gluten Free - for High Energy and Active Dogs & Puppies, 40lbs
Best High Protein Dry Food
CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Beef, 22 lb. Bag
CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Beef, 22 lb. Bag
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Best Choice for Picky Eaters
PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
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Choosing the right high-protein dog food is difficult and may take some trial and error. However, when you find the right one, you’ll see a notable difference in your dog’s activity, physique, and overall health, making the hunt worth it. 

Below are the top 5 high-protein dog foods to keep your adult dog healthy and active. 

VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food — Best Overall

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VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food – 30% Protein, Gluten Free - for High Energy and Active Dogs & Puppies, 40lbs
  • ACTIVE DOG FOOD: VICTOR’s Hi-Pro Plus formula is a gluten free, high protein dog food with a nutrient-dense, multi meat formula; this dry dog...
  • 30% PROTEIN DRY FOOD: Packed with premium-quality beef, chicken, pork and fish meals
  • FROM PUPPY TO ADULT: Suitable for all life stages, this premium dog food is ideal for pregnant dogs, lactating females and puppies; VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus...

First on our list of the best high-protein dog foods is VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food.

Key features: 

  • 30% protein content
  • Combination of a variety of meats for a diversified protein source
  • Suitable for pregnant and lactating dogs

This hi-pro plus formula is gluten-free, nutrient-dense, and packed with protein to satisfy your dog’s hunger and provide sustained energy for their active day. This 30% dry food is made from beef, chicken, pork, and fish to provide your dog with a well-balanced meal. 

What’s great about this dog food is that it’s suitable for a wide variety of dogs in any stage of life, from puppies to pregnant or nursing females.

Keep in mind that if you have a large dog over 70 pounds, this dog food may not be enough to promote their growth, if that’s your goal. 

Otherwise, this pet food mix has an abundance of vitamins and minerals which help maximize the genetic potential of your dog and encourage a healthy, happy life.

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food — Best High Protein Dry Food

CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Beef, 22 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 22 lb. bag of CRAVE High Protein Adult Grain Free With Protein from Beef All Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals, and Other...
  • Inspired by the diets of their wolf ancestors, CRAVE adult dog food is made with real ingredients including high-quality animal protein and the full...
  • Satisfies a dog's natural desire for animal protein with real beef as the first ingredient

Next, we have CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food.

Key features:

  • 34% high protein perfect for a high protein diet
  • Satisfies dog’s natural desire for meaty flavors
  • No artificial flavors, or preservatives

Inspired by a wolf’s diet, this high-protein dog food uses real ingredients. The main ingredient in this mix is a high-quality animal protein derived from real beef, which gives this food a meaty flavor that dogs love. Chicken meal helps bulk up the protein level. It’s made from 34% high protein and contains the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your dog needs to grow.

Beyond that, this dog food has no preservatives or artificial flavor, providing your dog with only the nutrients they need for growth and strength. However, it’s important to note that this high-protein dog food is grain-free, meaning you must ensure that your dog receives enough carbs from other sources. 

Pedigree High Protein Dry Dog Food — Best Choice for Picky Eaters

PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble, 40 lb. Bag
  • Made with real red meat and 25% more protein than PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition
  • Provides whole grains and helps support healthy digestion

Key features:

  • Brought to you by a trusted brand
  • Real red meat combination of beef and lamb flavor
  • 25% more protein content than regular Pedigree Adult dog kibble

This Pedigree High Protein Dry Food contains 25% more protein than Pedigree’s regular Adult Complete Nutrition dog food, making it a good step up if your dog is already used to Pedigree food but needs a burst of protein in their diet. 

Using an appetizing combination of beef and lamb flavors, this dog kibble is made with real red meat and delivers complete and balanced nutrition to your dog. In addition to being a high source of protein, it’s enriched with omega fatty acids to nourish your dog’s healthy skin and coat. 

You’ll find that the taste of this kibble isn’t intimidating to your dog, making it a good choice for picky eaters who may not take too kindly to a change in their diet.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food — Best for Large Dog Breeds

NUTRO ULTRA Adult Large Breed High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with a Trio of Proteins from Chicken Lamb and Salmon, 30 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO ULTRA Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food with a Trio of Proteins From Chicken, Lamb and Salmon
  • Features trio of protein from chicken, lamb, and salmon—chicken is the ingredient—specially formulated for large breed adult dogs
  • Our premium dog food kibble is made with high-quality ingredients and provides complete and balanced nutrition for large breed adult dogs in every...

Key features:

  • Formulated for large dogs
  • Contains 15 superfoods
  • No preservatives or artificial flavors

If you have a larger dog, it’s even more important to ensure that they get enough protein for their size. That’s why Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is one of the best high-protein dog foods for big dogs.

While chicken is the primary ingredient, this dog food mix contains a trio of chicken, salmon, and lamb to provide your dog with a well-rounded variety of protein. It’s made from high-quality ingredients and provides complete and balanced nutrition for all types of large dog breeds. 

Beyond the protein sources, this dry dog food contains a blend of 15 superfoods, like kale, chia, coconut, and blueberries, which play a vital role in your pooch’s overall health. You’ll find no animal by-products, filler, artificial flavors, or preservatives in this food, providing your dog with nothing but the best ingredients for their health.

Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food — Best for Weight Gain

Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food (15 lbs.)
  • The ONLY 5 Star rated performance dog food. Rated by the world's #1 online dog food review site.
  • The ONLY Meat Based formula in its class. Unlike other brands which are plant based, Bully Max dog food uses real meat as the #1 ingredient.
  • MORE CALORIES than any other formula in its class (535 per cup). When you feed your dog Bully Max high performance dog food, you'll feed up to 50%...

Last on our list of the best high-protein dog foods is Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food.

Key features:

  • Ideal for weight gain and muscle mass
  • A lesser quantity is needed 
  • Suitable as puppy food for dogs as young as 4 weeks old

This meat-based dog food is a great choice to increase your active dog’s protein and fat intake. With a whopping 535 calories per cup, this chicken dog food blend will provide your dog with the calories and protein it needs to build lean muscle mass. What’s more is that this high-protein dog food is suitable for dogs of all ages, including puppies 4 weeks and older. 

If your dog is underweight, this high protein dog food will have them at a healthy weight again in no time. If your dog isn’t underweight, you can still use this dog food in a lesser quantity to give them the right amount of protein and other important nutrients. 

Healthy animal nutrition and ingredients for cats and dogs

What to Know Before Choosing High Protein Dog Foods

When changing your dog’s diet, you must do your research to ensure that you’re indeed changing it for the better and not potentially harming them. So, before introducing more protein into your dog’s diet, there are a few things that you should know. 

First, there is such a thing as too much protein. That excess protein gets stored as fat in the dog’s body, which may lead to unwanted weight gain or obesity. 

What’s more is that, contrary to popular belief, dogs are not carnivores but omnivores. They need a combination of proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. So if you choose high-protein dog foods lacking vegetables, grains, or other carbohydrates, ensure that your dog is getting nutrients from another source. 

Knowing all this, it’s important to feed your dog the proper amount of protein for their breed, weight, and size. Let’s find out exactly how much protein that is. 

How Much Protein Should You Feed Your Dog?

As a general rule of thumb, you should serve your active dog around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. However, this number can vary based on several different factors, including whether or not your dog is at their ideal body weight.

For example, if your dog is 50 pounds and that’s their ideal body weight, it’s safe to give them 50 grams of protein a day. However, if 50 pounds is overweight, you may need to decrease the amount of protein and total food you feed them. Likewise, if 50 pounds is underweight, they may need a surplus of 50 grams of protein to encourage safe and healthy weight gain.

What Are the Best Protein Sources for Dogs?

Dogs like a variety of quality protein sources. Some of the common proteins that you’ll find in dog food include:

  • Beef, including beef liver
  • Chicken (including chicken liver, hearts, and neck)
  • Pork 
  • Duck

Pet parents can mix and match these protein sources to entice your dog’s taste bud. For best results, ensure that the protein in your dog’s food comes from real meat. 

When choosing a high protein food for your dog, make sure that the first ingredient on the label is the source of protein (i.e., chicken, beef, etc.).

Conclusion

The best high-protein dog food for your pooch depends on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Taste preferences

If you want to play it safe, starting with general dog food that’s high in protein, such as Pedigree High Protein Dog Food, can provide your dog with the macronutrients they need to build lean muscle and live an active lifestyle.

Before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet, consult your vet.