Does Puppy Food Have More Protein

Your Dogs Size Age & Stage Of Life

Little Dogs Need More Protein

Older dogs are more prone to the conditions for which low-protein diets are recommended, but canine kidney disease can happen at any stage of life. All the foods on this list are meant for adults or senior dogs, and a low-protein diet is not recommended for puppies. If your puppy has chronic kidney or liver disease, your vet will make a dietary recommendation that will ensure your pup receives the nutrients he needs to ensure good brain development.

Worst Adult Dry Dog Food: Iams Proactive Health

The primary ingredient in IAMS Proactive Health Adult Chunks dry dog food is chicken.

Though chicken is a quality item and raw chicken comprises about 80% water, but when cooked, most of the water is lost, which reduces the meat content to just a portion of its initial weight.

After processing, these ingredients would probably account for a smaller fraction of the whole content of the finished food.

The second ingredient is cornmeal which is coarse ground flour made from the dried corn. Corn is a controversial and inexpensive cereal grain of low nutritional value to a dog.

For that reason, it is not a preferred part of any dog food.

The third ingredient of this product is sorghum , a starchy cereal grain with a similar nutrient profile to corn.

Because it is gluten-free and claims a smoother blood sugar performance than other grains, sorghum may be considered a satisfactory non-meat ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is chicken by-product meal, which is a dry product of the slaughterhouse waste.

This meal is made after all prime cuts have been separated, which includes almost anything left, including beaks, feet, and even undeveloped eggs, anything except the feathers.

But on the bright side, these portions are meat concentrates and comprise protein approximately 300% more than the fresh chicken.

The fifth ingredient is beet pulp, a controversial ingredient, as it is a high fiber by-product made of sugar beet processing.

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What Are Some Of The Benefits Of High Protein Dog Food

The benefits of a quality-ingredient, high protein diet for your pup is increased health, wellness, and longevity, Gore says. Diets high in high-quality protein are lean, and more bioavailable to dogs. A balanced, high-protein diet that agrees with the individual wont put added strain on the system or organs which can lead to health concerns.

Having more protein in a dog food formulation also means less room for poor-quality ingredients, which can make for a more nutritious dog food overall.

One of the reasons a high protein diet can benefit pups is because protein is viewed as a superior macronutrient to carbohydrates and fats, says Gore. Foods that are not as high in protein will be higher instead in carbs and fats, which can be more taxing on the internal systems, and not as healthful, or beneficial to your pup.

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Holistic Select Adult Health Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

While this recipe may start with chicken meal as its first ingredient, this is quite common for dry kibbles, and it is reassuring to see that there are no animal by-products in this recipe. The animal-based protein in this bag comes from chicken meal, pork meal, and chicken fat.

For grain, we are looking at brown rice, rice, oatmeal, and oats. This is a combination of grains that I like because they are all foods that I understand and I am happy to put on my own plate. While dogs and humans dont have the same dietary needs, that doesnt mean that there isnt any crossover, and in general, the grains that are good for me are also good for my dog.

As well as containing one of the most comprehensive nutrient packs Ive seen, there are a few other standout ingredients. The recipe contains some fresh fruits and vegetables, such as cranberries and papayas, which are superfoods for dogs as well as humans.

There is also a nice dollop of salmon oil, which is a great source of both fats and Omega 3 fatty acids, which means a healthy and shiny coat among other things. It also contains added microorganisms to help with digestion, especially of protein.

The big problem with this dry kibble is that it is expensive. It costs twice as much as the previous two foods on this list. This recipe is also high in calories at around 4,000 per kilogram, so should be fed to your dog in moderation.


  • Added microorganisms to aid digestion


  • Expensive
  • High in calories

Should I Be Concerned About My Puppy’s Weight

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Keeping your puppy at a healthy weight is crucial to lifelong health. Underweight puppies may not develop properly while puppies that are overweight are at increased risk of being overweight adult dogs. This can lead to diseases such as arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even heat exhaustion during outdoor activities. Your veterinarian should evaluate your puppys body condition score at each visit to make sure you are on track with nutrition.

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How Low Should You Go

A low-protein diet doesnt mean a total absense protein, and there isnt one single number that indicates when a food is low in protein. For the purposes of this ranking, we found it helpful to consider two big points:

  • The Association of American Feed Control Officials , an industry group that establishes pet food labeling standards, considers 18% to be the minimum recommended protein content for dogs. Only one of the foods on our list has protein content lower than that Hills Prescription k/d, and you can only get it through a veterinarians prescription.
  • Dog food advertising tends to take a the more the merrier approach to discussing protein content in food. Our analysis found that among popular foods that claim to be high protein, they range from about 30% to 40% protein content. For the purposes of this analysis, we limited our reviews to foods with no more than 28% protein content.

Make Food Palatable For Senior Dogs

There are practical aspects of feeding your dog to consider, too. Senior dogs may have dental problems that make chewing difficult or uncomfortable. These dogs should first be treated for whatever problem they have, but if that is impossible or unsuccessful, consider wetting their food or feeding them canned or soft food. Simply feeding a smaller kibble size may help if youre feeding dry food.

Senior dogs may be uncomfortable bending down to the food bowl or standing for long periods to eat. Try serving their meals on a raised platform or encourage them to eat lying down.

Very old dogs often lose their appetite. Warming the food can increase its aroma and may help stimulate the appetite cooling it may make it less nausea-inducing in queasy dogs. At some point you may have to abandon your goal of a healthy balanced diet and just feed him whatever he will eat. The wait until hes hungry enough tactic doesnt work in seniors because their hunger mechanism may not be working correctly. Besides, its a little late to be worried about spoiling himand even if you do, doesnt he deserve it?

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Protein Fact #: Older Dogs Benefit High Protein Dog Food With No Risk To Their Kidney Health

Thanks to robust medical preventative care and disease treatment, dogs today are living longer than ever, reinforcing the importance of tailoring our nutrition to support the aging dog. As a dog ages, they require more protein. When insufficient protein is provided, it can aggravate the age-associated loss of lean body mass and may contribute to lowered mobility and earlier mortality. Feeding higher protein to an older dog helps support their increased requirements, maintains their muscle mass for mobility and most importantly, has been shown in numerous studies to have no adverse effects on a dogs kidneys. A protein-restricted diet is only recommended for dogs that have been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. Restricting protein for healthy older dogs is not only unnecessary, but could be detrimental.

Why Is Protein Important For Dogs

Problems with High Protein Diet Dr.Berg

To ensure your pet is getting the nutrition that he needs, its important to feed him a well-balanced diet that features high quality proteins.

Protein is a vital nutrient that all animals require, including canines. While mans best friend also requires other nutrients, like carbohydrates, and fats, protein is the most important. Thats because canines are naturally carnivorous, which means that their bodies need this nutrient in order to thrive. In the wild, canines hunt for their food, and animals make up the largest portion of their diet.

Protein contains amino acids, organic compounds that play an important function in several essential bodily functions. Canines require a total of 22 amino acids in their diet, and 10 of them have to come from their diet because their bodies do not synthesize them naturally. Therefore, its important to feed your pooch a food that contains a balanced blend of high-quality proteins that are preferably sourced from meat.

Protein is important for the following reasons:

  • It helps to maintain and repair vital cells and tissues, such as muscles, bones, skin, and hair
  • It strengthens the immune system
  • It aids in the production of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies

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Twin Pet Dry Dog Food

Twin Pet dog food is a plant-based dry dog food utilizing a limited amount of unnamed and unidentified meat as its primary source of animal protein.

Twin Pet contains cheap ingredients of poor quality that do not provide the necessary nutrition to dogs.

Like the dog food brands we already discussed, the first ingredient is corn, so you already know how we feel about that.

The second ingredient is wheat middlings, also known as wheat mill run. It is a cheap by-product that remains after cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the disparities in nutrient content in the wheat middlings can be a critical concern in determining their aptness for being used in any dog food or even livestock feeds.

In actuality, wheat middlings is just the milling dust as well as floor sweepings. It is an ingredient that is typically associated with low-quality pet foods.

The third ingredient is the meat and bone meal, a rendered product from the mammal tissues. It has lower digestibility in comparison with the other meat meals.

Other unhealthy, non-nutritional ingredients in this dog food include unspecified animal fat and salt. The quantity of salt is also unknown, making it difficult to determine the nutritional value of this ingredient.

Altogether this product is one of the worst dog food brands.

Kal Kan Complete Adult

This dog food makes the list because of questionable ingredient quality that is not nutritional and is somewhat harmful to dogs.

The primary ingredient is corn, which we just mentioned does not provide the proper nutrition your dog needs.

The second ingredient is meat and bone meal which is a dry product from the mammal tissues, including bones, exclusive of any added hair, blood, hoof, hide trimmings, horn, manure, rumen contents, and stomach.

Meat and bone meal may have a lower digestibility than most of the other meat meals.

Scientists believe that this decreased absorption may be because of the lower essential amino acid and higher ash content in the ingredient.

The meat itself can come from any mixture of cattle, pigs, goats or sheep, making classifying impossible for particular food allergens.

Although meat and bone meals are still considered meat concentrates rich in protein, a generic ingredient like this cannot be considered a quality item.

Kal Kans third ingredient is a soybean meal which a by-product or leftover of soybean oil production more often found in farm animal feed.

Although soybean meal comprises about 48% of protein, this ingredient would be estimated to have a lower biological value than meat.

Inexpensive plant-based ingredients like this can boost the total protein, an element that must be considered while judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

I think you get the point that these types of ingredients are not ideal for your furry friend.

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Are There Any Breed Differences In Nutritional Requirements

In the past several decades, nutritionists and veterinary researchers have identified that there are definite breed variations in metabolism and nutrient requirements. Breeds of dogs that were developed in specific locations, such as Arctic Circle breeds and some of the water breeds, may have adapted to specialized diets that are common in their place of origin. Inbreeding and genetic differences between individuals in each species may result in further need for individualization of the pet’s diet in order to optimize health.

In addition to considering your dog’s breed, you should also consider your dog’s lifestyle. Working pets require different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets than lap dogs or sedentary house dogs.

Protein For Adult Labradors

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AAFCO requires that maintenance foods have a protein level of at least 18 percent. The other 72 percent of ingredients can come from fat or carbohydrates. However, for most dogs, this level of protein is too low. Although dogs are carnivores, they do need a significant amount of high-quality animal protein in their diet. Top rated dog foods generally have an animal protein level of above 30 percent.

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Why Are High Levels Of Protein In My Dogs Food Dangerous

One of the main problems with too much protein in your dogs diet is that it can quickly cause him to put on weight. This is because protein is a calorie-dense nutrient. If your dog is regularly eating more calories than he is burning off, weight gain is unavoidable, and while a few extra pounds may not be cause for concern, significant weight gain really is.

For example, pets who are classed as overweight or obese have been shown to be more likely to develop serious health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and even some types of cancer. Unless your canine pal does excessive amounts of exercise on a daily basis, a high protein diet is probably unnecessary.Another issue with excess protein is how your pets body deals with it. Since it cannot utilize all of the protein at one time, nor can it store it for use later on, the excess protein is filtered out of his body via the kidneys. However, it isnt just protein that these meats contain, there are other nutrients present too and high levels of these can cause problems for your pet including kidney damage.

How Long Do You Keep A Puppy On Puppy Food

You should feed your puppy with puppy food until they are mature. Puppies typically become emotionally and physically mature between 12 and 18 months of age. By this time, your dog will have all their adult teeth, will eat less, will need fewer calories, and will exhibit different behaviors.

The other thing to consider is when you spay or neuter your puppy. Calorie needs the surgery, so you should adjust the amount you feed your puppy to maintain their weight. If you spay or neuter your dog as a puppy, its best to switch to a lower-calorie puppy food instead of switching straight to an adult dog food.

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Why Is Protein Important In Dog Nutrition

It is important to keep a well-balanced diet so dogs will stay healthy and happy, and that includes giving them protein-rich foods.

Protein, which is made of amino acids, plays a huge role in overall health for dogs. It helps maintain muscle mass, skin, nails, and fur. Protein is also an essential component for maintaining a strong immune system for dogs and in forming enzymes that can help turn chemical reactions in their cells. Protein is also an essential source of energy for dogs.

Without enough protein in their diet, it forces their body to break down muscles to fill the gap of their needed amino acids, which ultimately leads to immune dysfunction, muscle wasting, and overall health issues.

So, if you want a healthier, more active, and happier dog, give them enough protein in their daily diet.

Gestating And Lactating Dogs

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A gestating dogs diet should be high in protein. For lactating dogs, protein is just one factor to consider. A lactating dog needs a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet that is also high in calories. Before deciding on a food, its wise to consult your veterinarian to be sure your gestating or lactating dog will be getting adequate protein, fat and calories during this critical time.

Looking for high-protein dog food brands? Use our to find a food with the recommended amount of protein for your dog.

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Is Excessive Protein In Dog Food Bad For My Pet

Protein is a calorie dense nutrient and many of the high protein diets are extremely high in calories and can quickly lead to weight gain. With over 50% of dogs in the U.S. considered overweight or obese, dog owners need to be aware of where those extra calories are hiding. If a dog has kidney or liver issues consuming too much protein can increase the workload on these organs and upset the balance of nutrients leading to exacerbation of disease.

Rather than look for a dog food that contains excessive levels of protein you should find one that is specifically formulated for your dogs lifestyle, life stage, and size. A working sled dog, for example, will have significantly different nutrient and caloric requirements than the average pet dog that ventures outside for a few walks a day and spends the rest of the time lounging. These two dogs should not be fed the same diet.

Puppies, meanwhile, require more protein than adult dogs because their bodies are busy growing. Among breeds of puppies there are different requirements for nutrients as well. For instance large breed puppies like Labrador retrievers need a much different diet than a Yorkie for optimal growth. Feeding large breed puppies something that is too high in protein may make them put on weight too quickly causing abnormal joint development and making them more prone to issues like arthritis in the future.

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