Top Proteins - Which Protein is Best for Your Dog

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Most pet parents are well aware that the dog food they buy needs to be protein-rich to satisfy their dog’s basic dietary needs. While they are not completely carnivorous, dogs still rely on protein to support their overall health and will need a diet with at least 20% percent protein as the very minimum. However, there are various sources – and types – of protein in dog food, and not all are the same when it comes to their nutritional quality for canine diets.

Main Types of Protein In Dog Food: Pros and Cons

Protein in pet food can be either animal-based or plant-based. Animal-based protein comes from meat, either muscle meat or organs, as well as meat meal, which is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint health. When it comes to plant-based proteins, in dog food, they usually come from legumes and grains, such as peas, lentils, chickpeas, or soy, to name a few.

Naturally, animal-based protein is much better for dogs as it contains other essential nutrients as well, and it is easy to digest – dogs have evolved to digest animal protein with ease and to get crucial nutrients from meat, organs, eggs, etc. On the other hand, dogs may not digest plant-based protein as well and it can be considered an inferior source of protein for canines.

What Protein Is Best for My Dog

Although we’ve already covered that animal-based protein is generally the superior protein source in dog food, it still doesn’t narrow the list down. Is it eggs, liver, chicken, turkey, beef, salmon…? The most common protein sources in pet food are beef, chicken, and fish, and there are varieties there, as well – it’s better to opt for cage-free chicken or grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and other quality types of real meat rather than a vague description of meat source. While most dogs will enjoy any of the three popular protein options, beef and chicken also happen to be one of the most common culprits for dogs with food sensitivities, so you might want to opt for a novel protein (Bison, Elk, Alligator, Kangaroo, Beaver) in that case.

Image by Dionisvera/

Turkey is a great lean meat option, pork can substitute beef as the red meat of choice, but if you want you can also try exotic protein sources – bison, kangaroo, venison, rabbit, ostrich… the list goes on.

In addition to animal-based protein, some plant protein is good as well, both to up the protein intake and to enrich the formula with fiber and complex carbohydrates, completing the recipe to ensure nutritional balance. Of course, it will all depend on your pet’s individual needs: if they are sensitive to common protein sources, a novel protein would be a better choice, but if they are sensitive to gluten or grains, a grain-free recipe that combines animal and plant-based protein could suit them better. 

Nature’s Recipe: Why We Love It and Who It’s For

There are so many dog food formulas out there, but Nature’s Recipe stands out for its clean, wholesome formula based on carefully selected ingredients. It masterfully blends protein from animal and plant sources, combining real meat with garbanzo beans or peas, and enriching the formula with fresh veggies and natural ingredients to make the recipe nutritionally complete.

You can choose between chicken, salmon, lamb, venison, turkey, or beef, in combination with grains or in grain-free formulas, depending on your dog’s individual needs. This way, you can ensure that your pet’s unique needs are met with a tailored formula, and rest assured that their body is nourished the right way, whether they have sensitive tummies, are young and growing, or reaching their golden years. There’s a recipe to suit any dog’s needs – no need for “one-size-fits-all” formulas when you can get the food that’s just right for your pet. 

Feature Image by Hannamariah/

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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