High Protein Dog Food Brands: Our Top 10 Picks!

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It isn’t hard to find high protein dog food brands on the market. However, what is more difficult to find is a QUALITY brand that will feed your dog the high-protein ingredients he or she may need. There are many reasons pet parents are interested in feeding their pups a high-protein diet, but not many pet parents know exactly what to look for when choosing a brand.

In this post, I will be recommending my top picks for 10 of the best high protein dog food brands so you can choose the best option for your dog.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links*


high protein dog food brands

What is a High Protein Dog Food?

When you first think of a high protein dog food, you most likely immediately think of any brand that has a higher protein content listed on the label. However, AAFCO publishes guidelines dog food brand companies need to adhere to in order to list their food for sale, which can then be used to qualify a brand as a high protein diet. For example, a normal formula of dog food meant for the maintenance of adult dogs is required to have at least 18% protein. Typically, any dog foods that contain at least 30% protein can be classified as a high-protein food.



The Benefits of Feeding a High-Protein Diet

There are many benefits to feeding a dog a high-protein diet. Some of these benefits can include:

  • Helping to develop strong and lean muscle in highly active dogs.
  • Support healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • Sustain your dog’s naturally high energy levels for a longer period of time.
  • Help to boost the body’s natural immune system.
  • Help to support the overall function of important organs such as the liver and kidneys.



Why a High Protein Dog Food?

Most of us know dogs are natural omnivores, meaning that they can benefit and digest most foods that contain protein or carbohydrates. However, there are some dogs that could benefit more from a diet consisting primarily of protein than they could with a diet consisting of grains.

Some of the dogs that could benefit more from a high-protein diet can include:

  • Working Class Dogs-there are dogs who spend most of their lives working alongside us such as in the case of herding animals, farm dogs, guard dogs or even dogs that help us to hunt. Because of their high-energy and metabolic requirements, these dogs could benefit from a high-protein diet. This is due to them needing more calories than most household dogs and a high-protein diet could feed them all of the calories they need to sustain their high-energy lifestyle.
  • Breeding Females-female dogs who are being bred or are currently nursing require more calories and nutrients. They require so much in fact, their nutritional requirements rival that of growing puppies. A high-protein diet is a great option for pregnant or nursing females to give them all of the protein they require.
  • Athletic Dogs-dogs who spend most of their days training for athletic trials such as agility or weight pulling could benefit from a high-protein diet. This kind of diet can fuel dogs who need to expend a lot of energy in such trials with all of the calories, fat and protein they need to sustain their highly active bodies.

high protein dog food brands


High Protein Dog Food: What to Look for?

Remember, not all protein sources should be treated the same. While there are certainly plenty of protein options out there that can help to provide your dog with the quality nutrition and calories they need, there are some protein sources out there that are much better than others. There are a few things you should look for when choosing a high-quality high protein dog food such as:

Protein should come from whole meat sources.

The first thing you should look for in any high-protein dog food is if the protein listed on the label comes from whole meat sources. This can include sources such as deboned chicken, wild-caught salmon or grass-fed beef. Above all, if these sources are listed on the label, they should be listed at the very beginning of the ingredient list.

Look for foods that solely use animal-based protein sources.

While plant-based protein sources can be beneficial, if you want your dog to experience the benefits of a high-protein diet, it is best to use foods that solely use animal-based protein sources. You want to go with brands that use ingredients such as chicken meal, beef meal or egg protein ingredients. While some of these ingredients can sound far from appetizing, they are surprisingly very nutritious for any dog.

Make sure each protein source is easily identifiable.

Regardless of the type of protein used in a brand, one of the things you should look for is whether or not that ingredient is identifiable to begin with. Look for ingredients you can immediately pick out and say, “Oh yeah, I know what that is!” Also, look for a brand that lists its ingredient source directly. For example, avoid foods that contain ingredients such as poultry meal and instead use brands that list these ingredients with the source in its names such as chicken meal or beef meal.

Look for brands that include Omega 3 fatty acids in their formulas.

Any foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids can go along way to support overall health and well-being to any dog. Omega 3 fatty acids are an ingredient that can help support healthy-looking skin and a shiny coat. They are also known for helping to alleviate joint inflammation, which can help keep the joints of large-breed or senior dogs healthy.



Top 10 High Protein Dog Food Brands

Orijen High-Protein Original

Orijen Original dog food makes the number one spot on this list for several reasons. First and foremost Orijen Original dog food is made with over 85% quality ingredients all sourced from quality animals. 1/3 of this animal protein comes from healthy sources such as dehydrated chicken or turkey. It is nutrient-dense with a high amount of protein to help fuel high-energy dogs with the energy they need.


  • Consists of 85% real animal ingredients
  • Comes in various sizes
  • Nutrient-dense with 2/3 of fresh meat ingredient
  • Made with animal organs to enhance the flavor


  • VERY expensive


Crude Protein: 38%

Sizes Available: 4.5 pounds, 13 pounds and 25 pounds



Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein takes the second spot. However, due to its affordability, I wish I could place it higher on the list. This brand of food is loaded with real chicken, protein-rich with all of the nutrient’s dogs need. What makes Blue Buffalo dog foods stand out are the LifeSource bits, pieces of natural antioxidant bits that can help promote overall well-being and support a healthy immune system.


  • Real meat used as the first ingredient
  • Includes LifeSource bits, antioxidant bits beneficial to dogs
  • Includes a higher protein content to benefit high-energy dogs
  • Positive pet owner reviews


  • The slightly higher price point


Crude Protein: 34%

Sizes Available: 4.5 pounds, 11 pounds and 24 pounds



Acana Regionals

This nutrient-dense dog food is perfect for active dogs who could use the energy boost. All Acana high-protein formulas contain the equal balance of high-quality animal ingredients using real meat, real animal organs and real animal bone to deliver essential nutrients naturally. Made without grains, gluten or potato, this is a brand of food that won’t disappoint.


  • High-quality ingredients used
  • Real meat, organs and animal bone used
  • Various flavors available


  • High price point


Crude Protein: 33%

Sizes Available: 4.5 pounds, 13 pounds and 25 pounds



Wellness Core Six

This is a relatively new formula made by Wellness, but just because it is new doesn’t mean it is lacking in any of the qualities that make the Wellness brand unique. This formula includes just six main ingredients, hence its name. This is a high-protein diet perfect for highly active dogs that need to stick with a limited ingredient diet. Every formula of this food is thoughtfully put together only using quality sourced animal protein and non-GMO ingredients to feed any dog a quality diet.


  • Only 6 primary ingredients used
  • Grain-free
  • Various flavors available


  • Slightly expensive


Crude Protein: 35%

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 12 pounds and 22 pounds



Wellness Core Rawrev

If you are looking for a grain-free formula that utilizes the power of raw food, then this is one brand you need to try! This high-protein kibble of this food is combined with 100% real raw meat pieces to create a formula any dog will love. It is packed with all of the essential nutrients and real meat ingredients to maintain an active dog’s high energy levels.


  • Includes real raw meat pieces mixed with the kibble
  • High crude protein levels
  • Various flavors and sizes available
  • Plenty of positive customer reviews
  • Grain-free ingredients used


  • High price point


Crude Protein: 36%

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 10 pounds and 20 pounds



Taste of the Wild High Prairie

The formulas made by Taste of the Wild pride themselves on using unique meat sources to create diets that will feed every dog’s inner wolf. This particular formula from Taste of the Wild features high levels of protein, using unique meat sources such as roasted bison and roasted venison. It includes all of the natural vitamins, minerals and nutrients active dogs needs, all from quality fruit, meat and vegetable ingredients.


  • Uses unique protein sources
  • Made in the United States and is family-owned
  • High protein ingredients sourced naturally


  • Expensive
  • Can be rich in nutrients, which can cause an upset stomach


Crude Protein: 32%

Sizes Available: 5 pounds, 14 pounds and 28 pounds



Nature’s Variety Instinct Original

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original features high-animal protein, all made using healthy grain-free ingredients you can depend on. Each flavor is made with up to 70% real animal ingredients and up to 30% healthy fruits and vegetables. This formula is made in the United States and is crafted only using real ingredient owners will immediately recognize.


  • Uses the power of raw in each piece of kibble
  • Real animal ingredients used
  • Grain-free


  • Slightly pricey


Crude Protein: 37%

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 11 pounds, 20 pounds and 22.5 pounds



Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein

This is a quality high-protein dog food to feed dogs with extremely high levels of energy or who have higher than normal metabolisms. This grain and gluten-free diet is made using the freshest and highest quality meat as the first ingredient. It is made perfectly balanced with a unique blend of superfoods to give dogs the energy they need and crave.


  • Real meat used as the first ingredient
  • Grain and gluten-free
  • High-protein, low carbohydrate content


  • High price point


Crude Protein: 41%

Sizes Available: 4 pounds and 22 pounds



Victor Hi-Pro Plus

Victor Hi-Pro Plus is a brand fortified with all of the essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids dogs need to thrive. Made with real animal protein as the first ingredient, each formula of Victor uses real protein ingredients including the flesh, organs, and bone of the animal. Made with grain-free and gluten-free options, this is a food every pet owner will love for their dog.


  • Real meat used as the first ingredient
  • Grain-free and gluten-free options
  • Various flavors available


  • Extremely expensive


Crude Protein: 30%

Sizes Available: 5 pounds, 15 pounds, 40 pounds and 50 pounds



Crave Dog Food

Last, we have Crave dog food, a relatively new brand that doesn’t lack in the quality nutrition dogs need. This high-protein formula is made with up to 34% crude protein, all inspired by a natural wolf diet. Each formula of Crave dog food is made with all grain-free ingredients for optimal nutrition.


  • Grain-free
  • High-protein formulas
  • Various flavors available


  • Not readily found offline


Crude Protein: 34%

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 12 pounds and 22 pounds


The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, finding the best high protein dog food brands doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is to educate yourself on what to look for. Hopefully, by the end of this post, I have done exactly that for you. By now, I hope you have learned not only what to look for in a high-protein dog food brand, but also have a starting point of brands to choose from. Remember, in the end, always take into consideration your dog’s specific dietary needs in order to find the best high-protein dog food for him or her.

High Protein Dog Food Brands: Our Top 10 Picks!
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High Protein Dog Food Brands: Our Top 10 Picks!
The Best High Protein Dog Food Brands: 1. Orijen 2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein 3. Acana Regionals 4. Wellness Core Six 5. Wellness Core Rawrev 6. Taste of the Wild High Prairie 7. Nature's Variety Instinct Original 8. Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein 9. Victor Hi-Pro Plus 10. Crave Dog Food
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Digital marketing specialist and Internet enthusiast. When Vanessa isn't working on PetFoodio.com or other marketing ventures, she spends her time making homemade dog treats and reading up on the latest advances in the veterinarian field.

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