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8 Best High Protein Dog Foods – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

border collie near food bowl

Back in the days of the wild, primal dog, their diets consisted mosalltly of meat. While they are naturally omnivorous, it is no surprise a wholesome diet for our four-legged friends should contain a lot of protein. Some dogs need higher content than others. If you are reading this, chances are you have a pooch looking to put a little more muscle-building pizzazz in their food bowl.

We have handpicked the best high protein recipes on the market. These candid reviews can help you select the tastiest, nutrient-packed bag for your dog with your budget in mind. Take a quick look at our top picks to help your search. We’re sure you’ll find a fit.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Ollie Baked Chicken and Carrots Ollie Baked Chicken and Carrots
  • High protein
  • Whole, healthy ingredients
  • Plenty of fiber for digestive health
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pedigree High Protein Dog Food Pedigree High Protein Dog Food
  • 25% more protein
  • No sugars or artificial flavors
  • Affordable
  • Third place
    Taste of the Wild High Protein Dog Food Taste of the Wild High Protein Dog Food
  • Live probiotics for smooth digestion
  • All-natural
  • For all life stages
  • Ketona Chicken Recipe Dog Food Ketona Chicken Recipe Dog Food
  • 46% protein content
  • All-natural
  • 85% fewer carbohydrates
  • Purina Pro High Protein Dry Dog Food Purina Pro High Protein Dry Dog Food
  • Weight management
  • Suitable for pregnant and whelping
  • Good for seniors
  • The 8 Best High Protein Dog Foods

    1. Ollie’s Baked Chicken with Carrots – Best Overall

    Ollie gently baked chicken and carrot recipe dog food bag

    Our pick for the best high protein dog food is Ollie’s Baked Chicken with Carrots recipe. If you’ve not yet heard of the Ollie brand, Ollie is a meal subscription service for dogs that makes only healthy, all-natural dog food recipes. Dog food comes in either fresh (like something you’d whip up in the kitchen) or baked (resembling kibble) textures and is full of good, tasty things your dog will love. And while this is a meal subscription service, it is pricier than other dog food brands, but keeping your pup in top health could be well worth it.

    Their Baked Chicken with Carrots recipe packs a whopping 26% crude protein, with most of that protein coming from the real chicken listed as the first ingredient. The rest comes from the whole dried eggs, chicken liver, and chickpeas. Other than the protein-packed ingredients, this recipe also features carrots for a boost of fiber (and to keep eyes healthy), oats for omega fatty acids that keep skin and coats looking great, and sweet potatoes for even more fiber, as well as essential antioxidants and vitamins.

    • High protein
    • Whole, healthy ingredients
    • Plenty of fiber for digestive health
    • Pricier than other dog foods

    2. Pedigree High Protein Dog Food – Best Value


    If you are on a budget, the Pedigree High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food is the best high protein dog food for the money. This particular bag is made of red meat, particularly beef and lamb, and has 25% more protein than average.

    To top it off, there is no added sugar or artificial flavors. This recipe is for active dogs who need the extra boost in nutrition. If your pet doesn’t enjoy the taste of the beef and lamb, they also have a chicken and turkey choice.

    This dog food is nearly a third of the price as ouprtr first and has all the crucial components that make a well-balanced diet. The only hang-up here would be if you have a dog with food allergies or sensitivities. Make sure to check out the complete list of ingredients.

    • 25% more protein
    • No sugars or artificial flavors
    • Affordable
    • Not for food-sensitive dogs

    Read more: Pedigree Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros, and Cons

    3. Taste of the Wild High Protein Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild

    When it comes to innovative and scientifically developed dog foods, Taste of the Wild never disappoints. This recipe has protein ingredients from roasted bison and venison as the primary source. It also has quinoa, millet, and chia seeds for an extra dose.

    The food includes proprietary probiotics designed to live in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) for optimal effectiveness. It is easy on the stomach and highly digestible. It’s an all-natural selection with no added corn, wheat, or other fillers. The ingredients are globally gathered from trusted and traceable sources.

    Taste of the Wild High Protein dog food is our third pick for its top-notch protein, among other benefits. They are continually staying in tune with a dog’s digestive system and promoting products that reflect this. This specific recipe is also for dogs for all life stages.

    One big rave to note is that the Taste of the Wild brand was listed in a study by the FDA, linking the brand to canine dilated cardiomyopathy. While this particular recipe was not listed, the brand itself was.

    • Live probiotics for smooth digestion
    • All-natural
    • For all life stages
    • Exotic meats with ancient grains
    • No fillers
    • FDA linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy

    4. Ketona Chicken Recipe Dog Food


    If you don’t mind the steep recurring costs, the Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food is another good premium option. It is grain-free, reportedly having 85% less carbohydrate content than other similar brands. It has a stunning 46% protein value.

    Instead of being packed with grains to heighten the protein content, it is full of USA farm-raised, non-GMO, antibiotic-free chicken. Ketona prides itself on providing traceable additives so you know you are getting food of the utmost quality.

    While this is an excellent selection for a protein-rich, all-natural diet, it may not be for every dog. Based on their age and medical issues, it could be too much for individual digestive systems. However, if you have an active, pregnant, or lactating canine, this could be just what they need.

    • 46% protein content
    • All-natural
    • 85% fewer carbohydrates
    • Expensive

    5. Purina Pro High Protein Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan

    The Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Dog Food is an affordable option that could work into your budget. It is designed to add muscle mass without making your dog gain weight. The first ingredient on the bag is real chicken, along with other proteins.

    While it seems to have the necessary nutrients for weight management and higher protein content, it is not a good choice for all dogs. This one uses fillers and is not grain-free. That can be a trigger for many allergies or food sensitivities. So, unfortunately, if your dog suffers, this isn’t the right one.

    It would be perfect for a senior dog who experiences easy weight gain but is losing muscle mass. This is also great for pets who may be pregnant or whelping.

    • Weight management
    • Suitable for pregnant and whelping
    • Good for seniors
    • Not grain-free
    • Not for sensitive dogs

    6. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

    Diamond Naturals

    This Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is a fabulous choice for a high protein diet when your dog needs something hypoallergic as well. It is totally grain-free, made with wild-caught salmon and potato.

    It’s full of clean ingredients, superfoods, antioxidants, and probiotics. They have no corn, what, or other fillers. It has no artificial flavors or harmful additives.

    While it’s meant for allergic reactions, some complaints of dry, itchy skin and hot spots came about. Some dogs may also not like the strong smell or taste. Having a pet who has issues with their digestive tracts or skin would benefit from this food the most.

    • Hypoallergenic
    • No fillers or harmful additives
    • Superfood and nutrient-packed
    • Could cause dry, itchy skin
    • Strong smell

    7. Purina Beneful Adult Dry Dog Food

    Purina Beneful

    This Purina Beneful Adult Dry Dog Food is a savory dish with 26% protein content. It has a mixture of dry and tender kibble bites. It has two combination types of meat: beef and chicken– with chicken being the number one ingredient.

    It also includes real sweet potatoes and spinach providing natural flavors with no artificial additives. This gives your pet with all the vital nutrients they need while upping the protein. While it does seem to have natural ingredients, the Purina doesn’t mention weight control, so be careful of high-calorie content.

    This food is recommended for healthy, active adult dogs. If your pet needs a specialized diet or a meal that meets specific requirements, consult with your vet before purchase.

    • 26% of protein content
    • Dry and tender bites for savory taste and texture
    • Weight control
    • Not for specialized diets
    • Not grain-free

    8. Solid Gold Protein Dry Dog Food

    Solid Gold

    This Solid Gold High Protein Dry Dog Food is for dogs of all breeds and all stages of life, making it an easy transition that you can stick with. The main ingredients are beef, eggs, and peas with an added ocean fish meal. The total protein is 41% in this recipe.

    In comparison to their other foods, it does have higher calorie content, but reduced carbohydrates. It still may be suitable for a dog needing weight management if adequately proportioned. It is full of nutrients and live probiotics to aid in digestion.

    While it does have one of the highest protein contents on the list, it is not a grain-free or allergy-friendly recipe. If your dog has dietary restrictions, you’ll have to pass this one by. If it doesn’t end up working out, Solid Gold has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

    • 41% protein content
    • Live probiotics
    • Satisfaction guarantee
    • Not grain-free
    • Not allergy-friendly
    • Has meat byproducts

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best High Protein Dog Food

    A dog should indeed have quite a bit of protein in their diet, but there is more to it than that. You will want them to be an ideal candidate first. If you aren’t careful, you may feed extremely high calorie or carbohydrate content to a dog that doesn’t need it. That can lead to obesity and other health issues that they wouldn’t have otherwise

    What Types of Dogs Need High Protein Diets?

    Protein is a staple in every dog’s dietary needs, but only certain ones will require a more abundant dose. So, which dogs are beneficiaries?

    Overweight Dogs

    Overweight dogs benefit from having a higher protein, lower carbohydrate dog food. This way, they can build up their muscle and bone strength without packing on extra pounds. You must ensure the carb and calorie content is lower, so you aren’t doing more harm than good for your chubby buddy.

    Weight gain is negative, especially the older they are. It can lead to many other issues such as breathing problems, diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. All these issues may be entirely avoided with appropriate food portions.


    a cute Beagle puppy eating at home
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    Puppies are developing in every sense of the word. They need proper levels of proteins, carbs, omegas, vitamins and minerals, and calorie content. Proteins help the youngling to develop an appropriate muscle tone, bone mass, and body weight.

    Protein also plays a direct role in cell and nerve growth and functionality. It also helps prevent or heal sickness and aid in bodily injury. Until they reach maturity, between one and two years of age, they will thrive with high protein content.

    Most puppy chows already have the necessary protein in the food. That is why it is essential to feed your dog based on their current life stage to give them the most balanced nutrition you can.


    Seniors need adequately high levels of protein to keep their muscles and tissue strong. However, also use caution. A diet too high in protein can do more harm than good. This is primarily dependent on any medical issues they may have.

    You need to be aware of high-calorie content causing obesity. These two things can be linked. It will negatively impact the dog and can cause weight gain if the calories aren’t evened out.

    Athletic Dogs

    It’s natural for a more active dog to burn a lot more calories. Because they are getting rid of so much access energy, replacing those nutrients is critical. You won’t have to worry about high carbohydrate or calorie contents in this situation because they need the extra boost.

    Dogs that fit this category are typically working or sporting dogs. They could be K9 police dogs, hunting dogs, or racing dogs. They will need the protein to maintain appropriate body weight and lean muscle mass.

    Pregnant or Lactating

    Mother dogs can have a litter of just a few and over a dozen puppies. It depends on the breed and the size. Pregnant and nursing mamas need all the extra nutrition they can get. They aren’t just eating for two, they are eating for a whole litter.

    A mama will need the extra protein, and she will also require a very nutrient-rich diet to replace what she is losing. If you don’t ensure a well-balanced diet for her, she will lack and become unhealthy.

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    Final Verdict

    Ollie’s Baked Chicken and Carrot recipe is great if you want high-quality whole ingredients and quite a bit of protein. It may be slightly pricier than others, but if it meets the requirements, every penny can be justified.  The company is highly regarded for its mission to keep pets their healthiest—and that is important!

    If you want the most cost-effective yet protein-packed choice, Pedigree High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food will do the trick. It has a wonderful list of healthy ingredients while not over-charging you to keep your dog’s dietary needs met.

    Our third pick is Taste of the Wild High Protein Dry Dog Food. It has nutritious, wholesome grains in addition to real meat. It is appropriate for every life stage, so you won’t have to keep switching foods. It also has a reasonable price so that you won’t go overboard on spending.

    This is a wrap on the best high-protein foods. We hope your purchasing experience is a breeze now that we’ve given you ten top selections to match various needs.

    See also:

    Featured Image Credit: Krasula, Shutterstock

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