Picking a Protein Source for Your Pup

With a wide selection of protein sources available for your dog, it can be difficult to choose which one is best. Our last blog post helped you to decide whether dry or wet food was right for your dog, and now we’ll help you decide which flavor of food will have fido falling in love!


Chicken and Other Poultry

Chicken is one of the most common sources of protein in dog food, and for good reason. It’s relatively cheap and provides your dog with nutrients like vitamin B3, B6, phosphorous, and selenium. All of these nutrients are important for helping your dog function at his best. And because chicken is high in protein, it will give your dog the energy he needs. One thing to keep in mind is that many dogs actually have allergies to chicken and poultry. If your dog has digestive issues while eating a chicken or poultry-based diet, try switching to a different protein source. There’s a chance that it might be the chicken in his diet that’s causing his digestive issues.



Beef is another popular protein choice for dog foods. Like chicken, it’s affordable and healthy for many dogs. It’s packed with nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B12, B3, and B6. Where beef stands out from chicken is its fat content. Beef has more healthy fats than chicken, which makes it a wonderful choice if your dog is particularly active and needs extra energy. This also means it might not be the best choice for inactive or senior dogs. Be careful when choosing beef foods for your dog, though. You want to look for whole cuts of beef instead of beef meal or by-products, which are heavily processed and can be difficult for your dog to digest.



It’s not just cats who love fish! Think about giving fish a try when choosing a dog food—it’s a lean protein source that gives your dog Omega 3 fatty acids, which will help his coat and skin shine. It’s rare for dogs to have an allergy to fish, so almost all dogs can eat it, and it’s easily digestible so even dogs with sensitive stomachs can enjoy it. Not all fish are created equal though, and in general freshwater fish like trout and salmon are easier for your dog to digest than saltwater fish like mackerel and tuna. One thing to watch out for when feeding your dog fish is to make sure that freshwater fish are fed in a nutritionally balanced meal. Without added vitamins and minerals, your dog can develop a vitamin B1 deficiency on an exclusively fish diet.



Pork is a somewhat less common option for dog food, but some specialty brands include pork in several of their recipes. Because of its high fat content, it’s not for every dog, but if your dog is extremely active, it could benefit him by providing more energy. Pork can be tricky to choose, because pigs are susceptible to porcine stress syndrome, which can affect the nutrient content and quality of your dog’s food. Make sure that if you choose a pork diet for your dog, the pigs are raised in an ethical fashion that reduces their stress.



Another great choice for active dogs is lamb.  It’s full of healthy fats and nutrients like vitamins B12, B3, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, selenium, and zinc. Many owners like to feed their dog lamb, too, because it’s typically pasture fed and grown in a better environment compared to some of the more popular protein sources for dogs. Lamb-based dog food might not be the easiest to find, but we have plenty of lamb-based dogs foods right here on our website for you to explore!



If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, venison is one of the best choices for a protein source. Venison is easily digestible, and dogs rarely have allergies to it. Some of the nutrients provided by venison include thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. As an all-around great food for your dog, venison is a meat that definitely deserves more recognition!


Game Meats

What are game meats? Game meats are any animals that are hunted instead of raised on a farm. Some common game meats that are included in dog foods are rabbit, bison, and kangaroo. While these meats aren’t very common, they are a good option to explore if your dog has sensitivities or allergies. They are often much less processed than other traditional protein sources, so their nutrient content is well preserved. Again, these foods might be difficult to find at your local pet store, but luckily for you K9Cuisine has a great selection of game meat dog foods to choose from.


Picking a food for your pet isn’t always easy, but it’s an important decision to make. Your dog’s health starts in his gut, so you need to make sure that what you’re putting into it will set him up for a lifetime of happiness and wellbeing!