Updated: Jun 14
Discover how to calculate how many grams of protein in dog food and ensure your furry friend receives the perfect protein amount.
Dogs rely heavily on protein as a key nutrient to maintain their health and well-being, making it imperative to provide them with the correct amount of protein. In this article, we'll answer all questions about the nutritional requirements percentages for dogs and puppies and the symptoms of dogs getting too much protein. So, let's dive in and discover the ultimate guide to a nutritious diet that meets your dog's protein requirements.
How Many Grams of Protein In Dog Food
The direct answer, 2 grams of protein per kilogram (1 gram per pound) is the right amount of protein for dogs. For example, a 20-pound (9 Kg) dog would need 18-20 grams of protein daily. If you are unsure how much to feed your dog, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.
But the amount of protein dogs need daily will vary based on their life stage, activity level, and weight. For example, puppies and nursing mothers need more protein than adult dogs. Most experts recommend that adult dogs get at least 18% of their calories from protein. Puppies and nursing mothers may need as much as 30% of their calories from protein.
According to The National Academies Press (NAP), Daily recommended allowances for protein and fats can be as follows::
For PUPPIES (Weighing 12 lb, 33 lb at maturity)
ADULT DOGS (Weighing 33 lb)
PREGNANT/ NURSING DOGS (Weighing 33 lb with 6 puppies)
69 g /158 g
29 g/67 g
Crude protein means the protein content in food measured through a laboratory test that analyzes the food's chemical composition.
You can check this guide. It provides a comprehensive review of the nutritional requirements of dogs, including information on protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Ingredients of Best high protein Recipes
Meat-based protein sources
Meat options like chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb are excellent choices for dog food.
These meat-based proteins are high-quality and provide a complete source of protein for dogs.
Fish-based protein sources
Fish, such as salmon or tuna, is a great source of protein for dogs.
Fish-based proteins also provide omega-3 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat.
Dairy-based protein sources
Including dairy products such as cottage cheese and yogurt in a dog's diet can provide a significant amount of protein for their nutritional needs.
These dairy-based proteins are a good source of calcium and probiotics.
Egg-based protein sources
Dogs can get a good amount of protein from eating eggs.
They also provide essential amino acids and vitamins.
Plant-based protein sources
Plant-based protein sources like peas, lentils, and beans can be added to dog food to increase protein content.
It's important to balance plant-based proteins with meat-based proteins to meet a dog's specific nutritional requirements.
A combination of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins can provide an optimal balance of protein for a healthy and happy pup. On the other hand, it is crucial to seek guidance from a veterinarian in determining the appropriate balance of protein sources for your dog's dietary needs.
Dog too much protein symptoms
As a loving pet owner, you may understand the importance of protein in your puppy's diet and want to ensure they are healthy and strong. However, overfeeding your puppy with excessive amounts of protein can negatively affect their health. Therefore, it's important to be aware of the common symptoms of too much protein intake in dogs, which are as follows:
Increased thirst and urination
When dogs consume too much protein, their kidneys must work harder to filter out the excess nitrogen waste. This behavior will affect a dog by increasing thirst and urination as the dog's body tries to flush out the excess waste through urine.
Digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting
Some dogs may experience digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting when consuming too much protein. This issue can be due to the strain on the digestive system to break down and process the excess protein, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort and upset.
Weight gain or loss
Excessive protein consumption can also lead to weight gain or loss in some dogs. These symptoms can be because protein is high in calories, and consuming a large amount of it can lead to an excess intake of calories. Alternatively, some dogs may lose weight due to decreased appetite or digestive issues.
Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
Dogs may suffer from a loss of appetite or refuse to eat when consuming too much protein. This condition can be due to digestive discomfort or the food's unpleasant taste or texture.
Lethargy or lack of energy
Some dogs may become lethargic or lack energy when consuming too much protein. These symptoms can be because protein is metabolized differently than carbohydrates or fats, and the body may be unable to efficiently use the excess protein for energy.
Changes in coat or skin condition
In some cases, excessive protein intake can lead to changes in a dog's coat or skin condition. This condition can include dry, itchy skin or a dull, lackluster coat.
Kidney or liver problems in severe cases
In rare cases, excessive protein intake can lead to kidney or liver problems in dogs. This case can occur when the kidneys or liver cannot process and eliminate the excess nitrogen waste from the body.
It's important to note that while protein is a crucial nutrient for dogs, excessive protein intake can lead to health problems. It's best to consult a veterinarian to determine the appropriate balance of protein sources for your dog's needs.
What happens if a dog lacks protein?
If a dog lacks protein, they may suffer from muscle wasting, weak bones, and a number of other problems. Without enough protein, dogs can become malnourished and their health will suffer. It's important to make sure that your dog is getting enough protein in their diet so that they can stay healthy and happy.
Signs of protein deficiency in dogs can include decreased energy levels, dull coat and skin, decreased appetite, weight loss, and weakened immune system. If your dog is lacking protein in their diet, it is important to consult your veterinarian to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition they need.
We explored the different types of dog food and how much protein is found in each variety. We also looked at the recommended daily allowance for dogs according to their size and age and discuss any potential health risks associated with too little or too much protein in a dog’s diet. Finally, we provided some helpful tips on ensuring your pup gets enough protein from their meals.