protein for dogs

Best Proteins for Your Dog

Choosing the best protein for your dog requires careful consideration of many factors, including allergies, weight issues, sensitivities, and health problems. Each protein functions differently in your dog's body, so it's crucial to choose the best protein that benefits and serves their unique needs. With essential amino acids, protein is a must for your dog's diet, enhancing their energy levels, boosting their immune systems, and keeping their coats shiny and full of life. Let's explore the different high-quality protein sources available to craft a balanced diet that contributes to your pup's overall health and well-being.

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Best Proteins for Your Dog

Choosing the best protein for your dog requires careful consideration of many factors, including allergies, weight issues, sensitivities, and health problems. Each protein functions differently in your dog's body, so it's crucial to choose the best protein that benefits and serves their unique needs. With essential amino acids, protein is a must for your dog's diet, enhancing their energy levels, boosting their immune systems, and keeping their coats shiny and full of life. Let's explore the different high-quality protein sources available to craft a balanced diet that contributes to your pup's overall health and well-being.

Protein Content in Dog Food

Many different dog food brands contain different sources of proteins and amounts of protein. However, what some don’t realize is the amount of protein within these commercial dog foods is quite sparse, or they accompany a variety of different additives and fillers that can be harmful to your pup. So while these dog food brands might insist their food contains the best protein sources for your dog, it’s important to take a deeper dive into the other ingredients listed and consider whether or not those foods are suitable for your pup. This is why we encourage dog parents to try creating their own home-cooked dog food plan that incorporates various types of protein with whole, high-quality, human-grade foods. In doing this, you can create a high-protein diet for your dog with the satisfaction of knowing exactly what is going into their body and how much. You also know exactly where the protein is sourced because you get it from the same source as you eat.

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Benefits of Creating your own Protein-Rich Homemade Dog food

There are many benefits that come with creating your own homemade dog food and using your own knowledge to develop high-protein dog food that’s safe for your pup and meets all of their needs will benefit the health and wellness of your dog in the long run. In testing out which protein works best for your dog, you can ensure they will be meeting the nutrient and health needs that most dry dog food and kibble are missing. For example, in creating your own diet plan and choosing your own protein, you can cater to picky eaters or your dog’s food allergies, stomach sensitivities and activity levels.

One fun activity game to figure out your dog’s favourite protein is to cook a sample and see which protein they gravitate towards first. We love testing out ground chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, and beef, as all of these can be used easily in Dog Child’s Meal Mixes. Ground proteins tend to be the most affordable meats as well.

What cooked meat is best for dogs? Are cooked meats good for dogs? What meats can I cook for my dog?

One of the most common questions by dog parents is what cooked meat is safe and healthy for their pup. While there are several cooked meat options, not all are suitable for dogs. Some of the most common healthy and best protein sources for dogs are beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, pork, venison, and salmon. Each of these protein sources serves a different purpose in your dog’s life, some better than others, depending on your dog’s needs, wants, and food sensitivities.

How to best cook meat for my dog?

It is best to gently cook the meat for optimal digestion and to retain the nutrients. Ways to gently cook, including poaching gently or cooking your meat with water. Cook at low temperatures in the oven or on low on the stovetop. Slow cookers are also a great cooking option to maintain nutritional value while making it easy to digest.

So, let’s break some of these down.

Benefits of Lamb

Lamb is a great source of protein that contains the right amount of dietary fats your dog needs in their diet to support its growth and overall health. Lamb is also a great source of iron & Omega-3 fatty acids. Further, one of the main benefits of lamb is that it is a great source of animal protein for dogs with food allergies. Many dogs are allergic to protein sources such as beef or chicken, so mixing in a new protein source such as lamb proves to be beneficial as it is typically protein dogs are not as exposed to, making it less likely for them to be allergic to the protein. Moreover, dogs love the taste of lamb, making it a picky eater-approved protein as well! Lamb is the most expensive of the proteins, so it can become costly.

Homemade Lamb Dog Food Recipes

Lamb & Berries Breakfast Parfait

lamb parfait

Grain-Free Lamb Dog Food

Lamb Dog Food

Cooked Turkey Good for Dogs

Turkey is one of the most common meats found in dog food recipes and is one of the more lean and highly digestible proteins for dogs. Turkey is rich in protein but fairly low in fat and contains phosphorus which supports healthy kidney function in dogs and helps flush out any toxins through urine. Further, due to turkeys’ ease in digestibility and high protein-low fat contents, they can be one of the best protein sources for overweight dogs as it can help with weight loss. Cooked turkey is perfectly healthy for dogs as long as there are no spices. Turkey can be especially affordable right after the holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when they turn excess in ground turkey or have sales on whole turkeys. Try cooking this homecooked dog food recipe with Turkey.

Vet-Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes with Turkey

Doggy Turkey Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin Turkey Breakfast Parfaits

Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs

Cranberries and Turkey Meatballs

Is Cooked Ground Beef Good for Dogs?

Yes - beef is another great red meat protein source that serves great benefits to dogs and specifically to active dogs. This is because beef is a high-quality source of protein that contains many essential fats that leave your pup feeling fuller and more energized for longer. Further, beef helps your dog build muscle mass, and the vitamins and minerals within the protein help keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy.

Beef comes with various fat content. It is important to pick the content for your dogs. When using our Dog Child Meal Mixes, we recommend using extra lean ground beef for complete and balanced meals. You might find as well that higher fat-content beef can be difficult for your dog to digest.

Best way to cook ground beef for dogs

If you're thinking of cooking ground beef for your furry friend, don't forget the first step - to select high-quality meat without preservatives. It's crucial to choose grass-fed beef that's lean, nutritious, and rich in minerals to help your dog maintain a healthy and happy life.

Now, let's talk about the cooking methods. Boiling is a safe, healthy, and hassle-free option to ensure your ground beef is cooked to perfection. You can add just enough water to cover the beef and cook on medium-low heat to gently cook. Remember not to overcook the beef. The stove top method also works and is quick. And if your dog is obese or has pancreatitis, drain out the fat and grease.

If you're looking for a more flavorful option, slow cooking is your best bet. It gives you perfect ground beef with a taste that'll have your dog's tail wagging with excitement.

Homemade Beef Recipe for Dogs

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

 Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Mixed Veggie Meat Loaf

Mixed Veggie Meat Loaf

Stuffed Bell Pepper for Dogs

Stuffed Bell pepper for dogs

Is Cooked Chicken Good for Dogs?

Chicken, like turkey, is a lean, low-calorie protein that's loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, making it a fantastic energy source for our dogs. As long as the chicken is free of spices and especially no onions, it is perfectly healthy to feed to your dog.

Dogs are omnivores but rely heavily on protein to thrive, so selecting the right protein source is crucial for a healthy, happy, and sustainable life. However, providing a balanced diet for your pup can be daunting, especially if you're preparing their meals at home. Our Dog Child Meal Mixes are here to help you get started, providing all the nutrients and supplements your pup needs while giving you the chance to cook them delicious protein-packed meals.

What's the Best Way to Cook Chicken for a Dog?

One of the best sources of protein for your dog is chicken. There are approximately 22 grams of protein in 1 lb of chicken. However, cooking chicken for dogs can be a little tricky. You want to make sure it's both delicious and safe for your pup. So, let's explore the five best ways to cook chicken for your dog.

First up, boiling or poaching chicken is the go-to method for most dog parents. It involves placing the chicken in boiling water until it's tender and cooked through. You can add some dog-safe herbs and veggies to the pot to make it more flavorful and nutritious. This is perfect for dogs with digestion issues or those who need a special diet.

Another great way to cook chicken for your pup is by baking it. Simply place the chicken in a baking dish and cook it in the oven until it's cooked through and tender. You can add some herbs and spices to the chicken to make it more flavorful.

Slow-cooking chicken is another excellent way to cook it for your four-legged friend. This method involves placing the chicken in a slow cooker with some veggies and herbs and letting it cook for a few hours. The result is a flavorful and tender chicken that your dog will love.

And finally, avoid feeding your dog raw chicken as it can contain harmful bacteria. Instead, choose one of the above methods to cook it for your pup's safety and enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Dog Food Recipe

Try out this Banana, Seeds, & Chicken Meal from our nutritionist-developed cookbook.

Chicken Thighs and Berries

Chicken Thighs and berries

Is Pork Good for Dogs?

Pork is a common ingredient in many dog foods, as it is a good source of protein. However, it's important to note that not all pork is created equal. Raw pork, including bacon, pork chops, and pork roast, can be dangerous for dogs to consume due to the potential for contracting pathogens such as Salmonella or E. coli. Cooked pork, on the other hand, is generally safe for dogs to eat in moderate amounts. Look for lean cuts of pork, such as pork tenderloin, and make sure it is thoroughly cooked before giving it to your pup. Ground pork is one of the most affordable protein sources when home cooking for your dog.

Homemade Pork Recipe for Dogs

Chilli For Dogs

Chili for dogs

Can Dogs Eat Salmon

One of the primary benefits of salmon is that it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your dog's overall health and well-being, as it helps to keep their skin, coat, and joints healthy. It also helps to reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis or other joint problems. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can also help support brain development and cognitive function in dogs.

Salmon is also a great source of protein, which is important for your dog's growth and development. Protein is essential in building and repairing tissues in your dog's body, including muscles, bones, and skin. It is also necessary for producing enzymes, hormones, and other essential molecules in your dog's body. Salmon is an excellent alternative to other protein sources that may cause allergies in some dogs, like chicken or beef.

Salmon should be fed in moderation due to its mercury levels, so best not to serve every meal for your dog and switch up proteins.

Homemade Salmon Recipes for Dogs

Salmon Fried Rice

Salmon fried rice

Crunchy Salmon Skin

Crunchy Salmon skin

Best Proteins for Dogs with Gastro Issues

If your pup is struggling with Gastrointestinal (GI) issues, you know how uncomfortable and painful it can be. As a dog parent, it's essential to ensure that your pup's diet is gentle and easy on their stomach. However, choosing the best protein for your dog can be a challenge. Here are the top protein options that will be gentle on your dog's upset stomach, helping them feel better in no time.

Firstly, boiled chicken is a super option! This source of protein is gentle on a dog's stomach, is easy to digest and provides the amino acids your dog needs. Always remember to remove the skin and bones before feeding your dog.

Secondly, lean ground turkey is another protein option that can be ideal for your pup's belly. Turkey is low in fat and rich in vitamins, iron, and zinc. Go for boiled options, as fried and fatty turkey can upset your dog's stomach.

Fish is also a great option for your dog. Salmon and cod are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and are gentle on dog bellies. However, avoid smoked or canned fish with oil and spice, as these may be too fatty or salty for your dog's stomach.

If you're looking for an alternative source of protein, venison is an excellent option as it's low in fat, highly digestible, and perfect for dogs with allergies or food intolerances. Boil it up, but avoid using any spices or seasonings.

Lastly, lamb is another easily digestible source of protein for your dog. Choosing ground lamb over lamb chops or ribs can help keep your dog's stomach content.

Eating whole fresh foods can be beneficial to dogs who struggle with gastro issues just like humans.

Our Dog Child Meal Mixes can be an easy alternative when home cooking for your dog with gastro issues.

Best proteins for dogs with IBS

Are you struggling to find the right diet for your dog with IBS? Don't worry! We've got you covered. We will explore the best proteins for dogs with IBS or sensitive stomachs and what factors to consider when choosing their food.

First up, the salmon! This fantastic protein source is a great option for dogs with IBS because it's easy to digest, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate inflammation, significantly reducing the risk of IBS in dogs and promoting their general well-being.

Turkey is another wonderful protein option that is gentle on your dog's stomach. It is also packed with amino acids, which contribute significantly to muscle and tissue development. Furthermore, turkey meat is high in tryptophan, a natural sedative and mood booster.

Lamb is another noteworthy protein source that is easy to digest and packed with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals essential for your pup's optimal health and well-being. It's also an excellent option for dogs with food sensitivities, as it is less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Last but not least, whitefish! This low-fat protein choice is easy to digest and a great option for dogs that need to maintain a healthy weight. It's packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, which contribute to healthy skin and coat.

Our Dog Child Meal Mixes can help make home cooking easy for dogs struggling to find food that works for them.

Best Foods for Dogs to Gain Weight

Some of our dogs may be underweight or have difficulty putting on weight. Here are some great tips to help your dog gain weight in a healthy way.

First up, high-quality protein. Chicken, beef, and fish are excellent sources of this nutrient, and they're easy to digest. You can even add protein-rich dog food toppers for an extra boost. Protein is essential for energy and muscle building.

Next, complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa are great sources of fibre that aid in healthy digestion and provide lasting energy throughout the day.

Don't forget healthy fats! Salmon oil, coconut oil, and flaxseed are excellent sources of energy and also promote a healthy coat and skin. Remember, moderation is key.

Finally, high-calorie treats like peanut butter, cheese, and eggs can give your pup a little extra boost. But treats shouldn't make up the majority of their calorie intake. Use them as an occasional supplement to their meals.

Best Home-Cooked Food for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a disease that causes inflammation in the pancreas, rendering it unable to function well, and if left untreated, it can cause severe complications in dogs. To keep your dog healthy, it's crucial to steer clear of foods that trigger pancreatitis, such as high-fat content foods, and incorporate the right diet.

Lean meats like chicken breast, beef, and turkey provide essential protein, which is crucial for healthy muscles and tissues. Ensure to eliminate any visible fat or skin from the meat before cooking, as these can cause inflammation. To preserve moisture and add flavour, cook the meat with some low-fat broth.

Sweet potatoes are high in fibre and packed with crucial vitamins and antioxidants that help support your dog's immune system. They're low in fat, preventing constipation, and can help with digestion. Bake or boil sweet potatoes and add a small amount to your dog's meals as a healthy treat.

Green beans can make a great addition to your dog's diet. They're low in calories and high in fibre, which helps regulate blood sugar levels while preventing weight gain. They're also chock-full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which are vital to dogs' overall health.

Brown rice, unlike wheat and corn, is a healthy grain alternative with minimal fat content and a high fibre count, making it easy for pups with pancreatitis to digest. Brown rice is full of essential nutrients and antioxidants that can improve immune function and general well-being. Cook it with low-fat broth or water, and serve it as a side dish with some lean meat.

Boiled eggs are rich in protein that promotes muscle growth and are easy to digest, making them ideal for dogs with pancreatitis. Eggs are full of vital nutrients like vitamins A and B12, supporting your dog's immune system and promoting healthy skin and fur. You can serve them as a healthy snack for your dog.

Best Home-Cooked Food for Dogs with Kidney Disease

If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney disease, deciding what to feed them can be overwhelming. Your veterinarian may recommend prescription food, but not every dog can handle it. The good news is homemade meals can be a nutritious and tasty alternative.

The first step is making sure your pup follows a low-protein diet to reduce the workload on their kidneys. But not all proteins are equal - high-quality proteins like those in chicken and turkey are easier for dogs to digest and won't strain their kidneys. To keep your pup’s diet low-protein but also balanced, try adding protein as a topper so they aren’t missing out on any nutrients. You can also try plant-based proteins like soybeans, lentils, and legumes.

It's also important to reduce phosphorus intake by avoiding foods like meat, dairy, and bones and choosing fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, green beans, and blueberries instead.

It is best to have a homemade recipe formulated specifically for your dog with kidney disease. Please reach out to us if interested by emailing us or in the chat.

Remember to avoid ingredients like salty, high-fat foods and those containing phosphorus, such as dairy products. Steer clear of human foods that are toxic to dogs, too. After changing your dog's diet, keep an eye on their weight and digestion, and have regular check-ins with your veterinarian to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Best Home-Cooked Food for Dogs with Diabetes

If your pup has been diagnosed with diabetes, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out the best diet for them. Fortunately, with a little know-how, you can provide your pup with all the tasty, nutritious food they need to stay healthy and happy. Here are some tips for creating homemade meals that are tailored to your dog's needs:

Incorporate lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish to support muscle development and maintenance. These low-fat sources of protein can be boiled or roasted and served with colourful veggies like green beans, carrots, and broccoli.

High-fibre vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and spinach can help slow down glucose absorption into the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels. Plus, they're packed with vitamins and antioxidants to keep your pup in tip-top shape.

While simple carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels, complex carbohydrates found in brown rice, quinoa, and barley can keep your dog feeling satisfied and full for longer periods. These grains are also fibre-rich and chock-full of other essential nutrients.

It is best to have a homemade recipe formulated specifically for your dog with diabetes. Please reach out to us if interested by emailing us or in the chat.

High Protein Homemade Dog Food

Meat-based meals can be hard to make. But don’t worry, we’ve got some great recipes for you to try out! Our Meal Mixes have been created to ease the worry of home cooking for your pup while also ensuring they are the healthiest they can be. Each meal mix can be combined with either chicken, beef, turkey, pork or lamb to create the most balanced meal for your pup.

Homemade Healthy Dog Food Recipes

In conclusion, when cooking for your dog, it can be healthy to switch up different protein sources. This gives your dog different nutrients from different sources keeping their gut healthy. It also keeps them intrigued and interested in their food.

Below are some homemade dog food recipes using different proteins. 

Oats & Berries Muffins

Oats and Berries muffins

Grain-Free Meal Prep Pops

Meal prep pops

Egg Frittata

egg fritter for dogs

Fish Stew

fish chips for dogs

Chicken Pot Pie 

Chicken pot pie for dogs

Doggy Burgers and Fries

doggy burgers