Best protein supplement for your dog’s health

Providing your dog with a protein supplement can have great benefits for your dog’s health. Like humans, there are essential nutrients that all dogs need to keep them healthy and strong. Your vet may recommend that your dog take a protein supplement if they are an active dog or if your dog is underweight or malnourished and they need a more balanced diet.

What to consider when choosing a protein supplement?

As pet owners, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before purchasing a dietary supplement like protein. You will want to find the best option for your dog based on its needs.

First, think about the form (liquid, powder, pill) that the supplement comes in. Some dogs are not great about taking pills and prefer a powder or liquid.

Second, make sure you understand the specific reason why you want to give your dog a protein supplement. Some protein supplements have specific ingredients to help with weight gain, and muscle recovery, or help build back up your dog’s immune system. You will want to know what your purpose for using a protein supplement is before matching one for your pup.

Third, be sure to know the key ingredients in a protein supplement you are considering. Shocker, I know, but most of the time you are going to find additive ingredients in protein supplements. It’s important to know what those ingredients are so your dog is not allergic to them. And you want to be sure to be giving your dog natural ingredients with a high-quality protein that won’t harm his or her tummy or cause serious side effects.

Lastly, consider the source of protein that will be best for your dog’s health. There are plant-based protein products and various whey protein supplements to choose from. Both forms should include essential amino acids as well as fatty acids. Speak with your vet about what protein source will be best for the overall health of your pup.

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What is a good protein supplement?

With anything good out there, we have lots of options to choose from. Below you will find two great protein supplement options for your dog. They are not listed in order, just great options depending on your dog’s needs.

Always check with your vet before providing your dog with a protein supplement or new food. This will help to ensure your dog does not experience any adverse reactions. You can also discuss your dog’s diet which may already include another natural supplement that you’ll want to take into consideration before adding another one. 

Bully Max Tablets

Price: About $25 for 60 tablets 

*Amount you provide your dog will depend on the additional amount of protein your dog needs each day. Some dogs may need one tablet while others may need two or half of a tablet.

About: Designed for all breeds over 7 weeks of age. Made to increase muscle strength and build immunity.

Pros: Full ingredients listed, natural ingredients, 3rd party tested, cost-effective. Over 13K reviews and over a 4-star rating on amazon from its users. It also contains no wheat, corn, or soy which is a huge plus for ensuring it’s made with natural ingredients and not filler ingredients. 

Cons: Tablet vs powder so if your dog is not a pill fan, might be difficult for them to take. Although the reviews talk about the picky dog’s enjoying the taste of these pills.

Myos Canine Muscle Formula 

Price: About $80 for 120 servings 

*Amount you provide your dog will depend on the additional amount of protein your dog needs each day. Some dogs may need one serving each day while others need a half or two.

About: Build muscle mass, improve mobility, and senior dog support

Pros: Small business owned, powder so it can easily be hidden in food, its vet approved, and safe for humans too.

Cons: Ingredients are a patent formula, so difficult time finding all the ingredients 

Does my dog’s regular food have protein in it?

Although a protein supplement is a great option, some dog foods also are high in protein. If your dog does not like to take anything extra regardless if it’s a pill, powder, or liquid form, then it’s worth thinking about a different pet food for them that includes a great source of protein already in it. Speak with your vet about changing your dog’s food and how much protein in their daily food they should be receiving. It’s important to not completely switch out a dog’s food and to do it gradually.

For example, if your dog has a cup of food then you can give them their old food at ¾ of a cup and the new food at ¼ of a cup. And as you notice them digesting and tolerating the new food (every 2-3 days), you can add the ratio of the new food as more. This will help make sure their tummies are comfortable with the change. 

A very cost effective way to get extra protein in for your dog and a fun treat is to give them peanut butter. Be sure to read more about giving your dog peanut butter here to make sure it’s the right choice with the right ingredients here. My favorite peanut butter can be found here.

dogs playing

Why does a dog need a protein supplement?

The are a few reasons that your vet may recommend your dog start taking a protein supplement. You can find 4 common reasons below:

1 – Build Muscle: Some dogs may be underweight for various reasons and a protein supplement will help them build muscle to put more healthy weight on.

2 – Active breed dogs and working dogs: The number of calories and nutrients active breeds and working dogs burn, needs additional replenishing.

3 – Muscle Recovery: If your dog goes on long hikes with you or long walks, protein will help them recover quicker and get ready for that next hike.

4 – Senior Dogs: Older dogs require high amounts of protein to help them keep up with the aging process. Another great supplement for senior dogs is bone broth

How do I know if my dog needs a protein supplement?

There are many benefits to giving your dog protein supplements. Your vet might have discussed your dog needing to take one at their last check-up. It’s essential to understand what your dog needs in the protein supplement. This will help you know what to look for in the ingredients and the amount of protein. 

Questions you should have your vet answer to understand the reason why your dog needs a protein supplement.

  • Why does my dog need to take a protein supplement? (gain weight, weak immune system, something else?)
  • How much extra protein should my dog be getting each day? (need to take into account what is in their food and treats already)
  • How long will my dog need to take a protein supplement? (understanding planning and cost associated with the supplement)
  • How should my dog’s protein supplement be formed? (Pill, Powder, Liquid)

You can always discuss this with your vet. But you know your dog better than anyone. Some dogs can take pills with no problem. Other dogs will be able to detect that you put some powder on their food or liquid. Choose the protein form that will work best for your dog so it’s not a hassle to get him or her to take it each day.

A great tip for getting your dog to take a pill is to use a pill pocket. Try these pill pockets that come in Peanut Butter, Chicken, and Smoky Flavors!


What ingredients to look for in a protein supplement?

You will want to know the source of protein in the supplement first and foremost. The best sources for dogs are usually beef, fish, lamb, and chicken.

Another important label to look for is that it was made in the United States to ensure high-quality control standards. Look for labeling of the product being made in an FDA-approved facility and natural ingredients. Even if it says “natural ingredients”, you will still want to read all the ingredients to be sure your giving your dog the best supplement. 

7 ingredients to avoid in a protein supplement

1 – White Flour: No nutritional value in giving your dog white flour.

2 – Unnamed meat: If you have never heard the name before, not a great idea to let your dog have it.

3 – MSG: Some dogs may have an allergy to MSG and it’s only used in most foods as a flavor enhancer.

4 – Anything artificial: This might be colors, sugars, or flavors. Artificial ingredients can be difficult to digest for your dog as well.

5 – Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): Known to cause some cancers in dogs.

6 – Soy: Common allergen in dogs and difficult to digest.

7 – Wolf Labeling: Not an ingredient but if you see this marketing label, remember your dog is not a wolf. Although they descended from wolves, they most likely sleep on your couch and are not hunting for their food each day.

A breakdown of other ingredients and why they are not great for your dogs can be found here in this article. A great read not only for your search on protein supplements but also great to have as a resource as you review your dog’s regular food and treats.

You can also consider joint supplements for your dog’s body. You can find a great joint supplement to consider here as well as other dog supplements.

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It’s best to speak with your dog’s vet to understand if they need a protein supplement so they can consider other health issues your dog may have. They may have a recommendation for you as well. Dog’s stomachs can be sensitive to new foods and ingredients in those new foods. Be mindful of having your dog try too many new things in a short period of time. If they do get sick or have a reaction, you want to know what it’s from so trying 2 different supplements at the same time is not a good idea.

Think about your cost, the form of supplement (powder, pill, liquid), and why your dog would need a protein supplement before choosing one. The Bully Max Tablets and Myos Canine Muscle Formula are great options and can easily be purchased through Amazon. You can also google your local pet store and talk with a store clerk to find out if they have any options for protein supplements as well. It’s always great to support your local businesses. 

The important thing to remember is that you are keeping your dog healthy and strong!

Has your dog taken a protein supplement before? If yes, please comment below with what you tried and why!?

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  1. Wow, never thought about this for my 2-year old cocker spaniel! Very interesting… will definitely give more peanut butter! 🙂

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