Nutrition Tips

Guide to Best Protein for Your Dog: Optimal Nutrition Tips

Protein is a staple necessary to promote overall health in a dog’s diet. Switching your dog’s main course of nutrition can be a daunting task. However, the decision to feed your dog meat can come with an abundance of nutritional benefits vital to health and wellness. Read on to learn more about which protein may be the best choice for your favorite companion.

Best Proteins For Your Dog

Your pup’s diet should be suitable for their specific needs and consist of well-rounded, balanced nutrients. With cooling, neutral, and warming options, you’ll want to know which primary protein will keep your dog in optimal health. First, determine whether your dog runs cool, warm, or neutral. Take the Pet Health Assessment to determine which of these optimal primary protein options will reap the best health results. Then, follow along as we break down the nutritional benefits of the best protein for dogs.


Beef is an excellent go-to choice when it comes to the best protein for dogs. Organ meats such as the heart and liver cuts of beef provide the most nutritional value with the highest level of protein and vitamins. As a natural source of Taurine, Thiamine, and B6, beef heart is a great way to build muscle and keep joints healthy with its high collagen levels. Beef liver is a nutrient-rich choice to treat anemia and weak eyes because of its high value of Vitamin A, D, E, and K as well as high iron levels. This neutral diet protein option can reduce inflammation and help keep your dog balanced.

Side By Side offers plenty of diet options utilizing raw food, which is freeze-dried to protect the nutrients and nourish your pup. We recommend trying out the Beef Lung treat if you’re looking to introduce this protein into your dog’s diet slowly.


Another common and delicious option for your dog is chicken. This lean protein source contains less fat than beef or pork while providing amino acids that help bones grow and stay strong. Chicken is also a great addition to a warming diet. Warming foods are fantastic options for dogs with watery eyes or those that catch colds easily. It is an essential protein for invigorating the body.

Look for chicken heart, liver, and neck cuts for optimal nutrition intake. These cuts promote cardiovascular health, liver function, and much more. Alternatively, our Tetra Warming Chicken & Lamb Stew Stew is the perfect tasty option for picky eaters!

[Pull quote: Chicken is a popular option, but it’s important to ensure that what your pup is eating is chicken. Learn more about chicken meal in dog food.]


Duck is considered a novel protein that is lean and easily disgusted — perfect for pups with food allergies. Duck liver and neck cuts are the best choice for pups with particular tastes. The greasy, fatty meat provides a flavorful taste that many dogs enjoy. Though it typically has less protein than other meat sources, it is still a suitable choice for overall nutrition. Duck contains a high level of antioxidants and fatty acids, such as copper, iron, riboflavin, and phosphorus, that boost your dog’s immune system, keeps their coat healthy, and promote optimal function of all internal organs. Duck is an important part of the cooling diet, offering a protein source that cools the body and moisturizes your dog’s organs.

Test your dog’s taste buds with an enjoyable duck treat. Add a dry-roasted alternative to your furry friend’s diet every day with Duck L’Orange Dry Roasted Treats.


Though pork has just as much protein as beef, it contains a significantly higher amount of fat. Leg and shoulder cuts are the most affordable, but heart, liver, and trim tend to have the most nutritional value. A vital part of the neutral diet, pork builds muscles, promotes organ function, and boosts stamina and endurance. Pork trim can be beneficial in both cooling and neutral diets, helping to hold organs in place for optimal body support.

Add two sources of protein with Side By Side’s Cooling Pork and Rabbit Stew adult dog food.


Rabbit is known to have one of the highest protein sources compared to other meat, making it one of the best proteins for dogs. This all-white meat contains less cholesterol and a high percentage of B12 vitamins that keep your dog’s nervous system in check. Rabbit meat is also made up of 70% water, making it a staple in the cooling diet for its hydrating power. Considered a novel protein for its hypo-allergenic properties, rabbit is a great choice for supporting liver and kidney functions.

Combine the nutritional benefits of rabbit with the fresh taste of fruit with Side By Side’s Cooling Rabbit and Blueberry Soft Chew Treat.


Salmon is another excellent protein choice for dogs. Similar to duck, a salmon-based diet is full of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids that can boost your dog’s immune system and modulate inflammatory responses. The neutral diet addition can also promote healthy skin for your pooch.

Salmon should reach roughly 145 degrees Fahrenheit for any pet lovers who prefer to cook their pup’s meals. High-quality dog foods, like the variety we offer at Side By Side, often contain this primary protein source. Try out our Wild Caught Salmon Nuggets for an excellent addition of freeze dried salmon to your dog’s daily diet.

Know What Protein is Best for Your Dog with these Nutrition tips 

It’s time to chow down with Side by Side! Take the Pet Health Assessment for helpful insights into what protein-based diet will work for your dog. Find out what protein matches your pet’s nutritional needs right at your fingertips in just a few short minutes. Then, unpack a tasty diet or treat just right for your furry friend.

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