Just like humans, dogs thrive on a balanced and nutritious diet to support their overall health and well-being. Among the essential nutrients, protein stands out as a crucial building block for strong muscles, healthy skin, and a robust immune system. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the benefits of a protein-rich diet for dogs, compare raw and dry dog food options, and explore the emerging trend of insect-based dog food as a sustainable protein source. From my personal experience working with WalkQuays, I know which of my dogs are on a raw, protein rich diet just by the dogs appearance; bright eyes, glossy coat and calm nature amongst other things. A dogs diet is so important, not only for their physical health, but their mental health too. If a client contacts me regarding a dog with a behavioural issue, the dogs diet is one of the first things I consider and more often than not, is the root cause of the problem. A lot of dog food in circulation today, due to the lack of regulations, is packed full of preservatives and is essentially really unhealthy and the equivalent of us humans eating McDonalds for every meal! As a rule of thumb, if it’s supplied in a big chain supermarket, it won’t be good for your dog. When eating such foods, science has proved that Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released, thus making a dog stressed and in no fit state to overcome any fears or succeed in any training.

The Power of Protein for Dogs:

Protein is a vital macronutrient for dogs, serving as the foundation for muscle development, tissue repair, and enzyme production. A protein-rich diet provides the amino acids necessary for healthy growth and development, especially in puppies, active dogs, and seniors. Quality sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy, which offer a complete amino acid profile essential for optimal canine health.

Benefits of a Protein-Rich Diet:

  • Muscle Development: Protein is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass, promoting strength and agility in active dogs.
  • Healthy Skin and Coat: Adequate protein intake supports the growth of healthy skin cells and promotes a shiny, lustrous coat.
  • Enhanced Energy Levels: Protein provides a sustainable source of energy for dogs, supporting endurance and vitality during daily activities and exercise.
  • Improved Immune Function: A protein-rich diet strengthens the immune system, helping dogs fend off infections and illnesses.
  • Weight Management: Protein promotes satiety and helps dogs feel full longer, aiding in weight management and preventing obesity-related health issues.

Comparing Raw Dog Food and Dry Dog Food:

Raw dog food and dry dog food are two popular options for pet owners seeking to provide a balanced and nutritious diet for their canine companions. Each type of food has its benefits and considerations, and the choice ultimately depends on the individual needs and preferences of the dog and owner.

Raw Dog Food:

Raw dog food, often referred to as a BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) or prey model diet, consists of raw meat, bones, organs, fruits, and vegetables. Advocates of raw feeding believe that it closely mimics the natural diet of wild dogs and offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved Digestion: Raw food is easily digestible and may reduce the risk of digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhoea.
  • Dental Health: Chewing on raw bones helps clean teeth and gums, promoting dental health and reducing the risk of periodontal disease.
  • Shinier Coat: The high-quality protein and essential fatty acids in raw food can contribute to a healthier, shinier coat.
  • Allergy Relief: Some dogs with food sensitivities or allergies may benefit from a raw diet, as it eliminates common allergens found in processed foods.

Dry Dog Food:

Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is a convenient and affordable option for many pet owners. It typically contains a blend of protein sources, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals formulated to meet dogs' nutritional needs. This is ideal for ‘working walks’, where you feed your puppy their whole meals through positive reinforcement on their walks to reward their wanted behaviours as well as the odd bit of scatter feeding to get them fully stimulated. One thing I would recommend is that you make sure the protein content is at least 50%, as some dry food in todays market is considerably less.

Benefits of dry dog food include:

  • Convenience: Dry dog food is easy to store, measure, and serve, making it a convenient option for busy pet owners.
  • Dental Health: Some dry dog foods are formulated to promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup through chewing action.
  • Complete Nutrition: Commercial dry dog foods are carefully formulated to provide a balanced diet that meets dogs' nutritional requirements at every life stage.
  • Shelf Stability: Dry dog food has a longer shelf life than raw food and is less susceptible to spoilage, making it suitable for households with limited storage space or irregular feeding schedules.

Emerging Trend: Protein-Rich Insect Dog Food:

As concerns about sustainability and environmental impact grow, an emerging trend in the pet food industry is the use of insects as a protein source in dog food. Insects such as crickets, mealworms, and black soldier fly larvae are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals and offer several benefits:

  • Sustainability: Insects require fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional livestock, making them a more environmentally friendly protein source.
  • Nutritional Value: Insects are rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and B vitamins, making them a nutritious option for dogs.
  • Novel Protein Source: Some dogs with food sensitivities or allergies may benefit from insect-based dog food, as insects are a novel protein source that is less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
  • Palatability: Many dogs find insect-based dog food palatable and enjoy the taste, texture, and aroma of insect protein.

Friends of WalkQuays, Some Grub are pioneers in the insect dog food industry, a small start up company based in London, UK are dedicated to providing dogs with not only tasty and nutritional food but that is also sustainable and environmentally friendly. Research carried out prior to manufacturing the protein packed dog food, proved that these insects not only contain protein, but also omegas and natural probiotics.


A protein-rich diet plays a crucial role in supporting the health, vitality, and longevity of dogs. Whether you choose raw dog food, dry dog food, or explore innovative options such as insect-based dog food, prioritise high-quality protein sources and balanced nutrition to meet your dog's unique needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet plan for your canine companion and enjoy the benefits of a happy, healthy, and well-fed dog. The size/weight and daily exercise routine should all be taken into account when deciding which is the best food source for you furry friend.

This page may contain affiliate links. Learn more

Related Articles

Butternut Box

Putting the food back into dog food Every ingredient in our meals is carefully chosen to bring health and happiness to your dog's bowl
Friends of WalkQuays

Bounce and Bella

Small business created by childhood friends, selling top quality dog products including food, treats and poo bags
Friends of WalkQuays

Some Grub

Insects. Finally a superfood that's actually... super! MORE PROTEIN THAN BEEF. MORE IRON THAN SPINACH. MORE SUSTAINABLE THAN SOYA!
Friends of WalkQuays
View All WalkQuays Articles