Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The best meats for dogs

All dogs need protein, and one of the easiest sources to get that protein is through high-quality meats. Dogs are, by nature, carnivores, although there are many dog owners who have their dogs on a strictly vegan diet

If you're not one of those, here are some of the best choices of meats you can get for your dog! 

Veggies vs. meat

It is important to state from the start that vegetables are part of a good, healthy, and balanced diet for dogs - but the proteins from veggies and meats are different. Dogs need a high-protein diet because they need the amino acids (just like us humans - although we can go vegan etc., with fewer problems). 

Meats tend to have a higher biological value for dogs than vegetables, so adding meat proteins to their diet just makes sense. 

So what meats are the best for your dog? 

Photo by Kabo on Unsplash

Lamb and venison

Lamb dog food has become more popular in recent years because it has a good level of fat that is ideal for working or busy dogs. Venison and lamb both have the benefit of being pasture fed and often grown in a healthier environment than chicken and some beed (although they are both great). 

A healthier growing environment gives meat that is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, B3, and B12. 

If your dog is a bit more sedentary, then lamb might not be the best choice for regular eating, but it can work brilliantly as a treat meal. 


One of the most common pet foods is chicken, closely followed by turkey. Not only are these generally quite affordable, but they are tasty too. No matter if you make your dog food from scratch or you buy it in bags - chicken is a winner in the protein sector. 

Chicken is packed with B6 and B3, selenium, and phosphorus, making it a great option. Another great thing about chicken dog food is that it can be used for dogs who may have digestive issues. 

Always check to make sure that the food you choose has a high level of poultry instead of fillers - often, the cost can be deceptive. 


Even the word beef conjures up the idea of thick cuts of juicy meat, and yet it can be a nice middle ground between the higher price of things like venison and the cheaper chicken and other poultry. 

Beef is commonly found in most dog foods, and it also has a wide range of benefits too, like high protein, zinc, selenium, B3, B6, and B12, as well as iron. 

While red meat has some negative impacts if humans consume it too often, it hasn't been shown to cause the same issues in dogs. Not only that, but you can select the amount of fat on the cut of beef based on the lifestyle of your dog. 


Pork doesn't always make the list of great dog foods, but it has high protein, iron, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and some B vitamins. Like a lamb, it is on the fattier side - which is great for dogs that are active or working dogs. For older dogs and those who like to take a nap rather than a walk, pork could quickly pile on the weight. 

Something that you should be mindful of is that pigs are susceptible to stress, and for the best and most tender meat choosing organic and ethically sourced cuts will give your dog the maximum benefit. 

The condition is called porcine stress syndrome and changes the meat in terms of benefits and taste. So if you want to give your dog pork as a treat, then try to buy the best you can. 


Not only is fish great as a source of protein, but they also have plenty of oils that help with a dog's coat, eyes, ears, and joint health. Not to mention they are high in vitamins too. The issue with fish is that some dogs (although not many) are allergic to some types, so you will need to be careful and test them out first to make sure that your dog doesn't have a reaction to them. 

There are also some fish that have high levels of mercury, so try to avoid things like marlin, broadbill, and swordfish - or only in small doses. 

The meats that you choose for your dog have a significant impact on their overall strength, so it is a good idea to be prepared to make your own balanced dog food packed with veggies, grains, supplements, and meats. 

Getting your dog a good diet is part of being a responsible pet owner; here are some more tips: Life According to Steph: How to be a responsible pet owner.
This post was written with the Life According to Steph readers in mind
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