How to Choose the Right Protein for your Dog


How to Choose the Right Protein for your Dog

A frequent question we get from new pet owners trying raw dog food for the first time is, “How do we decide which protein to feed our dog?” For most, the answer is a simple one: Choose a meat that you know your dog already likes or has eaten before. Try out a few different varieties to find his favorite.

For some dogs, such as senior dogs or sick dogs that need extra attention, pet owners may want to do a little more research into the specific meats they’re feeding their pups. For that, we’ve broken down each of our single-protein Natural Selections™ meals. Each variety is compose of a single meat protein, and is frozen fresh and fully raw.



Beef, along with chicken, is one of the most commonly fed protein sources for dogs. For one, it’s palatable and most dogs enjoy the taste of beef.

In addition, beef is an excellent source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids required by dogs. It contains many essential nutrients including high levels of Zinc and Iron which help maintain stamina and heart health. Beef is rich in the minerals Manganese, Selenium, and Potassium, and in B vitamins that improve the absorption of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Protein-packed beef is also great a great base for a ketogenic diet, which may be prescribed by a vet for dogs with epilepsy or diabetes.

Darwin's Chicken recipe is low-fat and high-protein, complete and balanced for dogs.


Chicken is another commonly fed protein for dogs. It’s typically leaner than beef and easy to digest.

Additionally, chicken is rich in the trace mineral Selenium, which supports thyroid health and enhances your dog’s immune system. Chicken is high in Vitamin B which aids in controlling glucose levels as well as converting protein and fat into usable energy. Vitamin B6 supports energy metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, are also great bases for a bland diet, most often prescribed for pups with sensitive stomachs.

Turkey is a great dog food for dogs with a chicken or beef allergy.


Turkey is a lean meat that is a rich source of vitamins and minerals which help to regulate blood pressure, boost the immune system and facilitate the processes of healing. Turkey meat is an excellent source of essential amino acids in protein. It is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken or beef. It also contains the essential Amino Acid Tryptophan, which plays an important role in strengthening the immune system.

As more dogs are developing allergies to beef or chicken, turkey serves as a great alternative for dogs with tummy troubles or allergies.

Duck is a great novel protein for dogs, meaning it's unlikely to cause allergies.


Duck is an excellent source of protein that is low in saturated fat. A rich source of most B vitamins and contains useful amounts of Phosphorous and Potassium. It’s an excellent source for the cancer-protective B Vitamin Niacin that aids in controlling glucose levels in the body as well as converting protein, fat, and carbohydrates into usable energy; Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) that supports energy metabolism and Cardiovascular health.

Duck is also often used as a “novel” protein, meaning it’s less common in the market than chicken, beef, turkey, or pork. For this reason, it’s great to use in an elimination diet.

lamb femur bone


Lamb is a good source of protein and a healthy, novel red meat alternative for cats and dogs that may have allergies or intolerances to other traditional red meats. Lamb is rich in Zinc and provides essential minerals such as Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Thiamine, Vitamins E, B12, D3.

Similar to duck, lamb’s novelty makes it ideal for elimination diets. Lamb bones are also a really great addition to a healthy diet, cleaning teeth and diversifying your dog’s diet.

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You want to choose the best dog food—the high-quality, wholesome nutrition that keeps your pet happy, healthy, and filled with energy, all without breaking your budget.