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3 Protein-rich Superfoods That Your Dog Will Thank You For

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(Image from Deposit Photos)

As a dog owner, I always see my dogs as part of the family. Just as humans we’re always told to keep a balanced diet, the same advice should apply to our canine friends. Protein plays a pivotal role in a dog's diet, supporting muscle development, providing energy, and ensuring overall health.

In recent years, superfoods (for humans) have shot up in popularity. These superfoods are essentially nutrient-rich foods that are considered to be especially beneficial for our health and well-being. But did you know that certain superfoods can be equally beneficial for dogs, particularly those rich in protein?

In a minute, we’ll take an in-depth look at three protein-packed superfoods that your dog might just wag its tail for!

The Role of Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of life in all human and animal beings. For dogs, they are essential for growth, muscle repair, and providing energy.

Proteins can be broadly categorized into two groups, based on their amino acid composition:

  • Complete proteins and
  • Incomplete proteins.

Complete proteins contain all the nine essential amino acids dogs need, in a sufficient amount to make for a balanced protein meal.

Incomplete proteins, on the other hand, do not.

While many dog foods provide the necessary proteins, introducing superfoods can give an extra boost and offer additional health benefits.

Here are three less commonly used superfoods for dogs:

1. Spirulina


(Image from Deposit Photos)

With 60-70% complete protein content on average, Spirulina can give your dogs’ muscles a boost. A rough nutritional content of 100g of Spirulina is as follows in the table below.

The exact nutritional composition can vary based on the cultivation conditions, harvesting methods, and processing of the Spirulina, hence the ranges.


Amount (Per 100g of Spirulina)


57g - 70g


15g - 25g


1g - 7g

Dietary Fiber


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)


Vitamin B3 (Niacin)






There are also various health benefits of Spirulina for dogs, such as improving their immune and gastrointestinal system, boosting their muscle growth and repair, and perhaps even contributing to their longevity.

The latter benefit is attributed to the high content of antioxidants such as Phycocianin.

You can introduce Spirulina to your dog's diet through Spirulina powder, mixing it with their regular food. There are also Spirulina tablets available as supplements, and some dog treats now include Spirulina as a key ingredient.

Fetched also has this natural teeth cleaning powder for dogs which features organic Spirulina as one of the ingredients.

2. Quinoa


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Quinoa might be a trendy food for us humans, but it's also a perfect choice for pups. It’s another example of a complete protein choice that contains all 9 essential amino acids.

It's also rich in fiber, magnesium, and various B-vitamins.

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 nutrients in Quinoa:


Amount (Per 100g of Cooked Quinoa)



Dietary Fiber



60 mg


150 mg


0.6 mg

Note that the exact nutritional content will vary based on the type of quinoa and its preparation method.

Originally from South America, this super grain has been consumed for thousands of years. It only recently made a surge in popularity in the Western countries. This has also led various pet food manufacturers to consider its potential benefits for dogs.

As a gluten-free alternative, Quinoa is also an ideal choice for dogs with wheat allergies or sensitivities.

As this grain provides all nine essential amino acids, it can be a crucial aid for muscle growth and tissue repair. The dietary fiber in quinoa also aids in digestion, ensuring smooth bowel movements and potentially assisting in weight management for overweight dogs.

The rich mineral content, including magnesium, phosphorus and manganese supports bone health and energy metabolism.

You can introduce quinoa into your pet’s diet either by cooking it yourself at home or looking for cooked dog food with quinoa seeds.


3. Chia SeedsDepositphotos_52929039_L                                                                                                             (Image from Deposit Photos)

These tiny seeds are not only packed with protein but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They can help support your dog’s joint health, boost the immune system, and aid in digestion.

In terms of the nutritional content, they are dense in terms of protein and dietary fiber.

Chia seeds are also a rich plant-based source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital for brain health, reducing inflammation, and maintaining a shiny coat. Just 1 ounce (28g) of chia seeds delivers over 5g of Omega 3!

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 nutrients in Chia seeds and their approximate amount. As always, the actual content will vary depending on how the chia seeds were grown and how they are cooked.


Amount (Per 100g of Chia Seeds)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (ALA)


Dietary Fiber








With a high content of protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, you can see why chia seeds are called a superfood.

You can incorporate chia seeds into your dog’s diet by mixing them with their dog food, or by making your own treats.

To improve their absorption, it can be useful to soak the chia seeds in water before adding them to their food. This not only makes them easier to digest but also helps in hydration. They will soak up the water and expand a little.

One precaution to note with chia seeds is that they could in rare occasions cause intestinal blockages. This is due to them possibly expanding once they have passed into the stomach and small intestine. For this reason, you should take extra care especially with smaller dogs.

However, balance is the keyword here. Limit the amount that you are giving your dog and use common sense when introducing any new foods. If you do have any concerns, get in touch with your vet who can provide you further safety guidance.


So there you go, three superfoods for your dogs that definitely pack a punch. By incorporating these into your dog's diet, you can provide a wide range of health benefits and they will appreciate you for it.

As always, ensure that any new food is introduced thoughtfully and in appropriate amounts to ensure the best outcomes for your furry friend.

Author Bio: Tudor is a qualified canine behaviorist and nutritionist with over 5 years of experience. He has a special interest in separation anxiety and age-related behavioral changes in dogs, as well as specialised dog nutrition.