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Can Dogs Eat Protein Powder?

Can dogs eat protein powder

Protein is one of the essential nutrients we have to integrate into our diet for a healthier lifestyle. But do know that, as humans, we are susceptible to most of the artificial resources. But with canines, we have to be sure whether we can feed them the same or not. Here we are discussing whether it is safe to give protein powder to dogs or not.

Do know that until and unless you are not purchasing a dog-friendly product (protein), it is not advisable to feed them. In other words, the protein powder prepared for humans is likely not for dogs. But if you think of giving them in little amounts like 0.5 to 0.8 grams per kg of their weight for 2-3 days a week, it will not harm them.

For a better understanding, keep reading as this read will help you know why you need to avoid protein powder in the case of dogs. Let’s get started!

Can dogs eat protein powder?

Indeed, Dogs can have protein powder but in very small quantities, and that too for only 2-3 days a week. Feeding them with protein powder is not advisable because some ingredients (flavors and additives) in a protein powder are not meant for dogs.

Note: While feeding your dog with protein, be sure to get unflavored and sugar-free protein for them. The flavored ones with sugar are responsible for creating some health issues. Most of them suffer from gastric irritation and skin allergies after consuming the flavored ones.

Ingredients in dog protein

Along with flavors and additives, some other ingredients are also part of protein powder. These are:


High quantities of iron in food are known to upset the stomachs of dogs. Sometimes it leads to organ failure too.

Vitamin D

High quantities of Vitamin D in a dog’s diet are responsible for causing the fluctuation in calcium levels responsible for kidney stones and sometimes kidney failure too.


5-HTP is responsible for causing serotonin syndrome. Sudden changes will be noticed, like a rise in

  • Body Temperature
  • Heart Rate
  • Blood Pressure

Glucosamine and/or MSM

It is responsible for causing dehydration in dogs, accompanied by nose bleeding. Along with that, this sometimes causes gastric issues too.

Artificial Sweeteners (eg: xylitol)

Sweeteners, especially artificial ones like xylitol, are not for dogs. These are responsible for some gastric issues and sometimes life-threatening conditions like xylitol poisoning too. The symptoms of xylitol poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Weakness.
  • Decreased activity
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Staggering
  • Loss of balance

Coffee, tea, and caffeine ingredients

Caffeine ingredients are known to cause frantic behavior in dogs. Sometimes its consumption leads to nervous system changes too.


ALA, also referred to as antioxidants, is good for dogs in minimal quantities, but high quantities are responsible for causing:

  • A decrease in blood sugar levels
  • Lethargy
  • Liver damage
  • Extreme Fatigue


Whey is known to add very high protein content to your dog’s diet, which is not meant for them.

Why is it safe to feed a dog with protein powder?

As we mentioned, in moderation, protein powder will not harm your dog. Similarly, do know that the protein powders are prepared by considering optimum health requirements. Every living body, including dogs, requires protein, and integrating the protein powder into their diet helps them get it in optimum quantities.

For dogs, especially athletic ones, whey protein is considered. Thus, if you have an athletic dog, choosing whey protein for them is a suitable option.

Also, whey protein is among the best protein powders available on the market, but don’t get confused because high quantities are still not for them. Instead of relying on such food items, go for the authentic dog food options available on the market.

How is protein powder consumption helping dogs?

Proteins are comprised of different amino acids, which are essential for muscle building. So, if you are feeding your dog with amino acids, this will help them build up good muscle strength.

As we all know, some dogs are vegan, and their bodies’ protein requirements are not fulfilled. For them, too, protein powder consumption for 2-3 days a week is known to do wonders.

Protein powders are available in the following varieties:

For dogs, three types of protein powder are available. These are as follows:

  • Whey Protein
  • Casein Protein
  • Muscle Gain and Recovery Powders

Advantages of feeding protein powder to your dog

Though you are feeding your dog with protein powder in small quantities, it is still beneficial for them. The major benefits dogs get after consuming protein include:

Muscle recovery

After exercise, the muscles start to wear and tear in humans, and similarly, in dogs. Consumption of protein powder helps in muscle tissue repair as well.

Less weight gain

If you are thinking that regular dog food is making your dog obese, try integrating protein into their diet. Then consult with a pet dietician to create a suitable protein-rich diet.

Muscle buildup

Protein is comprised of 20 essential amino acids, which are responsible for different functions, especially muscle growth. These are known to be the building blocks of tissues.

The risks of feeding protein to a dog

Along with the advantages, there are some disadvantages to feeding protein powder to a dog, which are as follows:

  • Some dogs do not have the habit of having artificial sources of protein and hence suffer from gastric issues.
  • For dog owners, purchasing protein powder seems to be an expensive task.
  • One needs to be sure of the dosage because a high dosage disturbs the lifestyle of the dog.
  • Protein powder does not add any other nutrients to their diet.

Some other health conditions to be aware of

  • Severe and extreme diarrhea
  • Bloody discharge from the bum or nose
  • Severe and extreme vomiting
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Extreme lethargy and fainting
  • Distress or pain

Why is it not advisable to regularly feed protein powder to dogs?

Do know that the protein powder is specially designed by keeping human body needs into consideration. And the manufacturers add flavors and additives to it, making it unsafe for dogs in high quantities.

What to do if my dog ate too much protein?

There is nothing to be concerned about if your dog consumed a large amount of protein. It will cause mild effects like gastric issues, vomiting, lack of appetite, and so on, but it will not cause any deadly effects. But if you have a dog that is very sensitive, do not wait to get vet help.

Note: We would still suggest that you try to feed a proper dog food (kibble) with enough protein instead of feeding protein powder to your dog. Or you can also try to include meat for protein in your pet dog’s diet. Just remeber to cook the meat plain without seasoning. And consult a pet dietician for a nutritional diet plan for dogs.

What we learn from all this

Protein powder is for dogs, but in minimal quantities only, like 0.5-0.8 grams per kilogram of their weight. The high quantities are responsible for causing different health issues too. Also, when you are introducing protein powder to your dog for the first time, notice all the changes. Some dogs are not able to tolerate the effects and suffer from different health conditions. If your dog is susceptible, don’t be late in reaching out to the vet. 

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