Can Too Much Protein Actually Be Bad For My Pet?

While many pet parents have their pet’s best interest at heart when they feed excessive protein foods, the scientific truth about protein is a little more complicated. In fact, science tells us that when it comes to protein, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing — even for animals.


Simply put: more protein doesn’t mean more muscle. When consumed in excess of a pet’s daily requirement (yes, they have daily requirements), it may actually have a negative effect on their liver, kidneys, and gut microbiome.

It’s impossible to measure a dog’s instinctive desire for meat, but when given the choice, research shows pets choose higher fat foods, not higher protein.

In fact, your pet’s body can only do two things with too much protein:

  • Turn it into waste
  • Store it as fat

That’s why Hill’s believes both quality and quantity of protein are equally important for the optimal nutrition of your pet. And it’s why we make sure that every food has the right amount of protein your pet actually needs — along with carbs, fiber, amino acids, vitamins and other minerals to support their overall health.

So, how is high-quality protein used in the body?

  • It is easily digestible and used in muscle building
  • It brings high levels of all essential amino acids, the building blocks of body proteins
  • It doesn’t bring an excess of minerals or other nutrients
  1. Meyer H, Kienzle E. Dietary protein and carbohydrates: Relationship to clinical disease. In: Proceedings. Purina International Nutrition Symposium, Orlando, FL, 1991: 13-26.