Understanding The Fat To Protein Ratio In Dog Food

Which Meat

Which meat was used to make your dog's food?

Did you know that both photos are LEGALLY  called “meat” on a pet food label?

It doesn't matter that one is cut from fresh, lean beef and the other is the fatty trimmings sourced from slaughterhouse waste.

So … How can you tell which type of meat was used to make YOUR dog’s food?

One thing to look for is the fat to protein ratio ...

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What Is Fat To Protein Ratio?

The fat to protein ratio can help you detect excessive levels of fatty meat hidden in your dog's food. All the information that you need is found right on the label of your dog food. And best of all, it's easy to calculate yourself.

How to Calculate Fat to Protein Ratio In Your Dog's Food

Look for the “crude fat” and “crude protein” numbers found in the “Guaranteed Analysis” section of your dog food label.

  1. Divide the amount of fat by the amount of protein
  2. And multiply that number by 100

And now you have the fat to protein ratio. It's that easy!

Dog Food People reading bag

What Does The Fat To Protein Ration Tell You?

A general rule is that the higher the fat to protein ration, then the more likely the food contains an excessive amount of fatty ingredients when compared to the amount of protein in that same food.

However, remember: this is not an exact measurement but a relative indicator. It's like touching someone's forehead to determine if he has a fever but you will not be able to determine the exact temp with this method.


This "tool" is not intended to compare dog foods but is a good method to find foods that are outside the norm. A high fat to protein ratio is a good indication that it was made with excessive amounts of fatty waste products and probably best to avoid for your dog.

What Is A ‘Normal’ Fat to Protein Ratio?

The fat to protein ration will generally range from 30% to over 100%. Most dog foods fall below 80% with dry foods falling 70% or lower.

As a rule of thumb, we suggest staying away from any that are over 90% and I personally tend to be very cautious of any over 80%.

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One of our favorite brands is The Farmer's Dog! They offer a variety of formulas that are personalized to meet your dog's individual needs. On average their food has a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Why choose The Farmer's Dog:

  • Real Food: Human-grade meat and veggies in simple recipes, made for dogs
  • USDA Kitchens: Safety and quality never before available to pets
  • Made Fresh: Maintain whole food and nutritional integrity
  • Vet Developed: Nutrition that exceeds industry standards for dogs (AAFCO)

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To learn more about feeding your dog, you will want to read: You Shouldn't Be The Only One Eating Healthy