Explain the fat-to-protein ratio

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Explain the fat-to-protein ratio

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #80016 Report Abuse
    Scott B

    Hi everyone,

    New to the site and I was curious if anyone could explain the fat-to-protein ratio to me?
    I thought in the intro video Mike said 60 to 80% was a good ratio, why would more fat be a good thing? Or did I misunderstand?

    Thank you.

    #80042 Report Abuse

    Hi Scott,

    I created the fat-to-protein ratio a few years ago to help get a better idea about the quality of the meat that was used to make a dog food.

    The average range for FPR data is between 50% and 80%. In the right proportions, fat isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    In fact, unlike carbs, fat and protein are essential nutrients.

    However, when the FPR begins to approach the extremes of that range (say 40% on the low end and over 80% on the upper end), my warning lights begin to flash.

    Ultra low FPR can suggest a low meat content.

    Higher FPR numbers (say greater than 80%) begin to suggest a food’s been made with fatty trimmings and slaughterhouse waste.

    Hope that makes sense.

    #80043 Report Abuse

    Hi Scott,

    I just wanted to add my thoughts in addition to Dr. Mike’s response.

    I pulled up a conversation I had with a friend about this very topic and this is one of her comments regarding FPR that stuck with me most.

    “Basically, if the calories from fat are too high then the pup gets full before meeting his protein and nutrient needs. Fed this way long term and he will develop symptoms due to those missing nutrients. Because fat has double the calories of protein (and carbs) Steve Brown and Dr. Becker recommend diets should be about 50% more meat than fat on a dry matter basis – so if the kibble is 40% protein it should be around 20% fat.”

    #81228 Report Abuse
    Scott B

    Thank you for the replies.
    Sorry it took so long to reply, work and the holidays got me really tied up.

    Thanks again!

    #156874 Report Abuse
    James A

    Ok I see Mike has said that FPRs in the range between 50%-80% are “good” or “normal.”

    But I’m unclear exactly what we’re measuring.

    Normally a ratio is expressed as “x : y” So if a FPR is 60%, I understand that to mean 6 units of fat for every 10 units of protein … aka 6:10.

    But given that protein is generally around 25-45% or so, I would say I have it backwards… for every 10 units of fat there are 6 units of protein.

    Help me understand how these FPR percentages are calculated. Also do carbs factor in?


    #156876 Report Abuse

    If you look at Core Reduced Fat Dry, there’s approx 37% protein and 11% fat so approx 30% of its calories are from fat versus protein.

    Then look at Hill’s B/D Dry with approx 19% protein and 16% fat with a resulting approx 83% of the calories coming from fat vs protein.

    Fat has 2-2.5 times the amount of energy(calories) as protein. Look at the “Estimated Nutrient Content” box in the yellow portion of the reviews and the Calorie Weighted Basis numbers.

    Ideally, FPR is near 50% give or take and caloric distribution from protein and fat should be near the same (give or take).

    You can also calculate energy basis with this calculator:


    Puppies and active dogs require more fat and higher FPR where as seniors/lapdogs or dogs with a health issue can use lower amounts of fat and a lower FPR, and then some health issues (like Hill’s B/D for brain health) offers a moderate fat with high FPR food.

    I feed moderate to high fat and various FPRs to my pug. Hope this helps a little. I’m not a technical person.

    #156877 Report Abuse
    James A

    ok here is what is says about Core Reduced:

    The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

    As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.

    And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.


    and then what does it mean?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by James A.
    #156905 Report Abuse

    Hi james,
    You have it correct in your first example . If the Fat to protein ratio is 60 % that would be equivalent to 6 parts fat / 10 parts protein. How this would play out then is for a food with as fed 24 % protein the fat content would be 60% of that
    24 x .6 = 14.4 the ratio would 14.4/24 = .6 expressed as a percentage 60%

    In the examples that Pugs mom gave you Wellness Core reduced fat 11% fat / 37% protein = 29.7% which is why she said ~ 30% The percentage of calories from fat is about 25% when those numbers are plugged into the balance it converter.

    For B/D 19% protein and 16% fat the FTP ratio is 16/19 = .84 or84% However the % calories from fat are not 84%, she misspoke, the percent calories contributed from fat using the balance it converter is ~34% calories

    For the Wellness dog food review the 42% fat to protein ratio was calculated using their avg fat content of 16% and their avg protein content of 38% 16%/38% = .421 or 42%

    What does it mean? Well the higher the fat to protein ratio is, it can mean that the % of calories that are coming from fat may be higher than expected and percent of calories from protein lower than you might expect when looking at the GA or dry matter basis alone. For example a food with 35% protein and 40 % fat a ratio of 1.1 it may appear to be a high protein food but 25% of the calories are coming from protein and ~70% from fat.

    Hope that helps

    #156944 Report Abuse
    Frenky C

    On board with Mike Sagman on this one 🙂

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The forum ‘Editors Choice Forum’ is closed to new topics and replies.