Eighteen 9- to 10-week old Beagles were fed casein-based diets (4,710 kcal of metabolizable energy/kg of body weight) containing either 12, 80, or 160 mg of iron/kg of diet. Growth and feed consumption were monitored throughout the 47-day study. Hematocrit (Hct), hemoglobin (Hb) concentration, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), RBC numbers, erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP) concentration, serum iron concentration, serum total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), and serum ferritin concentration were determined weekly. Growth rate and feed efficiency were not significantly influenced by dietary iron content. At 14 days, Hb concentration, Hct, MCV, MCH, RBC numbers, and serum iron concentration were significantly (P less than 0.05) lower in dogs fed the 12 mg/kg diet, and remained significantly low for the remainder of the study. Erythrocyte protoporphyrin concentration increased significantly (P less than 0.05) by 14 days in dogs fed the basal diet, and remained significantly high relative to that in dogs of the other dietary groups for the remainder of the study. Serum ferritin concentration decreased in dogs of the group fed the basal diet, with a significant (P less than 0.05) difference beyond day 42. Differences in Hct, MCH, MCV, or hemoglobin, serum iron, serum ferritin, or EP concentration were not found between groups fed 80 and 160 mg of iron/kg of diet. Liver nonheme iron content was significantly (P less than 0.05) affected by dietary iron content.