Blood serum proteins are significant indicators of animal health. Nevertheless, several factors should be considered to appropriately interpret their concentrations in blood. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (1) to assess the effect of herd productivity, breed, age and stage of lactation on serum proteins and (2) to investigate association between serum proteins and somatic cell count (SCC) in dairy cattle. Milk and blood samples were collected from 1508 cows of six different breeds (Holstein Friesian, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Simmental, Rendena and Alpine Grey) that were housed in 41 multi-breed herds. Milk samples were analyzed for composition and SCC, while blood samples were analyzed for serum proteins (i.e. total protein, albumin, globulin and albumin-to-globulin ratio (A : G)). Herds were classified as low or high production, according to the cow’s average daily milk energy yield adjusted for breed, days in milk (DIM) and parity. Data were analyzed using a linear mixed model that included the fixed effects of DIM, parity, SCS, breed, herd productivity and the random effect of the Herd-test date within productivity level. Cows in high producing herds (characterized also by greater use of concentrates in the diet) had greater serum albumin concentrations. Breed differences were reported for all traits, highlighting a possible genetic mechanism. The specialized breed Jersey and the two dual-purpose local breeds (Alpine Grey and Rendena) had the lowest globulin concentration and greatest A : G. Changes in serum proteins were observed through lactation. Total protein reached the highest concentration during the 4th month of lactation. Blood albumin increased with DIM following a quadratic pattern, while globulin decreased linearly. As a consequence, A : G increased linearly during lactation. Older cows had greater total protein and globulin concentrations, while albumin concentration seemed to be not particularly affected by age. A linear relationship between serum proteins and SCS was observed. High milk SCS was associated with greater total protein and globulin concentrations in blood. The rise in globulin concentration, together with a decrease in albumin concentrations, resulted in a decline in A : G as SCS of milk increased. In conclusion, such non-genetic factors must be considered to appropriately interpret serum proteins as potential animal welfare indicator and their evaluation represents an important first-step for future analysis based on the integration of metabolomics, genetic and genomic information for improving the robustness of dairy cows.