What’s The Best Low Protein Dog Food?

It’s safe to say that most dogs require (and benefit from) a high protein diet. However, certain medical conditions can require your dog to follow a low protein diet, or at the very least, require a reduction of certain ingredients such as phosphorus, particularly if your dog has kidney troubles.

Of course, it’s always wise to consult with your vet before making the switch to low protein food to ensure it’s a necessary and beneficial step to take with your dog.

Why Choose Low Protein Food?

One of the most common reasons for a dog needing low protein food boils down to existing kidney problems, but it can also be related to liver conditions, Lyme disease, cirrhosis, or even general aging. Additionally, large breed dogs who are growing too quickly may need a low protein diet in some cases.

Fortunately, any dog who’s suffering from a health problem like these can experience some relief by making the change to a low protein diet, and the lower levels of protein and phosphorus will place less stress on your dog’s kidneys. However, it’s smart to check with your vet before selecting a new brand of food to ensure it meets the specific needs of your dog’s current health status.

If your dog has serious kidney or liver issues, then it’s useful to pick up a prescription brand that’s been designed to accommodate the needs of your pet, so these will also be covered in the guide.

Finally, it’s worth noting how beneficial it can be to add some wet or canned food to your dog’s diet, particularly if you’re using a low protein kibble. One of the unfortunate aspects of using low protein food is that it can be rather ‘bland’ and less enjoyable for your pooch. But adding a suitable wet food can go a long way toward making it more enjoyable overall, as well as encouraging picky eaters to actually eat.

The Best Low Protein Dog Food

In general, a low protein formula will usually have less than 16% protein, whereas a standard dog food formula is likely to be much higher, usually starting at 18% and rising much further depending on the brand and its focus. Furthermore, a quality low protein formula should focus on providing easily digestible protein sources which should also help to put less stress on your dog. It should also have low levels of phosphorus, too.

# 1 – Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dog Food

This dry dog food from Purina is part of their Veterinary Diets product line, and as such, it comes with a different formulation to the average dry dog food kibble.

It’s designed to be a balanced formula that caters to most of an adult dog’s requirements, but it’s also designed to have lower phosphorus levels, which means it’s a little easier on your dog’s kidneys.

It also comes with lower protein levels, with the label stating that there’s a crude protein minimum of 12%, which is certainly lower than a standard formula. Again, this may help to ease some of the strain on your dog’s kidneys.

The formula is also low in sodium, but it comes with some extra omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which can aid your dog’s overall health.

Several buyers are happy with the product, but others have struggled with encouraging their dog to eat it.

However, adding some wet food should help with this problem, as low protein formulas are often less appetizing in general.

# 2 – Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food

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The Hill’s Pet Nutrition company make several well-reviewed dog food products, and this particular formula is aimed at helping dogs who suffer with renal health problems.

It comes with a lower level of phosphorus to help encourage healthier kidney function, and the lower levels of protein should also help to ease the stress placed on your dog’s kidneys.

According to the ingredients label, the formula contains a minimum of 12% protein and a maximum of 16%, which is in line with what you’d expect from a reliable low protein product.

The use of extra omega 3 fatty acids may help to increase the blood flow to your dog’s kidneys, while the B-complex vitamins can help to supply key vitamins that may be lost through urination.

# 3 – Blue Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Dry Food

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The Blue Buffalo dog food company are another popular choice for dog owners, and this Veterinary Diet Kidney Support formula is made for those dogs who need a specialized diet to accommodate their kidney issues.

The food comes with a minimum of 14% protein which is low enough for this kind of formula, and it also has a maximum of 0.55% phosphorus, which is another key consideration when buying food for a dog with kidney health problems.

There’s also reasonable levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which is equally great to see. Of course, the formula comes with the LifeSource Bits that are found in many Blue Buffalo products.

# 4 – Royal Canin Aging 12+ Dry Dog Food

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This formula from Royal Canin is focused on catering to aging dogs of over 12 years, and as such, it’s a little gentler on your dog’s kidneys as well as providing a range of formula alterations that make it more appropriate for older dogs.

The protein level is slightly higher than the average kidney-support focused food, and the guaranteed analyses place the protein level at around 24%, but the phosphorus levels are low, with a level of 0.41%.

It’s worth noting that the formula is specifically designed for small breed dogs, although there are other options for bigger or medium sized breeds. It also comes with added L-carnitine which can aid fat metabolism, helping an aging tog to maintain a healthy weight.

# 5 – Purina NF KidNey Function Canned Dog Food

Giving your dog wet food is always a great way to liven up their daily meals, and this is particularly important for dogs who are eating low protein food that’s often less appetizing.

The formula is specifically designed to support dogs who are struggling with kidney health, and as such, it comes with low levels of phosphorus to reduce any further renal damage and it also contains lower levels of protein overall.

However, there is added omega fatty acids that can aid blood flow as well as skin and coat health, along with reasonable moisture content and further vitamins and minerals.

Some buyers have had good results, while others have found it difficult to encourage their dog to eat it. Unfortunately, this can often be difficult with low protein formulas.

# 6 – Royal Canin Canine Renal Support Dry Dog Food

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Here’s another formula from the Royal Canin brand which is designed to offer reliable renal support, and it comes with a nutritional profile that should serve this aim well.

It comes with added EPA and DHA which can go some way toward regulating inflammatory reactions, and there’s a focus on using dietary fat to increase its general appeal and palatability to your dog.

The formula also promises to accommodate large and giant breeds in any stage of kidney disease, along with aiding during the early stages for small to medium-sized breeds.

Low levels of protein and phosphorus are used in the blend, which is just what you’d hope to see in any formula that’s catering to kidney issues.

# 7 – Blue Natural KS Kidney Support Canned Food

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Here’s a wet food option from the well-loved Blue Buffalo brand, and it’s formulated to go easy on your dog’s kidneys while still providing some quality nutrition to maintain their health and energy.

The blend features low levels of protein and phosphorus, but it still manages to provide some additional useful vitamins and minerals to help replenish any your dog is losing. The protein levels come in at around 3%, with chicken being the first ingredient.

The write-ups from most buyers seem to be impressed with product quality, and it’s appealing enough for most dogs who may not have such a strong appetite for low protein formulations.

# 8 – Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care k/d Canned Wet Food

Here’s a wet food option that from Hill’s Pet Nutrition which comes in a chicken and vegetable stew flavor that should be tempting to most dogs, and its formulated to support a dog who needs some special attention due to kidney health issues.

The food is designed to be gentle on your dog’s kidneys thanks to the low levels of protein and phosphorus, but it manages to include plenty of important and beneficial nutrition, vitamins, and minerals.

The use of chicken, carrots, rice, pork liver, and chicken fat go a long way toward making the food appetizing for your dog as well, which is often difficult for kidney support-oriented food.

# 9 – Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

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Here’s an interesting product from Royal Canin known as the Urinary SO formula, and it contains ingredients which aim to increase a dog’s urine volume, which can help to reduce the concentration of minerals which could lead to kidney stones.

The blend comes with carefully controlled levels of phosphorus and magnesium which can help to keep your dog in better health, and it also comes with omega 3 fatty acids which can aid urinary tract health as well as ease inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.

Overall, several buyers have had great results with the formula when they’re dealing with specific urinary tract problems with their dog. Of course, it’s always wise to consult with your vet about which kind of food will be most appropriate for your dog’s condition.

# 10 – Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine Treats

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Finding suitable treats for a dog with kidney issues isn’t always easy, which is why it can be useful to try these low sodium, low calorie, high fiber treats from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

The treats have been created and formulated specifically for dogs under veterinary care, and as such, they tend to be healthier than many common alternatives, with very few ingredients that are likely to make any health problems worse.

Of course, you can expect these treats to be low in both protein and phosphorus, which are often the biggest issues to contend with whenever your dog is suffering from kidney-related health issues.

But despite the low protein, they’re generally quite appetizing for most dogs, and it can be a good way to treat a dog who otherwise finds most goodies off limits due to their health.

# 11 – Mattie’s Treats Kidney Disease Dog Treats

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Here’s some excellent dog treats from ‘Mattie’s Treats’, and they’ve been made specifically to cater for dogs who are dealing with kidney disease.

The treats are made using a low protein, low phosphorus recipe which is just what you’d hope to see for a kidney-friendly dog treat, and they rely on a pumpkin and cinnamon taste that will be surprisingly appetizing to most dogs.

Furthermore, there are no low-grade additives used in the formula, nor will you find any wheat, soy, or corn.

Another nice touch is the fact that a percentage is the sales contribute to further research into canine kidney disease.

Several buyers are thrilled by how much their dog enjoys these new treats, which is great to see for any pooch who’s had to stop eating their previous favorites due to a newly diagnosed kidney issue.

Looking for the best low protein dog food? If so, this guide reveals the top options on the market and explores some reasons why it might be beneficial.