Low protein dog food contains a lower amount of protein as compared to normal dog food and sometimes it becomes necessary for dogs with certain health conditions.
Veterinarians usually advised a low protein diet to protect the dog from certain health issues like allergies, liver cirrhosis, kidney problems, etc.
Dog’s require a high protein diet but there are some situations where it is important to reduce the level of proteins. However, low protein diets can also be dangerous for the dog’s health.
So, it is advisable to consult with your vet before you switch to a low protein diet for your dog.
Our team has analyzed various dog food brands based on the level of protein sources, check out the details below and know the best low protein dog food, and prevent your pup from certain health diseases.
Importance of Low Protein Diet for Dogs
Dogs need protein to grow, develop cells and tissues, and to synthesize hormones and enzymes as well - it contributes to the overall development of the organism. Like other nutrients and substances, protein also has to be processed by various organs but mostly the liver, small intestines, and kidneys.
The small intestine is the place where the food is digested and broken down into components that are then absorbed into the dog’s blood. The liver processes the byproducts of protein metabolism and the dog’s kidneys eliminate the nitrogenous waste and other unnecessary molecules.
Thus, it can be understood that any kind of problem in these organs may require a low protein diet. The purpose of reducing protein amount in the diet is to allow the affected organ to heal itself first because processing a rich amount of protein is an energy-intensive process.
Please note that a low protein diet does not mean any protein at all. As mentioned above, a certain amount of protein is required for the normal growth of the dog. But if one of the organs is sick especially the liver or kidneys, then it is advisable to lower the amount of protein in the dog’s diet.
Many veterinary diets today focus more on the phosphorus level rather than the amount of protein. This is based on the observation that dogs with moderate kidney problems fared better when the amount of phosphorus was restricted in their diet.
However, if your dog is diagnosed with severe kidney health and kidney function disruption, then a low-level protein diet is compulsory.
Best Low Protein Dog Foods
It is important to know when your dog needs a low protein diet either temporarily or permanently. Keep in mind that not all dog foods are similar. Only a few contain high quality and best composition to give your dog optimal nutrition. Here is a list of best low protein dog foods that you can consider if your dog has a health condition.
This is natural grain-free dog food made according to the weight management formula for dogs that are overweight. This diet is to support the digestive system for different stages of dogs with probiotics, peptic enzymes, and natural fibers.
This formula diet ensures a specific level of protein and a suitable amount of nutrients for the proper health management of your dog.
Many pet owners are concerned about their pet's weight and choose this dry dog to control the weight of their dogs. With this low protein grain-free dog food, it will be easier for you to develop muscles, control weight, and manage the energy level of your dog.
- The best cure for dogs with any kind of digestive problems
- Quality protein to ensure a natural balance of nutrition
- Helps to control obesity
- Low calories
- A product of the USA
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food
A dry dog food specially made up for dog breeds that are least 7 years old. It is composed of all-natural ingredients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It also has a source of protein like lambs, chicken, etc. These ingredients are important to improve the health of aging dogs.
This food dog does not contain any artificial ingredients, flavors, colors, or perspective. It is also clinically approved that the combination of antioxidants improves the immune system.
- Made for senior dogs
- Easy to digest for older dogs
- Composed of natural ingredients
- Supports the immune system
- Made in the USA
Nutro Ultra Weight Management
A low protein dry dog food that is made for overweight adult dogs to conserve body weight. The Nutro Ultra dog food is composed of all the high-quality ingredients to provide a balanced diet for a healthy and slim body.
It contains a low phosphorus level that is a great source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for building healthy joints. It also acts as an antidote to prevent skin issues. Other ingredients include vegetables, fruits, and the indispensable oil to manage the dog’s weight.
- Specifically made for overweight dogs
- Includes high-quality ingredients
- Good to prevent allergies
- No artificial flavors, or colors
- Made in the USA
Canidae All Life Stages
The Canidae is specifically made for dogs of all ages, from puppies to top adult dogs to seniors. If you have more dogs of various sizes, breed, and age then this dry dog food is a good option to consider. It contains turkey food without corn, soy, or wheat.
If you are looking for low protein dog food recipes for kidney disease, this dog food will work well.
The Canidae All Life Stages dry senior dog food includes probiotics to improve digestion and antioxidants for a good immune system. It also contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to grow the healthy skin and shiny coat on the body of your dog.
- Made for dogs of all ages
- Contains natural ingredients
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavor
In addition to the above food options, there are some other options that you can consider such as Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Mattie's Healthy Treats, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet, etc.
Royal Canin Urinary SO Veterinary Diet
Looking for a high-quality low protein diet for your canine buddy? Royal Canin’s Urinary SO Canine Veterinary Diet is the best and ideal choice. The said dry food is specially made for the dogs that are suffering from some chronic kidney disease and need help with their kidney functioning.
It helps in healing kidney stones while lessening the load on them. The magnesium and phosphorus levels are limited and it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Increases the volume of urine and decreases the concentration of stones forming minerals
- Fortified with compounds that dissolve struvite urinary stones
- Made with ingredients that increase the acidity of your dog’s urine and stops the buildup of kidney stones
- With added omega-3 fatty acids to protect your dog’s urinary tract and help him fight infection and inflammation
- Has limited amounts of protein, magnesium, and phosphorus
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Canned Dog Food
The Purina NF Kidney Function canned food is specially formulated to minimize the symptoms of kidney failure and disease. It has a limited or low concentration of protein, sodium, and phosphorus while a high level of omega fatty acids.
The low level of protein and phosphorus helps in minimizing the workload of kidneys and preventing further damage. Added omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins help in protecting the body and breaking down the nutrients.
- Designed for dogs with acute and chronic kidney issues
- Contains water-rich ingredients like rice, beef, corn grits, and meat by-products
- Extremely palatable
- Complete nutrition for your dog
- Made in the USA
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dog Food
Enriched with LifeSource Bits technology, the said dog food is specially made for the dogs having special dietary and health needs. The food is considerably low in protein, calorie, and fat, which is great for the dogs who are on a low-protein diet. It has the same nutritional value as other Blue Buffalo pet food products.
It also has a healthy dose of probiotics, nutraceuticals, carnitine, and macronutrients. It is also great for dog owners who are careful about giving grains to their dogs.
- Contains real meat like chicken and other healthy grains, vegetables and fruits
- Made with a lower concentration of fat and help in your dog’s weight management
- Enriched with LifeSource Bits; a blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
- Mabe with all-natural ingredients and high-quality ingredients
- Free from all kinds of preservatives, poultry by-product meals, wheat, soy, and corn
Though low protein food is not recommended for dogs, since they are highly active, there are some dogs that do need a low protein diet. Usually, good dog food has all the nutrients and a sufficient amount of proteins to keep the dog healthy and happy.
However, if your dog is healthy then finding the best dog food for your canine that contains all the essential minerals and nutrients is the only way to keep him healthy and living for long.
How to Choose the Best Low Protein Dog Food
The ideal foods for dogs should contain a sufficient amount of nutrition for proper growth. Best nutritional pet foods help you keep your dog healthy and active. There are some factors that are important to consider when evaluating the best food for your puppy.
Make sure you are considering the following factors:
Always read the ingredient list, after all, quality is better than quantity, especially when you are considering the low protein ratio. As you are reducing the quantity of protein from your dog’s diet, it is important that the selected protein should be of high quality.
Another important factor to consider is the phosphorus level, its high level can create problems for dogs with specific conditions like liver disease, heart disease, and chronic kidney disease.
Always check that your pick of low protein food also contains omega 3, B-complex vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants because they are important to act against the low level of phosphorus.
Always check that the formula is appropriate for your dog. You would make a terrible mistake if you give your puppy food like Royal Canin Veterinary Diet which is specifically formulated for senior dogs. Additionally, make sure a high protein ratio is there for the dog’s optimal growth.
Advantages of Low Protein Dog Food
Now you know why a low protein diet is essential for dogs with certain health conditions. Other than that, a low protein food can also be a source of various benefits especially for canines that really need such a diet.
The following are some of the important benefits of a low protein diet.
- It allows the organs that are involved in the process of metabolism and elimination of waste are required to have a much-needed rest. A low protein diet will reduce the overall work that these organs are meant to perform.
- It plays an important role in minimizing or alleviating the symptoms that are associated with the disorders of such organs.
- It prevents the organs from accumulating nitrogenous waste and other toxic substances in the blood that can lead to encephalopathy or any other serious health condition.
- It helps in reducing and eliminating certain types of crystals or urinary stones that get accumulated in the urinary bladder that can lead to blockage.
Health Consideration For A Low Protein Dog Diet
The following health conditions may require to lower the amount of protein in your dog’s diet.
According to recent studies, the low protein diet slows down the disease process in renal failure. This is the state where the kidney no longer performs its specified function of producing urine by removing waste and filtering blood.
Thus, it can no longer remove the nitrogenous waste and this can lead to an increase in the blood urea nitrogen. And you give more protein to your dog, there is a tendency that more waste will accumulate in the blood that can lead to more severe problems.
An efficient organ that is responsible for the processing of toxins. When there is any problem in the liver, it will be unable for the organ to process the various toxins in the body. One of these toxic substances is nitrogenous waste materials.
When this waste is not processed by the liver, it gets accumulated in the blood and can reach the brain resulting in hepatic encephalopathy. In that case, reducing the protein level in the diet will help reduce the amount of nitrogenous waste that the liver will process with whatever resources left.
It is important to note that only 6 percent of all urinary bladder stones are found in dogs and urate crystals respond well to a diet with less amount of protein especially those that come with natural acid fires such as cranberries.
The important thing about the less protein diet is that it is usually temporary for dogs with urate bladder stones. Once the crystal gets dissolved, you can start giving your dog the usual high protein diet.
Therefore, you can see there is no major problem with a high protein diet as long as the quality is good. However, in some situations like liver diseases, CKD, kidney stones, etc, it is a better choice to go for a low protein intake diet.
All in all, the high protein diet has its own benefits, the same goes for the low protein diet. It all depends on its usefulness for the dogs with any kind of health issue. Pay careful attention to the appropriate level of protein regarding the health of your dog and avoid the wrong consideration that might affect your dog’s life.
It is advisable to consult with your vet to discuss the current health situation of your dog before you make your final decision. Putting your dog on a vet recommended dog food will help keep your dog away from a lot of health issues.