With a lot of commercially available varieties and brands, all using different promotional contents and marketing drives, embarking on a dog food shopping can be a rather discouraging and challenging task. Even though we have no ideal food and realistically speaking, everything comes down to the needs of your dog and what is most attainable for you, to make your dog food shopping decision easier, we have reviewed some important steps you can take to ensure you are making the right choice. First and foremost, you need to take note of several different variables like age, breed, body composition, gender, temperament, activity level, and taste preferences.
Ideally, the perfect food is supposed to be the ideal balance of the six major nutrient groups which are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Our Recommendation: Best Low Protein Dog Foods
Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato & Bison Dry Dog Food
NUTRO ULTRA Adult Weight Management Dry Dog Food
IAMS HEALTHY NATURALS Adult Weight Management With Chicken Dry Dog Food
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Optimal Weight Dry Dog Food
Limited Ingredient Diets ® (also known as LID) is a highly sought-after type of dog food on the market today. Natural Balance has a line of LID dog foods with a variety of flavors to choose from to keep your pup happy and healthy. The LID formula focuses on giving your dog very limited amounts (if not completely eliminate) of certain ingredients such as grains and carbohydrates.
Natural Balance LID dog foods give your dog exposure to high-quality proteins without any of the fillers seen in other dog food brands. With omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids infused in the formula, Natural Balance LID helps your dog have a healthy digestive system as well as healthy skin and coat.
Is your dog working to get his weight under control? Does your dog suffer from the inability (or desire) to be active? NUTRO ULTRA Adult Weight Management Dry Dog Food is perfect for any dog that needs help maintaining a healthy weight.
This completely balanced dog food gives your dog access to proteins such as chicken, salmon, and lamb without any of the artificial fillers. Other notable ingredients include chia seeds, coconuts, and other superfoods that will boost your dog’s energy and metabolism in no time.
Every breed and stage of life is met with a unique formula designed specifically for them to help keep their weight down and their energy levels up with NUTRO ULTRA.
IAMS has been a trusted pet food brand for decades. Pet owners around the world trust IAMS for their pet food needs. IAMS HEALTHY NATURALS Adult Weight Management Dry Dog Food is another shining example of pet food excellence. With top ingredients such as real chicken meat, fruits, vegetables, and vitamins, your dog will have a balanced nutrition each and every time he eats.
The weight management formula aims to help dogs keep their weight under control with nothing but high-quality proteins and none of the other unnecessary ingredients. A low-calorie and low-fat count, as well as the very best ingredients, will help them stay in shape and healthy for many years to come.
Adult and senior dogs can sometimes find themselves in sticky situations when it comes to their weight. But with IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Optimal Weight Dry Dog Food, your dog will keep his weight under control easily. With 17% less fat than other adult dog foods, IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH is perfect for dogs who need the extra support.
Wholesome ingredients in this formula include real chicken meat (for muscle strength), whole grains (for energy), and beet pulp (for digestion). Nutrition in IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH also includes fat-burning ingredients such as L-carnitine which gives your dog’s fat the chance to turn into energy. Consider this dog food your pet’s new best friend!
In most cases, we don't remember to pay attention to the label and check out the ingredients list of the dog food we purchase. The food label being the manufacturer's recognized means of communication with you as the dog owner is of crucial importance. Though it may seem like a no-brainer to you, always be on the lookout for a statement which indicates that the food is made for dogs. Dogs have specific nutritional needs and as such need certain things in their diets.
Commercial dog food needs to be nutritionally balanced, meaning the food can be used as the single source of nutrition because it contains all the essential nutrients for your dog to grow and develop. You do not have to worry about deficiencies unless your dog possesses specific issues that require special diet or supplements.
One of these special diets is the low protein diet. As earlier stated, protein is an important nutrient that every dog needs for proper growth and maintenance of normal bodily functions. Proteins are made of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks in the body of dogs. Dogs need 22 amino acids, 12 of which they can produce on their own. The other 10 amino acids are essential and must come from the diet.
Dogs that are suffering from certain severe health conditions possess limited ability to digest those amino acids. For them, too many proteins can be dangerous. Health problems that require special low protein diets include but not limited to chronic kidney disease, acute kidney failure, glomerulonephritis, Lyme-disease associated nephritis, nephropathies and other inflammatory kidney diseases, portosystemic or liver shunts, hepatic encephalopathies, cirrhosis, Cushing's disease, congestive heart failure and some form of urinary stones. Low protein diets are also recommended for naturally aging dogs, large dog breeds that tend to overgrow, as well as obese dogs that have to lose weight.
Tackling health issues with corresponding diets do not only extends your dog's survival period, but it also improves the quality of life. However, the decision that your dog needs to eat low protein foods must be medically backed. Generally, low protein dog food is not recommended for dogs that are healthy. Therefore, low protein diets are not readily available over the counter. They can only be prescribed and approved by a licensed veterinarian. As a responsible dog parent, you should always endeavor to monitor your dog's body weight and condition irrespective of what your veterinarian prescribes.
Your Guide In Buying Best Low Protein Dog Food
Nonetheless, the only criteria dog foods should meet is not being low in proteins. To successfully navigate the minefield of variety and find the best option, we present a short Buying Guide and highlight a few relevant criteria:
Brands drive our purchases. When it comes to the purchase of products, the smartest choice one has is opting for a proven brand. Therefore, stick to a brand you know and trust, even if it is more expensive.
As earlier mentioned, the diet must possess high quality, easily digestible proteins. Preference must be for high-quality protein sources in low protein, and these sources include chicken, eggs, fish, soy, dairy, and beef.
You must pay attention to all ingredients and not just the proteins alone. Ensure the diet can be used as a complete meal, and it does not have harmful ingredients like meat by-products, generic fat sources like animal fat or chicken fat, artificial preservatives, colors, flavors and harmful sweeteners like sucrose or corn syrup.
Due to the fact that most of the flavor of the food emanates from protein, dog foods with little proteins can be tasteless. Buy giving it small amounts of several different brands and let your dog choose the one it prefers. However, do not present him with too many varieties all at once. This may lead to stomach upset and gastric pain.
Nature of the food
The good news here is that low protein dog food is produced in both dry and canned varieties. As a result of this, finding a tasty option for your dog is not a difficult task. Most dogs like canned food because it has a more aromatic smell and a higher amount of animal preservatives. On the other hand, dry food is more accessible to quantify and purchase in bulk, possesses longer shelf-life and is usually more nutritious. Whatever your decision is, make sure you have the understanding of how to compare canned food with dry food. For instance,18% protein on the label of wet dog food is different from 18% protein on the dry dog food label. Canned food carries higher protein than dry food, even though the case may be different when comparing the labels.
Endeavor always to choose a taste that your dog will accept. This must be done to avoid unwanted digestive issues. Chicken is the most popular flavor in low protein foods. Go with it first before you try other flavors like turkey, salmon or duck.
Level of Appropriateness
Whether you believe it or not, dog food shopping comes with rules. One of the most important rules is never to purchase puppy food for an adult dog and never to buy adult dog food for a puppy. Though some food product serves as a complete and balanced meal, they only help for a specific developmental period of your dog's life. In summary, puppies should consume puppy foods, and adult dogs should consume adult dog foods while seniors dogs should eat senior dog foods. Low protein puppy foods are specifically formulated for fast-growing bodies while those for older dogs are important for joint care.
Level of Phosphorus
Low phosphorus levels are also key when it comes to maintenance of kidney's health and proper function. Kindly note that low-phosphorus diet should be supplemented with vitamin B, potassium, antioxidants, buffering agents and omega-3 fatty acids.
Seek Professional advice
You need to seek professional advice by consulting with the salesperson at the pet center, dog nutritionist or your trusted veterinarian. You must always remember that there is no universally good, one food fits all type of dog food. When making the right dog food choice, particular attention should be paid to some additional factors. These factors are:
Have it at the back of your mind that dogs who spend time outside in the cold, depending on the temperatures normally need 10-90% more energy than dogs that live indoors or in temperate regions.
Another useful tip is If you are buying low protein dog food online, buy from a good and reputable company with a return policy.
To make your online purchase even simpler and easier for you to understand, we have compiled a list of best 8 low protein foods for dogs that are available on Amazon.
Alternatives Besides The Best Low Protein Dog Food Brands For Kidney Health We Suggested
1. Purina NF KidNey Function Canned Canine Formula
The Purina NF Kidney Function Canine Formula is specially formulated to help reduce the symptoms of kidney failure and subdue the progression of the disease. To aid proper and healthy kidney function, it possesses low protein levels, low phosphorus levels, reduced sodium levels and high omega fatty acids levels.
Low protein levels help minimize the workload of the kidneys. Low phosphorus guards against kidney damage and reduced levels of sodium augment the damaged kidney's inability to regulate this highly important mineral. Increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids aids in the reduction of glomerular hypertension. The added vitamin B-complex vitamins aid body protection and ensures the easy break-down of nutrients. Additionally, it serves as complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult dogs.
Purina NF Canned Dog Food's top 5 ingredients are water sufficient for processing, meat by-products, rice, corn grits, and beef.
The formula is good for dogs with acute and chronic kidney disease, a hepatic disease associated with encephalopathy and for dogs that are suffering from any condition that would gain from restricted sodium levels.
This food has 2.5% Crude Protein minimum and 5.5% Crude Fat minimum
2. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned dog food is a nutrient blend developed by nutritionists and veterinarians. It is particularly formulated to lower acute intestinal absorption disorders and ameliorate nutritional restoration and convalescence. The formula possesses easily digestible, high-quality proteins that can be readily absorbed by the digestive system of dogs.
The ease of digestibility is due to the fact that it is low in fiber. The formula produces a diet which includes hydrolyzed yeast, fructooligosaccharides and zeolite, which nourish the intestinal tissue and microflora. The formula also possesses important vitamins and minerals that help in reestablishing natural balance in the gastrointestinal system while developing strong environmental defenses. Royal Canine Gastrointestinal also aids healthy weight maintenance.
The major ingredients of the formula are water sufficient for processing, pork by-products, rice flour, corn grits and corn meal.
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food is recommended for dogs suffering from acute and chronic pancreatitis, acute and chronic diarrhea, hyperlipidemia, lymphangiectasia, oxidative enteropathy, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bacterial overgrowth and bile acid deficiency.
The formula has 6.0% Crude Protein minimum and 1.0% Crude Fat minimum.
3. Mattie’s healthy treats for dogs with kidney disease
Mattie's healthy treats for dogs with kidney disease are specifically designed to complement prescription diets.
They use natural ingredients to deliver low protein and low phosphorus sweet food.
Every dog loves the real pumpkin and cinnamon taste.
Mattie’s healthy treats for dogs with kidney disease possesses light rye flour, tapioca flour, pure pumpkin, cinnamon, omega 3 fish oil, canola oil.
It has 6.8% crude protein minimum and 2.2% crude fat minimum.
4. Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food
Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for normal functioning of the renal system of dogs. It is a clinical diet produced to aid chronic renal failure management and its severeness in adult and aging dogs. Nutrients like low sodium, potassium and boosted omega-3, omega-6 ameliorate dog's health, while particularly focusing on the urinary tract.
Sodium levels that are reduced compensate the functionally deprived kidney's ability to control this important mineral. Purina Canine NF minimizes the production of nitrogenous waste products that also aids the kidney's proper functioning. Purina Canine NF is suitable for cases of chronic renal failures, renal failures associated with Lyme disease, early stages of heart diseases, hepatic diseases related to encephalopathy and conditions that require restricted dietary sodium.
It has 12.0% crude protein minimum and 13.0% crude fat minimum.
5. Royal Canin Urinary SO
Royal Canin is the force to be reckoned with in the health nutrition business. Its product, Royal Canin Urinary SO offers a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs, and it is formulated to help in the nutritional management of calcium oxalate and struvite urolithiasis.
The formula enhances a urinary environment unfavorable to the development of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. It is designed to ascertain the production of urine undersaturated with struvite and with a level of calcium oxalate saturation at which rapid homogeneous crystallization will not occur.
The major ingredients of this formula include brewers rice, corn, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat and natural flavors. Additionally, the diet is fortified with omega-3 fatty acids to improve your dog’s urinary tract fight infection and inflammation.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO Dry Dog Food is suitable for dogs suffering from Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD). LUTD refers to a number of health situations that bring about the irritation of the urinary tract. Among the most common causing issues are bacterial infections and urinary stones. The formula fantastically addresses both causes.
The formula has 14.0% crude protein minimum and 14% crude fat minimum.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Active Longevity
This is a dry food that offers precisely balanced nutrition for dog's age 7 and older. It comes with ingredients that are easy to digest, and these ingredients promote youthful vitality.
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Active Longevity is Veterinarians' number one choice to feed their pets. The diet is also famous among dog owners that need low protein foods.
The major ingredients of this food are the chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, brewers rice and brown rice. The food is fortified with omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E for skin and coat quality improvement and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthier joints and easier movement.
It possesses 19.6% crude protein minimum and 14.9% crude fat minimum.
7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
This diet is made of hormone-free bison meat which is famously known for its high-quality protein content. The form of protein in bison meat is low in calories.
That is why this diet makes overweight and inactive dogs achieve an ideal weight while maintaining high energy levels. The food also has sweet potatoes which are an adequate energy and potassium source.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diets Dry Dog Food Sweet Potato & Bison formula is a grain free diet that is perfectly suited for dogs in any life stage. This diet is an excellent source of DHA which keeps the dog's brain sharp and focused. Also, the formula promotes healthy skin and a healthy, shiny coat.
It has 20.0% crude protein minimum and 10% crude fat minimum.
8. Premium Edge Foods
Premium Edge Foods are manufactured with the finest and freshest ingredients. Their foods possess no ground corn, wheat or soy. The number one ingredient in Premium Edge’s every formula is real meat.
Ingredient number 1 in this specially formulated premium dog food is lamb. Other major ingredients that make up this formula are lamb meal, oatmeal, whole grain brown rice and cracked pearled barley.
This real lamb mixed with healthy vegetables gives your senior dog optimal nutrition and health. The formula is fortified with omega fatty acids which provide healthy skin and coat, potent antioxidants for overall good health, taurine for a healthy heart and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. In summary, this meal is packed with good nutrition.
It has 20.0% crude protein minimum and 10% crude fat minimum.