Share on :

Top 8 Low Protein Dog Food Brands for Kidney Health

July 5th, 2018
Top 8 Low Protein Dog Food Brands for Kidney Health

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 

Product Image

Product Name

Customer Reviews

Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

Nutro ULTRA Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro ULTRA Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Senior Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Senior Dog Food

Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food

Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food

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:

Brand

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.

Quality

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.

Balance

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.

Sweetness

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.

Flavor

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:

  • Spayed and neutered dogs: Sprayed and neutered dogs are prone to weight gain because they have a higher appetite and lower activity.
  • Breeds prone to allergies: Note that Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Miniature Schnauzers and English Springer Spaniels are allergic to certain dog foods.
  • check
    Pregnant and lactating dogs: Pregnant and lactating dogs have higher energy requirements.

Environmental conditions

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.

Healthy Dog Playing with Rope

8 Best Low Protein Dog Food Brands For Kidney Health

1. Purina NF KidNey Function Canned Canine Formula

Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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

PROS

  • Purina NF Canned dog food is a specially designed therapeutic diet for dogs with renal issues.
  • check
    It possesses low protein, low phosphorus, reduced sodium and increase omega fatty acids to aid proper kidney function.
  • check
    It has complete and balanced nutrition.
  • check
    It is highly palatable, as with other canned foods.

CONS

  • Many dog owners have complained that the formula is not available in different flavors.
  • ban
    Some owners are not happy that the formula contains by-products.

2. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry 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.

PROS

  • The formula has complete and balanced nutrition.
  • check
    The formula possesses adequate energy content to address the needs of adult dogs without overloading the stomach.
  • check
    The formula contains highly digestible proteins and carbohydrates.
  • check
    Low-fat content for decreased stress on the dog's digestive system.
  • check
    It has low fiber for improved nutrient absorption.
  • check
    It nourishes the intestinal tissue and microflora.
  • check
    It possesses natural preservation.
  • check
    It exhibits high palatability to satisfy decreased or fussy appetites.

CONS

  • The diet’s major ingredients are animal by-products and grains.

3. Mattie’s healthy treats for dogs with kidney disease

Nutro ULTRA Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

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.

PROS

  • The formula has low protein and low phosphorus.
  • check
    It does not contain wheat and corn.
  • check
    It offers a great taste that is suitable for picky eaters.
  • check
    It is brittle enough to be easily broken into smaller pieces for smaller breeds.
  • check
    A certain percentage of the sales generated is donated to fund research dedicated to the eradication of canine kidney disease.

CONS

  • It offers no suggested serving size on the box.
  • ban
    Its packaging is of low quality, and this leads to many broken pieces on the bottom of the bag.
  • ban
    The formula is quite expensive.
  • ban
    Some dog owners complained that their dogs got bored with the taste after a while.

4. Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Senior 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.

PROS

  • It delivers a complete and balanced meal for adult dogs.
  • check
    It helps in the maintenance of good kidney function and slows down the progression of renal failure.
  • check
    It reduces the urate, cystine and calcium oxalate urinary stone formation.
  • check
    It offers a limited amount of high-quality protein.
  • check
    Its low phosphorus helps in supporting kidney function and reduced sodium.
  • check
    It comes with added vitamin B complex.
  • check
    It decreases the production of nitrogenous products.
  • check
    It provides a great taste that is suitable for picky eaters.

CONS

  • The formula has zero meat content and low-quality grains.
  • ban
    Its diet does not come in smaller kibble size for small dog breeds.
  • ban
    It can become really expensive, especially when you have larger dogs.

5. Royal Canin Urinary SO

Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food

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.

PROS

  • The formula offers 100% complete and balanced nutrition and 100% satisfaction.
  • check
    It Promotes urinary health by offering support for struvite dissolution and increasing the urine volume in order to lower struvite and oxalate levels.
  • check
    It contains reduced magnesium levels.
  • check
    It contains ingredients that acidify the urine and guard against stone buildup.
  • check
    The formula is highly palatable for better acceptance.

CONS

  • None

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.

PROS

  • It is formulated specifically for senior dogs.
  • check
    It contains natural ingredients, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • check
    It also contains a clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins C + T to help boost a healthy immune system.
  • check
    It possesses no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and teeth-destructive sweeteners.
  • check
    It is available in two flavors.
  • check
    It gives dogs more energy.
  • check
    Dog owners who fed their dogs with this diet discovered their dogs lost the excess weight without sacrificing energy and vitality.

CONS

  • It contains corn which is labeled as whole grain in the ingredient list.
  • ban
    Most of this diet's calories come from carbohydrate sources.
  • ban
    It is quite expensive.

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.

PROS

  • It is a limited ingredients formula.
  • check
    It contains high quality and low-calorie meat source.
  • check
    The formula does not contain artificial ingredients, colors, and preservatives.
  • check
    The formula is free from gluten-rich grains.
  • check
    The formula contains brown rice, rich in fiber and essential oils and flax seeds that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
  • check
    This formula is perfect for dogs with food sensitivities due to its single animal protein source.
  • check
    It is available in several other flavors such as chicken, fish, and venison.

CONS

  • Some dog owners discovered that the formula changed over time and the ratio of bison to sweet potato decreased.

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.

PROS

  • This diet is specifically formulated for senior dogs.
  • check
    It contains L-Carnitine which aids fat burning; probiotics and digestive enzymes which ascertain a healthy GI tract; taurine which supports normal heart muscle function and eyesight in senior dogs; glucosamine and chondroitin, which improve healthy joints and fresh fruits and vegetables packed with natural antioxidants.
  • check
    It offers calorie content of 3421 kcal/kg or 320 kcal/cup.

CONS

  • The formula looks to be heavy in grains.