Top 10 Best Low Protein Dog Food in 2020

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Low protein foods are indicated for dogs suffering from chronic illness such as liver and kidney disease. It is also advocated for dogs with urate kidney stones. The kidney and the liver are involved in the metabolism of proteins and such diets reduce stress on the organs.

Low protein diets for dogs with chronic diseases as stated above are permanent and should be given continuously as the chronic illnesses are terminal. For cases of urate kidney stones, the diet is prescribed up until the condition has resolved and normal diet should resume thereafter.

Low Protein diets contain half as much protein found in normal diet. Treats should also be limited to one low protein ingredient. High quality protein sources should be used to ensure dogs get their share of essential amino acids. Below we outline the best low protein diets for dogs in the market.

1. Hills K/D Renal Health

Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food

Hills K/D is clinically formulated diet for dogs with kidney disease low in protein guaranteed to support growth of lean muscle none the less while improving and lengthening your dogs quality of life.

Key Features

  • Low phosphorus diet
  • Contains chicken as the main source of protein
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Low protein diet
  • Low in sodium
  • Contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids
  • High in vitamin B complex
  • Contains appetite triggers

Chicken provides a rich source of high quality easily digestible protein and essential amino acids which help promote growth of lean muscle. This prescription diet contains low phosphorous and protein which helps decrease stress on the kidney.

The vitamin B complex contained in the diet prevents loss of proteins through urine a condition known as protein-losing neuropathy common in dogs with renal failure. The Omega 3 fatty acids help in blood circulation in the kidneys while low sodium helps in reducing the blood pressure promoting heart health.

Pros

  • Contains chicken which is easily digestible and low in protein
  • High in omega 3 fatty acids and low in sodium to promote blood circulation and heart health
  • Low in phosphorous reducing work load in the kidneys
  • Contains vitamin B complex preventing loose of proteins through the kidneys
  • Promotes appetite and food intake
  • Promotes both kidney and heart health
  • Formulated by veterinarians

Cons

  • The price point is a bit on the high side
  • For adult dogs

Hills K/D food provides high quality low protein diet that maintains health of the kidneys and heart with essential amino acids that promote growth of lean muscle mass essential for adult dogs.

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2. Purina Veterinary

Purina Veterinary prescription food is rich in high quality low protein and phosphorus for dogs with kidney disease.

Key Features

  • Low protein diet
  • Contains low phosphorous
  • Low sodium levels
  • Great flavor
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Provides a well balanced diet
  • Rich in omega 3 fatty acids

Purina veterinary canine nf kidney function dry dog food is a well balanced prescription diet that is low on protein and phosphorous to reduce workload on the kidneys.

It is also high in antioxidants and essential Omega 3 fatty acids which help in boosting immunity and promote healthy growth of the skin, hair and fur. It is also low on sodium which prevents loss of water through the kidneys boosting blood volume and perfusion to the kidneys.

Pros

  • Low in phosphorus and protein to reduce workload on the kidneys
  • Low in sodium to prevent loss of water through the kidneys
  • Contains high quality protein contains essential amino acids which are the building blocks for growth of lean muscle mass
  • Contains essential omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants which help in boosting immunity, blood circulation and healthy growth of hair and skin
  • Rich in flavor
  • Rich in Vitamin B complex which prevents loss of additional proteins through the kidneys (protein loss neuropathy)
  • Affordable
  •  Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contains grains
  • Contains meat by products
  • For adult dogs
  • Large kibble size that may be problematic to toy breeds

This prescription diet is suitable for those looking for a well balanced low protein diet for their adult dogs at an affordable price. It’s low in phosphorous and sodium to support kidney function and high in Omega 3 fatty acids.

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3. ROYAL CANIN Canine Renal Support

Veterinary Diets Purina Dog Food

Royal Canin is a veterinary formulated prescription diet for large and giant dog breeds with chronic kidney disease.

Key Features

  • Easily digestible low protein diet
  • High energy
  • Low phosphorous diet
  • Used for supplemental or intermittent feeding
  • Highly palatable and rich in flavor and aroma
  • Contains antioxidants, docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Formulated to large and giant dog breeds
  • Prescribed for dogs in all stages of kidney disease

This prescription diet is highly digestible with rice as the main ingredient and rich in flavor which helps to improve appetite. It’s low in phosphorous which helps reduce stress and work load on the kidneys.

The high levels of antioxidants, DHA and EPA help in boosting immunity, improve blood circulation to the kidneys by reducing blood triglyceride levels and promote healthy growth of the hair and skin. It is a good source of energy providing 3782 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per kilogram.

Pros

  • Low in phosphorous which reduces workload on the kidneys
  • High in antioxidants, DHA and EPA that support blood circulation, boost immunity and healthy growth of hair and skin
  • Highly palatable and rich in flavor which promotes appetite
  • Low in protein (11.5%) which helps reduce workload on the kidneys
  • Suitable for all stages of kidney disease
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contains grains and gluten
  • Contains animal by product meal
  • Formulated for large and giant dog breeds
  • Price point is on the higher side
  • Contains preservatives

The Royal Canin prescription diet is highly palatable, a good source of energy and low phosphorous which reduces workload on the kidneys.

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4. Blue Buffalo Natural

ROYAL CANIN Canine Renal Support

Blue Buffalo is a prescription diet low in protein formulated to support kidney function in dogs with chronic kidney disease.

Key Features

  • Contains chicken as the main source of protein
  • Grain free (wheat, corn or soy)
  • Contains no chicken by product meals
  • No artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Contains low phosphorous and sodium levels
  • Contains antioxidants, essential Omega 3 fatty acids and L-carnitine
  • Highly palatable and rich in flavor
  • Kibbles are small in sized
  • Ingredients are cold-formed to retain nutritive value

This prescription diet contains no wheat, corn or soy which is beneficial to dogs that have grain allergies. It’s also low on sodium and phosphorous therefore reducing workload on the kidneys.

The ingredients are cold-formed which helps to maintain their nutritive value during production providing a well balanced and high quality diet. It’s made from chicken as the main source of protein which is easily digestible and a good source of essential amino acids which are the building blocks for growth of lean muscle mass.

Pros

  • Low phosphorus and sodium content
  • Contains highly digestible low protein
  • Rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids and L-carnitine
  • Has no artificial flavors, additives and preservatives
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Kibbles are small in size suitable for toy dog breeds
  • Highly palatable and flavorful to encourage appetite
  • Provides a balanced and natural diet

Cons

  • Price point is a bit on the higher side

The Blue Buffalo diet is rich in natural high nutrient value ingredients and antioxidants, is grain-free and low in protein, phosphorous and sodium which support optimal kidney function.

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5. Natural Balance

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet

This is a limited ingredient dog diet that contains high quality natural grain free ingredients for overweight dogs.

Key Features

  • Contains sweet potatoes and bison as the main ingredients
  • Contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Contains bison as the main source of high quality low calorie proteins
  • Formulated for obese dogs
  • Contains no artificial flavors, additives and preservatives
  • Excellent source of DHA
  • It’s grain free low protein diet and phosphorous
  • Available in chicken, fish and venison flavor

Sweet potatoes and bison provide high quality easily digestible carbohydrates and proteins that help provide energy and promote the growth of lean muscle mass. The omega 6 and 3 fatty acids as well as DHA which help to boost immunity as well as healthy growth of the skin and hair.

It is also favorable to dogs with grain intolerances or with food allergies owing to its grain free limited ingredient formula. It’s also rich n fiber which helps to promote digestion and bowel movement.

Pros

  • Contains limited ingredients to prevent stomach upsets and food sensitivities
  • High in fiber to promote digestion
  • Rich in antioxidants such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Contains DHA which promote brain development
  • Free from fillers
  • Contains no artificial preservation, flavors and additives
  • Available in various flavors; chicken, fish and venison
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

This limited ingredient dog food is excellent for dogs with food sensitivities as well as those with digestive problems. It contains high quality low calorie protein and carbohydrates which are easily digestible.

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6. Purina NF

Natural Balance Dog Food

Purina NF is a prescription diet canned food formula for dogs with both acute and chronic kidney disease.

Key Features

  • Low protein diet
  • Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants
  • Formulated for dogs with acute and chronic kidney disease
  • Low in sodium
  • Contains potassium
  • Non acidifying

This prescription diet is made from high quality low protein ingredients that help provide the essential amino acids and at the same time prevent excess workload on the kidneys. The low phosphorus and sodium levels prevent stress on the kidneys and prevent loss of water which helps build blood volume and increase perfusion to the kidneys.

Potassium also included in the formula helps to replace lost potassium through urine which often leads to loss of lean muscle mass, anorexia and anemia. It also non acidifying which helps prevent metabolic acidosis common in dogs with kidney failure.

Pros

  •  Highly quality low protein diet with essential amino acids to promote growth of lean muscle tissue
  • Low in sodium and phosphorous to prevent workload on the kidneys and maintain blood pressure
  • Contains potassium
  • Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants
  • Non acidifying to prevent metabolic acidosis
  • For both acute and chronic kidney disease
  • Can be used as a treat
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contains meat by product meals
  • Contains corn
  • Contains preservatives
  • Price point is high

Though expensive, Purina NF provides an adequate high quality low protein diet, which helps relieve stress on the kidneys. It can be used as a treat due or as an accompaniment to your dogs low protein kibble.

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7. Hill’S Science Diet Senior

Purina NF Dog Food

Hills Science diet provides a full well balanced diet derived from high quality ingredients low in protein and high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Key Features

  • Contains chicken meal as the main source of protein
  • Formulated for adult dogs over 7 years of age
  • Contains Vitamin C and E
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Contains no artificial flavors, additives and preservatives
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Contains whole grain wheat and corn

This diet is made from natural ingredient that are easily digestible and of high nutritional value. It contains chicken meal as the main source of protein. It is also rich in vitamin C and E which help boost immunity and promotes healthy growth of hair the skin.

Additionally it is rich in energy for senior dogs over 7 years of age.

Pros

  • Contains chicken as the primary source of protein which helps growth of lean muscle
  • Contains vitamin C and E which help boost immunity and promote healthy skin and hair
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Contains omega 6 fatty acids
  • Available in 2 flavors
  • Contains no artificial flavors, preservatives and additives
  • Rich in energy
  • Made in the USA
  • Formulated and recommended by veterinarians
  • Formulated specifically for dogs over 7 years of age
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin which help maintain joint and bone health

Cons

  • Contains meat by product meals
  • Contains whole grain wheat and corn
  • Price point is on the higher side
  • Formulated for dogs over 7 years of age

Hills Science formula is designed for senior dogs that helps maintain a healthy weight without compromising on energy. It contains easily digestible protein, vitamins, and antioxidants.

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8. Royal Canin Intestinal HE

Hill'S Science Diet Senior Dog Food

Royal Canin diet is formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists for dogs suffering from digestive problems. It is rich in easily digestible, low fiber and high in probiotics. It also helps in weight management.

Key Features

  • Formulated for dogs which digestive problems such as pancreatitis, acute diarrhea, hyperlipidemia, bacterial overgrowth and bile acid deficiency
  • It’s low in protein
  • Contains minerals and vitamins
  • Rich in prebiotics
  • Low in fat
  • Low in fiber
  • Highly palatable to stimulate appetite
  • Contains antioxidants, DHA and EPA
  • Contains grains
  • Contains natural preservatives

This food formula is designed for dogs with digestive problems such as the inability to efficiently digest fat well. It’s low fiber and protein content helps reduce time used in breaking food in the gut therefore preventing stomach upsets. The prebiotics help to maintain intestinal microbial flora which helps in digestion.

It also helps in weight maintenance while still providing a well balanced diet. Antioxidants such as DHA and EPA also contained in the food help in boosting immunity and support digestive health. It also a low fat diet making it easily digestible and ease digestive upsets.

Pros

  • Low protein
  • High in antioxidants such as DHA and EPA
  • Helps to maintain weight
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains low fat content
  • Promotes weight loss/management while yet providing a balanced diet
  • Highly palatable and easily digestible
  • Recommended for dogs with acute diarrhea, pancreatitis, high blood lipid levels
  • Rich in energy

Cons

  • Contains grains (rice and corn)
  • Contains meat by product meals
  • Expensive to buy

Royal Canin dog food is recommended for dogs with digestive problems. It’s low fat and protein content makes it easily digestible while still providing a balanced diet.

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9. Royal Canin Urinary SO

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

Royal Canin is a prescription diet formulated for dogs with struviate and calcium oxalate urinary stones.

Key Features

  • Low in magnesium
  • Low protein and low phosphorous
  • Contains urine acidifiers
  • Contains Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Ingredients help in urine dilution
  • Provides a full balanced diet
  • Highly palatable and acceptable to dogs

Low protein and phosphorous prevent work load on the kidneys. It has low magnesium which is a natural component of struviate stones. It also contains ingredients that promote dissolution of crystal and a low relative super saturation methodology which lowers the concentration of solutes in the urine which lead to formation of urinary stones.

It also increases urine volume which preventing saturation of the urine. The Omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants help to boost immunity which helps prevent kidney infections.

Pros

  • Low protein and phosphorous diet which prevents overworking of the kidneys
  • Low in magnesium to prevent formation of struviate stones
  • Provides a well balanced diet
  • Rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids which helps prevent urinary tract infections by boosting immunity
  • Promotes struviate dissolution
  • Increase urine volume which reduces saturation of the urine
  • Ingredients lower concentration of urine by using the low relative super saturation
  • Contains ingredients that acidify the urine which prevent urinary stone formation

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

Royal Canin is good for dogs with struviate and calcium oxalate urinary stones. It promotes dissolution of these stones by acidifying the urine as well as dilution by increasing the urinary volume. The low magnesium levels prevent formation of struviate stones. It’s low protein and phosphorous levels prevent additional stress on the kidneys while still providing a full balanced diet.

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10. Mattie’s healthy treats

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

Matties are low protein low phosphorous tasty treats specially formulated for dogs suffering from kidney disease.

Key Features

  • Contains low protein (6.8%)
  • Has low phosphorous levels
  • Made from real pumpkin
  • Has cinnamon flavor
  • Contains no wheat, corn or soy
  • Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants
  • Rich in flavor and tasty
  • Brittle to allow chewing in small dog breeds

These dog treats are made from pumpkin which is easily digestible and improves digestive health. The cinnamon flavor makes it very tasty which helps increase your dog’s appetite. Its low phosphorus and protein levels help to reduce workload on the kidneys while Omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants help in reducing triglyceride levels which improve blood circulation in the kidneys.

They also help boost immunity and improve overall health and growth of the skin and hair. Its brittle kibbles make them chewable therefore good for both big and small dog breeds.

Pros

  • Made from pumpkin which is rich in fiber and low in protein
  • Contains no wheat, corn or soy
  • Has a cinnamon flavor which makes it very tasty fostering appetite in dogs
  • Formulated for dogs with chronic kidney disease
  • Low in protein and phosphorous
  • Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants
  • Chewable kibbles good for small breed dogs
  • A percentage of the sales are channeled towards funding canine kidney disease research

Cons

  • Price is on the higher side for the amount one gets

Matties offers dog treats specifically for dogs suffering from kidney failure. Its low phosphorus, protein and no grain formula, helps to maintain the health of the kidneys. It’s also rich in antioxidants and fiber.

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Bottom Line

Low protein diets help in reducing workload on the kidneys as well as stress on the digestive system. Most low protein diets also contain low phosphorus to prevent stress on the kidneys or/and are grain-free for dogs that suffer food sensitivities concurrently. It is also wise to select foods that contain additional beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants to boost immunity, prebiotics to promote digestion or those that promote dissolution of urinary stones.

Before embarking on these dog foods it is worthwhile to consult your veterinarian for proper guidance especially when it comes to the amount of food that is to be served to the affected dogs and for how long the pet should be put on the diet. This mostly applies to dogs suffering from urinary stones or overweight dogs. Reading through ingredients contained in the foods also help in choosing foods that contain high-quality natural ingredients.

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