What’s the Best Low-Protein Dog Food for Your Pooch?

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What’s the Best Low-Protein Dog Food for Your Pooch?

It’s unusual for a dog to need a low-protein diet, especially if your pup is highly active or young and growing. However, there are cases where it’s a necessity for a dog’s diet. The choice to put your dog on a low-protein diet, when decided in consultation with your pup’s veterinarian, will ensure they get the nutrition and health support they need. If your vet says your pup is suffering from one of the following, it may be time to assess a good low protein dog food for your furry friend:

  • Kidney problems (chronic kidney disease)
  • Inflammation of kidneys
  • Liver disease and renal disease
  • Urinary stones
  • Natural aging
  • Portosystemic Shunt
  • Cirrhosis

What Does Low Protein Mean?

An adult dog’s diet should constitute about 18–20% of the protein in dry food. Commercial foods tend to range around 25%. However, dogs in need of a low protein diet should have food that is around 16%. This low-protein diet will reduce the workload on organs giving you a healthier and happier dog. Owners should make sure that their pet maintains a healthy weight while ingesting the appropriate amino acids, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats on this new eating regimen. Depending on your pet’s health issue, one brand may be better than another.

What Brand of Low Protein Dog Food Is Best?

There are some great low protein dog foods available. Reading nutrition labels and talking to your veterinarian can help you pick the best one for your pet. The products listed below are aimed at specific health issues and ages. While some of these meals require prescriptions, others are helpful with overall health care for our aging pets and can be bought without one.

Older Dogs

As our dog’s age, they often need a food product that is gentler on their systems. Low-protein foods aren’t required for all seniors. However, for those who do, it protects vital organs while controlling weight through easy to digest recipes. These products have increased vitamins and minerals to boost immune systems while caring for their overall health in your pets for later years.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

A product specially designed for older dogs that need less protein. A reasonable price for a quality product. It comes in chicken or lamb flavor with easily digestible content. It has regulated protein with a wide array of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. There is no prescription needed for this healthy choice.

Royal Canine Dry Dog Food 12+

This specialized formula is low protein and great for your much older dog. It has DHA, EPA, and antioxidants that will help your pup as they age. The phosphorus levels are controlled to help in the maintenance of kidneys as well. It gives your friend lots of energy and uses L-Carnitine to help metabolize fat keeping their weight in check. It’s a non-prescription purchase with potentially great health benefits.

Dogs with Kidney Issues

Low-protein diets for dogs with kidney issues are critical in maintaining overall health. The need for low phosphorus levels along with a desire for supplements such as potassium, B vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids is central. The following dog food suggestions need a prescription but will support a healthy lifestyle for the dog with renal issues. With proper treatment and management:

  • Your dog can be much more comfortable
  • Minimize kidney failure and slow the progression of the disease
  • Reduce the workload on the kidneys
  • Protect the body and break down nutrients
  • Help dogs with chronic renal failure and hepatic disease associated with encephalopathy

Hills Prescription Diet K/D Renal Health Dog food – Wet and Dry

This flavorful chicken and barley dog food is a good price for a great product. It is available in wet or dry form. Reduced protein places less stress on the kidneys allowing for better function. Sodium is reduced to help blood pressure and omega-3 fatty acids help blood flow to the kidneys. B-complex vitamins are present to help to make up for any vitamins lost in urine. A prescription is needed for this healthy option.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Canine Formula

This quality product is a little more expensive but worth it. It is formalized to reduce the workload on the kidneys while helping your dog feel better overall. It is low in protein and contains phosphorous to help renal insufficiency. The flavor makes a dog want to eat when their appetite is lagging. The nutrients bring down blood pressure while acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. A prescription is needed but the benefits are great.

Dogs with Liver Issues

Dogs with liver issues struggle with normal protein level diets. Proper care of pooches with liver problems can lead to liver regeneration. The liver is an important part of the bodies cleaning system, so its protection when in a weakened state is critical not only to organ care but brain and heart as well. Proper low protein dog food will:

  • Provide good nutrition to maintain energy and health
  • Promote liver regeneration
  • Prevent and minimize complications where the toxins can affect the brain
  • Slow liver damage from the accumulation of toxins

Royal Canin (dry) Canine Hepatic

Great product that will help with liver function. Restricts copper to help minimize the accumulation of liver cells while enhancing essential nutrients It is tasty with easily digestible vegetable proteins to support digestive health. Prescription required for this healthy alternative.

Hills Prescription Diet I/D Liver Care

This product will help reduce liver workload allowing liver tissue to regenerate. It maintains normal fat metabolism in the liver with high levels of L-carnitine and L-arginine. It helps avoid nutrient deficiencies related to liver issues while offering great taste for your pup. Prescription required for a product that will benefit your dog’s liver care.


These healthy low-protein dog food picks when combined with exercise and veterinary care will enhance your dog’s health. Choosing the right one for your dog’s circumstances is important in supporting his well-being.

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