A diet that is high in protein is instinctive for dogs and their ancestors over the years, but today with new advancements in pet nutrition it is evident that a low protein diet can be beneficial for some dogs. Determining the right amount of protein for your pup isn’t always easy. It may be a good idea to talk to your vet before you restrict the amount of protein in their diets. After all, protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks in your dog’s body.
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When is it Okay to Feed Your Dog a Low Protein Dog Food?
Since dogs instinctively eat protein as a main nutrient in their diet, it would make sense that you would think that every dog needs an adequate amount of protein. That isn’t always the case. Your vet may actually recommend that you decrease the amount of protein in their diet if they have kidney disease. Kidney disease means that your dog needs the least amount of stress on their kidneys as possible. That may mean that they need less protein in their diet. Never do this without the recommendation of your veterinarian though.
The Quality of the Protein in Your Dog’s Diet
When you give your dog a food that is made up of high quality proteins, it doesn’t usually put as much stress on their kidneys. You may not even have to limit that amount of protein, but rather just improve the quality. However, if your vet still recommends a low protein diet, you need to make certain that you choose a food that has high quality protein. If they are only getting a small amount, they need to get the most from it. There are a total of 10 amino acids that your dog gets from the protein in their diet. Some of the best protein sources to look for in foods include eggs, beef, fish and milk. Corn is often used in low quality foods as a protein source, but it has half of the nutritional value of protein than soy, fish or eggs, making it an unsuitable choice.
What Protein Levels to Look For
If your vet has recommended a low protein diet, you need to make sure that you look closely at the protein analysis printed on the packaging. Most quality dog foods will have this listed in a percentage. To be considered a low protein dog food, it needs to have less than 23% protein, but no less than 18% because then it won’t meet their dietary requirements. If you do choose a food with less than 18% protein, talk to your vet and have them closely monitored to ensure that they are getting everything they need in their diet.
If you are looking for a low protein dog food for your pup, look no further. We have compiled a list of the top ten low protein dog foods on the market. Take a look and you are sure to find something that meets your dog’s dietary needs, as well as your budgeting needs.
Our Picks for the Top 10 Low Protein Dog Food
#1 – Canidae Platinum Formula for Senior and Overweight Dogs
Our first pick is the Canidae Platinum Formula for Senior and Overweight Dogs. It has only four high quality meat meals used for the protein source, and they include turkey, chicken, fish and lamb. It has reduced protein and fat levels for dogs that are older or overweight. While it is lower in these ingredients, it has higher amounts of probiotics to ensure healthy digestion, and added antioxidants for healthy immunity, and omegas for a healthy skin and coat. It also has a great taste that your dog is sure to love, and is made in the United States of America!
#2 – Purina Veterinary Diets Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food
When your dog has lower kidney function that usual, you may consider Purina Veterinary Diets Canine NF Kidney Function Dry food. It is specifically formulated with lower protein so that it doesn’t put as much work on the kidneys. It is balanced for all life stages, and has low sodium and potassium levels, with higher amounts of omega fatty acids to help improve overall health. Purina is a name that we all know and love in the pet food industry, so it is no wonder why they made it on our list.
#3 – Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The Wellness Brand is a brand that we love a lot as well. It is 100% natural, and free of grains. It has the perfect amount of protein, and includes chicken, turkey and salmon oil. It is also packed with fresh fruits and veggies for optimal nutrition. Other great nutrients include calcium, chondroitin, and glucosamine to promote healthy bones and joints. It also has flax and fish omegas for healthy coat and skin. There are no meat by products in this formula, and no grain, soy, corn or other fillers. That is just the Wellness guarantee.
#4 – Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance LID Dry Dog FoodDick Van Patten’s Natural Balance LID Dry Dog Food is great for dogs that need to watch their protein intake. It is designed with a limited number of carbohydrate and protein sources. The main carbohydrate source is sweet potatoes, which are highly digestible and offer a great source of energy. The main protein source is venison, which is not something that is commonly found in most pet foods. It has canola oil, which is low in saturated fat, but yet high in monounsaturated fats, making it really good nutritionally for your pup. It is also packed with omega fatty acids, for lustrous coat and healthy skin.
#5 – Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food Adult Weight Management FormulaPurina Pro Plan’s Dry dog food Adult Weight Management formula has only high quality proteins, with chicken as the number one ingredient. It doesn’t have too high protein levels, but rather has just enough to ensure that your dog gets adequate amounts of lean muscle mass and maintains a healthy weight. It offers a hard kibble, mixed with tender shreds that your dog will be sure to love. It meets their taste requirements, and it also gives a texture that they crave. It has 25% less fat than the original Purina Pro Plan formula, making it healthy for weight management and kidney function.
#6 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Like other Blue Buffalo formulas, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free dry dog food offers the Blue exclusive LifeSource bits, a proprietary blend of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that your dog needs to be healthy. It is also packed with healthy wholesome garden veggies, but is grain free for sensitive stomachs and weight management. It is a formula that is made wholly in the USA. You can choose from various flavors, including salmon, chicken, duck, and others.
#7 – Solid Gold Sun Dancer Holistic Dry Dog Food
When you want a natural, holistic dog food that is free of gluten and grains, consider Solid Gold Sun Dancer Holistic dry dog food. It may not be one of the top names that you hear often, but the quality of their food is par none. It has healthy proteins that are easy to digest, without actually having to take down your dog’s level of protein intake. It is also filled with Omega fatty acids. If you want to feed your dog a food that is going to compliment their health, then this is definitely one to consider. Best of all, it isn’t too expensive.
#8 – Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog FoodHolistic Select Natural Dry dog food is a natural formula that has a larger kibble size for larger mouths. It is great for large breed dogs, like German Shepherds, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Dobermans, and other large or extra large breeds. It is formulated with the digestive health support system, including healthy fiber, digestive enzymes, and active probiotics to maintain total body health and wellness. It also is high in Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. The quality protein blend is formulated to be easy to digest, and it also helps your dog to build lean muscle and maintain healthy weight. It does not contain any soy, wheat or corn, or any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
#9 – Pedigree Healthy Weight Chicken Flavor Dog Food
Next, we have Pedigree’s Healthy Weight Chicken Flavor dog food. Pedigree is a name that has been around for years. It is not only nutritionally balanced, but also affordable. This formula is low in fat, and has healthy, high quality proteins that have been proven to digest easily. It is great when you need to focus on a healthy weight maintenance. It has a special fiber blend that also helps your dog to stay fuller for longer, making them not need to eat as often while still getting their nutrients for the day.
#10 – Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Moderate Calorie Dry Dog Food
Last, but not least, we have the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Moderate Calorie dry dog food. It offers a hydrolyzed soy protein that is low allergenic and highly digestible. It also is packed with B vitamins, Omega fatty acids, and amino acids that help to promote healthy skin and coat. There are moderate calories in each serving of this formula, helping to promote healthy weight maintenance as well. It even has restricted amounts of phosphorus to help keep your dog’s kidneys healthy. If digestion has proven to be a problem in your dog, then they will also benefit from a patented digestive support complex that includes zeolite, beet pulp and fructooligosaccharides that help to boost intestinal health.
What types of low protein dog food do you feed your pup? Have you tried any of the ones on our list, or do you have your own personal favorite to share? Feel free to comment below.
I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.
We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.
On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.