It is our responsibility to look after our dogs health and welfare. Therefor we must take our dog to the vet for check ups and provide food and shelter. For a healthy and happy dog, a nice comfy bed and a good quality dog food is not much to ask.
Why feed dogs a low protein diet?
The best low protein dog food is generally recommended by veterinarians for specific and and sometime serious health conditions, like kidney disease. A low protein dog food is not usually recommended for healthy dogs as it will not give a healthy dog the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and happy. Always speak to your veterinarian before switching your dog's food to a low protein diet.
A low-protein diet comes with some controversy. The mainstream though is that a reduction in protein will slow the progression on kidney disease. The other thought is to not reduce protein intake but rather feed your dog a better quality of protein. There seems to be unanimous agreement in feeding dogs a low phosphorus and low sodium diet.
Here are the main health concerns that a vet may recommended a low protein diet:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Acute canine kidney failure
- Cushings Disease
- Lyme-disease associated nephritis
- Other inflammatory kidney diseases
- Portosystemic shunt (liver shunt)
- Hepatic encephalopathy
- Prevention of some types of urinary stones
- Congestive heart failure
- Urinary stones
What is kidney failure in dogs
Kidney failure can occur in dogs of any age but is most common in older dogs. PetsMD explains that the kidney regulates blood pressure, blood sugar, blood volume, water composition in the blood, and pH levels, and produces red blood cells and certain hormones. Kidney failure usually occurs slowly, and we are often not aware of it until the symptoms become quite severe and often difficult to treat.
While kidney disease cannot be reversed, we can reduce symptoms and try to slow it's progression. Symptoms include:
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
Kidney failure can be caused by kidney disease, urinary tract blockage , some prescription medications, lymphoma, diabetes and some hereditary factors. Although kidney failure can occur in all dogs, some dogs are more prone to it. Breeds that may be more prone include:
- German Shepherd
- Cairn Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
If you suspect any illness in your dog, always take your dog to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Treatment may include providing your dog with fluids, a special diet than usually include reducing protein and usually some additional medication to manage the symptoms.
What makes the best low protein dog food
Regardless whether you are looking for a quality dog food or a quality low protein dog food. There will be some ingredients that will always benefit all dogs. Look for low phosphorus, lower sodium, potassium, B vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. You don't want grains, fillers, artificial colors and flavors, too much salt, phosphorous, sugar or sweetners.
Dog Food Quality Analysis
A good quality dog food will have guaranteed analysis information about what is inside the bag of pet food. Once you understand how to read it, you will be better equipped to compare different varieties of pet food. You will find analysis on 4 different dog food qualities:
- Crude protein (~18%)
- Crude fat (~9 - 15%)
- Crude fibre
If your dog has kidney disease or is recommended a low protein diet, your dog's protein intake may only be 10 - 14%. Make sure this protein content is made from HIGH quality protein. Also follow your veterinarians advice.
What make a quality dog food
1. Animal protein
Lots of animal protein at the top of the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed by weight, so you want to see a lot of top quality animal protein at the top of the list; the first ingredient should be a “named” animal protein source, e.g. Lamb, chicken. If you dog is suffering from kidney disease and you are wanting to reduce their protein intake, so ensure that you feed your dog the best quality protein you can get.
2. Whole vegetables and fruits
Whole vegetables, fruits. Fresh, unprocessed food ingredients contain nutrients in all their natural, complex glory, with their fragile vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact.
A “best by” date that’s at least six months away. You want to be looking for dog food that is as fresh as possible.
4. AAFCO standards
To evaluate a particular dog food, compare the DM ingredient amounts to a nutrition chart such as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Dog foods labeled as 'complete and balanced' must meet standards established by AAFCO.
Best low protein dog food for kidney disease
Veterinary Diets Purina Veterinary Canine NF
Purina Veterinary Diets NF (Kidney Function) Canine Formula is a dog food balanced for normal operation of your pet's renal system. Nutrients such as low sodium, potassium and boosted omega-3, omega-6 bolster dog health, with focus on the urinary tract. Crude high quality protein in this dog food is 12%.
For over eighty years, Purina has worked to raise the standards for pet nutrition. Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets are formulated to help veterinarians nutritionally manage dogs and cats with certain health conditions. Each diet has been developed and tested by a team of Purina nutritionists, scientists and veterinarians, all working to understand how nutrition can benefit pets with special health needs. Through proper dietary management, their goal is to help your pet lead an active, healthy life for years to come.
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ROYAL CANIN Canine Hepatic Dry
If your dog's liver is not healthy, his whole body suffers. Thus, if you're concerned about your dog's hepatic health, it may be time to start her on a dog food that provides quality nutrition to support her liver. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hepatic Dry Canine Formula can provide the nutrients your pet's liver needs to become healthy again. Crude protein in this product is 14%.
Founded by a veterinarian, Royal Canin has over 40 years experience in health nutrition. Royan Canin work with pet nutritionists, breeders, and veterinarians from around the world to provid knowledge about the specific nutritional requirements of dogs. This knowledge has allowed them to formulate the optimal diet for your dog's special needs.
- Vegetable protein supports digestive health
- Restricted copper levels support liver health
- Supports cellular health
- High energy concentration
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Canine Hepatic is a highly palatable and digestible dog food, restricted in copper content, and formulated with nutrients essential to support liver function.
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Blue Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support
Because some dogs need a diet that helps support healthy kidney function, BLUE KS features controlled levels of protein, as well as controlled mineral levels and vital nutrients to help support your dog’s overall health. Crude protein 14%.
Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support for Dogs provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult dogs. Working with a leading holistic veterinarian and animal nutritionist, Blue Buffalo developed BLUE Life Protection Formula® for dogs and cats, which has become the #1-selling natural pet food in America. Created by pet parents for pet parents, they set a new standard in healthy pet food, and guarantee you’ll be completely satisfied.
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Treats for dogs with Kidney Disease
These treats are made for dogs with kidney disease, Mattie's Treats relies on simple, natural ingredients to provide a low protein, low phosphorus tasty treat that complements your dog's prescription diet. Ingredients include light rye flour, tapioca flour, pure pumpkin, cinnamon, omega 3 fish oil, canola oil. These treats are designed as treats, not for your dog's regular meals, or medication.
Mattie's healthy treats for dogs with kidney disease
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Supplement for dogs with kidney disease
Natural dietary supplement are formulated to help rid toxins from your dog's blood. They help to clean the urinary tract system, promote proper kidney.
Kidney Rejuvenator 4oz - All Natural
Ingredients include: Yarrow, White Willow, Uva Ursi, Mullein, Blessed Thistle, Parsley Root, Cloves, Golden Seal, Hyssop, Pine Needles, Lemon, Rosemary, Ethyl
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Always visit your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if your dog falls ill.