Does your dog have kidney or liver disease? Senior dog need to drop a few pounds or puppy settle down a bit? These low protein dog food brands will help.
CC image “Rory the Runaway” by Eli Christman on Flickr – thx Eli!
Impatient (like me)? 🙂
Jump directly to current pricing & more information about the best low protein dog food brands:
We hear a lot about protein:
Protein shakes, protein meals, protein enemas (if that’s not already a thing, just wait).
We know it’s important, but there can also be too much of a good thing. This is true both for people and their pets.
What is protein, exactly?
Protein is a macronutrient that living beings need in order to build muscle mass (this is why it’s popular among weightlifters). It’s found in animal products, like meat, but also in things like nuts and legumes.
The body needs a certain amount of protein to stay alive – not only for muscle mass, but because of the calories macronutrients provide. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories (a gram of fat contains 9 grams, which is probably why it’s called “fat”).
Protein makes up around 15 percent of a person’s body weight.
Water, by comparison, makes up about 70-75 percent.
From a chemical perspective, protein is composed of amino acids – organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur.
Why is Protein Important for Dogs?
Like their owners, dogs also need protein.
It helps the function and the health of your dog’s entire body. It builds fur, skin, nails, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and cartilage.
What Happens When Dogs Have Too Much or Too Little Protein?
A dog can’t store protein like it can other fats and nutrients. This is why it’s important to have enough in your pet’s diet.
When dogs don’t have enough protein, their body won’t work as optimally as it should. They may show signs of weakness, weight loss and a shabby coat.
They might not be able to perform their normal activities and might have a hard time with walks and trips to the dog park.
If a dog is fed too much protein, its kidneys will filter out the excess through the urinary tract.
However, if large amounts of protein are fed over a long period, the excess protein will be stored as fat, which causes a whole slug of health issues including joint and heart problems.
Dogs with impaired kidney function, such as those who are older or diabetic, may not be able to filter out excess protein as efficiently as their healthy or younger counterparts.
The amount of protein your dog needs varies by their activity level.
Dogs who are active, such as hunting dogs or those who join you on your four mile run, need higher amounts of protein than those who enjoy a more sedentary life.
Older dogs also need less protein than puppies.
What are Some Low Protein Dog Food Brands?
If your dog is on a low protein diet, you’ll want to feed them food with – wait for it – low protein.
This isn’t too difficult to find as the protein levels of many dogs are restricted and the pet industry has catered to this trend.
Still, low protein or otherwise, not all dog food is created equal.
So, try some of the following:
1. Canidae All Life Stages Platinum Dog Food
Chicken, turkey, lamb and fish make up the ingredients in this food.
But despite its meat-heavy production, it contains both lower levels of fat and protein than regular dog food.
It’s specially designed for dogs with impaired kidney function or older age.
2. Purina Pro Plan Pure Veterinary Diets Canine NF Kidney Function
Protein and bad kidney or liver function aren’t a good mix.
If your pet has issues with their glands, this food is a good option.
It’s formulated for impaired renal systems, and has low sodium and high Omega fatty acids.
3. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food
This also contains Omega fatty acids, but also has glucosamine and a balanced formula of carbs, proteins, and fats.
The directions are particular, based on your dog’s size.
4. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
If you’re dog’s inability to remove excess protein from its diet is resulting in unwanted weight, this food is a good option.
This brand has the added benefit of grain-free and reduced fat – specifically designed for dogs who are a little rounder than ideal.
5. Mattie’s Treats
Not dinner food, per say, but any dog who wants a treat (which is all of them, of course) can benefit from the low protein in these ones.
They also contain low phosphorous, something else important for dogs with kidney issues.
Do you have your dog on a low protein diet?
Let us hear about it below.