Low-protein & low-phosphorus diets for dogs

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Low-protein & low-phosphorus diets for dogs
Feeding the right diet is essential in dogs with kidney problems. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If your dog was recently diagnosed with kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend a low-protein, low-phosphorus diet. While high protein levels are not a problem per se, it is far more important to focus on quality than quantity. Indeed, veterinarian Jean Hofve claims that a diet with high-quality protein is actually preferred over a low-protein diet. The real culprit of problems appears to be phosphorus which, combined with calcium deposits in the kidneys, stimulates the progression of kidney failure. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog.

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Low Protein Low Phoshorous Prescription Diets

A low-protein and low-phosphorous prescription diet is often recommended by many veterinarians. While these diets are crafted specifically for treating kidney disorders in dogs, dog owners must bear in mind that such prescription-type foods typically contain poor quality ingredients, explains veterinarian Jean Hofve. Examples of prescription dog foods containing reduced phosphorus and reduced protein are Hill's prescription K/D, Iams Veterinary Formula Renal Early Stage Dry Dog Food, Royal Canine Veterinary Diet canine renal LP or MP modified, and Purina Veterinary NF Kidney Function.

Low Protein Low Phosphorous Commercial Diets

Not all low-protein and low-phosphorous diets require a prescription. Several commercial dog foods offer low protein and low phosphorous diets, most of which are crafted for senior dogs, according to Hofve. Canidae Platinum Senior Dog Food, Merrick Senior Medley Dry Dog Food, Innova Senior Dog Food and Wellness Super-5 Mix Senior Dry Dog Food are dogs dry foods with low protein levels. Always read the labels carefully and consult with your vet to determine if these foods will benefit your dog.

Low Protein Low Phosphorous Home Made Diets

A homemade diet with careful dosing and the right ingredients may provide a balanced reduced-protein and low-phosphorus formula. Green tripe is an excellent food for dogs suffering from kidney failure, since it is low in phosphorous and highly palatable. When it comes to grains, white rice is lower in phosphorus than brown rice. One of the most important aspects is to prepare the food, adding as much water as possible, recommends veterinarian Ron Hines. The water content helps flush away toxic waste, putting less strain on the kidney's filtering units.


While a plethora of food choices are available, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best low-protein and low-phosphorous diet for your dog. If your dog suffers from a kidney disorder, your vet is the best source to determine if your dog will do better with a low-protein or a moderate-protein diet. Generally, with dogs in the advanced stages of kidney disease, restricting the protein levels becomes significantly more important, further explains Ron Hines.

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