What are the Top Dog Food Brands with Low Protein

Dogs need a high amount of protein diet. However, there are many cases when you might have to reduce the usual amount of proteins which you have been feeding your dog. When your dog gets sick with some specific diseases or conditions. It is best that you feed your dog with low protein dog food than the usual high protein diet you give them. If the health of your dog is not allowed, you can always switch to a low protein food. If that is what is best for your dog, never hesitate to change the diet.

Before you change your dog’s diet to a low protein diet you need to identify which low protein product is the best of the best. Our team has picked the best of the product after considering each food in similar proportion along with the nutrients they offer your dog, and also would be appealing.

Top Low Protein Dog Foods List

It is a known fact that dogs require a high protein diet. However, there may be certain dogs that may require a low protein diet due to some health issues. There are several dogs that are sick due to some specific health conditions. These pooches benefit a lot from a low protein diet as compared to a high protein one. If you are a first-time dog owner, then choosing the right low protein dog food may prove to be a confusing thing for you. This is why discussed below are some of the best low protein dog foods that will make it simpler for you to choose the best for your mutt.

1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Low-Protein Dog Food

This dry dog food is one of the best when it comes to low protein dog foods in the market. It contains barely 16.5% protein and packs all types of essential vitamins and minerals that canines require on a daily basis. The best part about this dog food is that it contains chicken meal as the primary source of protein for dogs.

The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Low-Protein Dog Food also contains corn, wheat, and soy that does not make it suitable for those dog owners who do not prefer to feed gluten to their pets. Each cup of this dog food will provide 364 calories and contains 12% fat, 10% moisture content, and 4% fiber content.


  • Comes with a balanced set of minerals that promote a strong kidney health and heart health
  • High-quality protein helps to grow and maintain lean muscle in adult dogs
  • Recommended by vets
  • Contains omega-6 and vitamin E to improve the quality of coat and skin
  • Made with easy-to-digest ingredients that support activity and energy levels in adult dogs


  • May give irritation to some dogs
  • Some dogs may not like to eat the dog food

2. Holistic Select Natural Dry Low-Protein Dog Food

Although this dog food may not have as low a protein content as some of the other dog foods in the similar category, it is still one of the best in the market. It is ideally suited for those dog owners who would like their mutts to enjoy better digestion and improved immunity. The best part is that the Holistic Select Natural Dry Low-Protein Dog Food is packed with 10 different species of gut-friendly probiotics that is seldom found in other dog foods of a similar category.

It comes with a protein content of a minimum of 26% and is absolutely free from gluten. You will feel a lot safer while feeding this dog food to your pet. In order to boost joint health and improve metabolism, the Holistic Select Natural Dry Low-Protein Dog Food contains carnitine and glucosamine.


  • Packed with optimum levels of protein along with prebiotics and probiotics to assist in digestion.
  • Contains natural fiber and digestive enzymes that also help improve the digestive system
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon help to improve the quality of the skin and coat
  • Supports healthy heart due to the inclusion of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, taurine, probiotics, and glucosamine


  • There are reports of the FDA condemning this dog food

3. Nutro Ultra Adult Low-Protein Dog Food

This dry dog food comes with an excellent blend of low-protein, low-calorie, and low-fat formulation. It is also packed with all the ingredients that can help benefit the joints of your mutt. The Nutro Ultra Adult Low-Protein Dog Food is made with the help of 12 different superfoods that help your canine pet get all the essential nutrients it needs every day.

The Nutro Ultra Adult Low-Protein Dog Food also comes with taurine and essential fatty acids that help to improve the central nervous system of your pet dog and boost its immune system. This high quality dog food comes with 10% moisture content, 10% fat content, 23% protein content, and 4% fiber content. It has chicken and chicken meal as the primary source of protein. It also contains whole brown rice, rice bran, and brewer’s rice.


  • Apart from chicken, it also contains lamb and salmon as sources of protein
  • Contains various types of superfoods such as coconut, blueberries, kale, and chia
  • It is free from chicken by-product meal, wheat, corn, and soy
  • It is also free from artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors


  • Some dogs may tend to vomit after having this dog food
  • Some dogs may also face digestive issues after having this dog food

4. Natural Balance L.I.D Low-Protein Dry Dog Food

As the name would suggest, this dry dog food contains a very limited number of real food ingredients, such as sweet potatoes and bison. All the remaining ingredients are basically extracts from various sources of food. Although the protein content of the Natural Balance L.I.D Low-Protein Dry Dog Food is not as low as some of the competitors, it is still at an acceptable level of 20%.

It is one of the best dry dog foods for those dogs that require a low-protein diet. It also contains added essential fatty acids that help to improve the skin quality, coat texture, and boost the immune system and nervous system. The Natural Balance L.I.D Low-Protein Dry Dog Food contains 10% moisture content, 4% fiber content, 10% fat content, along with pea, canola oil, potato protein, bison, and sweet potatoes.


  • It is available in a number of flavors
  • Maintains a healthy digestive system
  • Helps to lower the number of ingredients dogs are exposed to
  • Designed to support a healthy skin and coat


  • Some dogs may not like it after change in formula
  • Some dogs may fall sick after having this food after change in formula

5. Mattie’s Treats Kidney Disease Dog Treats

This isn’t exactly a dog food. It is basically a low-protein semi-moist dog treat. It is made with plant-based protein that is also the principal source of nutrient in the Mattie’s Treats Kidney Disease Dog Treats. In order to ensure that your dog receives the full benefits of essential fatty acids, it also contains fish oils. This dog treat is especially made for dogs that suffer from chronic kidney disease. In such cases, extra protein may simply quicken the deterioration process of the kidney.

The Mattie’s Treats Kidney Disease Dog Treats is free from gluten from wheat, corn, and soy. The best part is that it has a low-phosphorus content that can help lower the burden on the ill kidneys. This dog treat provides 2.2% fat content, 6.8% protein content, 9% moisture content, and 1.2% fiber content. 5 of the top ingredients include light rye flour, fish oil, pure pumpkin, cinnamon, and tapioca flour.


  • Has a low-protein and low-phosphorus formulation
  • Free from wheat, corn, and soy
  • Best suited for dogs with weak kidneys


  • Some dogs may not like this treat
  • Some dogs may suffer from diarrhea

6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dry Dog Food

Are you on the lookout for a dog food that is really low-protein, low-calorie, and comparatively low-fat? Then the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dry Dog Food will be a great option for you. It is also especially made for dogs that suffer from kidney diseases. Thus, helping slow down the deterioration process of the already ill kidneys.

The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dry Dog Food is formulated with urinary acidifiers and struvite renal stone-dissolvers. This aids in the healing process of your pet’s kidneys. Add to that the fact that this dog food comes with a pretty low content of phosphorus and magnesium that further reduces the workload on the already defective kidneys.


  • Packed with ingredients that prevent stone buildup and acidify your pet’s urine
  • Presence of omega-3 fatty acids help your mutts’ urinary tract fight off inflammation and infection
  • Made from ingredients that increase urine volume and reduce the concentration of the minerals that generate kidney stones
  • Has a pretty low amount of protein, magnesium, and phosphorus to help maintain a clean system for your dog


  • Comes with a high price tag

7. Canidae Grain Free Pure Land Formula for Dogs

Again, this dog food may not have the lowest level of protein as compared to some of the other dog foods in the same category. However, it makes up for that with a neat blend of prebiotics and probiotics that help in the digestion process and also boost the immune system for your dog. It provides 25% protein, 15% fat, 4% fiber, and 10% moisture.

It also provides the highest calorie content in each serving at 474 calories per cup. If your dog is obese or on the heavier side, it will be better to avoid this dog food or give it in limited quantities. It contains lamb and bison meal as the primary source of protein. It is packed with essential fatty acids that can help lower the inflammation on the kidneys for your dog.


  • Contains real meat to enhance the taste
  • Made from whole foods to simplify digestion
  • Made with a simple recipe for sensitive dogs


  • Could prove to be too costly for some
  • Some dogs may not like the flavor

8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Dog Food

Blue Buffalo is one of the popular brands when it comes to dog foods. Their Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Dog Food is one of the best when it comes to a low-protein, low-fat, and low-calorie dog food. Although it comes with the same nutritional levels as some of the other products by the same brand, it is especially made for mutts that require low protein diets.

The presence of nutraceuticals and probiotics help to improve joint health for your dog. Carnitine is also there in this product that helps in better processing of proteins and various other macronutrients. If you are worried about cereal grains to your dog, then the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Dog Food will be a great choice for you. A cup of this dog food provides 322 calories, 20% protein, 9% fat, 10% moisture, and 10% fiber.


  • It is available in various flavors
  • Contains real meat as the primary ingredient
  • Formulated with reduced calories from fat
  • Made from the finest quality natural ingredients enhanced with essential minerals and vitamins


  • Some dogs may fall sick after having it

Why Do Dogs Need a Low Protein Diet?

Each organism needs proteins to sustain itself. Proteins help in building and developing tissues and cells and also synthesize enzymes and hormones. They also produce many other substances which have physiologic importance and are responsible for the overall development of any organism. Similar to other substances and nutrients, proteins also enter the body of the dog and go through the path of digestion and are processed by many organs, mainly small intestines, liver and kidneys.

The main digestion occurs in the small intestines. It is here that the proteins are digested and broken into amino acids which are absorbed into the blood of the dog. The byproducts of the protein metabolism are processed in the liver.  The nitrogenous waste is eliminated from the kidneys and other substances so that unnecessary molecules will not be filled in the body. Thus, the main problems arise in these organs only and thus your dog may require a diet which has low protein. When you feed your dog with a low calorie diet the organs get the option to heal themselves because it does not have to process proteins which take away a lot of their energy.

This generally is true when it comes to dogs which have chronic kidney failure. If your dog has chronic renal failure the kidney does not filter the blood which travels through the body. Thus, the urine production is stopped. Now, if you are feeding your dog with a high protein diet it may lead to a much more severe problem of the kidney. In addition to that the nitrogenous wastes are not removed because the kidneys are not working leading to addition of these byproducts which increases the severity of the problem which your dog is facing and leads to coma or encephalopathy.

This is similar to the dogs which have problems in the liver and may suffer from diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis. Due to no protein metabolism, the proteins in the blood start accumulating leading to server problems. So, reducing the protein in your dog’s diet would be a good thing to do as it would not increase in the accumulation of the protein in the dog’s body.

It does not mean that feeding a low protein diet means your dog would not get any protein. This diet suits best for dogs who are sick and especially have kidney or liver ailment.

Now you might have a question to know how low would be the protein?

Now according to the researchers those foods which have the minimum protein content of 18 percent would be recognized as low-protein dog food. Many Vets nowadays concentrate on the level of phosphorus rather than the protein amount in the dog’s diet. This change in the way of treatment is because it has been observed the dogs which have impairment of kidneys recover well when their phosphorus intake is restricted.

What are the Benefits of Low Protein Dog Food?

Now you can understand that low-protein dog food can also give a lot of benefits to your dog who needs a diet with low proteins. Listed below are the benefits of the low protein dog food.

  • The organs which are involved in the metabolism and the elimination of proteins get rest as they don’t have to absorb a huge load of proteins and thus, they are not overworked.
  • It helps to reduce the symptoms which you might see that are associated with the disorder in these organs.
  • Even the nitrogenous wastes are reduced along with the other toxins in the blood which can lead to serious conditions in your dog such as encephalopathy.
  • It also helps in elimination or reduction of many types of cysts and stones that are found in the urinary bladder of the dogs.

Health Conditions Which Would Require a Low Protein Diet

The below health conditions in dogs would require limited protein intake.

  • Renal Failure: Studies have revealed that low protein diets would slow down the disease which would involve renal failure. Renal failure is a state of kidneys where they are no longer in a position to produce urine by filtering blood. As they are unable to function properly they can’t even remove the metabolic waste such as the nitrogenous wastes which is created when the protein is absorbed. This waste increases the blood urea nitrogen. Now, if you give a high protein diet to your dog, these waste products would keep on increasing leading to many more problems. Renal Failure in dogs is because of many diseases such as Lyme disease, diabetes, genetic abnormalities, gastrointestinal disease, hypertension and skin infections.
  • Liver Disease: The most efficient organ of a dog’s body. It processes many toxins. However, the liver is never immune from diseases.  Hence, when it is attacked by disease it would lose its ability to process toxins in the dog’s body. Thus, creating a huge pile of nitrogenous wastes. When these wastes are not processed it is stored in the blood and can even reach the brain and damage it.  Thus, it results in hepatic encephalopathy. Hence, if you reduce the protein intake in the diet it would help the organ to recover as it does not create this waste in abundance and would use the limited resources it has left. Thus, it helps to reduce the nitrogenous waste from the dog’s body.
  • Bladder Stones: While only 6 Percent of stones are found in the bladder of the dogs. It is still not an unknown problem. Urate crystals do respond to low protein diets especially the ones which have natural acidifiers such as cranberries.  You need to understand that the use of low protein diets with urate stones is only supposed to be given while your dog is suffering from the disease. Once they are fit, you can start the usual high -protein diet.

Tips to Choosing the Best Protein Diet

After reading the article you have a fair understanding about everything which you need to know about the low protein diets for dogs. However, here are some points which you might find beneficial while buying the right product.

  • Always choose animal proteins
  • Make sure to look at the protein percentage while buying the product
  • Balance the diet with less proteins and more fat.

If you have a pet dog with weak kidneys, then feeding the pet with proper food may be tougher than you can imagine. Different people will give you different recommendations. However, it is up to your decision when it comes to the right low-protein dog food. Out of all the above discussed low-protein dog foods, the best of them all was Hill’s Science Diet Dry Low-Protein Dog Food. Apart from low protein content, it is also packed with all the essential vitamins and minerals that can help the overall health of your pet dog.


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