In this article you will find:
- What is Low Phosphorus Dog Food?
- The Top Low Phosphorus Brands
- 1. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Base Mix
- 2. Wysong Synorgon Dry
- 3. Blue Buffalo BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Formula
- 4. Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
- 5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie
- 6. Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Farmyard Blend in Sauce
- 7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice
- What Should You Know About Kidney Disease in Dogs?
- What food is best for dogs with kidney disease?
- What foods contain phosphorus for dogs?
- What should dogs with kidney disease not eat?
- What meats are low in phosphorus for dogs?
Just like humans, dogs have specific requirements for different nutrients in their diet. Phosphorus is one of those nutrients that, while essential, needs to be in balance with the rest of your dog’s nutrition.
Keep reading to learn more about low-phosphorus diets and kidney disease in dogs – you’ll also receive recommendations for our top choices in low phosphorus dog food.
What is Low Phosphorus Dog Food?
In the simplest of terms, a low-phosphorus dog food is just that – a food that is low in phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that works with calcium to keep your dog’s bones healthy and strong.
Your dog needs slightly less phosphorus than calcium, but he still needs a significant amount of phosphorus in his diet unless, of course, it starts to cause problems. As your dog gets older, his needs for both calcium and phosphorus start to decrease.
At the height of his growth and development, a dog needs about 1.0% to 1.8% calcium in his diet and somewhere between 0.8% and 1.6% phosphorus. Once your dog reaches half his adult size, his needs drop to 0.8% to 1.5% calcium and 0.6% to 1.2% phosphorus.
As an adult, they drop even more to 0.5% to 0.9% calcium and 0.4% to 0.8% phosphorus. In older dogs, if the phosphorus content of the diet is too high, it can cause kidney problems in which case a low-phosphorus diet may be helpful.
- Phosphorus content - 1%
- Coated with probiotic and enzyme
- Phosphorus content - 0.35%
- No preservatives, dyes or chemicals
- Loved by even the pickiest eaters
- Phosphorus content - 0.25%
- Made without the grains
The Top Low Phosphorus Brands
If your dog needs a low-phosphorus diet, you might be able to get one directly from your veterinarian. Be careful, however, because not all low-phosphorus dog foods are made with high-quality ingredients.
In fact, some of the pet food brands that are best known for veterinary and prescription diets use low-quality ingredients including by-products and fillers. To find a low-phosphorus product that also offers decent quality, we recommend the following brands:
Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Base Mix
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Wysong Synorgon Dry Dog Food
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Blue Buffalo BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Formula
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Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie
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Dave's Pet Food Restricted Diet Protein & Phosphorus Farmyard Blend
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
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Top Low Phosphorus Dog Food
- Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Base Mix
- Wysong Synorgon Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Formula
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie
- Dave's Pet Food Restricted Diet Protein & Phosphorus Farmyard Blend
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
1. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Base Mix
First 5 Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Triticale, Organic Spelt, Organic Brown Rice
Phosphorus content – 0.35%
Dr. Harvey’s Healthy Formulations is a company that offers health food and care products for pets. Dr. Harvey believes that pets are family and that they deserve the finest quality nutrition nature has to offer.
This company is unique in that they only offer a limited selection of products including three pre-mixes, two complete diets, and four healthy dog treats – they also sell natural supplements for pets. Dr. Harvey’s pre-mixes are designed to be used to create healthy homemade meals for dogs.
They feature healthy, natural ingredients that are of human-grade quality and they are free from chemicals and artificial additives. Furthermore, all of Dr. Harvey’s products are made in the USA. There are three pre-mix options – the balanced Canine Health, the Veg-to-Bowl grain-free pre-mix, and a Veg-to-Bowl dehydrated vegetable pre-mix.
When choosing a low-phosphorus dog food for your dog, you have to be careful about the type of protein you choose because some dogs have trouble tolerating high levels of protein. That is what makes this Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Base Mix a great choice – you can control not only the type of protein but the amount of protein you use to create the food.
This formula is loaded with six organic grains, nine nutritious vegetables, and plenty of herbs and vitamins. It is also prepared fresh in your kitchen so it retains the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients!
2. Wysong Synorgon Dry
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Chicken Fat, Flaxseeds
Phosphorus content – 1%
The Wysong company offers holistic, healthy pet foods and supplements. This company was founded in 1979 and has been one of the true pioneers of the pet food industry, producing all-natural and holistic products for dogs and cats as well as horses, ferrets, and other animals.
Wysong takes the health and wellness of pets very seriously which is why they are so careful with the formulation of their recipes. Each product is developed in-house and made with the finest ingredients available to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for all pets.
This company offers an assortment of dry dog food products as well as canned foods, raw foods, and treats. It is also worth noting that many of their products are formulated for feeding to both cats and dogs.
If you are shopping for a high-quality dog food for a dog with kidney problems, the Wysong Synorgon Dry recipe might be a good choice. This formula is a chicken-based, premium pet food loaded with omega fatty acids plus other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
With controlled levels of protein and phosphorus, this recipe will support your dog’s kidney health as well as his total body health and wellness through the use of natural ingredients. This formula features digestible carbohydrates like brown rice, peas, and flaxseeds with fresh and dried fruits and vegetables for additional support.
You’ll be glad to know that it is supplemented with chelated minerals as well as dried fermentation products which act as probiotics to support your dog’s healthy and regular digestion.
3. Blue Buffalo BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Formula
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Pea Starch, Potato Starch, Peas, Dried Egg
Phosphorus content – 0.25%
The Blue Buffalo pet food brand is widely known for the quality and variety of their product choices. This brand believes that pets are members of the family and should be treated as such – this means offering them a high-quality diet that meets their individual nutritional needs.
Blue Buffalo pet foods are made from the finest natural ingredients and they are combined in perfect balance in keeping with a holistic approach to pet nutrition. Premium-quality proteins are the foundation of every recipe and they are supplemented with digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, and healthy fats.
Something else that makes this brand unique is the fact that they supplement each of their recipes with LifeSource Bits – these are made up of a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your dog’s whole body health and wellness.
If you’re looking for a low-phosphorus dog food for your pup, consider the Blue Buffalo BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Formula. This formula is a veterinary diet but it offers much higher quality than most of the prescription dog foods out there.
For one thing, it starts with a premium protein (deboned chicken) and doesn’t contain any byproducts, fillers, corn, wheat, or soy. This recipe is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates like pea starch and potato starch as well as healthy fats from chicken fat, fish oil, and flaxseed.
To support your dog’s kidney health, this recipe has controlled levels of protein and minerals, plus there are plenty of vital nutrients for nutritional balance. This recipe is also grain-free and loaded with natural flavor your dog is sure to love.
4. Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
First 5 Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Venison, Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Canola Oil
Phosphorus content – 0.6%
The Natural Balance company was founded in 1989 and is known to craft products that meet high taste, safety, and nutritional standards. Also known as “animal health science experts,” the brand has a team of veterinary technicians that are ready to help you find the best food for your pet.
The Natural Balance Lab is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory and one of the most technologically-advanced in the industry. Each of their products are rigorously tested for nine different toxins before they reach you to make sure you get nothing but safe and purely nutritious dog food.
Unlike other pet food brands, Natural Balance does not ever include by-product meals or artificial chemicals and preservatives.
Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient Diet range is one of the first in the industry. The foods are designed to have limited animal protein sources (so you can easily check the ingredients for possible allergens), improve the health of the skin and coat, and support healthy digestion.
For this recipe, sweet potatoes make the bulk of the meal quickly followed by venison. Sweet potatoes are particularly good sources of fiber, which are essential for a good digestion. They also have good amounts of vitamins A, B6, and C but are low in fat.
Venison is a good animal protein source, particularly for dogs who are food-sensitive. Since it’s not a common meat unlike beef and chicken, for many canines venison is a novel protein.
If your dog is suffering from kidney issues, this diet may be the best for him. The animal protein only takes second place to a carb ingredient. There’s enough protein to meet his daily requirements but not so much (20% only) as to make your pet feel sick.
There are some studies that suggest omega-3 fatty acids taken from fish oil may benefit kidney disease sufferers. This recipe contains salmon oil, and its omega-3 fatty acid content is pegged at .5% minimum. Another benefit of omega-3 fatty acids are shiny healthy coats and skin that is less inflamed or itchy.
Even with the limited ingredients, this formulation manages to provide a high amount of quality nutrition for dogs of all breeds.
5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie
First 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
Phosphorus content – .84%
The Royal Canin brand was started by a French veterinarian named Jean Cathary in 1968. With over 50 years of experience, the company has learned that even the smallest amount of nutritional difference can impact your dog’s life and health in a huge way. Royal Canin products are crafted based on this finding of ‘tailored nutrition.’
Each of the brand’s numerous recipes are formulated by experts in the field to deliver exact levels of fiber, vitamins, prebiotics, and minerals to your pets to meet each of their unique needs.
There are recipes designed to meet the specific requirements of different breeds, ages, or lifestyle.
Royal Canin has meticulous production and sourcing standards to ensure your dog only gets the very best. It has a sample of every material that it uses and keeps these for two years so that all ingredients are fully traceable for the duration of a product’s shelf life.
This Royal Canin recipe starts with brewers rice. (Diets that are meant to aid dogs with kidney issues usually start with a grain or grain alternative to minimize the protein content.) Brewers rice is broken pieces of white rice that contain the same amount of nutrients that white rice has. (Not much, but white rice is good for pups with sensitive tummies.)
The hydrolyzed proteins (21%) come in second place. They make it easier for canines who have trouble digesting conventional food sources of protein. Hydrolyzed proteins are, to put it simply, broken down proteins that make it easy for bodies to absorb. These proteins are also less likely to cause an allergy or trigger a reaction than traditional proteins in sensitive pups.
Not only is the phosphorus and protein contents in this recipe low, but so are the calories. At 307kcal per cup, it fully supports dogs who need to maintain a healthy weight.
Yet despite the low calorie and fat content, it has more than enough of other necessary nutrients that dogs need to live a healthy and active life. (There are plenty of B vitamins, fibers, and omega and amino acids.)
Specifically formulated for dogs with skin, digestive, and food sensitivity issues, this specialized diet can only be purchased with your veterinarian’s authorization. It’s designed to meet the needs of all adult dogs regardless of breed.
6. Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Farmyard Blend in Sauce
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Peas, Chicken, Chicken Fat, Potatoes
Phosphorus content – .05%
Dave’s Pet Food prides itself on producing wholesome and delicious pet foods that are affordable. The recipes are developed by world-famous nutritionists who know what dogs need to thrive.
Rarely does healthy and truly nutritious pet food combine with the word ‘affordable’, but the brand sticks to its mission of getting you the products you deserve at prices you can afford.
The company has a wide variety of offerings for pets with differing lifestyles, ages, conditions, and restrictions. It also has a restricted diet catalog that caters to specific medical needs.
Made specifically for canines who are battling kidney disease, this recipe has restricted amounts of phosphorus and protein. (Too much protein can cause the kidneys to go on work overload and will add to the buildup of waste in the blood. A low phosphorus level can also slow the progression of kidney disease.)
The first ingredient here is chicken broth, giving your pet essential moisture that keeps him hydrated and reduces the risk for urinary tract infections and kidney stones. It’s followed by peas for animal protein, an easily digested veggie that also comes with fiber, zinc, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
But our pets deserve some quality fresh meat, even if these shouldn’t make up the bulk of the meal. There is fresh chicken here and fresh chicken liver (liver is an exceptional organ that contains a lot of nutrients — much more than muscle meat). The chicken liver, aside from giving nutrients, can help your dog eat more because it adds palatability to the food.
The recipe is a fully balanced meal that makes use of several veggies for their plentiful nutrient content. These are potatoes, carrots, and parsley. There are also two types of oil included in the formulation: salmon and sunflower oils. These provide all of the omega fatty acid needs of your canines to keep their skin and coat healthy.
High salt diets can worsen kidney damage and increase your pet’s blood pressure. To help normalize your dog’s blood pressure level, this formulation has a reduced sodium content.
Unlike some restricted diets that need your veterinarian’s authorization, you can freely buy this dog food without it. However, it is still best to consult with your vet on the most appropriate approach to treating your pet’s kidney issues.
7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Phosphorus content – .7%
The Blue Buffalo company is a pioneer in producing natural pet food that is carefully formulated by animal nutritionists using ingredients that you’ll be proud to feed your animal family members.
The brand uses an exclusive LifeSource Bits system in all of its products. This system refers to a precise blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that have been selected by holistic vets and nutritionists.
All of these together are crafted to support your pet’s immune health and oxidative balance. And because the Bits are cold-formed, the nutrients are not lost during processing.
Every Blue Buffalo product starts with real and premium meat and only natural ingredients make the cut. And because each pet is unique, Blue Buffalo has formulas made to fit the specific requirements of dogs regardless of breed, size, age, or dietary needs.
This particular recipe provides a wholesome blend of lamb, grains, fruits, and garden veggies for a nutritious and delicious meal. It features enough protein (22%) and phosphorus to develop lean muscles and strong bones but not too much as to make your dog’s kidneys overwork.
Following the lamb is menhaden fish meal. Menhaden is a small, oily fish that contains lots of amino and fatty acids that are vital to maintaining the immune system, a beautiful coat and skin, metabolic function, and bone health.
Grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley and veggies like potatoes and tomato help make the recipe a more balanced food. The barley, oatmeal, and tomato are full of fiber that are necessary for making bowel movements regular. Meanwhile, potatoes and brown rice give your dogs easily digestible carbs along with some beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Apart from the usual chelated vitamin and mineral content of dog foods, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula recipe also contains live probiotics that improve the gut flora and support your dog’s digestive system as a whole. There’s also a nice amount of glucosamine that can help with and relieve arthritic pain.
This recipe is designed for adult dogs of all breed types.
If you are concerned that your dog might be suffering from kidney disease, don’t immediately go out and buy a low-phosphorus dog food. Your first step should be taking your dog to the veterinarian to have him tested to confirm the diagnosis.
Once your dog has been diagnosed you can talk to your vet about the different treatment options which may include switching to a low-phosphorus diet. If this becomes necessary, consider one of the top three brands reviewed above.
What Should You Know About Kidney Disease in Dogs?
Also known as renal disease, kidney disease is a fairly common condition in dogs, especially as they start to get older. There are two types of kidney disease – acute and chronic.
Acute kidney disease develops quickly and symptoms may appear suddenly while chronic kidney disease sets in slowly and often with nonspecific symptoms. There are a number of different causes for kidney disease aside from factors like age or genetics. Here are some of the other potential causes for this condition:
- Infections (viral, fungal, or bacterial)
- Parasite infestation
- Protein deposits in the kidney (amyloidosis)
- Autoimmune disease
- Toxicity from poison or medications
- Inherited disease
The symptoms of kidney disease may vary not only according to the type (acute vs. chronic) but also according to the cause. It is also important to know that some of the symptoms for this disease overlap with symptoms of other conditions like pancreatic disease or liver disease – this can sometimes make it tricky to find an accurate diagnosis. Some of the most common symptoms of kidney disease are these:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Decreased frequency or lack of urination
- Blood in the urine
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Hunched posture
- Reluctance to move
- Poor coat quality
Upon completing a physical exam, your veterinarian may notice additional symptoms such as pale gums, enlarged kidney, ulcers in the mouth, bad breath, swelling of the limbs, swollen abdomen, and high blood pressure.
To confirm the diagnosis, your vet will probably take a chemistry panel using your dog’s blood to test for blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and phosphorus levels. A urinalysis may also be helpful in confirming a diagnosis and, in some cases, an x-ray may help as well. Treatment options for kidney disease often include fluid therapy, kidney dialysis, and dietary changes.
What food is best for dogs with kidney disease?
The nutritional changes that need to be made depend on the severity of the kidney disease, but in general, pets with kidney disease should be fed diets reduced in phosphorus, protein, and sodium and supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.
What foods contain phosphorus for dogs?
In general, foods highest in phosphorus include bones, dairy products, fish (with bones), organ meats, and egg yolks. That does not mean not to feed these foods at all, as they are an important component of a healthy diet, but they should be fed in moderation.
What should dogs with kidney disease not eat?
High salt (sodium) diets may increase blood pressure and may worsen kidney damage, so diets designed for pets with kidney disease are low in sodium. You should also avoid feeding high salt treats such as cheese, bread, deli meat, and many commercial dog and cat treats.
What meats are low in phosphorus for dogs?
Beef mince, beef tripe, lamb or pork is a really good choice for a CKF dog. Red meat is generally lower in phosphorus than white chicken, turkey or fish meat. Remember though, red meats can be a bit fattier. Moderate fat content is fine for CKF dogs but a high-fat diet isn't.