If you’ve looked into high-quality dog food, you know there’s a wide world of different types of dog food out there. If you own a dog with a medical condition, then you definitely know the importance of feeding quality foods with specific nutritional content in mind. Dogs with kidney issues need a carefully crafted diet to slow the progression of their disease, and finding a food with low phosphorous content is essential. But What’s all the fuss about this mineral anyways?
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Phosphorous and a Dogs Diet – The Basics
Phosphorous is essential in a dog’s diet, but they don’t need a significant amount to be healthy. Puppies need more phosphorous (and calcium) than adult dogs because they’re still growing new bone, and phosphorous is essential to building bone. The necessary amount decreases as your dog gets older, however, and senior dogs have the smallest dietary requirements.
Dogs with kidney issues are the ones who require a very restricted amount of phosphorous. Phosphorous has been shown to contribute to the progression of renal disease, and decreasing how much phosphorous they’re consuming through their diet goes a long way towards slowing the disease’s progression.
When Phosphorous versus Protein Gets Tricky
Research used to indicate low protein diets slowed the progression of renal failure, but that isn’t the case anymore. Unless there’s a physical indication your dog is doing poorly with a moderate to high amount of protein or they’re suffering from uremia, there’s no reason to decrease their protein. Dogs with uremia present with vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite, and these are the dogs who fare better on low protein foods.
However, phosphorous is highest in meat and grains, both of which are found in regular dog foods. How are you supposed to reduce their phosphorus level without depriving them of protein? Most commercial dog foods have one to two percent phosphorous, but dogs in the early stages of kidney failure shouldn’t be getting more than 0.6 percent phosphorous per day. These numbers drop as the kidney disease progresses.
What Should You Feed Your Dog?
Prescription kidney diets are tailored to suit this disease’s nutritional needs, but not many dogs love the taste of these foods, causing more problems than there were before you switched their food. In these cases, there are some non-prescription foods that have the proper amount of phosphorous, but they’re not very high-quality foods.
Some vets recommend feeding a high-protein diet and then supplementing it with fresh foods that are low in phosphorous to reduce the amount your dog gets. Suitable foods for dogs on a high-protein food are white carbs (white rice, pasta, and potatoes). Canines on a low- to average-protein food can have fatty meats low in phosphorous, but run this by their veterinarian first. This isn’t suitable for every dog.
The Importance of Calcium in a Dogs Diet
Calcium is a phosphorous binder, so dogs eating fresh foods can combat phosphorous intake if you provide plenty of calcium. Calcium should be given at 500 mg per pound of added food, so 1/4 tsp of ground eggshells would be sufficient.
Balancing the nutrition of a dog with a serious and lifelong disease is tricky, and it’s something that should be planned with your dog’s veterinarian. Never try to alter their diet without professional input. The wrong balance of minerals can quickly exacerbate kidney issues and send your dog into a health crisis. Use caution, because after all, isn’t this dietary change supposed to extend their life?
The 5 Best Low Phosphorous Dog Foods Available Over the Counter
- Contains 1 - 13 pound bag of dry dog food
- Grain free, limited ingredient dog food
- Helps minimize the number of ingredients dogs are exposed to
- Complete, balanced nutrition for adult dogs
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Dick van Patten’s Natural Balance Limited Ingredients dry dog food has 0.8% phosphorus per serving. The primary ingredient in the sweet potato and venison recipe is, of course, sweet potatoes, however, it has other easily digested fibers, such as peas and flax seed, too. The primary protein in this dry food is venison and even dry it contains at least 10% moisture per serving. Natural Balance is a 100% completely balanced meal for your dog that contains no grains or artificial ingredients.
- Packaging May Vary
- 15 lb bag
- Delicious, protein-rich, Deboned Lamb
- Wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
- No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
Blue Buffalo Life Protection dry adult dog food has two recipes that have 0.7% phosphorus per serving: chicken and rice, and lamb and brown rice. These foods are made without grains to ensure your dog will not have an allergic reaction to gluten. Blue Buffalo uses natural vegetables and fruits that your dog will find easy on his system: carrots, spinach, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. Cranberries have been added to help keep your dog’s urinary tract healthy.
- For all breeds and life stages
- Rich in protein
- Grain, potato, and tapioca free
- Single animal source
- 50% lamb and freeze-dried lamb
According to the manufacturer, Acana Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Apple formula dry dog food has 1% phosphorus per serving, making this an excellent choice for the dog that has digestive, urinary, and kidney disorders. As far as ingredients go, Acana Limited Ingredient is made of 50% lamb and 50% fruits and vegetables, such as apples, peas, carrots, and pumpkin. There are no grains in this dry food, yet it has plenty of calcium and natural vitamins to ensure your dog’s digestive health.
- UNIQUE DIGESTIVE HEALTH SUPPORT: Formulated with a unique digestive health support system, focused around prebiotics, probiotics, natural fibers, digestive enzymes & botanicals
- QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Complete & balanced everyday diet, made with quality ingredients and premium protein from real duck.
- ALL NATURAL: Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no meat by-products, wheat, wheat-gluten or artificial colors, flavors or fillers.
- MADE IN USA: Backed by the Holistic Select Guarantee and proudly made only in the USA.
- SUBSCRIBE & SAVE: Hassle-free way to save 5% and always keep your pantry stocked.
Holistic Select Natural Dry dog food is low in phosphorus and includes easily digestible fibers, prebiotics, and enzymes. Its primary source of protein comes from duck and its main source of fiber is rice. Holistic Select Natural dog food contains no artificial colors or preservatives or useless fillers; it is formulated especially to help your dog maintain a healthy digestive system as well as a shiny coat and best weight for his breed and size.
- Hydrolyzed soy protein that is low-allergy and very digestible
- Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and balanced aminos to promote your dog's skin strength
- Moderate calories to keep your dog at a healthy weight
- Restricted phosphorus to help your dog's kidneys stay healthy
- The Digestive Support Complex of fructooligosaccharides, zeolite, and beet pulp to stabilize stools and boost overall intestinal health in dogs
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Moderate Calorie dry dog food is not only low in phosphorus but is made of a hydrolyzed soy protein for dogs with allergies. Other easily digested ingredients include beet pulp and zeolite. This hypoallergenic formula is low in calories to help your dog maintain a healthy weight, therefore keeping his heart and lungs healthy, too.
Last update on 2017-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API