The 8 Best Low Protein Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Dogs thrive on a protein-rich diet. It is an essential part of the nutrition they require. However, certain medical conditions demand limiting the amount of protein in a dog’s diet. That’s why we have low protein dog foods to make it simple for you.

Generally, veterinarians suggest the best low protein dog foods to prevent the worsening of certain health problems like liver cirrhosis, kidney disease, allergy issues, and more.

Always consult with your vet before making the switch to a limited protein diet. Opt for it only if suggested by a vet; otherwise, low protein can be detrimental to your dog’s health in the long run.

There’s a lot more information about why your dog would need a low protein diet later in this article. But first, let’s check out the list I have finalized for the best low protein dog foods you can consider.

Keep reading!  

The Best Low Protein Dog Foods

Top ProductsRatingWhat We Like About This Product
1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food4.8Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food4.8Limited Ingredient Diet, High-Quality Ingredients
3. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Salmon & Lentils Recipe Dry Dog Food4.7Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Non-GMO, Chicken-Free
4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food4.7Pea-Free, Veterinary Diet
5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.6No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
6. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.6Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Veterinary Diet
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food4.6Limited Ingredient Diet, Powerful Antioxidants
8. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health-The Miracle Dog Food Pre-Mix4.5Freeze-Dried Formula, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Peas

If your dog has serious sensitivities or a health condition that could worsen with higher levels of protein, this Blue Buffalo Basics limited-ingredient dog food is a great option. The recipe contains 20% of the high-quality protein that’s derived from turkey. It is a chicken-free recipe that also eliminates common allergens including corn, wheat, and soy.

The formula is excellent for sensitive digestion in dogs and it also contains essential nutrients to keep up with your dog’s energy requirements. This special recipe includes LifeSource Bits, which is a unique blend of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants chosen by animal nutritionists and vets to support your furry buddy’s healthy oxidative balance, immune health, and overall health requirements.

2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 15.5% | Fat (min.) 10.5% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Whole Grain Corn

Certain health conditions limit not only protein but also the sodium levels in a dog’s diet. If that’s what’s been recommended for your beloved pooch, this option by Hill’s Science Diet is an excellent choice. Primarily designed for senior dogs, the low-protein and the low-sodium recipe works well for dogs at any life stage. The recipe contains 15.5% protein to make it easier for your dog to digest and stay healthy.

The limited high-quality protein is based on chicken meal and is suitable for dogs that are not allergic to poultry. Additionally, it contains all the essential nutrients that support your pooch’s overall health and wellness.

3. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Salmon & Lentils Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Dried Potatoes, 4. Lentils, 5. Chickpeas

This low-protein dog food by Nutro is a limited-ingredient and grain-free option that’s ideal for dogs that are recommended a low-protein diet. Based on seafood, the 20% protein is mainly derived from salmon and salmon meal. The limited ingredients are carefully chosen to cater to your dog’s special dietary needs. Besides salmon, the recipe contains high-quality limited ingredients to offer complete nutrition to your pooch.

The formula is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients and boasts a natural, delicious flavor. It has a non-GMO formula to promote optimal digestive health for dogs with sensitivities. It is expertly tailored without corn, wheat, gluten, or soy protein.

4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 17% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 3.7% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Corn, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Brewers Rice Flour

Support your dog’s health with a special veterinary diet by Royal Canin. Primarily crafted to support the bladder and urinary tract health, this SO Dry formula has limited protein to help your dog recover. The diet is expertly formulated to prevent calcium oxalate stones and dissolve struvite stones. Moreover, it reduces the chance of crystal formation to keep the bladder in the best shape.

The pea-free recipe works well for dogs with kidney and liver problems as well. It has low protein content that keeps various health conditions from worsening while also providing your pooch enough nutrition to help them recover and live a healthy life. The dry dog food formula will require authorization from your vet before purchasing.  

5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Sweet Potatoes, 2. Venison, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Canola Oil

If you can’t make your mind through options with a complicated list of ingredients and expensive price tags, this limited-ingredient diet by Natural Balance can save the day. You can confidently rely on this low protein dog food for providing your precious pooch the best nutrition, especially if they are on a restricted diet. The limited-ingredient formula ensures high-quality protein and carb sources to ensure your dog gets a healthy diet.

This venison-based recipe is also grain-free and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and natural fiber. The wholesome ingredients are fortified to provide balanced and complete nutrition for adult dogs with health conditions. Moreover, the single-source animal protein in this formula also works great for pups with stomach sensitivities.

6. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 14% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Potato Starch, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Peas, 5. Potatoes

Veterinary diet options like this one by Blue Buffalo can provide lower levels of protein for your pup. However, it is advised that you should only opt for this option with your vet’s recommendation. With this option in hand, you can offer your dog nutrients from the finest natural ingredients. The special dietary formula is designed to support kidney health and is made from limited levels of protein, sodium, and phosphorous.

Manage your dog’s kidney workload with this specialized dry dog food and keep them happy and healthy. The recipe also contains L-carnitine, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids to support your dog’s overall body condition and health. Crafted without grains, this holistic formula also suits dogs with sensitive stomachs.  

7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 19% | Fat (min.) 11% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Yellow Peas, 4. Cracked Pearled Barley, 5. Whole Grain Oats

This formula by Hill’s Science Diet is another option that’s basically designed for senior dogs with controlled levels of protein. Not only it works great for dogs in their golden years, this vitality recipe is a great option for younger dogs with dietary limitation. The delicious kibble has only 19% crude protein but is packed with all kinds of wholesome goodness. In addition to powerful antioxidants that support a healthy brain, the recipe also includes L-carnitine and phytonutrients to keep your dog active.

The high-quality ingredients are easy to digest, making it a suitable option for dogs with sensitivities. Since vets recommend the diet, you know you’re providing the very best to your beloved pet.  

8. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health-The Miracle Dog Food Pre-Mix

Protein (min.) 12% | Fat (min.) 3% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 12%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Organic Rolled Oats, 2. Organic Barley, 3. Organic Triticale, 4. Organic Spelt, 5. Organic Brown Rice

This unique recipe is one of the best low protein dog foods available. This natural recipe is a pre-mix that serves as a healthy and complete homemade meal once mixed with oil and protein. Since you are feeding a protein-limited diet to your dog, you can skip adding more protein to the mix. Besides offering just 12% protein, the special diet contains six certified organic grains, fourteen herbs, and nine vegetables.

This dog food by Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health is a holistic blend that consists of the best, all-natural, and finest organic human-grade ingredients to create this pre-mix your dog will love. This delicious and healthy meal serves as complete and balanced nutrition for dogs with health conditions such as kidney and liver diseases.  

9. AvoDerm Chicken & Rice Recipe Weight Support Canned Dog Food

Protein (min.) 5% | Fat (min.) 3% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Broth, 2. Chicken, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Rice Flour, 5. Rice

With just 5% crude protein, choose the AvoDerm premium dog canned food to help your furry buddy live a happy and healthy life. The limited protein content help dogs with health problems and keep them from worsening. As far as the protein source is concerned, this formula contains only high-quality meat and a variety of other premium ingredients to offer balanced nutrition for adult dogs. If your dog prefers canned food, this option with real avocados and avocado oil is great and palatable.

This special diet also helps with weight management by offering balanced levels of protein, fat, and other nutrients. Rich in essential fatty acids for a lustrous coat and healthy skin, this recipe is formulated without wheat, corn, and soy.  

10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entree Canned Dog Food

Protein (min.) 4.6% | Fat (min.) 2% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water, 2. Beef, 3. Cracked Pearled Barley, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Pork Liver

This Hill’s Science Diet is a senior formula with controlled levels of protein. Made with premium-quality natural ingredients, the slow-cooked recipe contains perfectly balanced nutrients to keep your pet healthier and defeat health complications. This low protein canned dog food has only 4.6% protein that mainly comes from beef. It also contains nutritious cracked pearled barley, fruits, and veggies all blended in a delectable gravy that your dog will love.

This veterinary formula an excellent choice for dogs with health conditions because it is also free from fillers, preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. The minced goodness prepared in gravy is a wholesome and healthy meal for your pooch.

11. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 9% | Fiber (max.) 10% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Barley, 5. Pea Fiber

This healthy-weight formula by Blue Buffalo is a popular choice since it only contains 20% protein. The limited protein is derived from real meat, while the rest of the nutrients come from whole grains, healthy fruits, and garden vegetables. The most interesting part about this diet is the LifeSource Bits that the brand is known for. It offers your pup the perfect blend of nutrients enhanced with antioxidant-rich ingredients.

In addition to helping your dog with weight management and preventing health complications, the recipe also includes chondroitin and glucosamine for improved mobility and joint health. Strengthen your dog’s immune system with the vitamins, antioxidants, and chelated minerals present in the recipe. Don’t miss out on this wholesome option for your dog.  

12. Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 18% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 8% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Whole Grain Brown Rice, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Cracked Pearled Barley, 5. Ground White Rice

This dog food is not only low in protein but also rich in fiber. It is specially formulated to help with digestion and helping dogs maintain lean muscles and healthy weight. If you have a sick dog that cannot consume high-protein food, this one by Diamond Naturals is a complete and balanced meal. The recipe contains 18% crude protein and is formulated using the highest quality ingredients, including real lamb protein and various veggies and fruits.

This low protein dog food is not only palatable but has added chondroitin, glucosamine, and L-carnitine to provide your dog the nutrition he needs. Support your dog’s overall health with this holistic diet formula.

13. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 12.5% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 2.5% | Moisture (max.) 12%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whole Grain Corn, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Dried Egg Product, 4. Animal Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, 5. Sugar

This delicious dry dog food by Purina Pro Plan is a veterinary diet that’s designed to support kidney function in dogs. It is formulated with the best nutrition decided by animal nutritionists, veterinarians, and researchers. In addition to a restricted protein level, the recipe also contains limited phosphorous and sodium to keep your dog’s health condition from getting worse.

In fact, the nutrients present in this low protein dog food ensure improved health and activity levels, thanks to the essential nutrients and healthy antioxidants present in the kibble. Serve the palatable crispy kibble to your beloved pooch and see him live a happy and healthy life.

14. Wellness CORE Petite Treats Lamb, Apples & Cinnamon Recipe Soft Grain-Free Dog Treats

Protein (min.) 14% | Fat (min.) 11% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 18%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Dried Ground Potatoes, 3. Tapioca Flour, 4. Glycerine, 5. Lamb

If you’re looking for a suitable treat for your dog who cannot take a high protein diet, these delicious treats by Wellness are a great pick. There’s no point in giving a low protein diet to your dog if you end up feeding them protein-rich treats. Therefore, you need a low protein treat option in hand too. And what’s best about these treats is the tantalizing flavor and the irresistible soft texture. See your big boy munch on the flavorful treats made from high-quality ingredients including real lamb, cinnamon, and apples.

The all-natural premium ingredients are loaded with essential nutrients that will keep your dog in the best shape. This serves as the perfect reward for your dog with a health condition.

15. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz with Oatmeal, Pearled Barley & Ocean Fish Meal Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 18% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Oatmeal, 2. Pearled Barley, 3. Peas, 4. Ocean Fish Meal, 5. Dried Eggs

This Solid Gold holistic food is a low protein option suitable for dogs with a sensitive stomach. The diet isn’t only great for maintaining gut health, but the delectable flavors ensure your dog makes the smoothest transition to this new low protein food. The limited proteins are based on ocean fish meal, and the recipe includes a variety of healthy whole grains to offer the best nutrition for your pooch to recover and live and healthy life. Since the diet is rich in fiber, it supports healthy digestion and gives your paw-tner the nutrition they deserve.

Designed for senior dogs, this low protein formula can be served to adult dogs if they are recommended a low protein diet due to any health condition. Provide this holistic dry food from Solid gold and keep your furry buddy going strong!

16. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 7% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Barley, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Chicken Meal

Another Blue Buffalo diet on the list, and for all the right reasons! If you have a large or giant breed dog, this low protein diet is best for them. The special formula contains a precise blend of nutrients based on real meat, garden veggies and fruits, whole grains, and the special LifeSource Bits. This ensures that your pooch gets all the essential nutrients and antioxidants he needs to stay active and thrive. This low protein recipe contains 20% protein and chondroitin, and glucosamine for improved mobility and joint health.

And that’s not all. This complete and balanced nutrition also ensures your dog’s best body conditions by taking care of your big fella’s coat and skin with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The poultry-free diet does not contain common allergens such as corn, wheat, and soy.  

17. Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 18% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 5%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whole Grain Corn, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Pork Fat, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Soybean Mill Run

Weak bladder health is one reason why a vet would recommend a low protein diet for your dog. This Hill’s Prescription Diet provides urinary care to your dog and caters to their low protein and high nutrition requirements to stay healthy and active. Regardless of their health condition, this chicken-based food has only 18% protein that can keep the health problems from becoming more serious.

The recipe contains clinically proven nutrition especially formulated to support your furry buddy’s bladder and urinary function. It contains a precise blend of essential minerals and vitamins to take care of your dog’s overall system and wellbeing. To give this diet to your beloved pooch, you must seek veterinarian authorization beforehand.

18. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 18% | Fat (min.) 11% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Whole Grain Sorghum

If you have a tiny little breed, Hill’s Science Diet’s low protein recipe is an excellent choice. Help your dog recover with this nutritious diet that has limited high-quality protein. The recipe is crafted to support the mobility and vitality of small and toy breed dogs. Your dog deserves the best nutrition to feel healthy and happy again, and this recipe is designed to help you with that. It contains clinically proven antioxidants with essential vitamins that strengthen the immune system.

All the ingredients in this clinically proven recipe are high quality, natural, and easy to digest. This recipe is also rich in fiber to help with easy digestion. The crunchy dry dog food is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

19. Milk-Bone Original Medium Biscuit Dog Treats

Protein (min.) 15% | Fat (min.) 5% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 12%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Wheat Flour, 2. Wheat Bran, 3. Meat and Bone Meal, 4. Milk, 5. Wheat Germ

The wholesome goodness of these dog snacks will have your furry friend keep wagging his tail! If your dog is recommended a low protein diet, you must find a suitable treat with controlled protein levels to keep everything in check. This tasty treat has a crunchy taste and the right texture to keep your dog’s teeth clean. The recipe contains essential nutrients, including twelve minerals and vitamins to give your boy some supplementary nutrition for maintaining great shape and health.

Your dog will really appreciate these whole tasty treats!

20. Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 9% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Ground Whole Grain Corn, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate), 3. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, 4. Ground Whole Grain Barley, 5. Chicken

This weight control formula by Iams helps keep your pal’s weight in check and helps them recover from other health problems by limiting protein and sodium. The scrumptious diet has 22% protein that’s based on real farm-raised chicken. Other high-quality ingredients are packed with essential nutrients such as L-carnitine, chondroitin, and glucosamine to support healthy metabolism and help maintain your fella’s bone and joint health.

This special recipe is formulated for large and giant breed dogs with less than 17% fat to help with weight control and management. To top that, this recipe offers 100% premium nutrition without any fillers, allergens, flavors, or preservatives.  

Buyer’s Guide

Why Feed a Low Protein Diet to Dogs

As much as animal nutritionists emphasize the importance of feeding a protein-rich diet to your dog, there are misconceptions that high protein levels can cause liver damage. And while that’s not true, in a normal scenario, a dog owner should be more concerned about meeting their dog’s minimum protein requirement instead of getting worried about feeding too much of it.

That being said, some medical conditions require a low protein diet to help your dog recover and keep the condition from worsening. Dogs that are diagnosed with kidney or liver problems are recommended to eat limited protein. Since these organs are responsible for protein digestion, consuming less protein reduces the workload for these organs, allowing faster recovery.

On the other hand, you should also limit phosphorous in your dog’s diet to manage liver and kidney diseases more efficiently. At the same time, you also need to make sure that your dog is getting some protein – preferably high-quality and based on meat – to keep them from losing muscle mass. A diet that’s too low in protein can also cause health problems since it is the most essential nutrient to keep the body functioning.

Switching to a low protein dog food has to be permanent since most liver and kidney diseases are chronic. In case your vet has recommended a low protein diet due to bladder stones, urate bladder stones, or other urinary tract problems, you can go back to your dog’s old diet once the condition gets better.

Always consult your vet for guidance regarding your dog’s health condition and diet when in doubt.

Also check out this video to learn everything about kidney failure and kidney diseases in canines:

Benefits of a Low Protein Dog Food

For dogs with health conditions, low protein dog foods can provide a host of benefits.

  • Lower protein means lower toxins in the body, which can help with digestive problems and reduce the workload on the kidney.
  • Less protein content helps manage the inflammatory problems in the kidneys by reducing the production of toxins.
  • If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, a low protein diet can help diminish anxiety and similar symptoms.
  • In case of liver problems, it is easier for dogs to digest food with less protein.
  • Other than kidney and liver diseases, protein-controlled diets also work for conditions like glomerulonephritis, encephalopathy, and deterrence of urinary stones.
  • Low protein consumption reduces or alleviates the symptoms associated with organ disorders
  • It also helps reduce or eliminate certain stones or crystals that may compromise urinary bladder function

Health Problems That Call For a Low Protein Dog Diet

Let’s get into the detail of the common health conditions that may require your dog to take a low protein diet:

Renal Failure

To understand why you need to limit protein in your dog’s diet in case of renal failure, it is important to understand what renal failure is. It is a kidney condition where the organ can no longer perform its basic function of removing waste and filtering blood while producing urine. Since it cannot remove metabolic wastes – especially the waste resulting from protein metabolism – leads to higher blood urea nitrogen. By feeding protein-rich food to your dog, you can increase the risk of accumulating more nitrogenous waste in the blood, causing more health complications.

There are many reasons why your dog suffered renal failure, such as genetic abnormalities, Lyme disease, chronic gastrointestinal disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension.

Check out this video to learn more about Lyme disease in dogs:

Liver Disease

Liver disease has the basic function of processing toxins. In case the liver function is compromised, it fails to process different toxins in the body. Again, the culprit here is the nitrogenous waste material that comes from protein. Limiting protein can reduce the nitrogenous waste and put lesser load on the liver. This can also help reduce the toxins in the blood.

Protein-Losing Nephropathy

While PLN isn’t renal failure itself, it is a disease that can cause rapid-advancing of renal failure. In this condition, the kidney’s filtering mechanism is damaged, creating a hole in the mesh bag and allowing large protein molecules to pass through. A low protein diet can help dogs recover from this condition.

Bladder Stones

Out of all the urinary bladder stones, urate crystals respond best to low protein diets, especially those that contain acidifiers. The switch is only temporary and your dog can continue eating protein-rich food once the crystals are dissolved.

Choosing The Best Low Protein Dog Food – Key Features to Look For

High-Quality Protein

Regardless of the protein content, you should always opt for an option that contains high-quality animal protein. As compared to plant-based protein, animal proteins are easier to digest and are efficiently absorbed by cells. This keeps the protein from being wasted.

Consider Minimum Crude Protein Quantity

As mentioned earlier, reducing protein doesn’t mean eliminating it completely. Good low-protein dog food should have at least 15% crude protein. This is the dry matter weight that’s often mentioned on the label. For the wet food, you need to compute on your own by subtracting the moisture percentage from 100%.

For example, if the moisture content is 80% and the protein is 10%, subtracting 80 from 100 will give you 20. Now divide 10% by 20% to get 50%. This means that the actual protein content in the wet dog food is 50% and not 10% printed on the label.

Balanced Diet

Other than limiting protein, you must ensure that the food you choose is a well-balanced meal with all essential nutrients derived from high-quality ingredients. Do not fill the protein shortage with more fat. A balanced meal will comprise of protein, veggies, fruits, and wholesome grains.  


Since protein is responsible for the scrumptious flavor in most conventional dog foods, some low protein options can be bland. Look for a palatable option to make the transition easier. It’s a good idea to let your dog try a few different foods before finding the one he enjoys the most.


What percentage is considered a low-protein diet?

A low protein diet or prescription food should contain between 15% and 22% protein element. In severe cases, this can be reduced down to 5% to 10% to provide proper health care to your dog.  

Can my adult dog eat a senior dog food with less protein?

Most dog foods designed for senior dogs contain less protein keeping their reduced activity level in mind. These diets work well for adult dogs with a health condition. You can choose a low protein senior diet for your adult dog in that case. However, it is best to seek your vet’s approval before doing so.

What types of proteins are healthy for dogs?

Regardless of the amount of protein element you should feed your dog, the best kind of protein for your canine buddy comes from animals like chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, eggs, duck, fish, and venison. These are healthier and easier for your dog to digest.