8 Best Low Protein Dog Foods In 2022

This is our review of the best low-protein dog food in 2022.

When the vet tells you that you want to change your pet’s diet to be low in protein, the questions start to arise: what is a very low protein meal, where can you eat it? buy, will your pup enjoy it, how low protein the diet should be and much more. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the protein diet for puppies.

A low protein diet for dogs is often recommended when pets have a health condition that affects the liver or kidneys, or if they have a special type of kidney stone.

If you want to learn more about the best low-protein dog foods, then you’ve come to the right place. 

We will feature one of the top 10 picks in the industry. In addition, we will show you how to use this type of food effectively.

Low-protein dog food is proven to improve the health of dogs with pancreatitis or kidney failure, for example.

8 Best Low Protein Dog Foods Reviewed

All of these dog food formulas meet the AAFCO recommended daily nutrient profiles for dogs. Always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

1. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Dog Food

Main features –

Top 5 ingredientsBrown Rice, Brewers Rice, Pork Fat,
Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • Hill’s PRESCRIPTION DIET k / d original dog food is a complete dietetic food to support kidney function in case of acute or chronic kidney failure in adult dogs. This diet food has a low phosphorus content and a restricted level of high-quality protein.
  • When dogs have kidney tissue damage, their kidneys cannot function as they used to. The condition is not reversible, but progression can be slowed.
  • Diet foods for kidney disease are designed to help reduce the workload on the kidneys, allowing them to function more effectively. Dogs with impaired kidney function may experience a loss of appetite and food intake may decrease.
  • Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed Hill’s Prescription Diet k / d Clinical Nutrition to protect your dog’s vital kidney function, increase appetite and increase food intake. 
  • This food is dry and has an irresistible taste that your dog will love. In fact, Prescription Diet k / d is a food clinically proven to improve and extend the quality of life.

2. Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Main features –

FlavorLamb & Brown Rice
Top 5 ingredientsLamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal,
Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • Made from Organic Balance, an American pet food company headquartered in Burbank, Los Angeles. 
  • It contains bison as the main source of protein while limiting carbohydrate sources, which may be an attractive attribute for many owners whose dogs react negatively to ingredients such as cornmeal and wheat.
  •  It includes bison, sweet potatoes, potato protein, and salmon oil, all of which are great nutritious foods for your pet. Plus, it’s also full of amino acids and free of additives, so it’s great for adult dogs.
  • According to reviews, it’s ideal for dogs with skin allergies, which can be triggered by foods such as soy, which specific low-protein dog foods contain, so it’s a legitimate choice.
  •  Additionally, customers vouch for the weight reduction properties, which makes it ideal for chubby dogs. 
  • Still, it’s worth mentioning that they are changing ownership to Purina, and so, the formulation has changed, which disappointed some customers.

3. Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Dog Food

Main features –

Top 5 ingredients Brewers Rice, Chicken, Chicken Fat,
Egg Product, Soybean Meal
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • The liver is your dog’s largest internal organ with many functions including supporting metabolism, converting nutrients, removing toxic substances from the blood, and storing vitamins and minerals. 
  • Hill’s PRESCRIPTION DIET l / d original dog food is a complete dietetic food for dogs to support liver function in cases of chronic liver failure and to reduce the accumulation of copper in the liver in adult dogs. 
  • This dietetic food has a moderate content of selected, high-quality proteins, and a low level of copper.
  • This Diet helps to avoid nutritional deficiencies and excesses related to liver problems & Supports a healthy immune system
  • It contained S + OXSHIELD: Formulated to promote a urinary environment that reduces the risk of developing struvite crystals and calcium oxalate
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet l / d dry dog ​​food is a dietetic food that provides all the nutrition a dog needs. Please consult your veterinarian for more information on how our Prescription Diet foods can help a dog continue to enjoy a happy, active life.

4. Nutro Ultra Weight Management

Main features –

FlavorChicken, Lamb, Salmon
Top 5 ingredientsChicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum & Oats,
Whole Grain Brown Rice,
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • It is manufactured and designed by Nutro, a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated and it is located in Franklin, Tennessee. It is an excellent protein blend because it brings together high-quality resources, Poultry, salmon, and Lamb.
  • Additionally, they also consist of other foods such as sun-ripened blueberries, egg protein, and chia seeds. It is 100% free of corn, soy, wheat, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Her makeup is completely natural.
  • Based on owners, it is ideal for dogs with bladder problems and obesity, due to its high-quality protein and easily digestible food that provides optimal nutrition for the animal. 
  • Plus, according to reviews, most dogs love the taste of this kibble. In addition, the coating of dogs that consume this product becomes smarter and healthier, which may be due to the high-quality composition of the components
  • However, it should be noted that customers complain about the size of the kibble, which can be too small.

5. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

5 Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

Main features –

Flavor Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine
Top 5 ingredientsSalmon, Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Potatoes, Peas,
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • It is made by Holistic Select Natural Pet Food, a recognized pet food manufacturing company. 
  • Their formulation focuses on providing a balanced diet to a dog, to reduce gas, discomfort, and bloating, while helping in the treatment of conditions such as kidney disease.
  •  It features a grain-free formulation that uses poultry due to its primary protein intake, along with other foods such as legumes, lentils, and berries. Additionally, it is touted as a weight management food.
  • According to the owners, it does what it promises, as it is excellent for weight control, especially in large dogs. 
  • Plus, they also highlight their own ease of digestion, which is great for a dog with a sensitive stomach. But, you have to be aware that this is a noticeably high concentration of healthy food, which is a downside for some dogs.

6. IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food

Main features –

Top 5 ingredientsChicken, Corn, Sorghum,
Chicken By-Product Meal,
Dried Plain Beet Pulp,
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • It’s made and designed by Iams, a favorite brand owned by Spectrum Brands and Mars Inc. Worldwide. 
  • Its formulation uses genuine farm-raised chicken, to provide your dog with an excellent source of protein. 
  • It is 100 percent free of soy, wheat germ, and synthetic preservatives. It combines chicken with healthy grains and beet pulp to promote potency and ease digestion.
  • Customers say that its weight management properties live up to the hype and therefore it is ideal for chubby dogs. 
  • The flavor seems to be great as most dogs eat it without hesitation. Plus, it leaves their jacket looking radiant. But it was more expensive than usual.

7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

Main features –

FlavorChicken & Barley
Top 5 ingredientsChicken Meal, Barley, Brewers Rice, Wheat, Corn, 
Item FormDry
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • Hill’s ™ Science Plan ™ MEDIUM MATURE ADULT DOG FOOD with LAMB (8%) and RICE (6%) is a complete food for medium-sized dogs from 7 years of age.
  • Hill’s Science Plan Mature Adult Dog Food with Lamb & Rice is specifically formulated to support the immune system, digestive health, and the development of lean muscle mass in mature dogs.
  • This Diet contains Omega-6s & Vitamin E which are good for dog skin and coat health & as well as it has High-quality protein for lean muscle mass.
  • This diet is Not recommended for Puppies, pregnant and lactating bitches, and mature dogs. During pregnancy and lactation, bitches should switch to Hill’s Science Plan Puppy puppy food.

8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function Wet Dog Food

Main features –

Key Feature:Prescription kidney support in a low protein
Top 5 ingredientsWater for Processing, Meat By-Products,
Rice, Corn Grits, Beef
Item FormCanned
Breed RecommendationAll Breed Sizes

Reasons to suggest

  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function Wet Dog Food is a complete dietetic food to help manage dogs with Kidney diseases.
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function contains limited amounts of phosphorus as this mineral has been shown to contribute to disease progression. 
  • It also contains a low but high-quality protein content to minimize toxin formation while helping to maintain muscle mass.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids also help minimize glomerular hypertension and reduce kidney inflammation. 
  • Note that Canine NF Renal Function is not suitable for dogs that require high protein or phosphorus intakes such as pregnant bitches or growing puppies. 
  • It is recommended to seek the advice of the veterinarian before use and regarding the period of administration.

Things to Consider When Buying Low Protein Dog Food

Would you like to know if a low-protein dog food is a great option? If you want to assess the abundance of readily available low-protein kibble, make sure you use the standards below. The amount of protein included is clearly a must


Always read the ingredient list because quality is much better than quantity, especially if we are talking about a low percentage of protein. Since your dog will receive less food, it must be of high quality to maintain muscle mass and ensure optimal well-being.

Easy to digest and also to assimilate. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to assess the quality of the fats and carbs they contain, as well as potential additives and fillers (avoid at all costs).

Amount of Phosphorus

Another metric to look for is the level of phosphorus, as substantial levels of it can be questionable for dogs with particular conditions such as cardiovascular, kidney, and liver disease. Nevertheless, you should check that your selection of low-protein dog food also contains polyunsaturated vitamins, omega 3s (like fish oil), antioxidants, and amino acids, as these are important in counteracting low levels. calcium.

It is just one of the most significant metrics, as significant as protein percentage, as it has been shown to slow the development of kidney failure.

Appropriate Age

Age plays another determining function. Always make sure the formulation is right for your dog as it could be a mistake to feed your pet a dog food such as Royal Canin Veterinary Diet , which may be designed for adult dogs. Also, in the case of dogs, they need a higher protein ratio to ensure their optimal development.

Also, always check the ingredients list, to make sure it doesn’t include ingredients that could trigger reactions in your dog.


You should always select a flavor that your dog likes so that he can easily adapt to it and also avoid possible gastrointestinal upset. If your dog likes lamb, it makes sense to choose food like Premium Edge Lamb, Rice & Vegetables Dry Dog Food that uses it because of its primary source of animal protein.

Plus, it’s always worth reading taste testimonials, especially from owners who have fussy dogs, as it will give you a very clear idea of case your dog will like it or not.


Again, another reason why evaluating the ingredient list is essential since you want to make sure it contains all of the ingredients that your dog needs due to his treatment. In addition, you must ensure that each of the macronutrients has the maximum quality, to provide your dog with a balanced and complete diet.

Things to Understand

Ultimately, it’s worth trying to remember the following things when shopping for low-fat dog food to make sure you’re choosing the best for your pet.

1. Neutered and neutered dogs

Neutered and neutered dogs tend to gain weight due to their increased appetite and lack of action. For this reason, it’s best to choose a higher protein percentage (to satiate them) and also to select a food that helps with weight loss management, e.g. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, to control its own weight.

2. Breeds Prone to Allergies

Breeds like Cockers, Dalmatians, and Lhasa Apsos can be allergic to certain ingredients in low-protein dog food (like corn, soy, and wheat). So check the list of components. Some market product options are
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet and
Natural Balance Restricted Ingredient Diets.

3. Pregnant and nursing dogs

As stated earlier, pregnant and nursing dogs have higher nutritional needs that low-protein dog foods might not be able to provide. For this reason, it is far better to choose a standard protein percentage diet. The same is true for puppies. In summary, it would be a bad idea to feed your pet a low protein or low-fat diet during this phase.

4. Environmental Requirements

It is also very important to consider the environmental conditions because if your dog lives in the cold and must operate daily like a Husky in Alaska, you want to increase his source of protein, as well as the overall calorie content that your animal will have. need. a lot of energy. The same applies to the nutrition of sporting dogs.

What Are Low Protein Dog Foods?

Low protein dog food is dog food with a lower concentration of protein and a higher ratio of carbohydrates and fats. For example, most commercial pet foods contain an average of 25 percent protein, while low-protein variants contain around 10 to 12 percent.

They are not ideal for many dogs, which is why their use is recommended for dogs with specific conditions such as:

  • puppy pancreatitis,
  • kidney stones,
  • urinary problems,
  • liver disorder, or
  • kidney disorder.

Under these conditions, it can be extremely valuable to encourage the successful treatment of this disease to be combated.

When can I give your dog low-protein dog food?

We have already seen some conditions that require a change from the standard protein ratio to lower choices, but to know it properly you get a full explanation here.

Bipolar disorder

Your dog’s kidneys will need extra assistance to eliminate things like phosphorus, nitrogen, and creatinine which, when in high doses, can create electrolyte disturbances that are particularly harmful to creatures that suffer from this disease.

Also, it should be noted that in the vast majority of cases your vet will recommend wet food over dry food, as the former is much easier to digest and process.

Nutrients such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins are digested by dogs, but not everyone will be used. Raw foods and premium dog foods have greater bioavailability than cheap foods.

Kidney stones

Another common cause for feeding your dog a low-protein diet would be to eliminate kidney stones. Unlike CRF, the diet will be temporary until your pet has cleared all kidney stones. 

But, it should be remembered that a low carbohydrate diet is not an inherent reason for the abnormality, but the decrease in protein ratio helps in treatment (see research).

Liver Disease

Very similar to CRF, whenever your dog suffers from kidney disease, it is crucial to
reduce the suffering of this affected organ. as it is crucial to maintain muscle mass throughout the procedure. However, you should follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Protein content plays an extremely important role in low protein foods because you want to give your pet simple eating time. etc.


Another common reason owners opt for this type of diet is as a result of hyperactivity. However, it is more about this origin than the proportion of protein in the dog food, as long as the protein is of high quality and easily digestible, it shouldn’t interfere with your dog’s behavior.


Is a High Protein Diet Bad for Dogs?

It completely depends on the context. Really, it’s not exactly the same for a healthy, energetic dog versus an older dog with chronic kidney disease. 
Therefore, here you have the pros and cons.

What are the Benefits of a Low Protein Diet?

1. Ideal for dogs to grow and develop optimally.
2. ideal for pregnant dog mothers (essential for their best growth).
3. Better digestibility.
4. Controls your dog’s appetite so they feel fuller after a meal.

What are the Disadvantages of a low protein diet?

Additionally, it can lead to weight gain (as many high-protein dog foods contain low-quality protein resources that are also quite high in carbohydrates). This is a significant issue since 59% of dogs in the United States are overweight!

Could possibly be questionable for dogs with acute cases of kidney disease and liver disease, especially if protein quality is low (ex: corn, rice and wheat). 
Therefore, it is important to lower the ratio and increase the size (established meat; poultry, fowl, fish, etc.)

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