Low Phosphorus Dog Food: Top 5 Recommendations That Are Actually Yummy in 2021

Low Phosphorus Dog Food Top 5 Recommendations That Are Actually Yummy

There is nothing worse than seeing your puppy suffer from an illness, and it is especially hard when the problem causing the pain is internal, as you will not be able to treat it directly. This is exactly the case with kidney disease in canines, as there is little treatment except to give your pet some good puppy food that is low in phosphorous, but that still has all the necessary high-quality protein that your dog would need to stay strong and active.

Low phosphorous dog food it a relatively new invention as all meat is naturally rich in phosphorous, and it is one of the elements that are necessary for the growth of all mammals, including both humans and dogs. Humans might have a slightly easier time in this regard as we can consume various vegetables and grain that would balance out our diet, but dogs are at a disadvantage, as they still need some protein and can develop intolerance to grains such as wheat, corn, or soy. This is why it is important to find the specific dog food that has been specially made to contain lower quantities of phosphorous but still has an adequate concentration of protein. This is not an easy feat to manage, as this would mean reducing the level of said phosphorous or using somewhat unusual protein sources such as duck or shrimp, which would still need to be separated from excess protein.

Using these meats has an additional problem, as there are inadequate levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in these foods, as they cannot contain salmon or sardines, which are both very Ph abundant. Due to this fact, low phosphorous dog food needs to be supplemented with both fatty acids, but also vitamins, and other minerals.

Thankfully, there are multiple options on the market for you to choose from, as well as some that are particularly yummy for your furry companion to feast upon, either until their kidneys become better or to make their old age much more comfortable and active.

Why is Phosphorus in Food?

Although phosphorous is often neglected as an essential mineral, especially compared to potassium and sodium, it is one of the base elements, and it is used to enable photosynthesis, plant respiration, and cell division in both plants and animals. Similar to sodium, it is vital for the survival of living beings, and the only reason why these elements are not more valuable than gold is that they are so plentiful on Earth.

Most plant leaves have a lot of phosphorous, and as such, this element is transferred to animals that eat those plants, which then become the source for carnivorous species, such as dogs or cats. Herbivores usually have the digestions and filtration systems in place to prevent any issues caused by minerals often found in plants, but species with different diets are not so lucky and can overwork their kidneys as to excrete excess phosphorus.

The biggest problem for feeding out pets in this regard is the fact that animals which have Ph-rich plant-based diets, such as fish that eat algae, are also rich in essential fatty acids that are highly beneficial to other species. Different to what Disney’s ‘’The Lion King” has thought us, the circle of life is not as much a circle as it is a cogwheel and one that should be oiled regularly.

Issues with High-Phosphorous Food

The biggest problem with high-phosphorous food for dogs is that canine kidney cannot process as much phosphorous and sodium as it is found in most pet food. This condition is often promoted by genetics, but can just be a mechanical issue with the organ where there is just too much of some element, leading to medical problems and even kidney failure. The symptoms exhibited when such a problem occurs are somewhat similar to food allergies, as the dog will start acting exhausted, will not want to eat, and will sometimes have hurdles going to the bathroom, even when the bathroom is the park.

Kidney-friendly diet formerly included a very lengthy process of introducing raw foods with limited ingredients to the dog’s meals, which would usually include deboned chicken and none of the chicken by-products. Even this solution doesn’t come without additional problems, as placing only chicken as the common protein can cause food allergies in dogs. If the issue is not treated in time, and adequate food is introduced into the dog’s diet, the build-up of toxic substances not filtrated by the kidneys can lead to the creation of kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, but also Alzheimer’s disease and even heart disease.

Thankfully, there are multiple options on the market depending on the stage of the problem, as between dry food and canned food, as well as some raw frozen options, it is certain that you will be able to find a low-phosphorus diet that will be nourishing as well as beneficial to your canine companion.

If Your Dog is a Picky Eater

When buying specific dog food, two scenarios are very common. The first is that to you the dry dog food or kibble smells delicious but that your dog wouldn’t even touch it, and the other is that the food smell appalling to your senses but that the dog just loves it. Obviously, this is due to the dog’s nose being much more precise to the contents of the food than our own, and you should never force your dog to eat any food that it doesn’t want to, regardless whether it is kibble or canned food.

If you havea dog that is exceptionally picky when they eat, providing that they are not just overfed, you will need to provide them with foods that would be exceptionally tasty for them. They will always be able to sense what is inside the food and if it contains the right nutrients and ingredients that they need. If they have any kidney issues, they will only approach low-phosphorous or low-sodium meals, as they will sense that these are good for them.

Additionally, you will need to make sure that your dog doesn’t have any food allergies or an autoimmune disease, as this can confuse the symptoms creating further issues down the line. Make sure that your dog indeed has a kidney issue and should have this type of diet, as well as test the dog for allergies and other problems, so that you can feed them the best possible food for their particular needs.

What are the Yummy Options?

There are multiple options on the market, and while any specialized dog food is usually not very easy on the budget, there are ways to go around this with supplements and additional raw food that can be alternated with the dry dog food or canned one. Kibble is probably the best budget option, but that type of meal should often be supplemented with vitamins and minerals, as well as with omega 3 and omega 6 oils, commonly referred as fish oil, as to help with the dog’s digestion and fur quality.

1. Purina Veterinary Canine NF

Veterinary Diets Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food, 6 lb
  • Complete and balanced formula for adult dogs
  • Therapeutic diet for dogs with acute and chronic kidney disease

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purina is a well-known company that has a wide variety of choices when it comes to dog food, and they have one of the best options when it comes to kibble that is low in phosphorous. This formula is recommended for senior dogs that need specialized diets due to age more so than due to genetics but can be used in both cases.

Additionally, this dry dog food contains quite a bit of omega fatty acids, which means that you will not need to supplement any. 

Intended for: Adult dogs & senior dogs


  • Specialized for kidneys
  • Good therapy for chronic kidney disease
  • Budget-friendly
  • Has a good odor


  • Not a good source of novel protein
  • Not recommended for younger dogs due to protein amount 

2. Blue Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support for Dogs 6Lbs
  • Controlled levels of protein to help manage kidney workload.
  • Controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium to help support kidney health.

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Blue Buffalo truly has a wide variety of products with most containing novel protein and enough vitamins and minerals, and thankfully they have this one that lacks one mineral, namely phosphorous.  It can be used for dogs of all sizes and ages, as the formula is very balanced. This kibble is completely free of grain such as corn, soy, or wheat, and should probably be one of the first choices when your dog starts exhibiting any kidney issues.

Intended for: All dogs


  • Balanced formula
  • No grain
  • Controlled protein levels
  • Suitable for all dogs


  • Price is known to fluctuate greatly, so be careful not to overpay
  • Some supplementation will be needed

3. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Renal Health Canned Dog Food (12 13-oz cans)
  • Reduced phosphorus to help maintain healthy kidney function
  • Reduced levels of protein to help reduce kidney workload

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is probably the manufacturer when it comes to prescription diets that are acceptable for most dogs, which is why it takes more than half of the real-estate on this list. This particular product is particularly important because it is wet food, and because it has all the necessary vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the dog.

While definitely not a budget option, this canned food meant for renal health can be a good option to treat your dog to some tasty wet food if the only thing they get is kibble.

Intended for: All dogs


  • Very low in phosphorous
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich in B-complex vitamins
  • No supplementation needed


  • Very pricey
  • Not a source of novel protein            

4. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food 5.5 oz
  • Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food 24/5.5 oz

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yet another exceptional product from Hill’s, and yet another one that will give considerable relief to your dog, as well as a substantial dent in your budget. If you are in time for sale, this will be the best low-phosphorous food that you can find, but it is impossible to recommend such a pricey option for regular use.

Otherwise, this 5.5 oz. can of wet dog food has everything that a dog with kidney issues need, as it has both low phosphorous levels, low sodium levels, controlled protein content, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3. It is also rich in fiber due to a significant vegetable content making it one of the best formulae found to this day.

Intended for: All dogs


  • Great balance in every way
  • Rich in all the needed nutrients
  • Safe for all breeds of dogs


  • Exceptionally expensive
  • A single can will not be enough food for a large dog 

5. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Canine Renal Health

Hill'S Prescription Diet K/D Canine Renal Health - 35Lb
  • Reduced phosphorus to help maintain healthy kidney function
  • Reduced levels of protein to help reduce kidney workload

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

And finally a budget-friendly dry dog food option from Hill’s, that may not look as tasty but still have all the vitamins and minerals, as well as omega 3. This kibble is a go-to option for most owners who have pets with kidney issues, as it has significantly reduced levels of phosphorous and sodium, as well as a controlled level of high-quality protein that will give your dog energy without putting a strain on their kidneys.

Additionally, this dry food has increased levels of vitamins B-12 and B-6 that will compensate the ones lost due to the canine organs being overworked.

Intended for: All dogs


  • Controlled protein content
  • Reduced levels of phosphorous and sodium
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Contains additional vitamins


  • Not a good source of novel protein 

Phosphorous Content in Meat

To understand proper canine nutrition for dogs that have kidney issues, it is important to know the quantities of phosphorous found in different types of meat. Depending on your situation, this can prove to be a cheap way to add some raw options to your dog’s diet, as well as to know what to avoid in general. The good thing is that what we usually consider to be novel protein is generally found in meat that is low in phosphorous. This way you can prevent both allergies and other issues, as well as give your pet a tasty treat from time to time.

The most phosphorous rich food is the liver of all animals, with beef liver leading the list with 108 milligrams of this substance per ounce. On the other side, meats such as bison have half of that with only 54 mg per ounce.

The most phosphorous-scarce type of protein is shrimp, but it is also the type of food that is both expensive and hard to come by as dog food, as well as being relatively rich in sodium which is not ideal.

When considering raw treats as well as dog food in general, make sure that the contents are based either in ground chicken, wild duck, or turkey, as these are the most common ingredients that will be low in phosphorous. 


Having a dog with kidney disease is not easy, and we do not like seeing our furry companions have any pain and discomfort, especially when we cannot observe the process of healing. Issues like chronic kidney disease cannot be treated surgically or directly. You will need to let your dog heal themselves by providing them with adequate food that will help with this issue. This process is lengthy and can be heavy on the budget sometimes, but thrifty dog owners can find a way to mix kibble and canned food that is low in phosphorous with specific raw food that will not harm the pup.

While there is no such thing as the perfect type of dog food for every owner, the list above will give you an overview of really tasty foods that will help your canine’s problems, as well as make they happy to eat some high-quality food.

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