Dog Food With Low Phosphorus


Phosphorus is an important nutrient for your dog. It helps with normal growth and development, metabolism, and energy production. But it can also cause kidney damage if consumed in excess. The amount of phosphorus in commercial dog food depends on the brand, but it’s generally safe to assume that the more expensive the food, the higher the phosphorus level will be.

The good news is that there are ways to choose foods with lower phosphorus levels. Here’s how:

  1. Find out what kind of phosphorous your dog needs by checking his or her blood work results from a veterinarian or animal hospital. This will tell you whether your dog needs a high-phosphorous diet or a low-phosphorous diet.
  2. Look for foods made specifically for large breeds—they usually have lower levels of phosphorus than other types of food because large dogs need less phosphorus than smaller dogs do.
  3. Consider switching to raw food if your vet recommends this option—raw diets tend to have lower levels of phosphorous than processed foods do due to their fresh ingredients and lack of preservatives (which add extra salt and sugar).

Dog Food With Low Phosphorus

Just like humans, a dog’s kidneys play a vital role in their overall health. Unfortunately, research shows that approximately 10 percent of geriatric dogs suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can manifest as significant weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, and more. 

Kidney disease should always be taken seriously, and there are several things that you can do to help your dog’s kidney health. Monitoring your dog’s phosphorus intake is one of them, and some veterinarians may recommend a low phosphorus dog food. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Phosphorus?

Dog head tilted wondering what is low phosphorus dog food

Phosphorus is a mineral that is essential in the formation of strong bones and teeth. Because of this, it’s often found in commercially prepared diets for dogs. It also helps regulate the body’s pH level and maintain hydration. 

In dog food, phosphorus is often found “combined with either sodium or calcium, in the form of calcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, and sodium phosphate,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC’s chief veterinary officer.

What is Low Phosphorus Dog Food?

A dog food that’s low in phosphorus will be made with less than 0.4 percent phosphorus. Regular dog food, in contrast, may contain as much as 3 percent phosphorus. Too much phosphorus in your dog’s food can lead to kidney problems or bladder stones over time, says Dr. Klein. 

“Regarding regular dog food, young dogs and small breeds need between 0.6 and 1.3 percent phosphorus,” he added. “Larger breeds of dogs need between 0.7 and 1 percent phosphorus, depending on their age and activity level.”

If a veterinarian has recommended a low-phosphorus diet, that means that your pet must stay below a certain amount of phosphorus daily. “This includes food and treats,” says Dr. Marcy McKeithen, The Motor City Pet Doc. “If one switches to a low phosphorus dog food, but still gives treats that are high in phosphorus, this will add to the daily phosphorus intake, which would be counterintuitive.” 

Why Dogs May Need Low Phosphorus Dog Food

Cute dog smiling with a happy face

The main reason your veterinarian may recommend a low phosphorus dog food is its impact on kidney health.

How Low Phosphorus Dog Food Helps Dogs With Kidney Disease

Veterinarians often recommend a diet change as a first step after a pet has been diagnosed with changes in kidney function. Kidney changes are typically detected through abnormalities in blood or urine values when evaluated by a veterinarian. 

“Research has shown that adjusting certain factors in foods can provide significant benefits to a dog or cat in terms of improving their clinical condition by reducing the workload on the kidneys and decreasing the levels of toxins in the bloodstream,” says Dr. Klein. 

In fact, the formation of specialized dog foods in recent years for dogs and cats with kidney issues has had a significant and positive impact on their health and quality of life, Dr. Klein adds. “A change in diet is almost universally recommended by veterinarians as an essential part of the treatment regime.”  

Best Low Phosphorus Dog Foods

You should never change your dog’s diet—especially to a low-phosphorus food—without consulting your veterinarian. If you’ve decided together that a low phosphorus diet might be right for your dog, the following are some good options to discuss.

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Dog Food

Buy at AmazonBuy at PetCareRX

This prescription dog food option was specially formulated by veterinary experts with your pet’s kidney needs in mind.


  • Prescription food formulated by nutritionists and veterinarians
  • Clinically proven to enhance quality of life
  • Made with controlled phosphorus and low sodium for optimal kidney and heart care

Things to Consider

  • The price point on this product is on the higher side
  • You’ll need veterinarian approval to purchase

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support A Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support A Dry Dog Food

Buy at AmazonBuy at Petco

The “A” in this food option stands for “aromatic.” The goal of this food is to help stimulate your dog’s senses and help with their appetite. 


  • Nutrient-dense food packs a punch with smaller portions, which might help if your dog is suffering from a decreased appetite due to kidney issues
  • A veterinarian-approved combination of fish oil, low phosphorus, and targeted protein levels help support overall kidney function

Things to Consider:

  • As a prescription diet, you will need veterinarian approval to purchase
  • There are multiple versions of the Royal Canin Renal Food for dogs, differentiated by letters. Make sure to pay attention when ordering to avoid choosing the wrong food for your dog.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food

Buy at AmazonBuy at Walmart

This low phosphorus dog food from Purina also has a restricted amount of protein to help support kidney function in dogs. It was formulated by veterinarians, nutritionists and researchers and has less than 0.4% phosphorus. 


  • Formulated by veterinarians and pet nutritionists
  • Available in a wet and a dry version
  • Dry food is available in 3 different bag sizes

Things to Consider

  • You will need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase this food
  • The kibble is a bit large, so may be tough for smaller dogs to eat

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Dry Dog Food

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

Buy at AmazonBuy at Petco

With both a wet and dry option, this grain-free Blue Buffalo food allows you to switch up any dog’s diet to a low-phosphorus dog food with ease. It is a prescription diet, so it will require your veterinarian’s authorization to purchase. 


  • Made with real chicken
  • Enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for additional kidney support
  • Contains no chicken by-products, corn, wheat or soy, and there are no artificial flavors or preservatives

Things to Consider

  • You’ll need veterinarian approval to purchase
  • It is a grain-free formula
  • The kibble size may be too large for some very small dogs and toy breeds

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Bland Chicken and Rice Canned Dog Food

Dave's Pet Food Restricted Bland Chicken & Rice Canned Dog Food

Buy at Amazon

This low-phosphorus dog food was made with your dog’s ultimate digestion needs in mind, with a real focus on sensitivities and allergies. This is a good non-prescription option, but you should speak to your veterinarian if you’re interested in trying this food. 


  • Single-source of animal protein—real chicken—and easily-digestible rice should help satiate even the most sensitive stomach
  • Enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to provide a balanced diet, while still excluding artificial flavors and colors, wheat, and wheat-gluten
  • You don’t need veterinarian approval to order this food

What to consider:

  • The bland taste might not be for every dog

Low Phosphorus Dog Food Buying Guide

Dog eating out of dog bowl happily

When considering a low phosphorus food for your dog, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Remember that most dogs do not need a low phosphorus diet, especially puppies, says Dr. Klein. 

With that in mind, if you are switching to a low phosphorus food, Dr. Klein suggests looking for options that are moderate in protein, sodium, and phosphorus, and that promote healthy kidney function, contain antioxidants like vitamin C and E, and include omega-3 fatty acids. 

Some of the things that make a low phosphorus food optimal for a dog with kidney issues might not be beneficial for a healthy dog. Two key differences between regular and low phosphorus food to keep in mind include:

Low-quantity, high-quality protein content: Special renal diets contain less protein than regular foods, but the protein used in them is typically of higher quality than in a normal diet. “Many of the toxic waste products that the kidneys remove from the bloodstream are the result of protein breakdown,” says Dr. Klein. “Less protein in the diet means a reduced amount of waste for the kidneys to process.”

Restricted phosphate content: Reduced phosphate content in low phosphorus dog food formulas will help to protect the kidneys from further damage, thereby slowing the progression of kidney disease. “Restricting the dietary phosphate content also helps to reduce the incidence of calcification of various body tissues, including the kidneys,” says Dr. Klein.

Precautions When Feeding Low Phosphorus Dog Food

Dogs just starting to have mild changes in kidney function may see benefits with certain over-the-counter foods, while dogs with more serious issues—like kidney failure—may require a prescription diet. 

“Some devoted owners also cook for their dog, but this should only be done with the assistance of a board-certified veterinarian nutritionist working with your veterinarian to ensure the diet is properly balanced and will be beneficial and not cause side effects,” says Dr. Klein.

how to calculate phosphorus in dog food

It’s not hard to figure out phosphorus levels with this information; only read the ingredients carefully. Calcium, phosphorus, and protein information are indicated on the labels of these foods. A dog with kidneys should eat certain food. Foods high in phosphorus should not be given to dogs with kidney disease and foods high in protein should not be eaten.

How Much Phosphorus Is Allowed On A Renal Diet For Dogs?

A urine examination of dogs with CKD suggests 0 should produce the recommended phosphorus content. 2-0. The inability to obtain these levels of phosphorus without restricting protein content is the result of phosphorus being linked to its protein content.

What Dog Foods Are Low In Phosphorus?

The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet by Blue Buffalo is Kansas.As part of the Forza10 Nutraceutic Actiwet renal support wet dog food series, urine is used in making it.With Kidney Restore Dog Treats, dogs become healthier.

What Is The Correct Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio For Dogs?

Calcium and sodium probiotics are prevalent in adult dog foods near the 1:1 ratio. Calcium and Phosphorous, though, are needed differently when growing bones than when it comes to calcium and phosphorus due to their unique requirements as structural elements.

What Foods Are Low In Phosphorus For Dogs?

It is natural that some sources of protein including sardines and beef have high phosphorus contents. Fattier meats such as duck and turkey contain less phosphorus, too. The same type of diets that require a high carbohydrate content or a low phosphorus content might also benefit from quinoa.

How Is Phosphorus Measured In Food?

Analyzing the total phosphorus content in food requires UV–Vis spectrophotometry. In the absence of nutrients in a sample, pH values are converted to inorganic acidity or ashing digestion to form ions [3,4, 5].

What Dog Food Contains Phosphorus?

Best ValueDave’s Pet Food Restricted DietCheck Latest Price
Premium ChoiceHill’s Prescription Diet Kidney CareCheck Latest Price
Natural Balance Original UltraCheck Latest Price
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney FunctionCheck Latest Price

How Much Phosphorus Is Too Much For Dogs With Kidney?

When is the Best pH to High Dog Foods? Although some dog foods are formulated with ingredients that can lower phosphorus naturally, others often contain as much as 2 – 4% phosphorus. In dogs with kidney issues, which should be food with an amount less than ten grammes, this is too high of a fat-containing food. phosphorus to 40% in the form of ketones.

What Percentage Is Considered Low Phosphorus In Dog Food?

is considered low phosphorus n phosphorus in dog food? The amount of phosphorus in a food is an indicator as to whether it is low phosphorus. As a general rule, the calcium should not exceed 1%.

Is Phosphorus Good For Dogs With Kidney Disease?

There has been research showing dietary phosphorus restriction to be an effective treatment for the progression ofrenal failure in dogs. As one aspect of kidneys dialysis, it is vital to normalize blood phosphorus concentrations. These changes can be minimized or prevented as a result of decreasing hyperphosphatemia.

How Much Phosphorus Should Be In Dog Food?

Animals may consume 22 daily recommended intakes per year on average. Every day, the person consumes about 25 milligrams of phosphorus per kilogram of body weight. The basic minimum amount of grain in food for young dogs and small breed dogs is 0. 6% and 1. When it comes to the amount of phosphorus in the water, 3.0% belongs to our country. Between 0 and 0 is needed for large, bigger breeds, like Labs. An estimated 7% to 1% of people engage in physical activity, while 2% are sedentary.

What Dog Food Is Low In Protein And Phosphorus?

Dog food from Royal Canin containing hydrolyzed protein at moderate calorie levels that is good for a variety of lifestyles. According to Royal Canin, this nonprescription formula formulated for dogs has the ideal levels of phosphorus for optimal kidney health, as well as many other ingredients.

Is Dog Food High In Phosphorus?

Dogs and small breeds usually need about 0.83 cups of dog food a week. 6% and 1. When a certain amount of phosphorus is consumed, this rate is 3%. For dogs larger than Lab heights, the requirement is as high as 0. The average for women is 7% and 1%, depending on their age and level of involvement.

What Canned Dog Food Is Best For Kidney Disease?

When it comes to dog food, best overall to deal with kidney disease in dogs, Hill’s Prescription Diet is no exception.Diet that contains Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Minerals and Water Kansas…The Purina Pro Plan is a vegetarian diet formulated for pet owners…We can use Royal Canin veterinary diet to treat urological conditions…There’s no such thing as a dry one to relieve constipation with Hill’s (canned) Diet K/D…Pet food product of the week is Purina Pro Plan Venary Diets NF (Canned).

How Can I Lower My Dogs Phosphorus Levels?

Medications, including dextrose, insulin, aluminum hydroxide, and calcium carbonate, are frequently IV fluided that can reduce phosphorus buildup in the dog’s body. phosphate binders are commonly used orally to treat dogs experiencing chronic elevations in blood phosphorus levels.

How Much Calcium And Phosphorus Does A Large Breed Puppy Need?

Calcium Content is a vital ingredient of growth 3 large breed puppies that need at least 2 grams of calcium a month. 0 to 4. A 1000-calorie diet of calcium provides 5 grams per unit. 5 to 4. Amount of phosphorus consumed in 1000 calories of 0 g. The calcium-phosphorus ratio is 1:1 to 1. 8:1.

How Much Calcium Should A Dog Have?

To ensure that adult dogs do not become overweight, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that they consume at least one drink a day. The amount of calcium in this 25 mg cup of soda is 1 gram. You will get 25 grams for every 1,000 kcal burnt. The size and weight of your pet will factor into the need for calories a day, so calcium will be determined by the amount.

Is Calcium Phosphorus Good For Dogs?

It is important for dog owners to make sure their animals are fed enough phosphorus and calcium each day. In order to have just a little bit more calcium than phosphorus in an egg, that ratio should be about 1:1. A growing dog needs to acquire this from a young age.

Watch How To Calculate Phosphorus Levels In Dog Homemade Dog Food Video

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