Top 10 Best Low Phosphorus Dog Food

Top 10 Best Low Phosphorus Dog Food

If your dog has kidney problems, they will likely require a low phosphorus food to keep them healthy, and the protein may also be restricted. Since this isn’t the type of food we normally need, it can be challenging to find a suitable brand your dog will eat that fits in your budget. You may also wonder about what ingredients the food should contain.

We’ve chosen 10 of the best low phosphorus foods for dogs to review for you so you can get an idea of what the differences are between brands. We’ll give you the pros and cons of each one and let you know what our dogs thought of them as well. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide where we describe what a low phosphorus dog food is and what makes one brand better than the next.

Join us while we look at phosphorus percentage, protein percentage, natural ingredients, and more to help you make an educated purchase.

The 10 Best Low Phosphorus Dog Foods

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Canned Dog Food – Best Value

Dave's Pet Food Restricted Diet

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Canned Dog Food is our pick for the best low phosphorus food for the money. Its limited ingredients are for pets with malfunctioning kidneys and help to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. It features highly controlled levels of phosphorus, calcium, and protein, which can be hard on the kidneys and make symptoms worse. There is also less sodium in this brand to help prevent your pet from retaining water and swelling up. High-quality vegetables like peas and carrots help provide vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, while sunflower oil provides important omega fatty acids.

The only real downside to Dave’s Pet Food is that one of our dogs didn’t like it and would wait until we put something else down to eat.

  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Limited ingredients
  • Controlled levels of phosphorus, calcium, and protein
  • Reduced sodium
  • Contains peas, carrots, and sunflower oil

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best low phosphorus dog food overall. It contained deboned lamb as it’s the first ingredient, and it has a good amount of protein at 22% by volume. Omega fat supplying fish meal is the second ingredient on the list, and it contains plenty of other high-quality ingredients as well, including tomatoes, flaxseed, peas, blueberries, cranberries, and barley grass. Glucosamine will help ease the pain of swollen joints and arthritis and can even help to reduce inflammation. There are no harmful chemicals or preservatives, nor is there any corn, wheat, or soy to upset your pet’s delicate digestive system.

Our dogs liked this food, and we felt good about feeding it to them. The only thing we can complain about is that the bag has no way to reseal it once it is open.

  • Bag not resealable
  • Omega fats
  • Contains glucosamine
  • Lamb first ingredient
  • 22% protein
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice

Hill's Prescription Diet Kidney Care

Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dry Dog Food is our pick for premium choice low phosphorus dog food. It contains less than 0.5% phosphorus and has a low protein count of 12% to take it easy on your pet’s kidneys so they can recover. It’s also a low sodium food that can help regulate blood pressure. It contains a lot of high-quality ingredients, like brewer’s rice, barley, and beet pulp, to supply complex carbs for energy and a full feeling. Fish oil supplies the omega fats your pet requires, and fortification enhances the food and adds important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential amino acids.

The downside to Hill’s Kidney Care is that it’s quite expensive and required a vet prescription to purchase, so you will need to pay for the food as well as the vet bill. Also, some dogs didn’t like it or would try it a few times and stop eating it.

  • Expensive
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Prescription-only
  • Enhanced Appetite Trigger technology
  • Low sodium
  • 12% protein
  • Less than 0.5% phosphorus
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Essential amino acids

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Function Formula Dry Dog Food features 12% protein and 0.4% phosphorus to help your pet recover from kidney problems. It’s also low in sodium and contains fish oils, which will provide your pet with beneficial omega fats. It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that will help boost your pet’s immune system and ward off disease.

Our biggest problem with Purina Pro Plan is that it has corn listed as the top ingredient, and corn is an ingredient we usually try to avoid it altogether. It’s prescription-only, so you will need to schedule an appointment with the vet to obtain it, and it’s very dry food, and our dogs didn’t like it. The kibble is also a little large for many smaller dogs.

  • Prescription-only
  • Very dry
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Corn first ingredient
  • Large kibble
  • Omega fats
  • Low sodium
  • 5% protein
  • 4% phosphorus
  • Antioxidants

Natural Balance Original Ultra Canned Dog Food

Natural Balance Original Ultra

Natural Balance Original Ultra Canned Dog Food has a low phosphorus count of only 0.25%, and the protein level kept at about 8% as well. It contains real fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, cranberries, kelp, and spinach, which supply plenty of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, which will help regulate your pet’s digestive system. There are additional vitamins and minerals added to the food as well, and the salmon provides powerful omega fats in the recipe.

One of our biggest problems with Natural Balance Original is that the can does not have an easy lift mechanism, so you are forced to use a can opener. The food inside the can is very mushy and takes some effort to remove. It also leaves your dog with bad fish breath.

  • Can requires an opener
  • Causes fishy dog breath
  • Mushy food
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Real fruits and vegetables
  • 8% protein
  • 25% phosphorus
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Fiber

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food contains 0.84% phosphorus and 21% protein, so it’s a little higher than many of the other brands on this list. However, it’s perfect for dogs with minor problems that need to reduce phosphorus intake but can still have protein. Fiber and prebiotics can help regulate the digestive tract and can help prevent diarrhea as well as constipation. Limited ingredients mean there is less chance your pet will suffer from an allergic reaction. It’s also fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide your pet with a balanced diet complete with antioxidants.

Unfortunately, some dogs didn’t like Royal Canin, and we couldn’t convince them to eat it. When they did eat it, they often got loose stools as a result.

  • Some dogs didn’t like it
  • Can cause loose stools
  • Contains fiber and prebiotics
  • 21% protein
  • 84% phosphorus
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Limited ingredients

Solid Gold Green Cow Green Beef Tripe in Beef Broth

Solid Gold Green Cow

Solid Gold Green Cow Green Beef Tripe in Beef Broth is a limited ingredient wet dog food that features beef tripe as its top ingredient. It keeps protein down to 9.5% and has only 0.19% phosphorus. It’s grain-free, and there is no corn or soy in the ingredients or harmful chemical preservatives. You can purchase this food in an easy-open can or convenient single-serve packages.

The downside to Solid Gold Green Cow is that it is very mushy and smells bad, which leaves the dog with bad breath. It doesn’t look or smell much like tripe, and the light-grey color doesn’t look very appetizing. We also feel that the potatoes are just filler, and you could get brands that only contain tripe.

  • Potatoes
  • Mushy
  • Smells bad
  • Doesn’t look or smell like tripe
  • 19% phosphorus
  • Grain-free
  • Beef tripe top ingredient
  • Limited ingredients
  • 5% protein
  • No chemical preservatives
  • Easy to serve cups
  • No corn, or soy

Diamond Care RX Renal Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Diamond Care RX Renal Formula

Diamond Care RX Renal Formula Adult Dry Dog Food is a prescription food that contains 13% protein and 0.5% phosphorus. Flaxseed delivers the omega fats your pet needs, and it’s low in sodium, so it can help reduce blood pressure in some dogs. Here is no corn or soy that can upset your pet’s digestive system listed among the ingredients, and it’s fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide a complete and balanced meal.

The downside to Diamond Care RX is that you need a prescription to order it, which means a costly visit to the vet. While it was easier to get our dogs to eat than many other brands on this list, it also causes loose stools on occasion.

  • Prescription-only
  • Can cause loose stools
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Flaxseed
  • Low sodium
  • 13% protein
  • 5% phosphorus
  • No corn or soy

Lotus Good Grains Oven-Baked Adult Dry Dog Food

Lotus Good Grains

Lotus Good Grains Chicken Recipe Oven-Baked Adult Dry Dog Food contains chicken is its top ingredient hell is slightly higher in protein than most of the other brands on this list at 24%. It’s also slightly higher in phosphorus at 0.76%, but it’s still pretty low, which makes it helpful for dogs with minor problems. It contains plenty of real fruits and vegetables, like apples, spinach, blueberries, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, which provide plenty of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants. Salmon and olive oils provide healthy omega fats. It also contains healthy grains that provide complex carbs for energy, and its oven-baked to lock in flavor.

The primary downside to Lotus Good Grains is the higher phosphorus content compared to several other brands on this list. It also has a strange smell and caused our dogs to have loose stools.

  • Can cause loose stools
  • Slightly higher phosphorus content
  • Smells bad
  • Healthy grains
  • Oven-baked
  • Chicken top ingredient
  • Contains real fruits and vegetables
  • 76% phosphorus
  • 24% protein

Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Puppy Dry Food

Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free

Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Dry Food Is the final low phosphorus dog food on our list to review, and this brand contains deboned turkey as its top ingredient, but this food doesn’t limit the protein to turkey. It also includes deboned trout, bringing the protein level up to 33%, which is the highest on this list. It contains real fruits and vegetables like yellow peas, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, and apples, and it has a low glycemic index, so it won’t affect your pet’s blood sugar.

The higher phosphorus count in Nulo FreeStyle makes this better as a preventative food, but it’s still pretty low compared to uncontrolled brands. It’s also extremely expensive and has a bad smell to it. It’s dry and left plenty of the dust in the bag when the food was gone, and our dogs didn’t like it.

  • Dusty
  • Smells bad
  • Higher phosphorus content
  • Expensive
  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Real fruits and vegetables
  • 33% protein
  • Deboned turkey top ingredient
  • Trout
  • 9% Phosphorus

Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Low Phosphorus Dog Foods

Here are some things to consider when choosing the best low phosphorus foods for dogs.


Unfortunately, reducing phosphorus will not help slow the progression of kidney disease until it has already progressed to the point where it adds too much creatinine to the bloodstream. Once the disease has progressed to the point where reducing phosphorus is helpful, experts recommend keeping phosphorus levels below 0.6%. When comparing dry food to wet food, look for the dry matter calculation, as the amount per can or serving will vary between brands. As the disease progresses, you may need to reduce phosphorus even more.

Slowing the Progression of Kidney Disease

Reducing phosphorus in the diet and adding omega-3 fatty acids are the best ways to slow the progression of kidney disease and prolong your pet’s life, but there are some other steps you can take that we’ll list here.


Experts suggest that limiting protein is not required unless your pet is your uremic or has protein in their urine. Dogs rely heavily on protein as a source of energy and to build lean muscle. It also helps them stay full, so we only recommend reducing protein when ordered by a vet.

Omega Fats

Unlike phosphorus, you can begin omega fat treatments as soon as kidney disease is detected, if not sooner. Experts recommend looking for fish oil that provides 50 milligrams (mg) EPA+DHA per pound of body weight to get the maximum benefit from the supplement.

Wet Food vs. Dry

Ordinarily, we recommend dry dog food because it helps clean teeth, is easier to store, and is much less expensive. However, wet food adds important moisture to your pet’s diet that can help keep them hydrated and hydration is a primary requirement for dogs with kidney problems. If you prefer to give your dog dry food, we recommend adding water to it at feeding time but remember dry dog food will spoil once you add water, so only wet what they’ll eat quickly.

Fresh Foods

You can also add fresh foods to your pet’s diet to help phosphorus levels low, or to get them to eat the food, especially if you want to keep protein levels high. Foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and pasta are filling, taste great, and are naturally low in phosphorus. Adding these foods to a commercial diet will help bring down the phosphorus levels in that food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods should a dog with kidney disease eat?

A dog with kidney disease should avoid high-protein foods and foods high in phosphorus. Avoid giving your dog organ meats, dairy products, bones, and processed meats.

What percentage is considered low phosphorus in dog food?

  • It’s important to know how to calculate the amount of phosphorus a dog needs.
  • A dog who’s growing needs a diet that is 1.0% to 1.8% calcium and 0.8% to 1.6% phosphorus. Once your dog reaches early adulthood, that ratio should drop to 0.8% to 1.5% calcium and 0.6% to 1.2% phosphorus.
  • For an adult dog, the ratio should be 0.5% to 0.9% calcium and 0.4% to 0.8% phosphorus. For older dogs and dogs with kidney conditions, the ratios should be even lower.

How can I tell if dog food is low phosphorus?

Most dog foods labeled “kidney support” will be low in phosphorus and calcium. The best way to know is to read the label and get the exact percentages.

What is considered low phosphorus in dog food?

If a food has less than 1% phosphorus, it can be considered low phosphorus. Ideally, it should also have less than 1% calcium.

Which foods contain the least amount of phosphorus?

If you’re wondering how to calculate the levels of phosphorus, just read the ingredients. These foods list the levels of phosphorus, calcium, and protein on their labels.

How can I lower my dog’s phosphorus levels?

The best way is with a vet-recommended, prescription, or over-the-counter dog food. You can also give your dog low phosphorus treats. You can ask your vet how to calculate your dog’s phosphorus levels at home.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a brand of low phosphorus dog food for your pet, our pick for the best low phosphorus dog food is a great place to start. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food is low in phosphorus but still provides protein and delivers a healthy dose of omega fatty acids. It also contains glucosamine, which can help with arthritis and swollen joints. Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Canned Dog Food is our pick for the best low phosphorus dog food for the money, and this wet food provides moisture and plenty of real fruits and vegetables while keeping phosphorus and sodium levels low.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our reviews and our short buyer’s guide, and they have helped you choose a food for your pet. With luck, it can help prevent the progression of the disease and be something your pet can tolerate eating. If you have found it helpful, please share this guide to low phosphorus dog foods on Facebook and Twitter.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.