Low Protein Dog Foods

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Low protein dog foods can be controversial. Even though many veterinarians advise against feeding higher protein diets, recent research appears to support their safety — even for senior dogs with minor kidney issues.

Prescribing Low Protein Dog FoodIn one study of dogs with kidney disease, researchers concluded…

“Results do not support the hypothesis that feeding a high protein diet had a significant adverse effect on renal function”.1

In another study, older dogs were divided into two groups.

One group was fed a low protein diet and the other a high protein diet for the next four years.

“Results of this study indicated there were no adverse effects from the high protein diet and mortality (death rate) was actually higher in the low protein group”.2

Does a High Protein Diet
Cause Kidney Disease?

The Veterinary and Aquatic Services Department of Drs. Foster and Smith addresses what it refers to as a false rumor regarding high protein diets:3

“High protein pet foods are NOT harmful to a normal animal’s kidneys. As an animal’s body digests and metabolizes protein, nitrogen is released as a by-product.

“The excess nitrogen is excreted by the kidneys. A high protein diet produces more nitrogen by-products and the kidneys simply excrete the nitrogen in the urine.

“While you may think this would ‘overwork’ the kidneys and lead to possible kidney damage, this is not true. The kidney’s filtering capabilities are so great that even one kidney is sufficient to sustain a normal life.”

Better Quality Protein
Fewer Nitrogen By-Products

So, then, why do so many veterinarians still believe a high protein diet is dangerous to older dogs and kidney health?

“The myth that high protein diets are harmful to kidneys probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low protein (and thus low nitrogen) diets.

“Now, we often put them on a diet that is not necessarily very low in protein, but contains protein that is more digestible so there are fewer nitrogen by-products.”

Restrict Phosphorus
Not Protein

Animals with impaired kidney function are reported to do better by restricting phosphorus intake. However, limiting phosphorus on a preventive basis is not likely to delay the onset of kidney disease or benefit healthy older dogs.4

Drs. Foster and Smith conclude:5

“Unless your veterinarian has told you your pet has a kidney problem and it is severe enough to adjust the protein intake, you can feed your pet a high protein diet without worrying about ‘damaging’ or ‘stressing’ your pet’s kidneys.”

Apparently, one of the few justifications for a restricted protein diet is very high urinary nitrogen and elevated urinary protein.6

Or certain types of liver disease, such as hepatic encephalopathy.

The Bottom Line

Due to our respect for a dog’s natural carnivorous bias, we tend to favor dog foods rich in quality meat protein.

However, we also recognize there are medical conditions where a high protein diet can have a negative impact on kidney health.

For this reason, if your dog has been diagnosed with active kidney disease, please be sure to consult with your veterinarian before feeding any food to your pet.

Footnotes

  1. Bovee, KC, Influence of Dietary Protein on Renal Function in Dogs, Waltham International Symposium on Nutrition of Small Companion Animals, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, on September 4–8, 1990
  2. Finco DR, Brown SA, Crowell WA, et al, Effects of aging and dietary protein intake on uninephrectomized geriatric dogs, Am J Vet Res 1994; 55:1282
  3. Drs. Foster and Smith, “Are High Protein Diets Harmful to a Dog’s Kidneys?
  4. Thorpe-Vargas S, Cargill JC, Fortify the Food Bowl for the Aging Canine
  5. Drs. Foster and Smith, Ibid
  6. Straus, Mary, Is a Low-Protein Diet Desirable or Necessary for Dogs with Kidney Disease?
  • Amy Augustine

    Yes, she’s still eating the prescription food. I’ll follow up with the vet and if all’s clear she’ll be back on her
    regular food.

  • Crazy4cats

    That’s the spirit! Lol! Are you still feeding the prescription food? Are you planning on having a follow up ultrasound?

  • Amy Augustine

    I can certainly try!

  • Crazy4cats

    Would you consider adding a little canned food to the fusspot’s meals? There are a few budget friendly canned stews that she may like mixed in her kibble.

  • Amy Augustine

    Thank you! I did try to put water in her food, of course little miss fusspot refused to eat! As a treat I’ll give her some watermelon chunks to get some extra liquids in her; maybe I’ll try making her some chicken broth.

  • Crazy4cats

    Maybe she would prefer room temperature! Try putting out a few different sizes, shapes and types of bowls of water. I have two dogs so I used to put out two water bowls for them. One is ceramic and one is stainless steel. Neither one of them would ever drink water out of the stainless steel bowl for some reason. They will eat food out of it though, of course. 🙂
    I’m assuming you are feeding dry kibble. (Please correct me if I’m wrong) Are you adding any water to it when you feed her? I always add warm water to my dogs’ meals along with canned or fresh food to their kibble to help add moisture..
    I even add water to my cats’ canned food on the bottom of their dish due to one of them having urinary issues as well.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Amy Augustine

    When I took her to the vet, she had blood in her urine and one time she looked like she was straining to go. I took a urine sample to the vet, she did a bladder ultrasound (she said there was some “debris” in her bladder, whatever that means), and she gave her an antibiotic shot just in case an infection was present. The urinalysis came back with no blood, no infection, but crystals were present. However, she never acted like she was having any discomfort/pain and except for that one instance never had any issues with straining. I WISH I could get her to drink more; I give her cold water from the refrigerator yet when I come home from work her bowl is usually completely full, she tends to save her drinking for overnight. I do change the water several times so it’s fresh. My luck, she probably would prefer room temp water!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Amy Augustine- You should absolutely NOT feel guilty. You are doing what you and your vet thinks is best for your dog at this time. The food on this site is rated for healthy dogs, not one with medical conditions. It is best for you to get the crystals and/or infection under control with your dog and then go from there. Luckily struvite crystals can be dissolved and are a little easier to manage than other types. If you do take her off of the food, please do so slowly as not to upset her system. Does she have an infection? If yes, has she been on antibiotics? Adding a lot of water and potty breaks to her day is of utmost importance for any type of urinary condition. Good luck! You are taking good care of your pup!

  • Amy Augustine

    Thank you for this! Very informative. My dog was diagnosed with struvite crystals, and I’ve been feeding her prescription Royal Canin. I must admit reading the ingredients makes me feel guilty, but I’d also feel guilty if I stopped giving it to her & her symptoms returned (yep, I’m a regular guilt machine!!!). The link you provided put this in a better perspective for me & makes me feel better about my instinct to get her off the prescription food.

  • Theresa

    Randall, thank you for getting back to me. I will give them a call.

    From: Disqus
    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 6:34 AM
    Subject: Re: Comment on Low Protein Dog Foods

    #yiv8033859293 #yiv8033859293 a:hover, #yiv8033859293 a:hover span {color:#1188d2!important;}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293button-cta:hover {color:#ffffff!important;background-color:#1188d2!important;}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293button-cta:hover span {color:#ffffff!important;}#yiv8033859293 #yiv8033859293 #yiv8033859293 #yiv8033859293outlook a {padding:0;}#yiv8033859293 body {width:100% !important;}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293ReadMsgBody {width:100%;}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293ExternalClass {width:100%;display:block;}#yiv8033859293 @media screen and ( _filtered_a ){#yiv8033859293 html {}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293content {width:100%;}#yiv8033859293 table {border-collapse:collapse;}#yiv8033859293 h2.yiv8033859293headline {font-weight:700;font-size:20px!important;margin-bottom:5px;}#yiv8033859293 .yiv8033859293button-cta {display:block!important;padding:0!important;}#yiv8033859293 div.yiv8033859293header {padding-top:20px;}#yiv8033859293 div.yiv8033859293footer {padding-bottom:20px;}}#yiv8033859293 #yiv8033859293 p.yiv8033859293mod-tools a:hover {color:white!important;background:#8c989f!important;}#yiv8033859293 @media screen and ( _filtered_a ){#yiv8033859293 td.yiv8033859293avatar, #yiv8033859293 td.yiv8033859293spacer {width:38px!important;}#yiv8033859293 td.yiv8033859293avatar img, #yiv8033859293 td.yiv8033859293spacer img {width:28px!important;}}”They were recommended to me by a holistic Vet in my area. Very, very helpful staff. We asked many, many questions and they answered every one. You need to register and set up an account. Then you fill out form(s) detailing your pets needs. They respond with the appropriate diet that your pet can handleand the proper supplements, oils and powders, that are to be added. Our boy needed a diet that was easy on his kidneys. So, we cooked chicken and white rice, and then added the supplements to each meal, twice a day. The Techs/Vets at Balance IT determine how much of each(chicken,rice, supplements) are required for each day. Our boy loved the stuff and was back to normal very quickly. His kidney “numbers” went down as well. The Veterinary nutritionist at the Balance IT knew all about the phosphorus/protein level stuff. There are a wide varieties of menus they can prescribe depending on what your pet needs. You will have to get your vet to fax approval for them to complete a diet for your dog. The process is not cheap but was worth every penny and all the time and effort. Hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any more questions. The Balance IT website has a very good Help section and excellent customer service both online and phone. Good Luck! I know how tough this uncertain time can be!!!” | |
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    Randall Hall
    They were recommended to me by a holistic Vet in my area. Very, very helpful staff. We asked many, many questions and they answered every one. You need to register and set up an account. Then you fill out form(s) detailing your pets needs. They respond with the appropriate diet that your pet can handle and the proper supplements, oils and powders, that are to be added. Our boy needed a diet that was easy on his kidneys. So, we cooked chicken and white rice, and then added the supplements to each meal, twice a day. The Techs/Vets at Balance IT determine how much of each(chicken,rice, supplements) are required for each day. Our boy loved the stuff and was back to normal very quickly. His kidney “numbers” went down as well. The Veterinary nutritionist at the Balance IT knew all about the phosphorus/protein level stuff. There are a wide varieties of menus they can prescribe depending on what your pet needs. You will have to get your vet to fax approval for them to complete a diet for your dog. The process is not cheap but was worth every penny and all the time and effort. Hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any more questions. The Balance IT website has a very good Help section and excellent customer service both online and phone. Good Luck! I know how tough this uncertain time can be!!! 9:34 a.m., Tuesday March 22 | Other comments by Randall Hall |   |
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    | | My vet recommended K/D for my baby as well. I told her where to go. I trusted a vet a long time ago and …Read more |
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  • Randall Hall

    They were recommended to me by a holistic Vet in my area. Very, very helpful staff. We asked many, many questions and they answered every one. You need to register and set up an account. Then you fill out form(s) detailing your pets needs. They respond with the appropriate diet that your pet can handle
    and the proper supplements, oils and powders, that are to be added. Our boy needed a diet that was easy on his kidneys. So, we cooked chicken and white rice, and then added the supplements to each meal, twice a day. The Techs/Vets at Balance IT determine how much of each(chicken,rice, supplements) are required for each day. Our boy loved the stuff and was back to normal very quickly. His kidney “numbers” went down as well. The Veterinary nutritionist at the Balance IT knew all about the phosphorus/protein level stuff. There are a wide varieties of menus they can prescribe depending on what your pet needs. You will have to get your vet to fax approval for them to complete a diet for your dog. The process is not cheap but was worth every penny and all the time and effort. Hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any more questions. The Balance IT website has a very good Help section and excellent customer service both online and phone. Good Luck! I know how tough this uncertain time can be!!!

  • Theresa

    My vet recommended K/D for my baby as well. I told her where to go. I trusted a vet a long time ago and my saint was on science diet, hills presc. and the end result he wound up with cancer. I can’t say it was from the food but I believe it had a lot to do with you. Just like us and what we eat. I other saint was just recently diag. with 2.1 kidney levels. I have him on The Honest Kitchen. protein 24 fat 15 phos. 1.8. I’ve bee readying that phos. should be lower. I’m at my wits end. Could yu tell me a little about the Balance IT co.?

  • Viki B

    Thank you for your info. I appreciate it!

  • Viki B

    Thank you. I will be checking them out!

  • InkedMarie

    I would be working with a holistic vet on a proper diet for your dog.

  • Randall Hall

    My vet prescribed Hill’s Prescription K/D for my dog for early stage kidney disease. He had 3 different episodes of allergic reactions, ears swelling, itchy face. He then developed pancreatitis. I took him off that food, researched and went to a home cooked method of feeding. He recovered and lived another 14 months (13.5 years total). My Vet refused to believe that Hill’s Prescription K/D had anything to do with his illness. Please don’t feed your dogs that junk if you can avoid it.
    The home cooked low protein diet we used was developed
    by Balance IT a company in California that was extremely helpful to us and our dog.
    Let me know if I can help in any way.

  • Randall Hall

    Thank you I will

  • Crazy4dogs

    Great suggestion. If this was meant for Viki B, you might want to “reply” to her so she gets a notice of your comment.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It’s unfortunate that vets are still recommending low protein, especially in the early stages of CRF. Studies have proved that restricting protein only causes muscle loss. A source of quality protein is what’s needed for renal dogs. The phosphorus is what needs to be restricted or bound. I hope the recommendation was for the canned version. Wet food is a much better choice for dogs in renal failure. The dry food keeps them chronically slightly dehydrated forcing the kidneys to work harder.

    If you’re going to use a chicken broth of some type I wouldn’t use any type of boullion. Even low sodium still has a very high amount of sodium and that is a concern in kidney dogs. You might pick a no salt broth or boullion. Even easier is simmering some chicken in filtered water and using that broth to add to his food.

    Here’s a link from dogaware that I found very helpful when my dog was in renal failure. Good luck with your pup!

    http://dogaware.com/health/kidney.html

  • Randall Hall

    My vet prescribed Hill’s Prescription K/D for my dog for early stage kidney disease. He had 3 different episodes of allergic reactions, ears swelling, itchy face. He then developed pancreatitis. I took him off that food, researched and went to a home cooked method of feeding. He recovered and lived another 14 months (13.5 years total). My Vet refused to believe that Hill’s Prescription K/D had anything to do with his illness. Please don’t feed your dogs that junk if you can avoid it.

  • Viki B

    My Vet has prescribed Hill’s Prescription K/D for my dog who on the cusp of kidney disease. She wants the protein level around 13% or lower. My dogs had been on a LID for the last 4+ years with protein around 20-26% as one dog was allergic to everything under the sun. Sadly he passed away from prostate cancer the end of 2015. My other dog hates the Hills food. I have tried mixing in various cans of dog food, low sodium bouillon, warm water, pumpkin, etc. Any suggestions to make it more palatable without increasing her protein too much and without having to feed her a lot of by products and too much grains? Or a raw food diet in low protein? Thanks!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Amy:
    In addition to Pitlove’s suggestions since part of how DFA rates food depends on protein content try looking at foods rated 3-4 stars. Lower protein content would be one reason for a food to fall within these ratings:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/3-star/
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/4-star/

  • Pitlove

    The Fromm Gold lines have protein levels under 30%. Also NutriSource could be a good option if she has upset stomach.

  • Amy S

    Below 30% My girl just can’t handle high protein, no matter how high quality it is.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Amy S-

    How low are you looking for in terms of the protein level?

  • Amy S

    Where did the low protein list go? I need low protein food, not reasons why I shouldn’t need it.

  • Sher Lynn

    oh,, wow.. ok,, thanks so much for that info,, 🙂

  • Crazy4cats

    Actually, one of my cats has had struvite crystals and stones. He has to eat food that is LOW in magnesium and calcium. It all depends on what type of stones we’re talking about. As much water and moisture to dilute the urine is very important for all types of stones.

  • Sher Lynn

    There are products you can get that help dissolve stones of all sorts,, or supplementing with home remedies,, IP6 with Inositol also helps prevent stones from forming,, high in calcium and magnesium and Inositol (brown rice extract) ,,, even oncologist for my one dog fighting t cell lymphoma said when I mentioned this product I’m giving her, his comment was ‘well.. she won’t ever get kidney stones!’.. as I am sure he was leary of any alternative medicine protocols, but,, he said those words. I think it is the magnesium that is the key ingredient.. but do your research.

    Another product line is from Paw Healer, if it helps,, http://www.pawhealer.com/bladder-stones.aspx

  • Sher Lynn

    Hey Cori,, I read up on this condition you mentioned and says high copper for one thing is a component in this condition, have you heard of Liquid Zeolite? it can get rid of the high copper and other harmful metals in the system, I know of a man who puts a few drops in his cats water bowl,, I give to my dogs. fighting cancer in my one and copper is always shown high in cancer,, also,, floressence tea may help as well to help cleanse out the liver, as well as Milk Thistle to help support and strengthen liver. Anti oxidants as well is said to help. As I posted above, I started using TruDog products, high in protein yes, but it is quality protein,, but not sure if this is a route to go for you,, just thought I would mention the zeolite and milk thistle and the tea,, can get easily at healthfood stores.
    I think, over all,, with many health issues, it is bunged up junk in the system, and the liver and kidneys are over worked,, I would also suggest getting some kidney and bladder herbs to help flush out and support as well. I’m not a medical professional, just have had a lot of experience with health challenges in myself as well as my dogs,, I learn as I go, and have a great health food store owner who is a retired nurse and she is very informative for me.

  • Sher Lynn

    I too have quite the situation with healthy feed for my dogs. I cook for them their meals, but my dogs are now senior ages, 10 and up,, I have five dogs,, two with cancer we are beating at home with herbs and such,, and my one senior, no cancer, I know has kidney issues, or I think anyway, despite many tests, ct scans with dye (ouch, will never do that again, it made her worse) and that with everything else came up ‘normal’. Really! I too question vets and tests and results,, lately i question often. she yelps in pain after eating. that is not normal,, nope.. pancreas was my first suspicion, apparently she is okey dokey by vets.. (?).. or bowel, and kidney, she is also paralyzed with knuckling on left paws now.. someone told me high protein in seniors their renal system cannot handle and that causes knuckling, anyone else ever heard of that?.. hmmm.. so piddling (expressing) her often is key, electrolytes and water syringed into her between times she drinks on her own, and I am reading so much about kidney and low vs normal protein levels,, seniors need higher protein, but better quality,, or,, as I stated earlier,, they need low.. UGH!! so frustrating this is!.. she will not eat meat mostly anymore, only yogurt and cottage cheese and some veggies at dinner meal.. I add in lots of probiotics!.. this I KNOW is key.. for all of all ages..
    I found a product, order on line, from TruDog, high quality protein food, dehydrated raw meat and organs, not cheap, but I have tried their other products Complete me and Boost me and my girl today loved the Boost me ,, yay she ate!!.. whew!.. ,, I am going to order their ‘food’ now, and continue giving my girl, actually all of them , kidney and bladder herbs to support that system, floressence tea as well to help gently detox (I watch that closely) although I give to my two fighting cancer, I do not trust many commercial pet foods as I’ve done the research and is scary. Sinister is a better word, wow what they get away with,, 🙁 I feed them cooked quinoa for filler adding in powder greens (careful to read labels, many health food products now are adding in xylitol.. geeze! poison to animals) so my powder greens I get from pet food store,, I also add in turmeric time to time (I use Curamed, good mix with cayenne) but find that can give upset tummy or icky poops.. ,, I am glad I found this group, so much information from people with experiences to share,, bless you all.. this helps!.. In reading comments here,, I think, my decision is I am going to go with ‘high quality protein’ source (TruDog food) , even tho we cook them chicken and roast and veggies and such,, that seems to have too high a fat content over all (I have beagles,, tricky keeping a Beagle’s weight down ) , no matter how much I cut away the fat on cooked meals,, she, my senior, does prefer our dehydrated beef strips we make at home in dehydrators, use round roast, partially freeze, slice with meat slicer, dehydrate for 12 to 14 hours,, I think the dogs are smarter than we are,, she liked the dehydrated ‘treats’ I am sure as she knows the fat is significantly less in those,, Just thought I would add in my situ with my dogs here and mention TruDog products, as I just started trying and so far I’m really quite impressed. Wellness brand is good, but gives my guys the runs, as said by someone else with dogs with food allergies, bought pet food always has something in them my dogs can’t have with their allergies … I am in Canada, as I read some on here are Canadian as well and know the frustration of not getting some of the products the States have.. TruDog focuses on absolute high quality, meat and organ raw dehydrated,, i’m for that,, not ‘raw’ you buy frozen and feed raw,, my dogs doubled over in pain and got very sick from ‘raw’ we tried years ago.. won’t do that again. Tru Dog is pricey, but I think is well worth it. even tho they have a bit of sugar in some of their products,, it is not significant enough for me to worry, even with the cancer in my dogs,, t cell lymphoma is a tough nut to bust, but I’m determined.. chemo is out of the question for my own personal reasons as well as it does not work well for t cell anyway. I am loving the Tru Dog complete me and Boost me for her since she has pale gums often and that worries me a lot.. her gums after eating that today are more pink,, yay.. huge tumor on her lip I know is seeming to go away a bit,, she needs strength as much as cleansing and herbs,, Now I’ve seen my older gal, rescue, breeding machine in her ‘before’ life, gobble down the Boost me granules and love the Complete me things,, if ‘she’ says is OK,, I’ll listen to her. I’m still in test mode with this product, but, so far so good. No adverse effects in my dogs.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Tina:
    Keep your chin up! I am going through something similar with one of my 17 year old cats.

    I am using all kinds of tricks and feeding foods I wouldn’t normally to put some weight on and keep him hydrated. I have about twenty different brands/recipes of canned foods just for him on hand. He was one of my most finickiest cats before he became ill. At least I lucked out and found quite a few he likes!

    I started adding FortiFlora probiotics to his meals this week. It has helped quite a bit with getting him to eat his meals. Wishing you both the best!

  • Tina Louise

    Done… Thanks for the heads up…

  • Tina Louise

    Thank you so much! In Guelph Ontario, there’s a big veterinary school there and as well Royal Canin has a plant there run by vets who formulate the specific foods and they constantly change. I may call them again but they are sending me a bag to try. I’ve already tried 2 of the canned foods and he likes one so far. . I bought 2 types as it was the weekend and needed him to eat. Of course the one with most calories, is the one he disliked today. But I think he was sick outside sometime today as he smelled like vomit later on. No wonder he wouldn’t eat. What to do? Gosh… I’m sick with worry.

  • Tina Louise

    Thanks so much. He needs low protein and low phosphorus but higher calorie diet. I’m trying several of Royal Canin kidney diet. In the interim he is barely earing enough to keep a bird alive. I’m scared.

  • Tina Louise

    I agree… I’ve been reading alot on here and am quite impressed. Wish I could find all the products here in this small city in Ontario Canada, but we are super limited. I need to get him so probiotics and prebiotics and others but cannot find unless I spend $60/month plus for a wee 12# shih tzu.

  • Tina Louise

    Thank you so much. I’m still having an awful time feeding him. I did find some royal Canin canned dog food for kidney failure and fed him that while waiting for the dry dog food. Thought I would use both by adding the wet with the dry. He enjoyed the one with the gravy and today he ate a bit of the other which they say is like a loaf, then refused anymore. He smells like he’s been sick somewhere and I’m crushed. I also found he spit out his pepcid by his dish even though he was given it elsewhere in a mini marshmallow. What a rascal! Back in a new pill went! Immediately followed by a pull free marshmallow. Fluids subcutaneous are due tomorrow for him and will give early in am. Poor baby!

  • Tina Louise

    Wow.. Learning so much. I’m giving him only filtered water and add ice cubes made from filtered water also. Why are they so attracted to the snow. So odd… He eats it like it’s food. Nasty.

  • Tina Louise

    Wow. He’s been mowing down snow for ages and we didn’t encourage it. I give him filtered water and ice cu especially that are also made from the filtered water. He’s becoming very finicky towards food and water….

  • Monica Kelly

    its OK. I am sorry I ever knew about kidney disease!

  • aimee

    Hi Janet,

    Here are a few links describing the mineral content of rainwater. I didn’t read these closely but apparently it varies with location.

    http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/ASK/rain2.html

    http://www.isws.illinois.edu/pubdoc/C/ISWSC-56.pdf

    http://www.people.carleton.edu/~bhaileab/EnvironmentalGeology/RainWater.pdf

  • Janet Garraffa

    o wow I feel awful only wanted to help, its like going to the md and the nurse knows more than the doctor.i have to ask my vet why he insisted it was the snow heck when I was young I would make snow cones my apologes

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Tina,

    I’ve found this a helpful site when dealing with CRF.

    http://www.dogaware.com/health/kidneydiet.html

  • Crazy4dogs

    Here’s a link. Once it hits the ground, it will contain minerals (along with other stuff), but not until then. So if you collect it as it falls, it would be clean, depending on where you live (smog, etc).

    http://www.custompure.com/Minerals-in-Water-W44.aspx

  • Monica Kelly

    When the rain or snow falls from sky, it contains no minerals. The minerals come from its contact with the soil. if my dogs (and I) eat snow, its not yellow, its the top snow, there is no soot or debris or salt on it. I do not trust all vets when it comes to end of life issues. Kidney disease is an end of life condition, it is either genetic, or happened with a toxin. We were told by our Veterinarian to feed rain water or distilled water, because kidney dogs will not drink tap water as much because of the substances added to tap water. I saved back a lot of rain water that year. Once it sits on the ground minerals can be leached from ground or added by man. The local geology will determine what minerals leach into the snow which becomes ground water. Never heard of nephrotoxicity of snow unless of course there was a snow melting detergent within-!

  • Janet Garraffa

    r u sure I suggested this based on the vets advice their is 100% minereral in snow my dog got sick from eating snow

  • Monica Kelly

    ice cubes come from TAP water; snow is more natural, there are no minerals in snow, nor rain water. you want distilled water for the kidney dog

  • Monica Kelly

    I recommend the canine kidney group https://www.facebook.com/groups/211455130573/

  • Monica Kelly

    my dog LOVED rain water. Buy DISTILLED water! The dogs don’t like the taste of tap water with all the chemicals. KIDNEY dogs in specific have different preferences when the kidneys begin to die. you have to keep them interested and up change their diet frequently. Water preferences change as well. Snow doesn’t have chemicals, its natural. (i don’t worry about pollution)

  • Monica Kelly

    the Facebook group Canine Kidney Disease was very helpful in learning how to home cook and supplants etc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/211455130573/

  • Monica Kelly

    i found this site very helpful for diets, supplements. https://www.facebook.com/groups/211455130573/

  • Janet Garraffa

    go 2 supermarket-butcher/ask them 2 save bones 4 u-boil bones-U WANT THE BONE MARROW,water will be gritty-put liquid in food

  • Janet Garraffa

    yes! there r minerals in the snow -causes throw up/diaherra/motion sickness. this is a very big no-I learned the hard way with my dog-vet had 2 give her motion sickness drugs, put ice cubes in his water

  • Tina Louise

    Yes… He eats snow steady and we can’t stop him. All he does is want out and thinking he needs to pee, we allow it. It has to be full of pollution which is hard on the kidneys etc… Is there another reason why he shouldn’t gobble up snow?

  • Tina Louise

    I’m sooo sorry to hear this sad news. I imagine you still are heartbroken. I, too, had to put down one of my shih tzus due to heart failure in September… I still am sick about it. Sure seems to be alot of very sick dogs out there. We didn’t hear of years ago.. don’t know if this is a fact or if we are more aware… Anyway, thinking of you and I’m sure you have wonderful memories of your beloved pet and you did everything you could.

  • Janet Garraffa

    please sweetie best of health 2 u

  • Shawna

    Hugs for you Monica! So very very sorry for your loss.

  • theBCnut

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Monica Kelly

    Can’t remember when I posted this. Dog was euthanized 9/28/15 beyond heartbroken.

  • Shawna

    No, no amino acid powders. The RX food you are feeding should be very balanced in amino acids. The ground beef, as long as not overheated, has a decent amino acid profile as well.

    If you can find canned or raw tripe (without other ingredients) it can help entice eating in some dogs. Adding raw goats milk (both Answers and Primal companies make one) can also entice eating and can be beneficial. However you may have to watch the phosphorus amounts when adding foods. My Audrey liked chicken broth added to her food when she was in the later stages of the disease. You may have to experiment with what your pup likes, and it may change from day to day.

    I found that ginger extract or food grade peppermint oil helped Audrey when she had tummy issues but when she was in the late stage of the disease it didn’t help nearly so much.

    A probiotic like Garden of Life Primal Defense and a prebiotic like the one made by Garden of Life that has acacia fiber can help lower BUN but only if you can get your pup to eat it – not tasty.

    Hugs to you!!!!!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Tina Louise, if anyone knows what’s she talking about on this, it’s Shawna.. so I would take her advice over pretty much anyone else’s on this (particularly on here).

  • Shawna

    Hi Tina,

    I just replied to another of your posts before I noticed your reply to me.

    You mentioned in the other post that your pup’s blood work is getting worse. Because of the increased BUN AND symtpoms it is important to limit the protein to only “high quality protein”. That said, lightly cooking the meat you are adding isn’t going to create much, if any, damage. It’s very important that they eat so I’ve seen folks give very inappropriate foods, which ground beef is not, to entice eating. It has to be done.

    My dog had kd for almost nine years (from birth) and she ate a HIGH protein, raw diet from weaning and did very very well on it. However during the last two to three months of her life she started showing symptoms and at that point I did lower her protein and at a point I fed her whatever she wanted just to get her to eat.

  • Shawna

    In your situation Tina, due to the symptoms you are seeing, it is wise to feed a lowered protein diet. It can be beneficial with “acute” kidney disease as well. However not all dogs, despite what some will say, require a low protein (or even low phosphorus) diet in the early stages of the disease. This is well known and has been studied greatly over the last 20 years.

    Protein does not damage the kidneys, like once thought, however it does add to the symptoms that make a pup feel worse. Due to this, once symptoms have appeared it is advised to feed lower protein.

    I believe BCnut is correct when she states that kibbles are the worst diet to feed due to the quality of protein in the diet as well as the moisture content. That said, a prescription kibbled diet for KD that has moisture added would be loads better then any other form of kibble used as they have factored in the lower quality of the protein (from heating the food).

  • steph

    The foods I recommended are not dry food, they are canned. They were recommended to me by a holistic vet for my dog with chronic pancreatitis..I’m confused then, my English is not so good, can you explain what amount of protein is considered too high?

  • theBCnut

    By posting your email here, you open yourself up to all kinds of trouble. You should edit that post and remove your email address.

  • Tina Louise

    Should I get him on some Amino acids powders? Anything else I should be doing? Thanks in advance.

  • Tina Louise

    Wow. Extremely informative. I have been feeding my little dog (7 years old and dx Nov with CKD shockingly.. Glad I asked for the bloodwork). The vet said it was ok to feed him cooked lean ground beef to get him to eat the Royal Canin. Kidney diet.. Now called “A”. Is this the wrong this to be doing… I thought I was helping him…

  • Tina Louise

    I read that recently also… about high protein being related to aggression.

  • Tina Louise

    I’ve had to start subcutaneous injections of normal saline to increase fluids. Has your vet brought that up? I’m learning alot on here also but wish we had some of those brands mentioned as my poor shih tzu really dislikes the new formula so I’ve had to supplement /sneak in some lean ground beef, cooked. It isn’t cheap but he doesn’t eat much. It’s the only way I can get him to eat the rx diet.

  • Tina Louise

    Check out Royal Canin .. At least in Canada. Online they have all kinds. Apparently they are vets whose jobs are to determine the best foods for specific illnesses/diseases/conditions. They are constantly reformulating as to the current conditions which is what my little guy just went thru. One small bag and then the next one changed. I’ve spoken to them once and plan to do so again with a few questions of my own. Maybe Royalcanin.ca.let me know if you cannot find it and I will give you the number if you’d prefer.

  • Tina Louise

    Awwww. We do our best to take the best possible let care for our furry family members. I don’t blame you at all. I wish people (some) would treat their children as well as their pets. Lol… Mine are/were spoiled with loads of love. I’m sure that’s why they lived so long. A great life but never long enough. I thought my dog would outlive me as I have cancer (2 types) and I still hope so as I couldn’t go thru another loss. Not that I want to die soon…. All the best to you and your furry ones.

  • Tina Louise
  • Tina Louise

    I learned that dogs after a certain age don’t require all their vaccines as they’ve built up an immunity. They don’t all tell you that… I learned that from a friend and brought it up at checkup time. . My dog was 21! Yup. Didn’t hurt her though but she and another one 17 years old, had renal failure. But they also had seizures near the end… The vet then told us nothing of what to expect etc… No tx either. But we have a different and younger vet now… Same clinic.

  • Tina Louise

    I agree 100%. I’ve learned that also through a ton of research. And they were really good to speak with also. I’m glad they change with the times… Just want to do what’s best. The vet doesn’t even think he is ready for ace inhibitors etc yet as I asked him to let me know. Especially if they are metabolized by the kidneys… Some are worse than others. He’s recommending a special powder for him that’s 4-5x the cost here than in the US. Jeepers.. Wish I still lived on the border. Aventi KS I think. Any probiotics will help boost their appetite.

  • Tina Louise

    I wonder at what age they determine a little dog to be ‘older’?

  • Tina Louise

    That’s true, but I got to hand it to my vet… At least he admits that which is respectable & admirable. I contacted the company myself and the lady was really nice. Didn’t talk to anyone else as it was close to closing time.

  • Tina Louise

    Also… As if we haven’t spent a small fortune already on tests etc. It’s almost $200 for bloodwork with chem analysis… Have to pay Purolator to ship it… Even if there’s 7 going out we all have to pay… Not saying there was, but our vet is busy and that’s the way it is. And their prices went up Jan 2, 2016. No breaks anymore for us. We’ve been going g there for 26 1/2. Years! And the vet gets their cut, yeah. No disrespect to the vet… It’s a business and is very hard to get into veterinary school. At least it is around here… 6 hours away…

  • Tina Louise

    Isn’t that the truth? They know people are desparate to do anything for our pets and make money in a big way, off us. It’s sad really as I was shocked at the crappy ingredients…. We used corn gluten meal on our lawns and stank to high heavens. Never put that on the lawn again and here’s the kicker… It was significantly more expensive. What a world we live in….

  • Janet Garraffa

    e mail me [email protected] com

  • Janet Garraffa
  • Janet Garraffa

    u heard correct about wheat-grain is a little bit different-if nervouse don’t add-but they do need a binder for their stools-apples-carrots-oatmeal. give recipe w/the liquid and always introduce new food as small servings – is your dog eating snow by any chance -since Canada big snow country, this is a no no-

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi Tina Louise, there are no kibbles with 10% or less protein (the minimum allowed is 18%), and the %s that you see on a can are not on a Dry Matter Basis (most canned dog food with 10% protein on the can is actually well over 40% on a Dry Matter Basis).

    I’d second Bobby dog’s suggestion to visit a net nutritionist, however I notice that there are likely none within driving distance for you, so you may need to look into a telephone or online consult.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Those are not %s on a Dry Matter Basis, which dry food are measured on. Please see this article to calculate what those %s would be on a Dry Matter Basis:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dry-matter-basis/

    None of the options you mentioned would not be anywhere near “low protein” on a Dry Matter Basis.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Tina:
    Here is a list of board certified Vet Nutirionists:
    http://www.acvn.org/directory/

    Other places for look for Vet nutritionists are Vet schools. Many will work with your Vet via phone consultations as well. Here’s a link to a reply I made to another poster with more sites that may interest you:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/low-protein-dog-foods/#comment-2376893046

  • Tina Louise

    Thanks for the info. I’m in Canada and not near the border.

  • Tina Louise

    HI. . Thanks for your reply and interest. I don’t know why he gets diarrhea.. each of our shih tzu’s did and we don’t know why. Not the water. I’m extremely finicky and in the medical field so I have alot of knowledge but not as much when it comes to dogs… He’s not eating or drinking and I am desparate but don’t want to risk further dehydration and I’m already giving him subcutaneous fluid therapy quite often as per the vet.

  • Tina Louise

    Way under 10% but now they are saying the dogs were starving because of it so I haven’t a clue…. Changes like the weather and my vet doesn’t know either. Where am I supposed to get educated info if not him. There’s no nutritionists for dogs that I know of… unless they are trying to sell dog food and even low end Walmart Old Roy will say their food is the best. Lol

  • Tina Louise

    Thanks for the reply. I was informed that wheat bread and such was a no no in a big way. Is 12-grain different then? My dog will not eat the new rx food since they’ve changed the formulation and he’s starving. Always thought corn gluten meal (which we had out on our lawn to prevent weeds and stunk like hell and burnt our eyes and nose and throat due to the smell) wasn’t good for dogs and was garbage but I paid $90 for a bag of that… first ingredient. Will try your diet…as long as the 13 grain is wheat free.

  • InkedMarie

    Who are you talking to?

  • Janet Garraffa

    hi im not to sure after reading this web site if this is real -either u have bad vets or advice- I dont
    know, but I recommend find abetter web site please

  • Janet Garraffa

    hi can I have ur vet name this will help me

  • Janet Garraffa

    ok big spaghetti pot water boil scrub yams/sweet potatoe /no gas food broc cali /-after the orange veg will b soft-takeoff oven -water still hot put meat after ardarnold 12grain bread-oatmeal-blueberry when cold oil olive please

  • steph

    Btw the weruva paw lickin chicken is 1.4% min.fat (it’s really 2.4%) and 10%protein, wild calling is 7%fat and 9% protein. How low of protein does he have to be on?

  • steph

    I’m currently in the US but I’m from Sicily. I had to take my dog off of the royal canin diabetic food, it gave him absolutely horrible bloody diarrhea. Right now he’s on wild calling duck, weruva paw lickin chicken(which is a great low fat alternative for my other dog with chronic pancreatitis,I think it’s 2% fat) and earthborne weight management kibble. I tried doing raw, he wasn’t impressed and wouldn’t touch it, I couldn’t believe it. So far his blood sugar has been staying in the 300s. Not good but better than 500. They think he has cushings which can complicate diabetes. So when I have the funds he’ll get the test done. It’s been an uphill battle but he’s my baby and I’d do anything for him. His cataracts can’t be removed until he’s regulated, it’s so frustrating! I would recommend you trying weruva paw lickin chicken if your puppy gets diarrhea from canned food. It’s human style canned, but it’s single protein and my dogs tolerate it really well, and they get sick on just about everything. Good luck!

  • Janet Garraffa

    hi not 2 sure u got my message tried 2 call chewy .com /deliver Canada -oboy—–will send u homemade food recipe a lot of people do I have polish lowland sheep dog a dog of war ww2 were they do not understand food, these most precious would scrounge in the fields for food hence my parania to make up the difference for them

  • theBCnut

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Unfortunately, it was probably meant for the OP, but it went to me instead. You might want to reply directly to the OP and at least mention that you replied below. BTW, why does canned food give your dog diarrhea? With regular foods, canned is often made with fatty cuts of meat and so upsets the stomach of dogs that are not used to the increase in fat in their diet, but with prescription food, this should not be the case.

  • Janet Garraffa

    go to chewy.com I live usa only buy natural balance lid/lit-stay away from their other food

  • Tina Louise

    Is it available in Canada? Where r u located?

  • Tina Louise

    I believe older dogs need more protein (or better quality protein) because it’s required for them to continue building red blood cells etc in the bone marrow. They will become very ill and anaemic if not fed well. They HAVE discovered that they can give a higher amount & quality of protein but the phosphorus levels still must remain low. It’s very complex. Contact the vets who devote their time to make the food according to the test results, and change it accordingly, at Royal Canine are always learning and bet they are doing the same. They are great to deal with. (no I’m not a representative of theirs☺)

  • Tina Louise

    Are you in the US? We are so limited here as to what we can buy for our dogs with medical issues. We can ONLY get this food for special diets through the vet and of course it’s super expensive and with our dollar tanking, it’s even that much more . high protein and high phosphorus is NOT good for renal failure dogs although they are now finding that earlier diets with markedly restricted protein was not in the dogs best interest for a variety of reason. I won’t get into it here as it’s alot of information to read here. Wish I could find something that was safe and good for my little shih tzu, in Canada or even in upper Michigan ie Sault Michigan that I can ask family members to pick up and send me. I am so afraid of causing him to be sick by feeding him the wrong diet. I’m up for any and all suggestions as I frequently go online to learn and get so many opposing recommendations. Ps. We had our shih tzu’s on Core Wellness dry food and their fur was like silky feathers. Even the vet commented each time about that and was impressed with the ingredients in the food.

  • JeremyScott10

    Here’s some informative articles from dogaware.com
    Make sure to read the information relating to your pup’s specific kind of stones.

    http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjcalciumoxalates.html

    http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjstruvites.html

    http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjotherstones.html

  • Kari

    I need to find a dog food that is for bladder stone prevention. Our Lhasa has had 2 surgeries to remove them. We have to buy her food from the veterinarian and it is very expensive. The protein content is 4.5% and fat 3.5%. Would like to see if there is a better alternative.

  • Shawna

    Hepatic Encephalopathy is a disease that really should be monitored by a nutritionist. Here’s some info that may be helpful for you.

    “The source of dietary protein can significantly influence the manifestation and severity of HE. Based on research and clinical experience, meat-based protein sources trigger a more severe response compared to vegetable and dairy proteins. Therefore, cottage cheese or egg-based diets are commonly utilized, as are vegetarian diets for dogs with HE.”

    The article goes on to say this
    “Another approach is to decrease the amount of protein in the diet since many of the HE triggers are found in or are associated with protein. This strategy can be effective, but can also lead to protein malnutrition if the animal is not eating enough food to meet its daily energy needs.” Edit to include the source http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/nutrition/client_info_sheets/encephalopathy.cfm

    The problem with a “low protein” off the shelf food is that it still has to meet AAFCO minimum requirements for protein in the dog’s diet – this minimum may very well be too much for a HE dog with active symptoms.

    There are also supplements (and medications) that can help alleviate the ammonia that is produced from proteins (the ammonia is what causes the symptoms). A specific type of probiotic and a prebiotic called lactulose can help draw ammonia out of the system which may allow for more protein with fewer symptoms.

    Seniors actually require more protein than do adult dogs so getting the right amount in them to prevent malnutrition while still keeping it low enough, or the right kinds, to prevent symptoms can be tricky without some outside support.

    If you can’t work with a nutritionist, I would, at the very least, look for a yahoo or Facebook support group for this specific illness.

    I hope you get everything figured out. Prayers to you!!!!!

  • I don’t think there is a Low Protein Foods list. There is however a Low Fat Foods list.

  • Crazy4cats

    Huh? I thought there use to be a list. How low of protein are you looking for?

  • Cori Gondek

    I’m confused. I am new to this site and am looking for a suggestion for dry or wet food for my 12 year old 50# rescue girl. She has Hepatic Encephalopathy and needs to have a lower protein food. When I click on SUGGESTED LOW PROTEIN FOOD I just get an article about why protein is not an issue when it comes to kidney function. Did I miss the suggested foods somewhere?
    I also see places for puppy food but nothing for seniors.
    Please help.

  • Lynda Dyke

    Hi My yorkie had the same disease…MVD… I fed him Hills Prescription Diet for Liver Disease. The quality of the protein is the most important. He may seem good but toxins will build up and he could seizure. But follow your Vets suggestions

  • longlivethealamo

    Thank you. I am thinking about doing Honest Kitchen in the morning and Ziwipeak canned in the evening. Gotta get as much water into him as we can.

  • Lana Martin

    Turkey. Vets tend to recommend
    the commercial ‘kidney diet’ food, but I just can’t feed my dog what is in them. I also have found they recommend Purina, which is the worst. My vet has admitted that they don’t go to vet school for nutrition, but for medicine. Your best friend is the internet. Try the honest kitchen. One I also love is ZiwiPeak. Go to ziwipeak.com and do some reading. It is very digestible and actually recommended as a diet for dogs with renal disease, IBS, pancreatitis, etc. I bought the canned and air dried. Tripe has been really good for her too. Leptospirosis sounds horrible. Good luck.

  • longlivethealamo

    Hi Lana, which Honest Kitchen are you feeding? My dog is recovering from leptospirosis and my vet wants him on a “kidney friendly” diet but she has prescribed the Royal Canin Kidney stuff and the ingredients worry me a bit. Once his doxycycline treatment is over I’d like to switch him to a mid-range protein food with lots of water.

  • Bobby dog
  • Rebecca Steil-Lambert

    My Beagle is over 12 years old, and has been allergy tested and is allergic to corn, wheat, all poultry (chicken, turkey etc), and all fish as well as a bunch of pollen and leaves and grasses. Everything was going fine feeding him expensive limited ingredient dog food free of these allergens. (He can have lamb, beef, peas, rice, bison, barley, oats, eggs, green beans, beets, kale, apples, flax, sweet potatoes, potato, peanuts). However, my vet says he has renal failure and he needs to be on low protein rx dog food. ALL of it seems to have something in it that he can’t have b/c of allergies. Does anyone have any ideas for us? He can’t even do chicken fat as he has a dermatitis that is severe if he eats any of the above and will chew his feet til they bleed and develop sores on his legs. I currently make his food with a recipe I found online using only a little bit of Wellness wet lamb and mixing it with his homemade veggies and rice. Vet says he is still spilling too much protein in his urine. Tried Hills low protein lamb but it had chicken fat in it and he could not tolerate how itchy he was. Is there anywhere I can order dog food and specify what ingredients can be used? I will do anything for this dog. He was a lab animal. Still has his ear tattoo, (and was de-barked-awful!) YET all he offers is love and cuddles and tail wags. What can I feed my sweet elder fur baby!?

  • marcys mom

    My almost 7 yr old dog recently diagnosed with addisons disease. dr put on prescription kidney dog food, purina.
    It seems to have meat byproducts and corn grits as first few ingredients. Always was told to do grain free, by product free?
    Suggestions?

  • Dishka

    I have a 1.5 year old Morkie with Liver MV dysplasia, he’s been eating Wellness Adult Toy Breed for a few months and has not shown any negative effects and seems very healthy and energetic. The vet suggested we put him on a lower protein diet, but he’s pretty skinny and I don’t want him losing weight… should he stay on the same food or should he switch to something with less protein?

  • Dori

    Senior dogs need a higher protein but one would never know that by listening to their dog’s vets. They know little about vaccines, how can we think they know anything about nutrition.

  • theBCnut

    For a dog with kidney disease, quality of protein is very important. I would stay away from kibble, in this instance. It’s too processed.

  • steph

    That’s interesting thanks for the info! I’ll have to do some more research. There’s just so much it’s overwhelming.

  • Demi Bruno

    After I sent you this message I did a bit of research and found some interesting facts. A lot of research has been done in the past 15 years that proves low protein diets serve do benefits in older dogs. In fact studies showed that the mortality rate was higher in dogs that were on a low protein diet. I’m sticking to my brand. These vets say they are in it for the love of animals but they have no problem taking advantage of people that love their dogs like a family member.

  • steph

    Tell me about it. I wonder if the vets actually even read the labels on that stuff.most vets know virtually nothing about nutrition. Their information comes from the food company representatives mostly.It’s ridiculous

  • Demi Bruno

    My vet recently suggested the same. I asked to look at the ingredients and couldn’t believe it was the same low grade ingredients found in the lowest priced dog foods only this bag of c rap was $85.

  • steph

    I have a 12 year old diabetic dachshund. Vet proscribed royal canin,naturally..I’m a pet food novice so I didn’t realize what junk it was. I’ve been thinking of switching him to orijin senior as it has a low glycemic rating. But I heard high protein diets should be avoided if the dog also has kidney disease, anyone know if that’s true?I also have a dog with chronic pancreatitis and am trying to find a low fat dry food. (She loves weruva canned) I’m at a loss on what to feed them.my dog with chronic pancreatitis is currently on wellness healthy weight.

  • Denise Givens

    Oh, how I miss the English language. I am certain that excellent thoughts abound in this discussion. Unfortunately, I cannot decipher them.

  • Christina Sheree Harris

    Thank you so so much for your response and all the information, I will be implementing these immediately

  • Janet Garraffa

    It’s not the protien food -it’s the thought prosses- had Akita could not give small toys would want to eat as food put bulls love but not for me if animal is DOG give protien these new pretty dogs r differant

  • Melanie Thomas

    I often use ignatia drops with rescue dogs too.

  • Melanie Thomas

    Yes I totally agree Pitlove. I work with rescue bull terriers, so we deal with all kinds of temperaments and upbringing. I tend to feed a raw diet, but was interested in others views.

  • Pitlove

    Unsure who the ‘your’ is directed at, but we did somewhat discuss this a little further down the thread. My only thing I can tell you is, I have a pitbull which is stereotyped as being dog aggressive (untrue when socialized properly). He’s been fed a range of different protein levels ranging from 40%+ on a dry matter basis to 23%. Haven’t seen his temperment change at all.

    I haven’t researched it enough to know why some feel there is a connection with protein and aggression, but I think the best way I’ve seen to prevent it is early and proper socialzation with humans and other dogs.

  • Melanie Thomas

    I am interested to know your thoughts on high protein diets and temperament please?

  • Janet Garraffa

    Only lit lid
    Stay away from ther other food

  • Pitlove

    oh treats ok thank you. I had not seen it termed that before. yes I’m quite familiar with Natural Balance.

  • susan coyle

    Thank you for getting back. Teddy went home 3 weeks ago on I/d low fat science diet – canned. He was having normal stools. Protein content is 25.1% and fat is 8.5. I called about the dry science diet, vet said to try. Low fat kibbles listed dry as Protein 20% and fat 6%. As soon as he started on the kibbles, diarrhea again. My research got me to Natural Balance low fat canned with a protein of 8.0% and fat content of 5.0%. He has normal stools. I am looking for a kibble with low readings, esp. protein but so far nothing. I’m not having luck. Teddy is a rescue dog and will be adopted out. I have to get this food problem settled before then. May be I didn’t give the science dry a chance. Would like to get over the counter foods for him – makes it easer to adopt out.

  • Janet Garraffa

    Natural balance(nb) has fantastic LID- limited ingredient dog food-LIT-limited ingredient treats/there is a new fantastic company Candenisa? But (nb) hi quality testing ect-can’t recommend (nb) enough

  • Pitlove

    Hi, may I ask what LIT is?

  • Janet Garraffa

    Please feed LIT or LID Natural Balance – only LIT LID u will b or ur pet will b a happy person- I no my pet is a best person to me

  • Crazy4dogs

    My 1st fear aggressive dog has gone on to the rainbow bridge over 3 years ago. He lived for almost 15 years and we turned him around on almost everything (except vet visits) into a wonderful dog that everyone loved. I have dealt with many fosters with issues and one that is still a work in progress. Thanks for asking! 🙂

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Susan,

    What food are you feeding? I can’t find Natures balance. Are you feeding Natural Balance? Depending on what canned food you are feeding and it’s moisture content, that is actually a pretty high fat dog food since it’s probably around 32% protein and 20% fat on a dry matter basis. I think you might have your numbers mixed up. Are you looking for a food under 15% fat? What food are you feeding him from the vet?

  • susan coyle

    I have a rescue puppy mill dog – 6 months old. chronic diarrhea and mega tests later, vet puts him on a low fat/calorie diet (rx). Can’t find an over the counter dry food with low cal, only low fat. Natures balance has stopped diarrhea but it is canned. Got to find a low cal dry, and really, how low must I go so the diarrhea doesn’t come back?
    The can food has 8% cal and 5% fat. I think I should look for under 15% cal or even lower. I am switching from RX. to over the counter. His DX is a sensitive stomach.

  • el doctor

    Hi C4d

    Thanks for all that info!

    It looks like 5-HTP, the first metabolite of tryptophan might be a better choice for fear aggressive and anxious dogs.

    I edited my reply to Tamara to incorporate the info you supplied 😉

    I hope you’ve been successful in treating your fear aggressive and anxious dog(s) 😉

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi el doctor,

    I’ve dealt with fear agressive and anxious/nervous (anxiety) dogs and been through many nutraceuticals over the years along with counter conditioning and desensitization (which is the crucial part in dealing with it successfully). Some work, some don’t.

    I did look into tryptophan a while back, and the dosage for dogs is much lower than the nutraceutical you’re suggesting. There can be some adverse side effects, but they are mostly GI isssues.

    Here are some interesting links to the diet to change behavior issue. Some agree, some don’t.

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/01/12/ways-to-treat-canine-behaviors.aspx

    https://books.google.com/books?id=5f8aABaBfacC&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=how+much+l+tryptophan+to+give+a+dog&source=bl&ots=3xmC0cOwNb&sig=NIIw-aQ0MX2mPXOXF5dSRwDmJKs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBzgKahUKEwjwnrmOv7rIAhXIzYAKHXDrAlE#v=onepage&q=how%20much%20l%20tryptophan%20to%20give%20a%20dog&f=false

    http://www.animalsheltering.org/resources/magazine/nov-dec-2012/better-behavior-through-food.pdf

    http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/tryptophan-nutricalm

  • el doctor

    Hi Tamara

    I’m very sorry to hear of your troubles with your dog. 🙁

    Whatever food you settle on I have a suggestion for tryptophan supplementation. This supplement has 500 mg of L-tryptophan per capsule, it is very concentrated and it might be worth a try.

    You would have to feed your dog about 50 Grams of dried spirulina to get the same amount of tryptophan that is in one capsule.

    http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-l-tryptophan-500-mg-120-vegetarian-capsules-1

    I wish you and your pooch the best of luck!

  • Shawna

    Sorry, another thought.

    Per Nutrition Data, the supplement spirulina is high in tryptophan. I wonder if supplementing with spirulina (which has other wonderful health benefits) would be helpful? http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000079000000000000000.html

  • Shawna

    Please do let us know if you find any improvement on the lower protein diet!!! There’s been a lot of discussion about the validity of this research you quoted.

    Aggression has also been linked to the rabies vaccine and lymes disease. Most vets will rule out lymes disease but I think only holistically minded vets look at rabies vaccs as a potential cause. On the “Rabies Challenge Fund” website they state (bolded emphasis mine) “Research has demonstrated that overvaccination can cause harmful adverse
    effects in dogs. Immunologically, the rabies vaccine is the most potent
    of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse
    reactions such as polyneuropathy resulting in muscular atrophy,
    inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ
    function, incoordination, and weakness, auto-immune hemolytic anemia,
    autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin,
    kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock;
    aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are
    all linked to the rabies vaccine.” http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/about-the-rcf/about-the-rabies-challenge-fund

    Symptoms can present months after the vaccine is given.

  • Shawna

    Unfortunately you won’t find a 5 star low protein food. The star rating is partially based on the amounts and quality of protein in the food.

    With liver shunts the kind of protein is every bit as important as the overall amount as well. When protein is digested it breaks down to amino acids. The amino acids that aren’t absorbed in the small intestine are then converted to ammonia by the bacteria in the colon. The liver takes the ammonia and makes urea from it. The urea is then filtered out of the body through the kidneys. With a liver shunt that ammonia bypasses the liver and is not converted to urea. The ammonia ends up in the blood which then causes toxic effects.

    White fish proteins generate less ammonia so larger amounts of protein can be fed to help keep the body healthy. It can be problematic to the entire body if protein amounts are too low. The brochure I’m quoting below is from University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. They brochure states on page 12 (bolded emphasis mine) “Most of the toxins that cause problems in dogs with congenital PSS come from proteins broken down by bacteria in the colon. Therefore, the most important treatment of dogs with congenital PSS is an appropriate diet. Commercial liver diets such as Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Canine Hepatic Health and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hepatic Formula provide quality proteins that are readily digestible in the small intestine so that minimal amounts reach the colonic bacteria. These diets have protein concentrations that are higher than those in many of the kidney diets; in fact, they are considered “protein restricted” instead of “low protein”. This is important, because animals with liver disease that receive too little protein will break down their own muscle tissue to make more.” http://www.vet.utk.edu/clinical/sacs/shunt/MVD-Brochure-FINAL2013-04-10.pdf

    It’s could also be important to give quality probiotics and a food for those probiotics called lactulose. Below also quoted from above linked brochure, same page
    “Probiotics
    Some dogs may benefit from the addition of yogurt with active cultures to their diet. For example, 2.2 ounces of Activa vanilla yogurt can be added to each 1000 kcals of food. That is roughly 1-2 tsp of yogurt once or twice a day for a small Yorkie. This type of “probiotic” has been shown to reduce signs of hepatic encephalopathy in people, and the yogurt also provides another source of high quality, readily digestible protein.

    Lactulose
    Lactulose syrup is a double sugar that is broken down by bacteria in the colon to two simple sugars. This reaction is beneficial in several ways. First, the reaction produces an acidic environment that may be unattractive to troublesome bacteria and that reduces ammonia absorption. Second, the resulting sugars cause absorption of fluid into the feces, which makes them move out faster.”

    I’m not at all one to suggest prescription diets but my exception to that stance is when dealing with a dog with a inoperable liver shunt. (If the shunt is operable I personally would highly consider going through with the operation if having to make that choice for one of my crew.) That said, prescription diets are not the only option. If you are willing to make a homemade diet that is. Nutritionist Monica Segal modified Dr. Jean Dodds original liver cleansing diet making it appropriate (complete and balanced) for long term feeding. The diet can be found here http://www.monicasegal.com/liver-friendly-diet.html

    You could also work with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate a diet specifically for your baby. Dr. Susan Wynn would be a good example.

    I hope my post has been helpful to you and that you find that just right happy medium to keep your puppy healthy and feeling well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christina Sheree Harris

    I need a 5 star low protein dog food reccomendation (canned) for my 5 month old puppy who has a liver shunt

  • aquariangt

    not to mention its an inconclusive study 🙂

  • Pitlove

    Yeah, I find that just seeing one study done on something is really not enough emprical evidence to completely avoid all other treatments or better yet getting to the root of the anxiety. Just like with human anxiety. Masking the problem with meds or in this case a diet, is not really figuring out what is causing the anxiety and fixing it.

    I’ll be interested in hearing about this expo and what was said when you go.

  • aquariangt

    While classical conditioning is the best option here, I would use certain remedies and medications over a low protein diet

  • aquariangt

    I actually know a vet behaviorist that suggests under 21%. I don’t agree. There is 1 study that is used in these recommendations, and it was linked. Very little has been done on the subject, and it’s frustrating that they all hold to this. Not vet behaviorist, but myself and other trainers around here do not agree with this sentiment, and maybe in the next few years a new study will come out about this very subject 😉 However, at clicker expo this year there is a diet and behavior link class. I’ll be front and center at that one

  • Pitlove

    This is certainly interesting, especially the part about aggression. My dog eats a variety of levels of protein. He’s eaten very high (over 40% on a DMB) and is currently eating a food that I consider to be low (about 25% on a DMB). He’s a pitbull that is intact, and while he exhibits dominant behavior, he has never been aggressive on high protein. In fact he’s never been aggressive at all dispite living with 2 other intact male dogs and meeting a variety of dogs, intact and not. He also has no anxiety at all.

    Regardless, best of luck. I do hope that lowering the protein does make a difference for your dog. Science Diet has some of the lowest protein foods I’ve seen. Not a fan of Science Diet, but it could work for your purpose.

  • Crazy4cats

    I have a cat on anxiety meds and I have read about tryptophan helping with the issue. Royal Canin makes a “calm” formula with this ingredient for both cats and dogs. I hope you find something that works.

  • Tamara Marks

    It was recommended to me by my vet behaviorist who said that another famous vet (I’d have to ask her the name) did a study linking high protein diets to aggression and anxiety.

    Effect
    of dietary protein content and tryptophan supplementation on dominance
    aggression, territorial aggression, and hyperactivity in dogs
    SUMMARY:
    L-tryptophan is a biosynthetic precursor for the neurotransmitter
    serotonin. It has been hypothesized that decreased concentrations of
    this amino acid would lead to reduced formation of serotonin and
    possibly more aggressive responses to stimuli in dogs. Three groups of
    dogs with dominance aggression, territorial aggression, and
    hyperactivity respectively were fed diets differing in protein and
    tryptophan levels. It was found that, for dogs with dominance
    aggression, adding tryptophan to a high-protein diet or changing to a
    low-protein diet may reduce aggression. For dogs with territorial
    aggression, a low-protein diet with added tryptophan may be helpful in
    reducing aggression. The behavior of hyperactive dogs was not influenced
    by dietary protein content or addition of tryptophan.

    View article (PDF, 110 KB)

    Jean S. DeNapoli, Nicholas H. Dodman, Louis Shuster, William M. Rand, Kathy L. Gross

    J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:504-508. August 15, 2000.

  • Pitlove

    I’m also confused, but interested in understanding why you were recommended a low protein food for anxiety. If you want to take another route so that you can continue feeding a more species appropriate amount of animal protein, I’ve used a product called Rescue Remedy for Pets. I used it on a 31 hour car ride down to Louisiana when I moved last year with my 6 year old cat. It was recommended by his old vet, as it was herbal and not a seditive which it was I was most concerned about. It worked very well with no adverse effects. You can find it online or at Whole Foods.

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