The vet recommends that our dry food contain a maximum of 21% protein. Partially due to recent reports of arsenic in rice, we’re also veering toward grain free. A few fruits and veggies would be nice, too. Does anyone know of a quality dry food that fills all these bills?
A food with only 21% protein wouldn’t be quality. That’s way too low, hardly enough to survive on! Unless your dog has liver disease or is in late state kidney failure I wouldn’t recommend feeding a food with any less than 30% protein. Most of the 5 star grain-free foods will fit the bill. All three of my dogs eat 45% – 55% protein – they range from 7 months old to 7 years old and are all extremely healthy.
Check out Dr. Becker’s articles on picking a quality food – the #1 think to look for is HIGH levels of HIGH QUALITY protein!
I don’t know if you heard your vet wrong, but something he said doesn’t add up.
After you were told to stay at or under 21% protein, your vet then said it’s because of arsenic in rice. What does one have to do with the other? Rice doesn’t affect protein. If anything, going with a lower protein food oftentimes means more grains… such as rice.
Is there another reason he is recommending such a low protein diet? Maybe it’s higher quality/animal-based proteins that need to be fed, as opposed to plant-based proteins (for example, peas).
Like HDM, I wouldn’t recommend a food that low in protein unless there’s a legitimate health issue that calls for it. So I’m sorry, but I’m not listing any foods.
No, she is saying the reason she is thinking grain free is due in part to the arsenic reports : )
Why did your vet say 21% protein or under? That to me is way too low unless there is a medical reason necessitating it. For the record, my dogs range in weight from just under 6lbs to 110lbs. They range in age from 2 yrs to 16 yrs. They are all “house dogs” with activity levels proportionate to their ages(some are very active, some prefer to loaf around the house) All of them eat Acana at 30-31 percent protein, and to that I add raw, canned etc-further upping it.
Thanks for all the concern! This particular dog, who appears to be a Yorkie/Pom mix, was born with a hepatic shunt, which can cause a seizure if she’s fed even one high-protein meal. This we found out the hard way. She’s been high-energy and alert on 21% protein for 9 years. The grain-free thing is a recent decision of mine which has since been reinforced by the reports of arsenic in rice.
Okay, in that case your vet’s suggestion makes sense. A liver shunt would be one of the rare instances in which a low protein diet would be preferable.
I would suggest checking out Addiction. They use high quality ingredients, however their foods are fairly low in protein. They have several dehydrated foods ranging from 18% – 22% protein. Sojo’s has 2 dehydrated formulas that are 23% protein. California Natural’s grain-free venison is 21.5% protein, the kangaroo formula is 21% protein and the lamb is 21% protein. The Honest Kitchen’s Keen is 21% protein and Verve is 22.5% protein. Blue Buffalo Basics grain-free is 22% protein.
Avoderm Grain-Free might be another option – 22% protein.
My 2-year-old Havanese has surgery to repair an extrahepatic liver shunt last May. He is completely asymptomatic at this time and and his most recent BAT was slightly elevated after feeding, but both my regular vet and the surgeon said his BAT may never be completely normal, but as long as he is asymptomatic I shouldn’t worry. The surgeon said he can go back to as regular diet as there is no evidence a low protein diet is beneficial postsurgically. Our regular vet said he might do okay on a regular diet, but staying on the low protein diet certainly wil not hurt him.
What food did you end up going with? I’m considering Honest Kitchen’s Keen or preference (with my own added protein). I’m also considering alternating between the two.
All the natural balance line dog foods have 20% protein and is good to alternate with other foods that match your needs as it’s grain free lines are fairly inexpensive. It’s considered a 2.5 star food on here however
PetClubEmployee: no, out of the many NB foods, only two or three are 20% protein. Two are 18, the two or three at 20, the rest are more.
Let me rephrase that. Several of the dog foods by natural balance fit what you’re looking for. Apologize for the technicality.
No problem….I didn’t want people reading think they’re all 20% protein. Some people don’t double check!
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