I am going crazy going through dog food websites looking for a good quality low protein, low fat, low phosphorus diet for my miniature schnauzer.
As a breed, miniature schnauzers need a low fat food because they do not digest fat well – my rule of thumb has always been <15% fat.
Now I need a low protein and low phosphorus diet as well as she has recently been diagnosed with renal disease. The canned prescription renal diets have too much fat for miniature schnauzers – I do not want to throw her into pancreatitis and quite frankly, she will not eat the canned renal diet without me force feeding her – that is not a long term solution as it breaks my heart when she sees me coming with her food dish and runs away. It seems like all of the renal diets compensate for low protein by increasing fat and for miniature schnauzers that just doesn’t work – the dry food I looked at had brewers rice as first ingredient and chicken fat as the second and was above my rule of thumb for fat at 16%.
I am hoping that someone can point me in the direction of a good quality low protein, low fat, low phosphorus diet. It is clear that she prefers kibble as she will by-pass a bowl of wet dog food and eat the kibble next to it.
I know most people turn up their noses at it, but Pedigree has worked wonders for my older dog who had so many health issues going on at the same time, one contributed to the worsening of another, until he was diagnosed with kidney disease about three months ago. He had chronic (i.e., daily) diarrhea, abdominal pain, and was urinating blood at one point. After the diagnosis of kidney disease, he was on Hill’s k/d canned and a specially tailored home made diet for renal patients. It was expensive, time consuming, and honestly, even on boiled chicken and rice he had issues with soft, frequent bowel movements 🙁
At the recommendation of our Vet, we substituted the k/d for dry Pedigree Lamb & Rice.
Moose’s problems started around December of 2015. From that point until late January of 2017, he hadn’t had a single normal bowel movement. He was going quite often, but the first day we mixed in Pedigree with some home cooked, he went the entire day without having a poo accident in the house. When he finally did go, his stool was normal, hard and formed, passed without any pain.
He’s been to the Vet since starting out on it, and his BUN & blood creatinine levels drastically improved.
The Lamb & Rice food is 21% protein/10% fat/0.8% phosphorous. I know the ingredient list isn’t fancy, but the food is made from American sources and has an excellent balance of nutrients. I’ve since switched my other dogs to it. The 10 year old with allergies and very bad problems with reverse sneezing has seen a DRASTIC reduction in breathing issues. Her tear stains are not gone but visibly lessened, and an old ear infection that never responded to antibiotics has cleared up. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the quality of this brand, even though it’s something I wouldn’t ordinarily have tried.
Royal Canin makes a variety called “Aging 12+” that is lower phosphorus. I buy the bag that has “Mini” on the side of it, which they say is for dogs up to 22 pounds, although any size dog could eat it. The Guaranteed Analysis on the bag says “Protein (min) 24%; Fat (min) 12%, and Phosphorus (min) 0.41%. The bag says it is “Easily rehydrated,” which is good, as our kidney dogs need lots of water. Some brands of kibble just will not soak up water. The prescription Royal Canin dry kibble, variety “A”, lists phosphorus as 0.27%. I have a vet RX for the prescription food, but I have been researching and it seems that protein does not usually need to be restricted until Stage 3 of chronic kidney. So I like that the “Aging 12” has more protein than the Rx food. I bought the “Aging 12+” at Petsmart, but if there is not one near you I’m sure you can buy it from Amazon or Chewy’s. It is very palatable; my Boston Terriers love it. Just be sure you get the “Aging 12” because there are also bags for “8” and “10” (referring to the age of dog, I think) and they are not lower phosphorus.
I have a suggestion… do a google search for VeRUS Pet Foods, and fill out the contact form. They’ll email you back & you can e-discuss your concerns about your dog, any issues you’re facing with food & health, and they’ll email you back with good info & a suggestion for which of their food is best for your dog and why. These people are really smart/knowledgeable and love dogs, so you can count on what they say. They’ll send you free samples to try, too, so you don’t have to waste money to find out if your dog will even eat it.
You’ll also be able to find their nutritional breakdown for each formula on their website.
My dogs have been eating VeRUS for over 2 years. My Golden just turned 12 and acts like she did when she was 6. Her weight is great, her activity is great, and the vet has complimented me on how healthy my dogs are after eating this food.
Susan, it’s great to know that the folks at VeRUS are so helpful. I wish more companies took a one on one interest/approach with customers that are having a rough time choosing the best formula.
Thanks for sharing this, it’s always good to have good kibble brands on hand to recommend to others.
Acroyali – no problem on the sharing! My dogs have done so well on this food, it’s unbelievable. I have emailed them back with other questions, too, that “related” to my dogs’ eating habits but weren’t specifically food-related. They’ve always been helpful & answered question.
And apart from loving free samples – who doesn’t! – it’s really nice to not have to buy a whole bag of food just to try it out. Even if you get a small bag – 8 lb, etc – if it doesn’t work, or the dog doesn’t like it, then you’ve wasted that money.
Here’s an interesting footnote: Last Fall/Winter I was taking care of my mom’s dog while Mom recuperated from an injury. Her dog was eating something not VeRUS. I had to walk the dog (i.e. I couldn’t just let her out like I do with my dogs) and for SIX STRAIGHT MONTHS I promise you could not walk in my backyard without stepping in poop. We’re talking 1/2 an acre! Mom’s dog went home in Feb. Last night I was in my backyard LOOKING for poop to use as fertilizer in prepping some soil to grow ornamental cotton. I couldn’t find any! I went from not being able to take a step to searching & searching & only coming up with a little! What does that tell you? (Aside from the pooping machine went home – LOL)
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