Dog Food Advisor › Forums › Diet and Health › Need help selecting senior food, low phosphorus
April 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm #38992 Report Abuse
So, maybe it doesn’t have to be senior food. I’m getting a bit overwhelmed and quite honestly, I’m sure i’m overthinking things too much. I’m a dog mom who loves her furbabies.
I have two seniors eating wellness complete health senior dry food (rated 3.5). I started feeding them that because one of my beagles had a couple of blood tests showing elevated BUN levels and she has a history of low specific gravity results. Now does my dog have renal issues? The vet isn’t sure because the last two or three tests have been normal. So, she has sort of said she may have some renal insufficiencies. That is sort where we are.
So I was looking for foods .7, .8, or no higher than .9 phosphorus, that was moderate in protein, low in fat based on the fact that both aren’t as active as they used to be. Both seniors are not as active as they used to be. They do go on walks every morning and evening and keeping their weights in check is always something I have to close monitor, but they don’t play like they used to.
I had pretty much decided on the Blue Buffalo wildnerness senior formula, and possibly the new red meat formula. I’m on the fence now because it seems that opinions are the food is overpriced for what’s in it (marketing) and it may not be as good a food as I thought. I wanted to go grain free because I am noticing a little bit of digestion issues over the last few months. From some of your wonderful feedback, I’m beginning to learn that grain free isn’t always best either. I’m willing to go with grains, but I’m still not educated enough to know what are good grains. From what I have learned, its looking for foods rich in meat? That sort of balances out some grains? I hope I am getting that right. Someone at our local pet store (pet valu) suggested holistic select senior as it’s moderate in protein and fat and low in phosphorus. Is this a good food even though it has grains?
So anyway, I would love some thoughts or feedback….April 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm #39006 Report Abuse
Sarah, here is a list of quality low-fat foods that the DFA recommends: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/suggested-low-fat-dog-food/
Why does it need to be low- to medium-protein again? If you are really set on it though, you may find this list helpful: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/low-protein-dog-foods/
Also, you could well feed any dog food, even puppy food if it fits the phosphorus requirements, you just need to adjust the amount based on the dogs’ activity level and lifestyle. This calculator may be a good tool to consider: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-feeding-tips/dog-food-calculator/
So, you can try to match a food that is in both lists (the low-fat and the low-protein ones), and see if the phosphorus is right for your dogs. Then you can look up the kcal/cup of that food and see how much to feed less active dogs using the calculator.
Hope this helps!April 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm #39009 Report Abuse
Also, looking at the Blue Buffalo Wilderness profile, I would consider it moderate protein, as I always try to feed 30%+ protein diets, and the fat level and phosphorus level fit your needs. Like I said in the Blue Buffalo thread, it is more so the company that mishandled the recall, not that the food is horrible. My dog, and 2 other dogs that I know personally have done great on it, so I would feed it again. You can definitely try it and make sure you do a good slow transition, but if your dogs seem to have an issue with it, it may just not be their cup of tea. Added glucosamine and chondroitin, which is great for joint health. 410 kcal/cup.
As for the Holistic Select Senior, it also looks pretty good – decent grains, and I like the added glucosamine for joint health – a little more than in BB Wilderness, but no chondroitin. 368 kcal/cup. Fat and protein are both less than BB Wilderness Senior, phosphorus is the same. Looks like a good food to me.
So it is up to you, you can try both if you want. I would definitely suggest using the calculator tool posted above to know how much approximately to feed inactive dogs.April 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm #39010 Report Abuse
ok thanks for your help. I am not looking for lower protein necessarily, but more moderate. Why? I guess because I have never fed them a food higher than 33% (wellness core reduced fat formula). So I didn’t want to go high because they just never had it. Not because I avoided it, but just because. I hope that makes sense.
I may try the holistic select because it appears to be a little less money and is lower in phosphorus than the regular BB wilderness senior formula.
Again, appreciate you taking the time to read all that too!April 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm #39014 Report Abuse
Sarah, true, I was looking at the BB Wilderness Senior Red Meat formula, which has lower protein and lower phosphorus than the Senior Chicken formula. The Red Meat one has the same phosphorus as the Holistic Select Senior. And I see about the protein. I supplement with raw and canned every once in a while, so Bruno’s protein amounts vary a bit, but he seems to be okay with it.
Also, keep us posted on how Holistic Select goes for your dogs. I would get a smaller bag first, to see if they would even eat it, and if there are any digestive issues with it before I go for the bigger bag.April 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm #39018 Report Abuse
Will do….now I have to find it somewhere. Thanks again!April 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm #39019 Report Abuse
You’re welcome! Check out online retailers, such as
if you can’t find it in a local store.April 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm #39021 Report Abuse
I’m not going and checking labels or anything, but how do you know which has a lower phosphorus? The numbers on the label are minimums and the actual numbers can be much higher. To get real numbers, you need to contact the companies and ask for “As Fed” levels.April 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm #39328 Report Abuse
Hey there…I am posting in the grain free thread in the editors forum too. So, I called Blue and asked about Blue Wilderness senior and their senior red meat formula. I asked what their as fed phorphorus level was in their foods and they kept saying they target the guaranteed analysis. I asked if that was “as fed” levels and they said yes. I’m not sure that’s accurate? I sort of felt like I was getting the run around. I explained I called other pet food companies and they all gave me “as fed” numbers and all they were telling me is they target as close to the guaranteed analysis as much as possible.
I found that very strange. I also found that Holistic select senior has 1.42% phosphorus, that’s double what the website says 🙁April 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm #39334 Report Abuse
That’s one of the reasons I don’t like BB. I don’t feel like they are giving anyone straight answers about anything.April 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm #39340 Report Abuse
I hear you….I sent an email hoping to get answers. I’m hoping I just got a bad rep on the phone. I want something in writing.
So far it seems their current food wellness complete senior is the the lowest of the phosphorus that i found. It’s 3 stars. I do wonder if it led to one of my dogs excessive pooping and anal gland problem. First time she has ever had her anal glands expressed. They have been on it for about a year and a half. Could just be age. That’s why I was looking for something else.April 28, 2014 at 7:10 am #40363 Report Abuse
Well I called BB back and got a totally different response and a huge apology. The customer service rep was able to tell me the “as fed” phosphorus levels on both the wilderness senior and wilderness red meat senior. Both are .90.
I decided to try Dr. Tims as I am hearing good things about the food. It has less phosphorus (.76) than their current food. We are on day 3 of the transition and so far so good.April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm #40390 Report Abuse
That sounds good.
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