When it comes to food your dog also needs a balanced diet. But sometimes that diet is altered and requires ingredient specific dog food like one in low protein dog food. Owners generally panic when they are told this is usually one of the most important ingredients in a dog’s diet is protein. Yet there are several reasons as to why a low protein diet is needed. In this post, we are identifying those reasons as well as providing our best picks for low protein dog food.
Poodles that are suffering from a chronic condition may need to be put on a low protein diet. Most of the time, switching to this type of diet will alleviate the symptoms, giving your dog a better quality of life. As well as reducing or eliminating whatever symptoms they may have it could also benefit their health in general. If your Poodle has been diagnosed with kidney or liver disease then your vet will likely recommend a low protein diet for them. This is because your dog’s body will find it hard to break down the protein if certain organs are hit with the disease. Another reason for needing a low protein diet is heart failure and recurring urinary or gallstones.
What Causes These Chronic Conditions?
Both liver and kidney failure in dogs can be severe or acute. If severe then the most likely cause would be old age or an existing condition that was left untreated or that progressed. Acute failure could occur because of tissue death, the insufficient flow of fluids into the liver or surrounding tissues, inability to breathe (hypoxia), or excessive heat exposure. It could also be because of toxins, infectious agents, harmful chemicals, or drugs and poisons. Symptoms of liver disease include,
- Unexplainable vomiting and diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
- Brain disease
- Jaundice due to tissue death
- Injured tubules of the kidney because of toxins/metabolites
- Blood imbalances
Kidney problems are brought on by similar things, including ingesting toxins such as antifreeze, tainted foods, certain medications, and the like. Sometimes kidney problems develop due to decreased oxygen to the kidneys, infections, obstructions, or insufficient blood flow to the kidneys. All of the above could easily be a one-off. Some of them can be easily treated with a bit of time and medication. However, chronic kidney disease is established over time and can be quite complex both in the diagnosing of it and the causes behind it.
Chronic kidney disease can be a hereditary condition or a congenital one. It can also affect dogs as they age. One of the most common yet surprising causes of chronic kidney disease in dogs is some sort of dental disease. When left untreated the bacteria from severe dental disease can travel to multiple organs and attack them. Symptoms of Kidney Disease,
- Excessive thirst or minimal thirst
- Unusually high or low urine output
- Depression and tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- A strange chemical-like odor of the breath
- Blood in urine
- Unusually pale gums
- Mouth ulcers (typically more than one at a time)
- Lack of balance
- Weight loss
Low Protein Diets Out Of Choice
If your Poodle is perfectly healthy and doesn’t have any severe allergies that could impact how their body uses protein, then a low protein diet is not advised. Dogs rely heavily on protein and it isn’t something that should be substituted unless stated by a qualified veterinary professional.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (otherwise known as the AAFCO), have stated that the recommended dosage of protein in an adult dogs diet is 18 percent. This figure is on a dry matter basis. Protein is found in both wet and dry dog food but it is watered down in wet dog food, so the content is much higher in dry dog food. Essentially, feeding a healthy dog a low protein diet could result in malnutrition.
Why Is Less Protein Needed?
Protein, while a very important factor in a dog’s diet generates waste of nitrogen and toxins. If a dog has organs that have a disease or aren’t functioning properly then these toxins and wastes won’t be able to filter out of the body. With a diet that is lower in protein, there is a significantly lower amount of waste and toxins produced.
The job of a kidney is to remove the toxins and waste from the body while the liver is in charge of removing them from the blood. This is why kidney and liver diseases or failures require a diet that is low in protein.
Precautions Of A Low Protein Diet For Your Poodle
Dog food that is low in protein can only be obtained with a prescription from a qualified veterinary practitioner. Mostly due to it being dangerous for healthy dogs. Once you have that prescription dog food there are still precautions that need to be taken. Firstly your dog will need supplements so that they receive the necessary nutrients.
Again, a veterinary professional will discuss this with you further but the supplements usually consist of vitamins and calcium. Along with this, close monitoring of your pet is needed. They are unable to tell you if things aren’t right, which means that you need to keep an eye on their behaviors and attitude for signs that indicate a problem. Some symptoms to look out for include the following,
- Excessive thirst
- Unusually low or high urine output
- Loss of weight
- Walking with an arched back
If any of these symptoms occur while your dog is on a low protein diet then immediate consultation with your veterinary professional is needed. They could indicate a complication that needs addressing quickly.
How Do You Know Whether A Low Protein Diet Is Right For Your Dog?
Well, you won’t is the simple answer to that question but nor should you have to decide. As stated previously, low protein dog foods aren’t available over the counter which means that you need to have a prescription from a qualified veterinary professional to obtain it.
Even though lower amounts of protein is required for some conditions, it doesn’t mean that a vet will readily prescribe it. In actual fact, it takes a lot for a vet to issue or advise a low protein diet for your dog. So, if they do advise it, then there will definitely be a good reason for it. Once the new diet has started, a good vet will continue to monitor your dog with routine blood tests to ensure that the diet is working.
Unless there is a complication that causes side effects and symptoms, there is no way of knowing whether the diet is working until the blood results are back. Depending on the condition that has led to a diet of low protein, it could be a temporary plan of action. Alternatively, if it is a severe medical condition that has resulted in a low protein diet, then it may well be a permanent addition.
The Best Low Protein Dog Foods For Poodles
Even though a change in dog food may be required, it doesn’t mean that the quality of food should drop. It is still important (if not more so) to ensure that your Poodle is receiving high-quality ingredients in their diet. If you take it upon yourself to restrict or increase your dog’s protein intake, then the recovery will be compromised. For dogs suffering from liver disease, a portion of dog food that includes good quality carbohydrates will be beneficial. As well as that, low phosphorus levels will reduce the likeliness of calcium and potassium imbalances.
Now more than ever is the time to pay special attention to the ingredients in your dog’s food. Ideally, of course, high-quality dog food is always chosen. But if it hasn’t been in the past, then now is the time to do it. To help you find the best low protein dog foods for Poodles, we have composed a list of our best buys.
Here we have specially designed Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Dry Dog Food. It provides a great balance of nutrition that helps to support the kidneys rather than overwork them. It is low in protein, sodium, and phosphorus while providing the necessary nutrients that your dog needs. Some key benefits include,
- Helps to manage kidney disease
- Slows the progression of kidney disease and kidney failure
- Reduces the kidneys work as it is low in sodium, protein, and phosphorus
- Addition of B-complex vitamins which help in protecting the body as well as the process of breaking down nutrients
- Ideal for dogs with hepatic disease and chronic renal failure
The Royal Canin brand has been around for many years and is very well respected among animal experts across the globe. With their tailored high-quality dog foods serving all types of breeds, its natural for them to deliver another high-quality product for dogs with diet specifications. The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support Dog Food has recently been improved and is now even easier to digest.
It has an enhanced aromatic profile as well as an appealing texture, helping your dog to maintain a hearty appetite. This dog food has high levels of vitamin B and fatty acids. With a restricted content of sodium, phosphorus, and protein, this food is ideal for dogs suffering from liver and kidney problems. Additional benefits include,
- Easily digestible
- Low levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium
- High in energy
- Includes a concoction of antioxidants to maintain a strong immune system
- Rich in EPA and DHA to help with inflammation
A wet food that not only restricts the protein content but also provides high energy. Along with that, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support E Canned Dog Food is easily digestible and tasty. Another new and improved formula by Royal Canin which again, increases the appeal and taste. It helps to strengthen your dog’s kidney function by providing a complex dose of antioxidants along with EPA and DHA. More benefits are as follows,
- Reduced levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium which prevents secondary hyperparathyroidism and toxic build-up
- New formula that increases the appeal of the food
- Energy-dense dog food that provides the necessary calorie intake
- Lowers the risk of weakness, lethargy, and depression
A fantastic product to help with urinary tract infections is that of the Nutramax Crananidin Chewable Tablets Dog Supplement. Kidney failure and kidney disease can cause regular urinary tract infections which can be incredibly uncomfortable for a dog. This product uses the natural healing benefits of cranberries to balance the pH of a dogs urine.
With the inclusion of proanthocyanidins, a compound found in cranberry extract, the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections is reduced. It is no longer able to attach and further worsen the infection. Supplement specifications include,
- Protects the bladder from the development of stones
- Limits bacteria
- Prevents urinary tract infections
- Chewable tablet form
- Ideal for dogs of all ages and sizes
Aside from a specialized diet, supporting the liver can be done with the help of the Nutramax Denamarin Tablets For Medium Dogs. It can increase the levels of glutathione in the liver which improves its health as well as protect the cells. Additional features include,
- Protects liver cells from cell death
- Helps to encourage cell regeneration
- Increases glutathione levels
- Maintains a healthy oxidative balance
- Also helps with brain health
Seeing our pets suffer is the worst feeling in the world and since they can’t inform us of when they are feeling ill then it’s up to us to monitor them and have them checked. Not all conditions to do with the liver and kidneys are temporary, some are permanent and will be with them until the end. But some of them are treatable and are only temporary. No matter what the diagnosis is the symptoms can be treated and managed with the right diet, tablets, and care.