Dog Food Food

The Best Low Protein Dog Foods in 2021 (Reviews)

low protein food
Written by Robert Lewis

It’s hard to find optimal foods for your dog. Since, shockingly enough, they cannot put in words, what’s good and what’s bad for them, finding an appropriate diet can be quite difficult to, especially if they have any health problems. Speaking of which, liver problems, excess weight and kidney illness are amongst the most popular reasons why dog parents seek low protein dog foods. In order to make it easier for your dog to abide to this new diet, you have to find something that offers maximum health benefits and is delicious enough. Furthermore, there are bonus points for brands and products of low protein dog food that are hypoallergenic, have good reviews, etc. To help you out, we’ll list the best low protein dog foods in 2021 that we consider cream of the crop. The list in no particular order.

The best low protein dog food list 

Pros & Cons of the best low protein or no protein dog foods of 2021

Hill’s Science Plan Adult – an optimal non-prescription choice
hills science plan

This particular mix of dry dog food is less well-balanced than some of the higher-grade low-protein foods out there. However, it is a great starting choice with quite low fat which is great to know for parents of older dogs. In the end, the Hill’s Science Plan Adult is an easily digestible mix which can be a great starting point before transitioning to lower protein dog foods


  • Super tasty for almost all pups
  • Total levels of protein are low, yet not very low (~20%)


  • Not grain-free

Canidae PURE – one of the best brand delivers with a grain-free low protein mix
canidae pure

Even though it costs quite a lot, the Candiae PURE comes in tons of different flavours, so you can easily find what is best and tastiest for your dog. This package of grain-free mix that is low on protein will be great for seniors and should be suitable for liver, kidney disease, for liver shunt bearers and pups who struggle with other GI illness. However, get a vet recommendation before settling on this particular product.


  • Lots of different flavours
  • 10 or less ingredients – a refined formula


  • Pricey

The Honest Kitchen Grain Free – could be the best of low-protein dog foods but has a few downsides
the honest kitchen

If it weren’t for the price, most dogs with low-protein diets could be eating this particular mix. However, it is around 2-3 times more expensive than other regular foods and 1.5-2 times more expensive than low-protein meals for dogs. Even if it is of the best quality and made from human-grade ingredients, the ingredient list isn’t super-mega impressive. Overall, it’s worth a try, but it likely isn’t the go-to low protein meal for all dogs.


  • Human-grade ingredients
  • More meals than weight, very nutritious


  • Probably the most expensive product on this list
  • Hard to get some dogs to try it

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food – yet another entry from our beloved Hill’s brand
hills science diet dry

The second product from Hill’s is quite similar to the Plan Adult, we’ve already featured. However, this one should have a bit more vitamins, and should cost slightly less. This is a better food for adult dogs who don’t have excess weight while the Plan Adult might be more suitable for seniors or overweight dogs.


  • Super tasty for almost all pups
  • Total levels of protein are low, yet not very low (~20%)


  • Not grain-free

Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK – a great choice of low-protein and low-fat dry dog food
rachael ray nutrish peak

Besides being one of the most popular chefs in the world, Rachel Ray also brands a lot of unique and surprisingly healthy dog foods. Made from farm-raised beef, this gluten and grain-free mix seems to be one of the best choices with a lot of natural ingredients. 


  • Gluten & grain-free
  • Many flavours & no artificial fillers


  • Not great for small breeds and for puppies due to large bite size

Kibbles ‘N’ Bits Mini Bits – low on protein, high on carbs

The Kibbles ‘N’ Bits has very nice reviews on Amazon, however the product itself has a few weak points. For example, it isn’t great for dogs with liver shunt or bladder stones because even since it has low protein, due to high level of carbs. 


  • Cost
  • Taste


  • Corn & soy are allergens

How to pick the best low-protein dog food products?

Finding the best low-protein meals online can be difficult. However, if you read our list and know the most important aspects to follow, you’ll be good to go. Here is a list of the latter.

  • Taste – there are two aspects in picking out a taste for low-protein dog food. First and foremost, low-protein meals can be a bit bland, so once you get to something your pup likes, stick to it. Constantly switching flavours won’t do the digestive system any favours. 
  • Allergens – do an allergy test. Know what causes allergic reactions and avoid those ingredients.
  • Ingredients – speaking of which, keep in mind that low-protein food shouldn’t be just absent of protein. It has to be quality animal food, preferably without GMO’s, artificial composites, corn syrup, etc. 
  • Brand & reviews – a good brand reputation is hard-earned and easily lost. This is why we recommend trusting strong brands and positive reviews online when buying low-protein foods, regardless of the cost. 
  • Don’t pick out wet or canned food – in general, wet canned food has much more protein.
  • Phosphorus – high-level of phosphorus can spell trouble for kidneys. But, on the other hand, you should increase the amount of potassium, antioxidants, B-group vitamins and a few others’ share in the dog’s diet if you cut phosphorus.

Why is a low protein diet important?

A low-protein diet helps preserve good health of your pet. It’s essential for doggies with liver or kidney problems. It’s also recommended to dogs with stomach problems and crucial for pooches who have allergies or food sensitivities. Buying low-protein food shouldn’t always be about the lowest number in the protein tab. You should look for a complex solution to reduce the amount of proteins but supplement the loss with an increase of other nutritious goodies.

When to contact a vet?

You can buy and give low-protein dog food (the same applies to low-carb, low-fat, etc.) when they get older or when you sense they’re dealing with bowel movement, gas-related issues or have a lack of energy. However, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a vet if you notice very frequent urination, lots of napping/sleeping, edema, diarrhoea, very high thirstiness, vomiting, lack of appetite. These symptoms call for immediate intervention and should be looked at by the vet. 

Concluding thoughts/verdict/

So, now you know how to pick out the best low-protein food. Look at the ingredients, find ways to balance out the diet and have vet recommendations to make the finest choice. From the broad list of products that are for sale online, we can strongly recommend Hill’s Science Plan Adult and Diet Dry Dog food, Canidae PURE, The Honest Kitchen Grain Free, Rachel Ray Nutrish PEAK and Kibbles ‘N’ Bits Mini bits as the best dog foods online with the lowest level of protein.

About the author

Robert Lewis

Hi, I’m Robert. I live with two Golden Retrievers and a Labradoodle. Four-legged canines have always been by my side. I’m a pet enthusiast at heart & blog writer by job title. Combining my passion with my job is the most rewarding experience I could ever ask for. My goal is to give buyer advice and share insights about various pet products/services with you.

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