What Is Low-Phospherous Dog Food?

by Jennifer Carey
    Low-phosphorus dog food may help your dog's kidneys.

    Low-phosphorus dog food may help your dog's kidneys.

    John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

    If your dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend switching him to a low-phosphorus dog food. Excess phosphorus interferes with normal kidney function. If this happens, your dog can no longer eliminate toxins from his blood stream. Feeding him low-phosphorus dog food may help. Always consult your veterinarian before making changes in your dog's diet.

    What Is Phosphorus?

    Phosphorus is a necessary mineral that assists with bone and soft tissue growth and development. It is important for proper metabolic functions, including muscles and nerves. Too little phosphorus can cause weakness. Too much can cause calcium deficiency, leading to bone density problems. Low-phosphorus dog foods are designed to help with these problems in dogs who are diagnosed with kidney disease.

    Why Feed Low-Phosphorus Dog Food?

    Low-phosphorus dog foods are available in prescription and commercial brands. Low-protein diets have been recommended for dogs suffering from kidney ailments because meat products are high in phosphorus. Low-phosphorus dog foods contain less of the actual mineral while still providing balanced nutrients.

    Low-Phosphorus Dog Food and Kidney Disease

    If your dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, your veterinarian can guide you with proper treatment and care. Schedule regular checkups and blood work to monitor your dog’s condition and metabolic levels. Have your dog weighed at each visit to ensure his weight is stable; modify the amount you feed if he's gaining or losing weight.

    Introducing Your Dog to Low-Phosphorus Food

    After you and your vet have determined the best low-phosphorus food for your dog, introduce him to his new kibble. Rather than feed him a full serving of the new food on the first day, mix a small amount into his regular kibble to equal his usual serving size. This allows him to get used to his new diet. Add a bit more low-phosphorus food and a bit less regular kibble each day, until he is eating the recommended serving size of low phosphorus food. Stretch the switch over the course of at least a week.

    Photo Credits

    • John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Jennifer Carey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from an East Coast university. She has written about topics including health, fitness, parenting and pet care since 2005.

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