Best Low Protein Dog Treats for Health Problems

While dogs normally require a high-protein diet, some canines must be switched to a low-protein diet due to certain health issues, such as kidney disease.

In the group of macronutrients, protein places the most pressure on a dog's kidneys and liver to process it, so if you'd like to provide snacks for your diseased dog, use low-protein dog treats.

When it comes to low-protein dog foods, there are various choices, both over-the-counter and prescription-based, allowing you to find a good low-protein dog food brand easily.

However, finding the best low-protein dog treats is more complicated since they're not as common.

Low Protein Dog Treats

Why Some Dogs Need Low-Protein Dog Treats?

Protein is an essential nutrient for dogs and plays a vital role in a dog’s organism. But when protein enters a dog’s body, it has to be processed by different organs before it can be absorbed.

The most important organs in the processing of proteins are the small intestines, kidneys, and liver.

When these organs don’t work well due to some health condition, a dog may need a low-protein diet to allow them to heal faster or at least to decrease their workload by processing less protein than usual if the condition is chronic.

Another common reason to switch to a lower protein diet is proteinuria (excess protein in a dog's urine).

Some of the most common health conditions in dogs require a low-protein diet.

These health conditions include acute kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, protein-losing nephropathy, Cushing’s disease, etc.

A low-protein dog diet may also treat some types of bladder stones.

Low-protein dog food brands may also be vet-recommended for obese dogs to promote weight loss or for large dog breeds that are at risk of overgrowth due to phosphorus and calcium content.

They are often recommended for senior dogs as well.

Below, we have selected a few of the best low-protein dog treats that we like and analyzed each of them on their crude protein and phosphorus content.

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How to Know What Treats Are Low In Protein

Commercial dog foods and treats are required to include the percentage of crude protein and other nutritional information on the package.

While the recommendations for protein intake for healthy adult dogs can vary, it's generally agreed upon that adult dogs should consume food that contains at least 18% crude protein.

Most dog foods and treats contain 20-25% protein, but there are products with a higher percentage for dogs that need a high-protein diet, like canine athletes, working and performance dogs, or lactating dogs.

A low-protein diet usually consists of less than 16% of crude protein.

In most cases, prescription dog food diets fall in the range of 10-15%, but some conditions may require diets that are even lower in protein than this.

You shouldn’t feed your pup a low-protein dog treat without consulting your veterinarian first. The vet will recommend the exact percentage of protein that will suit your dog specifically.

But low-protein dog treats are wonderful for all dogs since they are only meant to complement your dog’s main diet (up to 10% of daily caloric intake).

How to Choose the Best Low-Protein Dog Treats

If you have consulted with your vet and you know what percentage of protein dog treats should contain, there are a few other things to consider when you're shopping for them.

Quality Dog Treats

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for high-protein or low-protein treats for dogs. The most important thing is that the protein source is of high quality.

A high-quality protein is easy to digest and often comes from chicken, turkey, beef, fish, and eggs.

In general, treats with animal proteins as the main ingredient are the best choice for dogs.

Balanced Dog Treats

Although the amount of protein should be your primary concern, pay attention to all other ingredients, particularly sources of fiber, fat, and carbohydrates.

Check whether the low-protein dog treats contain generic fat sources, meat by-products, colors, or preservatives.

The best choice is often limited-ingredient dog treats and even single-ingredient treats.

Flavors and Palatability of Low-Protein Dog Treats

Your dog may not enjoy just any type of low-protein dog treat, especially since treats with limited proteins are sometimes bland in taste because most of the flavor comes from the protein source.

Soft dog treats with higher moisture percentages are usually more palatable than dry treats.

Dog Treats and Phosphorus Levels

If your dog suffers from kidney problems, choose treats that are low in protein and low in phosphorus since they can help with the kidney’s health.

Keep in mind that a low phosphorus diet for dogs has to be supplemented with enough potassium, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.

The Best Low-Protein Dog Treats

1 Buddy Biscuits Grain-Free Soft Healthy Dog Treats
Crude Protein: 5.0% min

Buddy Biscuits Grain Free Dog Treats, Baked in USA, Large Size Treat with Natural Peanut Butter 14 oz. Buddy Biscuits are a nice choice if you are looking for a variety of flavors. You can find two different flavors – roasted chicken and peanut butter. These low-protein dog treats contain between 5-7 % crude protein, depending on the flavor you choose.

  • CRUDE PROTEIN 5.0% min
  • CRUDE FAT 2.0% min
  • CRUDE FIBER 3.0% max
  • MOISTURE 28.0% max

This product is also low on fat, with just 2-4 % of crude fat content.

These treats are also grain-free (corn, wheat, soy), making them ideal for dogs with gluten intolerance.

The treats also have a high moisture content, around 28 %, so they are pretty soft and palatable.

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Despite many positive reviews, some dog owners reported that they did not like these treats, especially the somewhat stronger smell.

» PROS: Available In Different Flavors, Affordable, Very Low In Protein, Low In Calories, Grain-Free, Moist, Made In the USA

« CONS: Low Fiber Content, Have a Strong Smell

 

2 Zuke's Superfood Blend Dog Treats
Crude Protein: 6.0% min

UPDATE (2023): This product is no longer available and might have been discontinued by the manufacturer.

These low-protein dog treats are made without any meat, and while protein from meat is the best for dogs, this product is perfect for dog owners with vegetarian preferences.

They come in three different flavors – bold berries, great greens, and vibrant veggies.

The amount of protein varies depending on the flavor, but it only ranges from 6 to 7 %.

  • CRUDE PROTEIN 6.0% min
  • CRUDE FAT 3.0% min
  • CRUDE FIBER 3.0% max
  • MOISTURE 35.0% max

These treats are very low in calories, so they are a great choice for overweight dogs.

However, despite being made from fruits and vegetables, they are surprisingly low in fiber, too.

While these treats are not grain-free, they are only made of wholesome grains like ground outs and without any wheat, corn, or soy, so they are pretty low in gluten.

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And if your pooch is not such a fan of dry foods and treats, these treats have 35 % moisture to make them more palatable.

However, these treats are a bit high in sugar content.

Also, more than a few dog owners reported that dogs don’t like these treats, which is not a huge surprise since they lack animal proteins.

» PROS: Available In Different Flavors, Very Low In Protein, Low In Calories, No Wheat, Corn, and Soy Include Many Superfoods, Moist

« CONS: No Animal Proteins, A Bit High In Sugar, Low In Fiber

 

3

Kidney Restore Dog Treats

Kidney Restore Dog Treats: Restorative Dog Treats for Kidney Issues, Low Protein Treats for Any Kidney Diet Dog Food, Special Renal Treats for Supporting Good Kidney Health for Dogs. Best Treat! These low-protein dog treats support kidney health in multiple ways & owners reported healthier, livelier dogs with healthier kidneys. These treats rejuvenate & support long-term renal health & normal kidney function in canines & aging dogs

These low-protein dog treats contain just 6.8% crude protein, but they are also low in phosphorus, making them even more beneficial to your dog’s kidneys.

This product contains various ingredients to ensure balanced nutrition.

Some ingredients include rye flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, pure pumpkin, canola oil, and omega-3 fish oil. The treats are made without wheat, corn, or soy.

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Mattie’s dog treats are bristle so that you can break them into pieces more suitable for smaller dog breeds.

These treats are made in the USA, and a percentage of the sales goes to fund research and prevention of canine kidney disease. One package of 16 oz. Includes around 70 treats.

However, these treats are also a bit expensive compared to other similar products.

They also come in low-quality packaging, and some users reported that there were many broken pieces in the bag, especially at the bottom.

Some dog owners also said that their dogs quickly got bored with the taste.

» PROS: Very Low Protein, Low Phosphorus, Natural Ingredients, No Wheat and Corn, Made In the USA

« CONS: No Animal Proteins, Only One Flavor, A Bit Expensive, Low-Quality Package

 

4 Hill's Prescription Low Protein Dog Treats
Crude Protein: 12.0% min

Hill's Prescription Diet Original Dog Treats, Veterinary Diet, 11 oz. Bag For dogs on a prescription diet, this product is a good source of tasty treats. These treats contain 12 % crude protein, but they are also very rich in fiber to aid your dog’s digestion. The treats are highly palatable and come in the form of crunchy biscuits.

  • CRUDE PROTEIN 12.0% min
  • CRUDE FAT 5.5% min
  • CRUDE FIBER 22.0% max
  • MOISTURE 12.0% min

These low-protein dog treats are also low in sodium and calcium, which is great for various organs' health and maintaining a healthy body weight.

The crunchy biscuits are also good for your dog’s dental hygiene since they can scrape plaque and tartar from his teeth.

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This product is made in the USA, and veterinarians and animal nutritionists developed it.

However, these treats include whole grains like corn and wheat, chicken by-products, and soybeans.

Also, some dog owners found these treats to be too hard and big for their dogs.

» PROS: Very Palatable, High Fiber Content, Low In Sodium and Calcium, Good for Dental Hygiene, Made In the USA

« CONS: Only One Flavor, Includes Whole Grains and By-Products, Some Owners Found Them Big and Hard

 

5 Pet Botanics Low Protein Treats for Dogs
Crude Protein: 12.0% min

Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats for Dogs, Made with Real Pork Liver, Focuses, Motivates, Rewards, Speeds Up Learning Curve, No BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, Bacon, 20 oz (1 pack) Training your pooch is impossible without treats, which is why this low-protein dog treat is important if you need to train your dog and provide a low-protein diet at the same time. Since these treats are developed for training, they are much smaller than regular ones – one 20 oz. The bag contains around 500 treats.

  • CRUDE PROTEIN 12.0% min
  • CRUDE FAT 7.0% min
  • CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
  • MOISTURE 30.0% max

These treats contain 12 % crude protein, and they are also low in calories, but they are a bit low on fiber.

The first ingredient listed in these treats is pork liver, but this product is quite balanced since other ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrots, salmon oil, flaxseed, etc.

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These treats are made in the USA, and they are available in 5 different flavors – salmon, bacon, beef, chicken, and duck & bacon.

Chicken and duck & bacon treats are also grain-free. However, some flavors, like beef, contain garlic, which can be harmful to dogs and some dog owners said it caused digestive problems, especially for puppies.

» PROS: Available In Many Flavors, Affordable, Very Palatable, Low In Calories, Perfect for Training, Natural Ingredients, Made In the USA, Comes In a Resealable Bag

« CONS: Not Suitable for Puppies or Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs; Some Reports of Treats Getting Moldy

 

6 Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Natural Dog Treats
Crude Protein: 12.0% min

Old Mother Hubbard by Wellness Classic Original Mix Natural Dog Treats, Crunchy Oven-Baked Biscuits, Ideal for Training, Small Size, 20 pound box Old Mother Hubbard treats come in a wide variety of flavors and sizes. You can get mini, small, or large biscuits in numerous packages that range from 5 ounces to 20 pounds. There are more than 10 different flavors, so you should be able to find the one that your dog likes the most.

  • CRUDE PROTEIN 12.0% min
  • CRUDE FAT 7.0% min
  • CRUDE FIBER 5.5% max
  • MOISTURE 11.0% max

These biscuits are oven-baked and crunchy, but they are also very palatable.

While we can’t claim that about all flavors, most of them come with 12 % crude protein and 7 % fat, so they are not really low in calories.

Other nutritional content depends on the flavors, especially fiber content.

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These low-protein treats for dogs are made only from natural ingredients and without any preservatives.

The biscuits are bone-shaped to make them even more enticing for your pooch.

However, some dog owners reported that the treats they received were stale, and a few reviewers said that there were bugs in the bag and treats.

» PROS: Available In Many Sizes and Flavors, Very Palatable, Natural Ingredients, Made In the USA

« CONS: Some Reports of Stale Biscuits, Some Reports of Bugs In Packaging

Summary

If your dog has to be on a low-protein diet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer him an occasional tasty treat.

These best low-protein dog treats come in various shapes and flavors, but they are also healthy for dogs with kidney or liver problems.

READ NEXT: The Best Dog Treats for Kidney Disease


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Top 6 Best Low Protein Dog Treats

Shelly lives in Iowa with her husband and Australian Shepherd named Tex. She's been an animal lover since she was a child. Currently, she enjoys reading and writing about dogs, and spending time with her family and getting involved in all things pets.