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While dogs normally require a high-protein diet, some canines have to 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 is a variety of choices, both over-the-counter and prescription based, allowing you to easily find a good low-protein dog food brand. However, finding the best low protein dog treats is more complicated since they're not as common.

Why Some Dogs Need Low-Protein 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 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 lower protein diet is due to proteinuria (excess protein in a dog's urine).

Some of the most common health conditions in dogs that require a low-protein diet include acute kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, protein-losing nephropathy, Cushing’s disease and others. Some types of bladder stones may also be treated with a low-protein diet for dogs.

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.

How to Know What Treats Are Low In Protein?

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

While the recommendations of protein intake for healthy adult dogs can vary, it's generally agreed upon that adult dogs should consume food that contains at least 18% of crude protein. Most dog foods and treats contain 20-25% of 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 dog low-protein foods 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 perfectly fine 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

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 will often come from sources like chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs. In general, treats with animal proteins as the main ingredient are the best choice for dogs.

Balance

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

Your dog may not enjoy just any type of low-protein dog treats, 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 percentage are usually more palatable than dry treats.

Phosphorus Levels

If your dog suffers from kidney problems, choose treats that are not only low in protein but are also low in phosphorus since it can help with the kidney’s health. Keep in mind that 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 present a nice choice if you are looking for a variety of flavors. You can find three different flavors – beef, chicken and peanut butter. These treats contain between 5-7 % of 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, making them ideal for dogs with gluten intolerance. Some of the ingredients found in all flavors include potatoes and chickpeas. The treats also have high moisture content, around 28 %, so they are pretty soft and palatable.

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Buddy Biscuits Grain Free Soft & Chewy Healthy Dog...
639 Reviews
Buddy Biscuits Grain Free Soft & Chewy Healthy Dog...
  • Grain free dog treats –...
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Despite many positive reviews, some dog owners reported that their dogs did not like these treats, especially the somewhat stronger smell. Also, these treats contain salt and some dog owners though that there is too much salt in them.

» 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, Contain Salt

 

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

These 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.

Zuke'S Superfood Blend With Bold Berries Dog...
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Zuke'S Superfood Blend With Bold Berries Dog...
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  • Made With Nutrient-Rich...
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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 Mattie's Treats for Dogs with Kidney Disease
Crude Protein: 6.8%

Mattie’s dog treats are one of the best treats on the market specifically for dogs with kidney disease. They are made with simple and natural ingredients and they are designed to complement prescription diets. These treats contain just 6.8% crude protein but they are also low in phosphorus to make them even more beneficial to your dog’s kidneys.

Mattie's healthy treats for dogs with kidney...
393 Reviews
Mattie's healthy treats for dogs with kidney...
  • healthy treats for dogs with...
  • low protein, low phosphorus
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  • no wheat, no soy, no corn
  • a percentage of sales is...

This product contains various ingredients to ensure balanced nutrition. Some of the 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.

Mattie’s dog treats are bristle, so 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 the 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

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 treats are also low in sodium and calcium, which is great for the health of various organs but also for maintaining 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.

Hill's Prescription Nutrition Dog Treats, 11 oz.
25 Reviews

This product is made in the USA and it was developed by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. However, these treats include whole grains like corn and wheat, as well as chicken by-products and soybean. 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

Training your pooch is impossible without treats, which is why these low-protein treats are important if you need to train your dog and provide a low-protein diet at the same time. Since these treats are developed for the purposes of training, they are much smaller than the regular treats – one 20 oz. 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 % of crude protein and they are also low in calories but they are a bit low on fiber as well. 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.

Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats for Dogs,...
3,042 Reviews
Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats for Dogs,...
  • Perfect Size For Repetitive...
  • Easy To Carry In Your Pocket
  • Made With Real Pork Liver;...
  • Low Calorie Treat
  • Made In The Usa

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 that 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 Resalable 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 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. When it comes to flavors, 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 % of crude protein and 7 % of fat, so they are not really low in calories. Other nutritional content depends on the flavors, especially fiber content.

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog...
4,740 Reviews
Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog...
  • Best Selling Flavors: A...
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The treats are made only from natural ingredients and without any preservatives. The biscuits are bone-shaped just 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 along with 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 a wide variety of 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

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