Dog Food with Low PhosphorusDog Food with Low Phosphorus

A recent study has been completed by a group of veterinarians from the University of California, which has provided us with some new information about feeding our dogs. The survey involved 2,000 dogs and discovered that there is a connection between certain types of food and Phosphorus levels in dogs. If your dog’s phosphorus level is too high, it can lead to health problems such as bladder stones.

Dog Food with Low Phosphorus
Dog Food with Low Phosphorus

This condition is caused by increased levels of calcium oxalate which forms crystals in urinary tract tissues (crystals are sharp like broken glass). These crystals accumulate around the urethra or inside the bladder eventually blocking it. The result is a pain when urinating, blood in urine, and even rupture of the bladder wall. At this time the only treatment is surgery. The study showed that dogs who eat dry food containing high levels of calcium and low levels of phosphorus will experience significantly fewer bladder stones than dogs eating the same amount of the same brand of moist food with contents very similar to dry food.

However this does not apply to all breeds, it has been shown that large breed dogs are at most risk. It has also been pointed out by the veterinary community that raw diets which contain more moisture can be just as dangerous because they do not show any improvement over wet commercial foods.

What is the Solution?

The solution for this is quite simple, unfortunately though some brands have already taken on this step others continue to disregard this problem, or simply cover it up by stating that minerals are present naturally in the food . Although in some cases this may be true, in most cases it is not. Their argument makes no sense because minerals are also naturally present in spinach and broccoli which should give any reasonable person reason to understand that you don’t want your dog to eat too much of them either. It has been suggested that you look for foods low in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium. If you are feeding kibble then moistening it will help reduce these levels.

Phosphorus – The Minerals That We Find In Foods

Calcium – 10% DMBR (dry matter basis) or 14% if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.

Magnesium – Less than 0.05% DMBR (dry matter basis) or 0.09% if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.

Sodium – Less than 0.3% DMBR (dry matter basis) or 0.5% if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.

Potassium – Greater than 1 percent DMBR (dry matter basis). May also appear as the actual formula of different water content. So it is important to look at both levels for this mineral. Potassium must be listed on the ingredients list, but no laws are requiring a certain minimum for normal use of labeling purposes only.

Phosphorus – Less than 0.4% DMBR (dry matter basis) or 0.6% if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.

Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio Less than 2:1 and not more than 1:1 may be present in natural products only . If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0.75 percent on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

Magnesium: Phosphorus Ratio less than 4:1 and not more than 3:1 may be present in natural products only. If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0.75 percent on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

Sodium: Phosphorus Ratio less than 2:1 and not more than 1:1 may be present in natural products only. If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0.75 percent on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

Potassium: Phosphorus Ratio greater than 20:1 may be present in natural products only. If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0.75 percent on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

The calcium-to-Sodium ratio should also be considered if you want to reduce urinary stones as lower sodium ratios will increase water consumption and reduce the risk of stone formation.

The best way to avoid urinary problems with your dog is to feed a complete and balanced diet, balance minerals, water intake, exercise, breed mixes, life stages, lifestyle choices, etc. And hopefully, someone will come up with more research on this subject for dogs that are prone to these issues.

What percentage is considered low phosphorus in dog food?

The very best thing to do is avoid cat and dog foods that list “phosphate” in the guaranteed analysis. These foods will typically contain anywhere from 0.9% – 2.5% phosphorus, which is much too high for a healthy urinary tract when fed long term. Look for lower amounts such as 0%, 0.3%, 0.5% and 0.8% instead.

– less than 0 . 5 % DMBR (dry matter basis) or 0 . 8 % if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.- less than 0. 3 % DMBR (dry matter basis) or 0 . 5 % if listed as “actual” or “formula”. This level must be listed on the ingredient list.

– less than 0 . 4 % DMBR (dry matter basis) . This level must be listed on the ingredient list.- Less than 2:1 and not more than 1:1 may be present in natural products only . If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0. 75 % on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.- less than 4:1 and not more than 3:1 may be present in natural products only .

If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0. 75 % on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.- less than 2:1 and not more than 1:1 may be present in natural products only . If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0. 75 % on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

– greater than 20:1 may be present in natural products only. If manufactured product, the total phosphorus cannot exceed 0. 75 % on a dry matter basis and this figure must appear as part of the guaranteed analysis.

What foods can I feed my dog with kidney disease?

Low phosphorus dog food is the best of course, but some cats and dogs with kidney problems can handle an occasional small amount of high phosphorus foods without issue. This depends on the individual animal and their particular needs. Some animals need to strictly limit all phosphorus intake no matter what while others do better with more variation in their diets.

What should dogs with kidney disease not eat?

A cat or dog with kidney disease should never be fed any canned foods with added flavors, sugars, sweeteners, or preservatives. These ingredients can make a cat or dog’s condition worse and they are unnecessary.

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