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33 Low Phosphorus Carbohydrate Vegetables and Grains For Kidney Diets For Dogs

Cooking for your dog is the best way to feed them when they have been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

Reducing the amount of phosphorus is a critical component of that diet. This list outlines which grains and the top five carbohydrate-heavy vegetables you can add to your dog’s kidney-friendly meals.

When To Use Grain or Starchy Vegetables?

Home-cooked diets that cannot have high levels of fat as an energy source will need to utilize starchy vegetables for energy.

Ideally, your dog can eat butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin or yams. This provides some added calories and fiber. But if your kidney dog will not eat them or is sensitive, then you have to turn to other sources of carbohydrates.

While this list includes things like rice, I recommend that you turn to other grains like barley before you make a meal with rice in it.

That said, I know that not everyone has access to all of these ingredients, so I list them so that you can see the phosphorus levels of all of the possible options.

The amount you would add to the recipe will be around 10% of the recipe. In some cases, you can go up to 20% of the recipe.

List of low-phosphorous foods (grains and starchy vegetables) for every 100g of food

Yellow Cornmeal (Grits)14mg65
Rice Noodles (Cooked)20mg108
Couscous (Cooked)22mg108
Japanese Soba Noodles (Buckwheat – Cooked)25mg99
Butternut Squash (Cooked)27mg29
Japanese Somen (Cooked)27mg131
Short Grain White Rice (Cooked) 33mg110
Pumpkin (Canned)35mg24
Hominy (Canned)35mg72
Medium Grain White Rice (Cooked)37mg130
Bulgur (Cooked)40mg83
Long Grain White Rice (Cooked)43mg130
Yam (Cooked)49mg89
Pearled Barley (Cooked)54mg123
Sweet Potato (Baked)54mg69
Spinach Egg Noodles (Cooked)57mg132
Pasta – Unenriched (Cooked)58mg158
Potatoes (Baked without skin)70mg76
Egg Noodles (Cooked)76mg 138
Oatmeal (Cooked)77mg71
Brown Rice (Cooked)77mg112
Wild Rice (Cooked)82mg101
Millet (Cooked)100mg119
Brown Rice (Cooked)103mg123
Oat Bran (Cooked)119mg40
Teff (Cooked)120mg 101
Whole Wheat Pasta (Cooked)127mg149
Kamut (Cooked)147mg132
Amaranth (Cooked)148mg102
Spelt (Cooked)150mg127
Quinoa (Cooked)152mg120
Uncooked Oats523mg389
Oat Bran (Raw)734mg246

Why Do We Need To Feed Low Phosphorus To Dogs With Chronic Kidney Disease?

With kidney disease that affects the tubules, waste products build up in the bloodstream rather than being excreted out into the urine. When this happens, it becomes toxic to the body. Phosphorus is one of those waste products. In dogs with kidney disease, it interacts with calcium, causing loss of calcium from bone and leading to mineral buildup in parts of the body that shouldn’t have any. Furthermore, the kidneys can become mineralized, hastening the progression of the disease.

In a homemade diet, I recommend that the protein level is at the very least two times the recommended daily amount set for AAFCO and the phosphorus levels at the minimum.

AAFCO: The minimum recommended allowance for dietary phosphorus is 0.3 DM in foods for healthy dogs. The mean DM phosphorus content for several grocery brand dog food is 1.39 DM.

CKD Phosphorus: The recommended phosphorus levels for foods to manage dogs with CKD are 0.2 to 0.5%. Achieving this can be challenging when you are using commercially prepared food. Home-made therapeutic diets allow us to get closer to this goal through the ingredients we select as well as using powdered eggshells as the calcium source.

What Else Do CKD Dogs Need In Their Diet?

Phosphorus isn’t the only component to watch. The other nutrients to manage are:

  • Protein levels
  • Calcium levels
  • Fat content
  • Fiber content
  • Sodium
  • Potassium 
  • B vitamins
  • Omega 3s
  • Anti-Oxidants

The Easiest Way To Start Feeding Home-Cooked Meals To Dogs With CKD

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

You can book a package with me for help with therapeutic recipes or you can start today.

Dr. Harvey’s has several base mixes that get you cooking the same day you buy their product.

All you do is add your protein and oil and use their base mix. They use eggshells as the calcium source, which helps keep phosphorus down.

You can buy it on Amazon: Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food, Human Grade Dehydrated Base Mix for Dogs with Organic Whole Grains and Vegetables (5 Pounds)

Their other base mix Paradigm would be my second recommendation and Raw Vibrance being last (due to the shellfish in it).

If You Only Remembered One Thing

If you came to this page confused because of your dog’s recent kidney diagnosis, or you are just starting your own journey in gathering what you need to prepare cooked meals and feel overwhelmed.

Remember that the number one factor in extending a dog’s life is to keep the phosphorus level as low as possible in your dog’s home-cooked meals.

Getting your dog’s blood level checked regularly will provide the information you need to know if you are on the right track. When you are first starting out, getting the blood checked every 30-60-90 days is ideal. Then you can have your vet guide you on how often return for blood checks.

For those that need help, I’m available to help you formulate recipes. Visit my packages page to learn more.

I wish you and your dog good health.


Small Animal Clinical Nutrition

Healthy and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Dogs Have Differences in Serum Metabolomics and Renal Diet May Have Slowed Disease Progression

Nutritional and laboratory parameters affect the survival of dogs with chronic kidney disease

Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats

Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs & Cats

Nutritional Management of Renal Disease – What to Feed and When to Start

Treatment Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Dogs & Cats – Staging and Management Strategies

Observation about phosphorus and protein supply in cats and dogs prior to the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease

Author Biography

Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying to get her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.

She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.

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  1. Vera Haitayan

    Hello, My name is Vera Haitayan and I have a 10 year old, 94 lbs black Lab mix dog who has prostate cancer. His name is Kasper.
    Kasper received chemo and radiation and at this time the cancer has been under control. His most recent bloodwork/urine test showed an elevated protein levels and his UPC is 1.1. However, his kidney function is normal according to the bloodwork.

    His vet recommended that he starts on a renal diet from Hills Science brand but Kasper wants absolutely nothing to do with it.
    I came across your site and looking for help from you. I am not sure what coach/plan I should sign up for in order for me to prepare a home cooked meal using the renal diet guidelines.
    I am overwhelmed and fearful of making a mistake and making matters worse for my boy by just picking up a recipe from other online sources.

    Can you please direct me with the plan that I should pick? Thank you Vera.

    1. Hannah Zulueta

      Hello Vera,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I recommend the Canine Kidney Disease package. You can find them all here: https://dailydogfoodrecipes.com/your-dogs-food-coach/


  2. Eva

    Have any of your kidney clients had success in improving their bloodwork results from using your recipes? I’m very interested in booking a session but my vet has me afraid to home cook.

    1. Hannah Zulueta

      Hello Eva. I just saw your question. Yes. I’ve had clients tell me their dogs have done well. I also do work with a TCVM vet so that you can first consult with him for herbal prescription.

      Just like in human health there are varying opinions as to how to approach kidney health. I would never want you to proceed with a plan that goes against what your vet recommends.

      I believe that dogs should be fed a species appropriate diet. I also believe that to feed something that is alive (your dog) they should be fed that is alive (real food) and I do not believe that processed food made in a factory has the best energy. Certainly it checks all the boxes when it comes to nutrition. What it lacks is vitality.

      To think that home cooking is something to be afraid of means we don’t trust each other to learn how to use what mother nature has provided us in terms of ingredients we can turn from – the land and the sea. I think that for my own dogs, I would certainly always turn to food that I prepare myself in my own kitchen as opposed to one that was produced in an industrialized plant.

      And I also respect… at the end of the day…. the person on handing that bowl to their dog has the final decision and so it goes… to each their own health journey.

      Sending you and your dog blessings.

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