Low Copper Dog Food in 2020: Guide & Top Products

The concerns about copper safety and concentration in dog foods have become frequently discussed on the Internet. I have read many articles on the topic and noticed that many reviewers try to mislead readers and sell them high-copper products instead of the original low copper dog food that’s so popular these days. Some of them also try to persuade you that a low-copper diet is needed for every dog. You shouldn’t believe both!

Best Overall
Product
Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Canned Dog...
Prime
Pros
Enriched with zinc, L-carnitine, and L-arginine
My preview
Product
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe Dog Food (2.2lb),...
Prime
Pros
96% meat, organs, and bones
My preview
Product
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach...
Prime
Pros
Rich on supplements
My preview

I decided to write this guide to support the truthful agenda. In the buyer’s guide, I provide a detailed explanation of low-copper dog food with both pros and cons. You should read it attentively and see your pet’s trusted vet to figure out whether your dog needs a low-copper or copper-free diet. Purchase the new food only when you receive a well-grounded verdict and a copper-associated disease diagnosis. Otherwise, your pet’s diet should be balanced and include high-quality foods to prevent nutrition-related problems.

5 Best Low Copper Dog Foods Reviewed

Dog on the lawn with a ball

Here is the list of the best products by trusted low copper dog food brands. If your dog needs such a diet, you can try one of these commercial dog foods as numerous dog owners with similar problems have already tested them.

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1. Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d – Top Low-Copper Food

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is one of the oldest and most trusted dogs and cat food manufacturers all over the world. The company has been making and supplying top-class canine foods for over 100 years. The scientific base of the brand is huge and involves the best American animal nutritionists, so we can trust these products.

Prescription Diet Liver Care is a high-quality canned food that’s formulated with the purpose to promote healthy liver functioning and to protect the liver from potential malfunction. Unlike most alternatives, this dog food maintains the needed fat metabolism level in the liver. This effect is achieved due to the high levels of L-carnitine & L-arginine. Choosing this product, you don’t need to buy L-carnitine and L-arginine supplements.

The kibble also contains a balanced amount of zink per portion to promote healthy copper intake. The entire composition is designed to fight copper-related liver issues, so vets recommend it in the vast majority of cases.

In addition, all the ingredients and production lines of the brand are based in the US, which means high-quality standards and direct head-office quality control. Most canines find this ‘dish’ tasty and don’t refuse to eat it during the treatment period. Still, some of them don’t like the consistency that’s a bit dry as for canned food. You should add this kibble to the diet bit by bit for 7 days in a row to avoid indigestion. And don’t forget to get a sturdy can opener to be able to open it!

Positives:
  • Attractive taste;
  • Enriched with zinc, L-carnitine, and L-arginine;
  • Highly trusted American manufacturer;
  • Designed specifically for dealing with liver malfunction.
Negatives:
  • It’s a bit pricey;
  • May appear a bit too dry for some dogs.
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2. ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Beef Cuisine – Best Low Copper Dry Dog Food

ZIWI Pets is a popular pet food brand from New Zealand. The company has gained trust and large sales due to the ecological compositions of all their products. According to the documents and product descriptions, all the ingredients, such as meat and greens, are produced in New Zealand. The manufacturer has proprietary and subsidiary farms that provide meats without hormones or chemical growth boosters. Grain sugar and glycerin are also avoided.

Air-dried low-copper food by ZIWI offers over 90% of meat ingredients along with bones, organs, green mussels, green tripe, and organic kelp. They don’t add any peas, potato, or legumes. There are no artificial taste boosters, but the taste is fresh and attractive anyway. This is achieved due to the mild air drying technology.

I don’t understand how they avoid rotting, but the method seems to work pretty well/ All granules are dry, neat, and smell well. If your dog doesn’t like beef, you can also order granules with the same copper amount but with the flavor of chicken, lamb, mackerel and lamb, tripe and lamb, and venison.

Due to a balanced all-natural composition, this kibble is recommended for allergy relief, weight maintenance, digestion improvement, joint care, heart health (Taurine component), and liver health promotion. The dense, dry structure is also very good for breeds that have potential tooth problems. Similarly to any other kibble, your dog should drink enough water to digest it properly. There’s no need to macerate it.

Positives:
  • Vitamins and copper amino acid complex;
  • 96% meat, organs, and bones;
  • No added vegetable sugars;
  • No legumes and peas;
  • No antibiotics and growth promotants.
Negatives:
  • Quite pricey. I recommend taking larger bags to save up.
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3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach – Best for Large Dogs

Purina is one of the oldest pet and farm animal food brands. It has been holding the leading positions in the niche since the 19th century. The ProPlan line was launched in 1986 when the company invented a brand new process that allowed the use of real meat as the main ingredient. Since then, Pro Plan has been one of the best kibbles for both dogs and cats.

Pro Plan Focus series is designed to provide sensitive medium and large-sized doggies with enough nutrition. The copper sulfate concentration is relatively low, but enough for large dog breeds. As well as all other ingredients, copper concentration is reduced intentionally not to provoke any unwanted reactions in sensitive dogs. Due to this, the Focus series is considered a good solution in cases of high copper concentration in blood.

The nutrition formula is optimized for every life stage. Despite low copper concentration, this kibble is balanced on proteins and fats. A portion of Omega-6 fatty acid is very good for skin, coat, and nails, while natural lamb and oat base brings full-value satiety.

Positives:
  • Nutritious lamb and oat base;
  • Rich on supplements;
  • Intentionally lowered the concentration of potentially irritant components;
  • Good for skin and coat;
  • Balanced on proteins and fats.
Negatives:
  • It’s an expensive brand.
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4. Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Bland Diet – Best Dog Food Without Copper Sulfate

Dave’s Pet Food is not just a creative brand name. The company was actually founded by Dave Ratner 21 years ago because he couldn’t find a kibble of quality that satisfied him. Today, you can find Dave’s Pet Food in over 2000 retail stores over the US and, of course, on Amazon. One of the best things about this product is a combination of all-natural ingredients with prices that are significantly lower than other top brands offer.

Similarly to Purina’s Pro Plan, the Restricted Bland Diet series has a sensitive-stomach composition. It’s also dog food without copper sulfate. It has a balanced amount of copper proteinate instead, along with over 15 other supplements. If copper sulfate in dog food doesn’t work for your dog’s health, it’s a good option. On the other hand, you should be attentive to other components, as this diet also includes potatoes, carrots, dried egg product, and peas. Make sure that your pet’s stomach digests these ingredients effortlessly.

Positives:
  • Copper proteinate instead of copper sulfate;
  • Relatively low price;
  • Rich with supplements;
  • Grain-free formula.
Negatives:
  • Includes peas and potatoes;
  • A can opener is required.
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5. VetriScience Laboratories Liver Support – Best Low Copper Dog Treats

VetriScience Labs were established in Vermont in 1972. Since then, they have been making a significant input into pet health research, which is a good reason to trust the brand’s formulas.

Liver Support Bite-Sized Chews are designed to adjust dog detoxification functions and promote the immune system strength. The composition of this treat includes Dimethylglycine (DMG) for the immune system, gluta-syn for liver detoxification, natural artichoke leaf extract to normalize liver metabolism, turmeric, betaine, vitamins A/B/E, N-acetylcysteine, and some other detoxifying components. These chews can provide good therapeutic support when your dog is receiving liver treatment or needs a lower copper concentration in the liver.

Positives:
  • Convenient bite-size;
  • Excellent antioxidant action;
  • Vitamins included;
  • Naturally flavored.
Negatives:
  • It can’t be used as a kibble.
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Low Copper Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

Dog with a stick in his teeth

In this guide, I have gathered all the well-researched facts about low-copper dieting for dogs. Read it before making a purchase to understand the topic deeper and see if your pet really needs it or not.

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Why is a low copper diet for dogs important

There are two main types of low-copper diets designed specifically for dogs with liver disease. However, these diets have disadvantages as protein and fat levels may be imbalanced in order to reduce copper intake, so veterinarians usually prescribe supplements to balance the diet and avoid further complications.

But what makes a low-copper diet so important? Such a diet is very helpful when dogs have too much copper in their blood. This may cause liver inflammation (hepatitis), which is very difficult to treat. If you notice any symptoms of copper toxicity, you should see the doctor as soon as possible and reduce copper intake immediately. The symptoms may include:

  • weight loss;
  • vomiting;
  • lethargy;
  • jaundice.

Of course, they may be caused by other reasons too, but it’s very hard to enlist them all.

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What foods have copper in them

The list of copper-rich products allowed to dogs includes:

  • Legumes;
  • Liver;
  • Fish;
  • Whole grains;
  • High-quality commercial dog foods with a balanced copper supplement.

In some cases, the excessive intake of copper can be caused by the high concentration of this element in water. It’s quite difficult to determine, so you may just try to buy water from a different brand.

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Why does my dog need copper

Copper is an important element in the dogs’ diet as it’s responsible for a wide range of body processes. Amongst them are:

  • Collagen formation;
  • Connective tissue and bone formation;
  • iron absorption;
  • healthy red blood cells development;
  • hair pigment development.

The daily copper requirement is 3.3 mg per each pound of food (7.3 mg for each kilogram) the dog consumes. It’s also important to make sure that copper is included, not in the form of copper oxide. If there’s too little or no copper in your dog’s diet, copper deficiency in a dog’s organism can cause bone development problems and anemia.

Copper-free dog food can be prescribed only in particular cases when your dog receives other forms of treatment that may interfere with copper. Such a decision can be taken only after a thorough analysis.

Is copper proteinate in dog food different from average copper? Well, probably not. The difference is that copper proteinate is copper bound to a protein. Some dog food manufacturers put both copper proteinate and copper sulfate to ensure better copper uptake.

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Bon Appetit!

Hopefully, my guide with links to educational resources helped you to understand the topic deeper. Now you can take care of your furry friend at a higher level. Even if everything is ok today, you should be ready to notice the symptoms if something goes wrong.

Girl with dog in the canyon

At the same time, you should remember that it’s impossible to make the right diagnosis without a thorough clinical diagnosis. To reduce worries, take your pet to the vet every 6 months and get it tested for common diseases, including copper-related problems. If you don’t trust a new veterinarian, learn how vets make a diagnosis. Supervision is very important.

Has my guide answered all your questions about low-copper dog food? Don’t underestimate this element’s importance and provide your pet only with the best nutrition available on the market. Is your dog already facing any copper-related problems? What is the diagnosis? Share it in the comments, and we’ll discuss which of the foods from my listing are the best for the case. You’re also welcome to ask me any questions on the topic, and I’ll do my best to come up with the most helpful advice. For more helpful articles and dog product reviews, follow the articles I regularly post on the blog.

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make Doggolab a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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