Your dog’s kidneys help eliminate toxins and create concentrated urine that is expelled from the body through urine. Kidney failure or renal failure is a condition where the kidneys no longer function well and lose their ability to filter toxins and produce concentrated urine. As a result, toxins build up in the body and create an unhealthy environment within your pet’s body. If you are wondering what to feed a dog with kidney disease, this article can point you in the right direction.
A dog or cat experiencing kidney failure will need to drink more water to filter and eliminate toxins for the body. As kidney function decreases, the amount of water needed will continue to increase until there just simply isn’t enough water your pet can drink to effectively eliminate toxins. This leads to toxins building up in your pet’s bloodstream and causing signs of illness, which typically include weight loss, lethargy and loss of appetite.
Dog Kidney Failure Diet
If your dog has kidney disease, changing his or her diet can help your dog live comfortably for years. This is because medication often used to treat kidney disease in pets usually minimizes the symptoms and does not necessarily benefit the kidneys. The right diet can make all the difference and reduce stress on the kidneys. In fact, according to research, pets that are fed a diet specifically designed for kidney disease can live up to twice as long as those who eat regular diets. The recommended food for cats with kidney disease is similar to the foods recommended for dogs.
How bad your pet’s kidneys are will determine how significantly you will need to alter his or her diet. But overall, a diet for dogs with kidney failure should be low in phosphorus, protein, sodium and high in omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil is most ideal.
While following a kidney diet for your pet is important, remember to also pay attention to other dietary needs your pet may have. For example, if your dog has high potassium, you will need to limit foods with high potassium like bananas, potatoes and pumpkins, kiwi, carrots and other foods. On the other hand, if potassium levels in your dog are low, you will need to increase his or her potassium intake.
Phosphorus is one of the key nutrients you should aim to reduce for your dog’s diet. Experts believe that having low levels of phosphorus in your pet’s blood will slow the progression of kidney disease. Foods high in phosphorus include dairy products and egg yolks in particular, so these should be avoided.
The appropriate amount of phosphorus intake depends on your dog’s body weight. Experts recommend you do not exceed 22.25mg of phosphorus daily if your dog has severe kidney failure. Dogs in the early stages of the disease can have as much as 60mg of phosphorus daily. A low phosphorus diet is anything between 15-40mg of phosphorus daily. Foods with the highest levels of phosphorus include bones, dairy products, fish, organ meats and egg yolks. These should be eliminated from the diet for dogs with kidney disease.
A kidney diet for dogs is low in protein. This is because a large part of the kidneys’ function is to eliminate waste derived from protein in the diet. As the function of the kidneys decreases, the protein in the blood, referred to as proteinuria, will increase and cause your dog to feel ill. If a test shows that your pet has protein in his or her urine, a low protein diet is imperative to reduce the protein loss and improve survival rate. Also keep in mind that you should avoid giving your pet high-protein treats like meat, jerky treats, cheese, etc.
A diet high in sodium can increase blood pressure, which can make kidney disease worse. Your aim should be to incorporate a diet that consists of reduced sodium. Many treats have high salt levels, so be mindful of this and try to stay away from treats like cheese, bread, deli meat and other options that are high in sodium. The goal is to feed your dog treats that contain less than 1 mg of sodium per calorie. Treats low in sodium include fruits and vegetables. Just remember to stay clear of grapes, raisins, onions and garlic.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil may help dogs and cats that suffer from kidney disease. This is why a diet designed for kidney disease includes fish oil, which can also be taken as a supplement if the diet your pet is on doesn’t contain it. There are various fish supplements on the market so it’s best to speak with your veterinarian about which one is the most appropriate for your pet, and what the right dosage is based on weight and other factors.
Diets for pets with kidney disease are made to be non-acidifying, which is different from regular pet food which is acidifying. Kidney disease often promotes increased acidity within your pet’s body so a diet counteracting this is helpful. Sometimes antacids are prescribed to dogs and cats with kidney disease to ease indigestion, which is common for dogs with kidney failure. Some antacids also contain calcium that aids in lowering phosphorus in the body. An excellent source of calcium is ground egg shells, which can be added to your dog’s diet.
Fat contains low levels of phosphorus, so the key here is to incorporate meat with moderate to high levels of fat so that your pet gets the benefit of high calorie food while limiting phosphorus. If your dog is overweight, try to feed him or her meat with moderate fat. However, if your dog is within a healthy weight range for his or her size, high fat foods are fine.
Fruits and vegetables
The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they contain fibre and other nutrients that are necessary for a healthy diet for your dog. It’s best to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your dog’s diet to up to 25%.
To effectively treat kidney disease in dogs, diet is key. Natural Raw Dog Foods has a wide variety of healthy and nutritious food for dogs with kidney disease.