Best Food To Feed A Dog With Kidney Failure in 2020
Finding out that your dog has kidney disease problems can be heartbreaking. But the best foods to feed a dog with kidney failure can help. We all know how much love pooches mean to us. But there is a lot of information out there on what to do if your dog has kidney failure and it might not be the end of the world.
The first thing to accept is that your dog’s life will change. Some of these changes can be considered permanent and your dog will have to adapt to a new lifestyle. Most importantly, you know that your dog is eating a lot less protein and that you need to adapt.
What is Kidney Failure in Dogs?
The kidney plays a special role in your dog’s health, just as it does in humans. Simply put, it’s a filtering organ that eliminates much of what isn’t really needed by urine. For example, the kidney eliminates the excess water in the bloodstream.
The kidney also eliminates urea. This is the type of connection that results from protein breakdown. Phosphorus and salt are also excreted through the kidneys. This is why this article will tell you why reducing your dog’s protein intake is so important with problems like kidney failure. Your dog may have 2 main types of kidney failure.
Chronic kidney disease is a medical term used to describe the slow decline in proper kidney function. This is the type of kidney disease that your dog can suffer from for a long time.
Acute kidney disease is diagnosed by the veterinarian when kidney function is rapidly deteriorating, mainly because the dog is taking something potentially toxic, such as the wrong medication or antifreeze.
Quick ways to tell if your dog has kidney failure
You need to see a veterinarian to properly diagnose kidney failure. However, there are some pointers that can help you figure out the potential problem.
Changes in water consumption
If your dog drinks less water, it could be a sign of kidney failure. At the same time, your dog may suddenly drink more water, which can also be a sign of kidney failure.
Changes in the color and amount of urine
Old-school vets simply relied on the color of urine to identify certain problems. That hasn’t changed much today. If you notice that your dog’s urine is darker than usual, it is a possible sign of possible kidney failure.
Loss of appetite
The kidneys are directly involved in the digestive and excretory processes. Your dog may not eat at all just to give his intestines a break.
Not all dogs show physical signs of kidney problems. If your dog is showing signs of depression, it may be time to see the veterinarian to investigate the problem.
Weight loss is common with kidney failure. Your dog is directly involved in protein breakdown and may eat less meat, which certainly equates to a loss in muscle mass.
Blood in the urine
In its acute form, kidney problems come with blood in the urine. You should take your pooch to the vet as soon as you see this as it can be an indication of a serious health problem that requires immediate attention.
Why is a change in diet important?
There is research to support the idea that dogs with kidney disease live longer if they eat a low protein diet. The data shows that the average dog on such a diet will likely live about 1 year longer than a dog on a normal diet.
Your dog can enjoy longer life and you can spend more time with your friend if you take care of their diet. In addition, this nutritional approach also reduces uremic symptoms and other related problems.
Safe food for your dog with kidney failure
Now that you know what kidney failure looks like in its form, you need to make informed decisions about what your dog’s food is for. You don’t have to go without dry dog food, just check the ingredients. On the flip side, you can still prepare your dog homemade dog food for situations when you run out of dry dog food.
Low protein dog food (up to 30%)
Dogs are carnivores and food battles are won and lost in food selection. You can’t completely cut protein from your dog’s diet. You can choose a type of dog food that is as low as 30% protein instead. Ideally, the level should be closer to 15% in acute kidney disease.
The amount of protein is easy to see as it is clearly stated on the label of your favorite dog food and on safe dog supplements. Specifically, we think the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Canine Kidney Support is a great choice for your pooch. Here is the nutritional breakdown of this best dog food to feed a dog with kidney failure.
- Crude protein – 14%
- Fat – 18%
- Fiber – 7%
- Humidity – 10%
- Phosphorus – 0.25%
- Sodium – 0.25%
Low-phosphorus dog food (up to 0.8%)
The phosphorus content is directly related to the problem of kidney failure. It is mainly concentrated in meat and it would be very difficult to know the exact amount of phosphorus in meat that you are cooking for your dog at home as not many manufacturers give the percentage. Hence, controlled phosphorus foods like those from Blue Buffalo above are your best bet.
Foods that are easy to digest
Most controlled protein-phosphorus-salt dog foods and dog foods are safe for any type of kidney problem. However, you need to consider foods that are easier to digest. Instead of spending more on complex foods with multiple meats, you could just spend less on foods with 1 or 2 easily digestible meat sources.
Food quantities are also largely overlooked. For example, you need to know that even beneficial foods can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. You should follow strict veterinarian guidelines and avoid overfeeding your dog as this can lead to further kidney damage.
Foods that are low in salt
Here at DogFood.guru we don’t like salt very much. But when it comes to kidney failure, you need to be extra careful with sodium levels. You just can’t afford to do any more harm to your dog’s health. The salt content in the best dog foods does not have to be higher than 0.25% to feed a dog with kidney failure.
Can I feed my dog homemade food?
In theory, you can prepare homemade food for your dog suffering from kidney failure. The first thing you need to do is get a small kitchen measuring scale. It shows the amount of protein that you can serve your dog.
If you want to recreate the dry dog food listed above, you need to limit a section from 100 grams of chicken to 15 grams of chicken per serving. You then add fats and vegetables without any salt.
However, this approach has some major drawbacks. First, all you have to do is guess how much protein there is in the food. 15 grams of chicken doesn’t necessarily equate to 15 grams of protein, which can be a bit of a problem in the long run.
Then there is the problem of meal prep time which is just too much for the dog owner who has to deal with daily chores. As a result, you can simply buy dry dog food that has already been measured and has the right ingredients.
Together with your veterinarian, you can decide how much the dog should keep on the same diet and which treats are okay too. In most cases, kidney failure is a long-term problem. This means that your dog could be exposed to a different type of dry food for months and years. This will be an adjustment, especially since most dogs wouldn’t give up the protein in favor of fatty vegetables themselves.
The best food to feed a dog with kidney failure is always that with certain amounts of protein, salt, and phosphorus. These 3 ingredients are crucial to keep the problem under control or at least to slow down the degenerative process of the kidney.
Some of the best dog food brands right now have specific foods for this condition as it isn’t as rare as dog owners would first think. You don’t have to search too far to find specialty foods the specific dimensions of which you can feed your dog with no regrets.
Most importantly, the nutritional process of the disease is accompanied by veterinary treatment. This is why you need to discuss your plan with your dog’s vet. You may need to return to regular appointments. This is something that with such serious health concerns you cannot put off. At the same time, making small changes in diet are the least invasive way to deal with certain health conditions. Some dogs find it easier to eat all types of food.
Updated on August 31, 2020