The Best Diet for a Dog with Kidney Disease

Struggling to find the right diet for your pup with kidney disease? You don’t have to worry anymore. This article will provide you with the best nutrition plan for your canine companion. With this new diet, you can ensure your pup stays healthy while managing their kidney disease.

Quick facts: Best Diet For A Dog With Kidney Disease

  • Low-Protein Diet Is Best for Dogs with Kidney Disease –
  • Early Detection and Treatment of Kidney Disease in Dogs – VCA Hospitals
  • Dogs with Kidney Disease Benefit from a Balanced Diet – Today’s Veterinary Nurse
  • Kidney Disease in Dogs – Healthy Pets
  • Feeding the Dog with Kidney Disease – The Drake Center for Veterinary Care
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    Overview of Kidney Disease

    Kidney disease is a very common illness in dogs, and it can often be difficult to manage. It is caused by damage to the kidneys, which affects the filtering process and leads to toxins building up in the body. This can result in numerous health issues, and that is why it is important to take steps to get your dog’s kidney disease under control.

    In this article, we will take a look at the best diet for a dog with kidney disease:

    Causes of kidney disease

    Kidney disease is caused by a variety of factors, some of which are genetics, age, and exposure to toxins.

    • Genetics can play a role in whether or not a dog develops kidney disease.
    • As dogs age, the kidneys become less efficient at filtering and eliminating waste products, leading to the buildup of toxins in the body.
    • Exposure to certain pollutants or drugs can also damage delicate kidney tissue and lead to kidney failure.
    • Additionally, some dogs may develop bio-chemical imbalances that prevent their kidneys from properly functioning.

    Whatever the cause of kidney disease is for your pet, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with the best diet possible so that their organs can continue to work efficiently despite any potential damage.

    Symptoms of kidney disease

    Symptoms of kidney disease can range from mild to severe and may include:

    • Weight loss
    • Increased urination
    • Increased drinking
    • Vomiting
    • Decreased appetite
    • Lethargy
    • Bad breath
    • Anemia

    Dogs with kidney disease will also suffer from dehydration and electrolyte imbalances due to the kidneys’ inability to retain water and electrolytes. If untreated, the condition can progress to end-stage renal failure which is invariably fatal.

    Early detection of the signs and symptoms of kidney disease is key in order to prevent further deterioration of the kidneys. A veterinarian can diagnose this condition through blood tests for creatinine and urea levels as well as urinalysis. Early diagnosis allows for timely intervention using medications as well as dietary modification to support the pet’s health and reduce progression of the disease.

    Diet Considerations

    When managing kidney disease in dogs, diet plays an important role in helping to reduce the symptoms and progression of the disease. Proper nutrition can help promote kidney health while reducing the workload on the already weakened organs.

    Here, we will discuss the best diet plan for dogs with kidney disease:

    Low-protein diet

    A low-protein diet is a very important part of managing canine kidney disease. The kidneys are responsible for removing waste materials from the blood, including proteins. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these proteins can build up in the bloodstream, leading to serious health issues. By reducing dietary protein intake, you can help reduce this buildup and give your dog’s kidneys a break.

    It is important to feed a high quality low-protein diet that has been specifically formulated for dogs with kidney disease. These diets are typically high in carbohydrates and fiber, and contain only moderate amounts of fat and protein. Many brands also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial for overall health and organ function.

    In order to ensure your dog is receiving an adequate amount of nutrients while on a low-protein diet, it is important to carefully:

    • Read labels
    • Consult with your veterinarian when selecting a food brand or type of food.

    Low-sodium diet

    A low-sodium diet is recommended for dogs with kidney disease. Sodium, or salt, puts a strain on the kidneys because they are responsible for maintaining a proper salt balance in the body. This is why it is important to make sure that your dog’s diet contains very little sodium. Human foods such as processed meats, chips, and salted snacks should be avoided as these are often very high in sodium. To find out approximately how much sodium your dog should be eating, talk to your veterinarian for a recommendation based on their breed size and age.

    Low-sodium diets for dogs with kidney disease are typically higher in protein than normal canine diets because proteins provide energy and aid with tissue health without excess sodium intake. Other ingredients used in these diets include healthy sources of carbohydrates and fat like sweet potatoes, quinoa, pumpkin puree, and fatty fish like salmon. Canned foods are generally lower in sodium than dry kibble so it may be beneficial to switch your pup to canned food if they have kidney disease.

    High-fiber diet

    If a dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, one of the best ways to help manage the condition is to switch to a high-fiber diet. High-fiber diets are designed to reduce the strain on a dog’s weakened kidneys while providing them with nutrients they need for health and healing.

    The key components of a high-fiber diet are complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and low levels of fat. Complex carbohydrates found in foods such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice and sweet potatoes provide sustained energy while helping to reduce waste buildup in the kidneys. Lean proteins such as fish, chicken breast or egg whites help build and maintain muscle mass while avoiding fat which can put too much strain on weakened kidneys. Fiber also helps support digestive health, reducing symptoms like nausea or vomiting which can occur when kidney functions are compromised.

    Overall, a high-fiber diet helps support healthy kidney function in dogs suffering from kidney disease.


    When a dog is suffering from kidney disease, their diet is typically adjusted to reduce the burden on the kidneys and to support healthy kidney function. In addition to changing the food source and diet, there are a number of supplements that can help support kidney health.

    Some of the most frequently used supplements for kidney health include:

    • Omega-3 fatty acids which are polyunsaturated fat molecules that are believed to be beneficial in managing inflammation associated with chronic renal failure.
    • Vitamin B12 which helps with energy production and nerve cell health, which can be compromised by renal disease.
    • Phosphorous binding agents which work by blocking absorption of dietary phosphorus in order to reduce excess levels within the body as too much phosphorus can further damage the kidneys.

    With treatments like these, it’s important to always consult your veterinarian before supplementing your pet’s diet.

    Foods to Include

    For a pet with kidney disease, providing the right nutrition can help to slow the progression of the illness and promote overall health. Foods to include in a diet for a dog with kidney disease should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual pet. Focusing on providing lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fatty acids can all be beneficial.

    Let’s look at some of the best food choices for a dog with kidney disease:

    Protein sources

    Protein sources are important for dogs with kidney disease as they provide dietary support for the compromised organ. It is important to include high quality proteins in a dog’s diet that have been specifically formulated for kidney function.

    Some great protein sources to include in your dog’s diet are:

    • lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish.
    • Egg whites are also a great source of protein that is easy on the kidneys.
    • Lamb can be an alternative, but be sure it is lean in fat as this will help with any additional weight gain due to reduced exercise levels.
    • Seafood such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna are excellent sources of low phosphorus proteins.
    • However, poultry should be the primary source of protein in a kidney-supportive diet.
    • Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach can also provide supplemental proteins if added to meals regularly.

    Fruits and vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are a great addition to the diet for dogs with kidney disease as they provide many necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain phytonutrients which can help with managing inflammation in the body.

    When it comes to selecting fruits and vegetables for your dog it is best to opt for organic sources whenever possible. Some of the best fruits and vegetables for dogs with kidney disease include:

    • Apples, blueberries, cranberries
    • Pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes
    • Carrots, broccoli, spinach and kale

    All of these are low in protein so it is important not to overfeed them as too much protein can put strain on the kidneys. Additionally some fruits may contain natural sugars which can potentially cause health issues if consumed in excess.

    Healthy fats

    Healthy fats are an important part of a canine diet, in particular for a dog with kidney disease. If your dog’s diet includes too many unhealthy fats or trans fatty acids, it can put an extra strain on their kidneys. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil are much healthier choices as they help promote kidney health and support the immune system.

    Other sources of healthy fats include:

    • Raw eggs (shell included)
    • Organic chicken livers
    • Grass-fed butter
    • Avocado
    • Chia seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds

    It’s important to remember that fat should be included in moderation when making any changes to your pet’s diet; too much fat can cause uncomfortable weight gain or digestive distress.

    Foods to Avoid

    When caring for a dog with kidney disease, it’s important to know the specific dietary requirements to ensure their health and well being. This includes understanding which foods are best to avoid. In this article, we will focus on the foods that should not be fed to a dog with kidney disease, and how to create a diet that will provide the best nutrition for them.

    High-protein foods

    Animals with kidney disease require a diet that is low in protein, while those without kidney diseases usually require high-protein diets. For dogs with kidney disease, high-protein foods should be avoided as they can overburden the kidneys and make them work harder. High-protein foods that are to be avoided include dairy products, red meat, poultry, fish, beans and legumes.

    In addition to avoiding high-protein foods, it is important to keep sodium intake low for dogs suffering from kidney disease. Foods like canned tuna and turkey bacon are higher in sodium than fresh poultry or beef and should be avoided. It is also important to limit the amount of phosphorus consumed by these animals as elevated levels can cause further damage to the kidneys. Foods high in phosphorus include beef liver, chicken livers, shrimp and eggs.

    High-sodium foods

    High-sodium foods should be avoided when feeding a dog with kidney disease, as a high-sodium diet is known to contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

    Examples of foods to avoid include:

    • Processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and deli meats.
    • Salty snacks such as chips and pretzels.
    • Canned fish or ranch dressing.
    • Condiments like soy sauce and ketchup.
    • Canned soup.
    • Pickles, olives and seasoned salts.

    Many commercially prepared pet foods also contain high amounts of sodium, so those should be avoided. Along with avoiding high-sodium foods, it is important for dogs with kidney disease to adhere to a low-protein diet. Low-protein diets can help reduce the workload on the kidneys in filtering protein waste from the body.

    Processed foods

    Processed foods are unhealthy for any pet, but particularly for a dog with kidney disease. Processed foods contain fillers and preservatives, which can place an extra burden on your pup’s kidneys. Additionally, many processed pet foods are high in sodium and phosphorus which could worsen the condition of their kidneys. Common examples of processed pet food that should be avoided include canned wet food, dry kibble, unbalanced homemade diets and commercial treats like jerky or pig ears.

    When looking for a food to feed your pup it is important to look at the ingredients listed on the label. If there are preservatives such as BHA/BHT or ethoxyquin as well as fillers such as corn meal, wheat flour or soybean meal then this product should be avoided. Quality protein sources such as beef, poultry or fish should be listed first in the ingredient list and whole grains should also be included in order to provide the energy your dog may have difficulty getting from their reduced levels of protein.

    Meal Planning

    Meal planning is an important part of managing a dog’s kidney disease. Feeding a balanced and nutritious diet based on the dog’s specific needs can help him live longer and more comfortably.

    When choosing foods to include in your meal plan, it’s important to consider the protein, carbohydrate, fat and calorie content of each food. The goal is to select foods that are low in phosphorus and sodium while providing enough energy (calories) for the dog’s daily activity level.

    It’s important to consider your dog’s individual needs when creating a meal plan. For example, if your pet has diabetes or needs additional omega fatty acids for coat health, these should be included in his meals as well. Additionally, make sure you consult with your veterinarian about any limitations or dietary restrictions that should be taken into account (for example, no pork products or no raw meat).


    In conclusion, finding the right diet for a dog with kidney disease is not an easy task. You should always consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet, but there are some general guidelines you should follow.

    • A low-protein diet is usually recommended, but there are also other aspects to consider.
    • You should look for a commercial food that is low in phosphorus and sodium, has plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, and contains quality ingredients.
    • You should also make sure it doesn’t contain by-products or fillers that can aggravate existing kidney problems.

    It may take some trial and error to find the best diet for your dog’s unique needs, but with patience and consistency you can ensure they get the nutrition they need to stay healthy.

    FAQs about: Best Diet For A Dog With Kidney Disease

    Q: What is the best diet for a dog with kidney disease?

    A: The best diet for a dog with kidney disease is a low-protein, low-phosphorus diet that is high in vitamins and minerals. The diet should also include plenty of fresh water, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids to help support the kidneys.

    Q: Should I give my dog with kidney disease any supplements?

    A: Yes, supplements may be necessary for a dog with kidney disease. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best supplements for your dog’s specific needs.

    Q: What foods should I avoid feeding my dog with kidney disease?

    A: Foods to avoid feeding your dog with kidney disease include those that are high in protein, phosphorus, and sodium. These include red meat, dairy products, and processed foods.

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