A question we’ve recently been asked by a reader of K9 Magazine was; is their a specialist dog diet for chronic kidney failure?
Kidney problems in dogs tend to manifest in older dogs and the advice generally offered by vets and animal nutrition experts tends to suggest that older dogs / dogs with kidney problems should have less total protein but a higher quality protein in their diet.
Different aged dogs do require different diets. Matching your dog’s diet to their age, breed and lifestyle is one way to extend their quality of health and ensure they are being fed on a diet that suits their particular lifestage.
Young dogs tend to need a high concentration of protein, middle-aged dogs can thrive on the protein that exists in the average good-quality dog food, and older dogs or dogs suffering kidney problems / chronic kidney failure need lesser amounts of higher-quality protein.
Excess protein produces more nitrogenous wastes, which means more work for the kidneys. Dogs with kidney problems could be put on prescription dog food, or small amounts of high-quality protein, such as in eggs, yogurt, tofu, ricotta, farmer cheese, cottage cheese, and hard mild cheeses, together with a lot of raw, grated vegetables. Kidney problems require low protein. Heart problems require low salt. Very often the two maladies go hand in hand.
It’s crucially important that if your dog has been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure you work closely with your vet to monitor their health. Your vet can perform regular blood tests to check for vital signs that indicate whether a change in diet is producing desired or undesired results.
Many owners have reported that fish is a way to infuse protein in to the dog’s diet without over doingthe levels or volume of protein to the point that the dog’s digestive system is overworked.
See K9 Magazine’s article ‘Is Fish Good for Dogs‘ for further information.