Feeding your dog with the right diet is crucial in treating kidney failure. Our Vancouver vets can help you understand the dietary guidelines recommended by your vet to manage your pup's symptoms.
Your Dog's Kidneys
Chronic kidney disease, chronic renal failure, chronic kidney failure, and CKD are all names that refer to a condition where a dog's kidneys stop working properly. Normally, the kidneys filter toxins from the blood, but with this disease, the kidneys gradually become less effective at this job.
This means that toxins build up in the dog's blood, which can be dangerous. While dogs have no cure for chronic kidney disease, a therapeutic diet can help manage the condition. By sticking to this special diet, your dog may be able to maintain a good quality of life for several months, depending on the severity of their condition.
Diagnosing & Treating Kidney Disease in Dogs
Your vet will do a complete check-up of your dog if they suspect any serious illness and advise on proper nutrition. If your dog is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, the vet will evaluate the severity of the case and the dog's age and overall health before recommending treatment.
A dog kidney failure treatment usually involves a combination of medication and dietary changes or restrictions. The medication helps reduce symptoms, while a special diet slows the disease's progression and reduces the kidney workload.
Dog Food For Kidney Disease
If your pup has chronic kidney disease, their recommended dog food will likely have special ingredients. This includes a therapeutic diet with lower levels of sodium, protein, and phosphorus. It will also have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Depending on your pup's condition, your vet may also suggest adding potassium to their food.
Why reduce protein for dogs with kidney disease?
Reducing the protein in a dog's diet is a controversial topic, but there are two main reasons to consider it. The first is to reduce the amount of waste created during protein metabolism, and the second is to lessen the protein entering the kidneys' filtration system. By feeding your dog a diet with lower protein levels, you may reduce the strain on their kidneys, which could help maintain kidney function for a longer time.
Why reduce phosphorus for dogs with kidney disease?
When your dog's kidneys start to fail, the amount of phosphorus in their blood increases, which can cause some negative effects such as a deficiency in vitamin D and a lower ability to absorb calcium. If your dog has chronic kidney disease, managing their phosphorus levels through their diet can help slow down the disease's progression.
It's worth mentioning that the protein content in your dog's food affects the amount of phosphorus in their diet. So, to decrease the phosphorus intake, you'll also need to limit the amount of protein your dog eats. Moreover, keep in mind that diet alone may not be sufficient to normalize your dog's blood phosphorus levels in the later stages of the disease. In such cases, medication will be necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment can increase the chances of success.
Why reduce sodium for dogs with kidney disease?
If your dog has chronic kidney disease, lowering their sodium intake can be helpful. It can ease the pressure on their kidneys and help maintain healthy blood pressure. In addition to feeding them a therapeutic diet, be mindful of the treats you give them. Jerky and cheese slices are often high in sodium, so it's best to steer clear of them.
Why increase omega-3 fatty acids in my dog's diet?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be helpful in reducing the progression of chronic kidney disease in dogs. They work by reducing the production of harmful compounds that cause inflammation and damage the kidneys. Foods that are high in omega-3 include salmon and other types of fish, which dogs often enjoy. Alternatively, fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements can be added to their diet.
Choosing The Right Food For Your Dog
When your dog has kidney failure or disease, their vet will suggest the best food to help them combat the illness. Just like people, every dog has unique dietary needs. Your vet will recommend the appropriate food depending on the severity and progression of the condition, your dog's age, and overall health.
Most dog foods you can buy at the store contain high levels of phosphorus and protein, which are unsuitable for dogs with chronic kidney disease. However, your vet may be able to prescribe therapeutic foods that are specially formulated for your dog's dietary requirements. These foods have limited amounts of sodium, phosphorus, and protein. Talking to your vet about which food is best for your dog is important.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.