A diet for a dog with kidney disease
This is my full research on canine kidney disease and diet. It’s important to remember that kidney disease is extremely individual to the dog and their stage. I recommend signing up to a bespoke recipe plan or a consultation to get specifically balanced recipes.
What causes canine kidney disease?
To understand the causes of kidney disease in dogs, you need to understand the role of the kidneys and what canine kidney disease really is.
Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive disease that is caused by structural or functional abnormalities in one or both of the kidneys. The reduction in the functional capabilities of the organs means a reduction in Globular filtration. Globular filtration is the kidneys ability to filter the blood. The reduction in the ability to filter the blood leads to a build-up of waste which becomes toxic, causing damage and further decline. (1)
The rate of progression of kidney disease in dogs is extremely variable, for example an early diagnosis of CKD can slow disease progression, and with the correct management, it will ensure your dog’s quality and length of life remains unaffected.
Depending on the stage of the disease, will depend on what management/ therapy your dog should receive, this is especially the case with diet. (2)
What do your dog’s kidneys do?
To understand how to care for a dog with kidney disease, you need to understand what the kidney’s dog.
Just like us humans, blood flows through the kidneys every single minute. Your dog’s kidneys filter out waste products that are in the blood (globular filtration) from the breakdown of food, old cells, toxins, metabolic by products, and drugs. They also balance minerals like phosphorus, potassium, sodium and calcium.
All of these get into the blood via the digestive process, then the kidneys filter the blood and remove all waste in the form of urine. They also trap good substances, like proteins and supply them back to the body.
By controlling what your dog is digesting, you can control the waste.
- Remove waste material from the bloodstream
- Help regulate blood pressure
- Regulate levels of certain essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
- Produce a variety of hormones
- Regulate the amount of water in the blood and produce urine
- Stimulate red blood cells formation
- Help regulate vitamin D levels
By not overloading the functions of the kidneys, you will extend longevity.
How do you know if your dog’s got kidney disease?
- Anorexia (Common)
- Proteinuria (high protein in urine)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypoalbuminemia (low albumin in blood) (3)
What causes canine kidney disease?
A significant proportion of the treatment of a dog with kidney disease is addressing the underlying causes.
All of these causes either increase the workload of the kidneys, eventually causing it to deteriorate, or directly cause reduced function of the kidneys.
- Low grade long term inflammation
- Increased waste in the food
- Gut Microbiome dysbiosis (wrong diet)
- Chronic bacterial infection
- High blood pressure
- Urinary blockage
- Certain drugs
- Congenital or at birth malformation of the kidneys
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Prolonged periodontal disease
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- Polzin, D.J., 2011. Chronic kidney disease in small animals. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 41(1), pp.15-30.
- Evason, M. and Remillard, R., 2017. Chronic kidney disease staging & nutrition considerations. Clinician’s Brief, 15(3), pp.89-95.
- Dunaevich, A., Chen, H., Musseri, D., Kuzi, S., Mazaki‐Tovi, M., Aroch, I. and Segev, G., 2020. Acute on chronic kidney disease in dogs: Etiology, clinical and clinicopathologic findings, prognostic markers, and survival. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 34(6), pp.2507-2515.
- Brown, S.A., Crowell, W.A., Barsanti, J.A., White, J.V. and Finco, D.R., 1991. Beneficial effects of dietary mineral restriction in dogs with marked reduction of functional renal mass. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 1(10), pp.1169-1179.
- Finco, D.R., Brown, S.A., Crowell, W.A., Duncan, R.J., Barsanti, J.A. and Bennett, S.E., 1992. Effects of dietary phosphorus and protein in dogs with chronic renal failure. American journal of veterinary research, 53(12), pp.2264-2271.
- Simona Mihai, Elena Codrici, Ionela Daniela Popescu, Ana-Maria Enciu, Lucian Albulescu, Laura Georgiana Necula, Cristina Mambet, Gabriela Anton, Cristiana Tanase, “Inflammation-Related Mechanisms in Chronic Kidney Disease Prediction, Progression, and Outcome”, Journal of Immunology Research, vol. 2018, Article ID 2180373, 16 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/2180373