Dog Food for Kidney Diseases: Facts You Need to Know

Diet is crucial for ensuring the overall well-being and health of canines. Choosing the right and most nutritious foods leads to positive effects. It shields dogs from various diseases and boosts their immune system's functionality. Similarly, to humans, a dog's kidney has critical roles in its body, including the elimination of hazardous nitrogenous wastes, generating necessary hormones and vitamins, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining the equilibrium of acid and base levels.

There are various categories of kidney diseases which affect the performance of a dog's kidney. Mostly, dog’s food is associated with the occurrence of renal problems in dogs.

Here, we will discuss some important points regarding the selection of best kidney friendly dog foods for those dogs which are having kidney issues and some related facts and figures in detail.


There are many questions which are usually asked by dog keepers such as given below:

  • How kidney diseases are linked with diet?
  • How should I choose a diet for my dog which is having a kidney problem?
  • Which diets should not be given to dogs with kidney diseases?
  • Which diets enhance the performance of a dog's kidney?

Being a responsible owner, this is the duty of a dog keeper to keep an eye on the renal health of his/her dog and get routine renal checkups. Remember, if you early diagnose the underlying renal disease in your dog, then you can make a better plan to deal with this.

Note: The dogs which eat specially designed diets made for kidney diseases can live twice as compared to those who eat routine diets. This is why proper diet planning is essential for the quality of your dog’s life.


However, selection of diet totally depends upon the type of kidney disease (either severe or chronic) but generally dogs diagnosed with kidney disease should be fed a diet which must lack following things:

  • Diet should be low in sodium. As you know, sodium is an important electrolyte that plays a huge role in blood pressure. Increased levels of sodium in diet will boost up the blood pressure in the dog’s body that will ultimately put a great burden over kidneys. An owner should keep an eye on the sodium intake by his/her canine buddy. Try to avoid high salt treats to your dog such as cheese, commercially available dog foods and bread.  However, you can give low sodium veggies and fruits except garlic, onions, grapes etc. Furthermore, you can talk to your vet and take some important guidelines.
  • Diet should contain a low amount of protein. Talking broadly, protein is finally converted to waste by products in the dog’s body which are cleaned up by the kidneys. In case, the dog's kidneys are not functioning properly and unable to remove protein and its waste by products from the body then it is wise to choose a diet which has low but high-quality protein. For example, Dr. Linda Simon at this research of dry dog foods explains that diet requirements will vary depending on a dog’s breed, age, activity levels, and general health. So, young and active dogs often have far higher protein than older dogs. It is a nice idea to not give high protein diets to dogs with renal problems such as meat, hides, pig ear etc. Calculation of protein in a dog's diet (having kidney problems) is a very sensitive and critical thing. It is recommended to consult a veterinary practitioner/ nutritionist in this regard.
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  • Diet must contain optimum levels of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, ALA,EPA) etc. Researchers have proved that omega-3 fatty acids have significant effects on inflammatory changes and other complications in the kidney. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of pro-inflammatory compounds that create oxidative stress over renal tissues. So, you make sure that your dog is taking required supplementation of omega-fatty acid.
  • Low levels of phosphorus in the diet. Remember, phosphorus accumulates in the blood and abnormal kidney (having any kind of impairment) can’t clean it up from the blood. So, make sure the diets which you are offering to your dog must contain low levels of phosphorus. Additionally, special care must be given to dogs with chronic kidney disease (CRD).
  • Note: It is better to discuss this with an expert veterinary practitioner/pet nutritionist and get wise recommendations.
  • As you know that, dogs with kidney problems also exhibit issues with the balancing of acid and base in the body. Usually, blood becomes acidic in renal diseases. It is a good idea to select a non-acidifying, kidney friendly diet for your dog.
  • Potassium level is also very much important that should be assessed in the dog’s diet with respect to the type of renal disease and its severity. In case of acute or chronic kidney disease, potassium level becomes high in the dog’s body- that condition is medically known as” hyperkalemia”. In that case, it is important to choose a diet with low potassium levels. Potassium restriction can help dogs in restoring their normal condition.
  • In case of kidney stones, it is considered good to go for the chemistry of that particular stone (to have an idea of the actual nature of the stone). After that, make a strategy to not use that food which contains that specific mineral/ingredient that predisposes stone formation in your dog. Additionally, use mineral/vitamin mixture or supplements with special care in dogs with kidney issues. Take recommendations from your vet.

Note: Talk to your vet. He/she will help in formulating a great, kidney friendly formula for your dog as per the situation. However, there are a number of commercially available kidney therapeutic diets which can be offered to dogs only under veterinary supervision. Don’t take any step without consulting with your vet.


There are a number of natural and manufactured diets which are available for your canine buddy.  But you can talk to your vet and get some exciting recommendations. Here are some important diets which you can give your dog if he is suffering from any renal complication:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Steamed peas
  • Green beans

Note: The first two must comprise the 30% of your dog’s total diet and the last three must be 10% of your total diet. Furthermore, you can consult with a pet nutritionist for more details.


Food plays an important role in overall health and well-being of dogs. There are a variety of kidney friendly diets which show good results in dogs with kidney diseases. This thing needs to be noticed that, kidney diseases are of various types, severity and stages. Before switching to any diet, make sure that what kind of kidney problem your dog is actually having. Get veterinary consultancy. Your vet will properly diagnose the actual cause and type of renal disease by considering the important parameters such as age, breed, health status, previous history, current diet etc. of your dog in mind. Make a proper feeding regime and also provide ample amounts of drinking water to your dog all the time.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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