Healthy Eating for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Dog Health

Kidney disease in dogs is mainly classified into chronic and acute kidney disease. It is very important that kidney disease in dogs does not cause permanent damage. Therefore, kidney diseases should be diagnosed early. Both observing the dog and not interrupting the veterinary controls are of great benefit for the early diagnosis of kidney diseases.

Waste materials in the body are filtered by the kidneys and excreted with the urine, but in dogs with chronic kidney disease, the filtering system does not work properly, so waste material begins to accumulate in the bloodstream. Food and nutrition are very important for dogs with kidney disease. There are four important steps to take to control kidney disease in dogs. These steps are;

  • Checking the symptoms to understand the rise of waste material levels in the blood,
  • Making sure the dog is getting enough fluids and minerals
  • To provide a balanced diet for the dog and its general health,
  • It can be expressed as creating a new routine that includes measures to slow the progression of kidney disease.

Nutrition is the most important point in the process of controlling kidney disease among all these four goals. Formulas developed specifically for chronic kidney disease are produced based on these goals. Compared to a regular adult dog food, specialty foods contain less protein, sodium and phosphorus to support the kidney. These foods are also very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Specially developed formulas prevent metabolic acid poisoning.

dog drinking water

Considerations for Dogs with Kidney Disease

“What should dogs with kidney disease eat?” The question is very important. It is necessary to pay attention to the content of the food that dogs with chronic kidney disease take, as well as the dog’s water consumption is very important.


Sick kidneys are not as effective as they used to be in removing waste materials from the body. One of the consequences of chronic kidney disease is that the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate urine. With extremely infrequent urine, it becomes more difficult to remove toxins from the body. The body begins to consume more water to achieve this. That’s why dogs with chronic kidney disease need to make sure they have access to enough water. Consumption of wet food also helps water intake. You can view the age foods that dogs can consume by clicking here. To get your dog to drink more water, you should change the water several times a day and wash the water bowl daily.


Reducing protein intake slows the progression of kidney disease by reducing the amount of work the kidneys need to filter protein waste. Less protein intake means less protein processing in the kidney’s filtration mechanism, which allows the kidney to maintain its function. The recommended range of protein intake on a dry matter basis for dogs with chronic kidney disease should be between 14 – 20% or less.


Kidney disease dog nutrition is intended to alleviate kidney activities. Reducing phosphorus in the diet is thought to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. However, it is not known exactly what causes this effect. The recommended dry matter phosphorus range for dogs with kidney disease is between 0.2% and 0.5%.


Sodium causes the kidneys to work harder. Therefore, restricting the sodium content in the diet makes the kidneys work more easily. By restricting sodium content, blood pressure also becomes more stable.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Nutritional Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of inflammatory components that cause oxidative stress on sick kidney tissues and thus slower progression of chronic kidney disease. It also helps reduce the amount of protein leaking into the kidneys.

dog staring at food plate full of vegetables

How Should Dogs With Chronic Kidney Disease Be Fed?

In dog foods that support kidneys, protein should be between 14 – 20%, phosphorus 0.2% – 0.5%, sodium 0.3% or less, and Omega-3 fatty acid 0.4 – 2.5% on a dry matter basis. . The veterinarian determines the most suitable feeding method for the dog. It is very important to determine the adequate calorie and nutritional value to support the body’s condition, control weight and slow kidney disease.

Foods developed specifically for kidney disease are usually very tasty for dogs. In order for dogs to get used to these foods more easily, you can support them with flavors that dogs will like, such as fish oil or unsalted chicken broth. You can click here to review the fish oil content that dogs can consume.

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