The 5 Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease
Keeping your dog healthy is your top priority but there are some things you just can’t predict.
Kidney disease is a condition that many dog owners never see coming, particularly in cases of chronic kidney disease that take time to develop.
Once you’ve become aware of your dog’s kidney problems, it’s time to take action and that means choosing a kidney-friendly dog food.
Formulated specifically for dogs with kidney problems, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function formula Dry Food is our top pick for controlled levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium.
Keep reading to learn more about your dog’s basic nutritional needs and to receive some tips for picking the best dog food to meet those needs.
You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best dog food for kidney disease.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Dry Food.
- Best Natural Dog Food for Kidney Disease: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Canned Food
- Best Wet Dog Food for Kidney Disease: Hill’s Prescription Diet K/D Renal Health Canned Food
- Best Dog Food for Seniors with Kidney Disease: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Wet Food
- Best Dog Food for Allergies and Kidney Disease: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support
Understanding Kidney Disease in Dogs
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products out of your dog’s blood and they also play a role in maintain fluid balance in the body.
When the kidneys become damaged or lose their ability to function properly, it can lead to some serious problems.
Kidney disease can be caused by a wide variety of things including genetics, trauma, ingesting toxins, and infections.
Chronic kidney disease takes time to develop and doesn’t always show outward signs.
When those signs do show up, however, you need to take your dog to the vet for treatment and you may also need to change what you feed your dog to support its kidneys.
Here are some things to look for in a dog food for kidney disease:
- Quality Ingredients. Because your dog’s kidneys are damaged, their ability to filter out toxins may be impaired which means that high-quality ingredients are even more important.
- Low Protein. A low-to-moderate protein content is recommended for dogs with kidney disease – something in the range of 13% to 18%.
- Omega Fatty Acids. There is some evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may benefits dogs with kidney disease – they also provide support for healthy skin and coat.
- Moist Food. The kidneys need water to function properly, so choose a dog food that is high in moisture – that might be a wet food, moist food, or rehydrated dry food.
Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for kidney disease. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease
The most important nutrients for dogs are protein and fat. Protein helps your dog maintain lean muscle mass while fat provides a concentrated source of energy.
Generally speaking, dogs need 18% protein in their diet but dogs with kidney problems need lower protein – between 13% and 18%.
Fat should be somewhere around 10% to 15%, depending on the dog’s activity level.
Dogs don’t have specific requirements for carbohydrates, but these nutrients can provide fiber, energy, and vitamins and minerals.
Look for digestible sources like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes. And make sure your dog’s food contains fiber for digestion as well.
In addition to these nutrients, your dog can also benefit from certain supplements in its diet.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals that are easy to digest.
Chelated minerals are bound to protein molecules to increase absorption. Prebiotic fibers and probiotics support healthy and regular digestion.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for kidney disease.
The Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease
If your dog has kidney problems, the quality of its diet is very important.
Look for a recipe that contains low levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium but is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. It should also be highly digestible with beneficial supplements for support.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best dog food for kidney disease that you should consider:
How Much Should You Feed A Dog With Chronic Kidney Disease?
The amount you feed your dog depends on several factors including its age, weight, and activity level. Growing puppies, small breeds, and highly active dogs need more calories and may require three meals a day versus two meals a day for adult dogs.
To determine exactly how much to feed your dog, start with a recipe formulated for your dog’s breed size and refer to the feeding recommendations on the package then divide that into two or three meals.
What About Food Allergies and Sensitivities?
If your dog has food allergies as well as kidney problems, you’re going to have your work cut out for you.
The best thing you can do is choose a high-quality dog food made with digestible ingredients.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of variation out there when it comes to veterinary diets for kidney problems. If your dog’s allergies are severe enough, you may need to switch to homemade food.
If your dog suffers from kidney disease, the diet you feed it can either support its kidneys or make matters worse. To support your dog’s kidneys, choose a high-quality dog food made with low protein content and controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!