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What is the best diet for dogs with kidney disease?

If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, choosing the right diet for them can be a key part of their treatment. For dogs with kidney diseases, our Fairfield County vets might recommend a therapeutic diet with higher levels of fatty acids like omega-3 as well decreased levels of phosphorous, sodium and protein. 

Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs

Chronic kidney disease, CKD, chronic kidney failure, chronic renal disease, and failure are all names for a condition commonly characterized by kidney function in dogs failing. 

When kidneys are healthy, they conduct a wide number of tasks including filtering toxins from your pup's blood. Chronic kidney disease is described as the gradual decline in the kidneys' ability to properly work. When kidneys fully fail, they are no longer able to remove toxins from their blood which leads to a buildup of toxins in their blood. 

While there is no cure for chronic kidney disease in your dog, in lots of cases, this condition can be managed with a therapeutic diet. Feeding your dog a therapeutic diet which will be prescribed by your vet can allow your pup to enjoy a good quality of life for many months after diagnosis. 

Treatment of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Treatments for your dog's kidney disease will depend on the severity of their condition, their age, and your companion's overall health. In most instances, treatment for kidney disease includes a combination of medications and dietary restrictions. Therapeutic diets are designed to help slow the progression of the condition to help reduce your kidney's workload while medications are aimed at reducing the disease's kidneys. 

Therapeutic Diet for Dogs with Chronic Kidney Disease

Dogs suffering from chronic kidney disease usually require therapeutic diets with a lower amount of protein, sodium, and phosphorus as well as an increased amount of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Reduced Protein

Reducing the amount of protein in your dog's diet remains a controversial step. There are two goals behind this choice for your vet. Since their kidneys are responsible for filtering their body's waste when they process protein. The first goal of reducing protein is to help lower the amount of waste your dog's body produces, and the second is to reduce the amount of protein that is entering the kidneys' filtration systems.

What this means is that feeding your dog a diet with reduced levels of protein may help to reduce the workload placed on your dog's kidneys, in turn helping to preserve kidney function.

Reduced Phosphorus

As your pup's kidneys begin to fail, the concentration of phosphorus in their blood becomes elevated. Elevated concentrations of phosphorus have been linked to several negative side effects such as vitamin D deficiency, and reduced ability for your dog's body to metabolize calcium. Normalizing blood phosphorus concentrations through the diet may help to slow the progression of the disease in dogs with chronic kidney disease.

One very important thing to remember is that the phosphorus levels in your dog's food are directly related to the amount of protein in the food. Restricting phosphorus levels in your dog's diet requires also restricting their protein intake. It is also very important to know that normalizing your dog's phosphorus levels in their blood only through a diet is usually only successful if their kidney disease is diagnosed and treated early. Medications will be required to treat more progressed stages of kidney failure. 

Reduced Sodium

Reducing your dog's sodium intake can also be quite beneficial to its health. Reducing sodium can lower the workload on your pet's kidneys and help to maintain healthier blood pressure. If your dog is on a diet with reduced sodium, make sure you don't forget to check to contents of their treats. Most of the treats that dogs love, including cheese or jerky, have quite high sodium content. 

Increased Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease by reducing inflammatory compounds which place stress on your dog's kidneys to process. Many foods with increased levels of omega-3 contain fish, such as salmon, which dogs enjoy. Your pup's diet may also be supplemented with fish or flaxseed oil. 

The Best Food to Feed a Dog with Chronic Kidney Disease

If your dog has chronic kidney disease, your vet will recommend the best food for your dog's condition and to help them fight the chronic disease's progression. Each dog is unique and the food recommended for your beloved pet will depend on the progression of the disease, its severity as well as your canine companion's age and overall health. 

Standard dog foods often contain levels of protein and phosphorus that are too high for dogs with chronic kidney disease, however, there are several prescription therapeutic foods available from your vet. Prescription diets have been specially formulated to meet all of your dog's dietary requirements while also offering restricted protein, phosphorus, and sodium. Speak to your veterinarian about which food is best for your dog.

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.

If your dog is showing any symptoms of kidney failure, contact our South Wilton Veterinary Group vets in Fairfield County. Our vets have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating kidney failure in dogs. 

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