If your pooch is suffering from chronic kidney disease, feeding them the right diet is going to be a key element of their treatment. For dogs with kidney disease, our South Charlotte vets may recommend a diet with restricted protein, phosphorus and sodium combined with increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs
Chronic kidney disease, chronic renal disease, chronic renal failure and chronic kidney failure are all names used for a condition characterized by failing kidney function in dogs.
In a healthy dog, the kidneys perform a number of essential tasks including filtering toxins out of the blood. When your pup's kidneys fail they are no longer able to fully remove toxins, leading to an accumulation of toxins in your pet's blood.
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease in dogs, however, in many cases this condition can be successfully managed with the help of a therapeutic diet, allowing your dog to enjoy a good quality of life for a number of months.
Treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from chronic kidney disease your veterinarian will prescribe appropriate treatment based upon the severity of your dog's case, your dog's age, and your pet's overall state of health.
Treatment for kidney disease typically includes a combination of dietary restrictions and medications. Medications are primarily aimed at reducing the symptoms of the disease whereas a therapeutic diet is designed to help slow the progression of the disease and help to reduce the workload placed on your pup's kidneys.
Therapeutic Diet for Chronic Kidney Disease
A therapeutic diet for dogs suffering from chronic kidney disease will typically contain reduced amounts of protein, phosphorus and sodium combined with increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and in some cases potassium.
Reduced Protein Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease
Although reducing the amount of protein in a dog's diet is still somewhat controversial, there are two main goals behind this approach. The first is to help lower the amount of waste produced during protein metabolism and the second is to minimize the amount of protein entering the filtration system of the kidneys (thus reducing the workload placed on the kidneys).
Reduced Phosphorus for Dogs with Kidney Disease
As your dog's kidneys begin to fail, the concentration of phosphorus in their blood becomes elevated. Elevated concentrations of phosphorus have been linked to vitamin D deficiency and reduced ability for your dog's body to metabolize calcium. In dogs with chronic kidney disease, normalizing blood phosphorus concentrations through diet can often help to slow the progression of kidney disease.
It's important to understand that the phosphorus level in dog foods is directly related to the amount of protein in the food. In order to reduce the phosphorus in your dog's diet it will be necessary to restrict protein. It is also important to note that normalizing your dog's blood phosphorus levels through diet alone is typically only successful if the kidney disease is diagnosed and treated early, medications will also be necessary in more progressed stages of the disease.
Reduced Sodium for Dogs with Kidney Disease
Reducing sodium in the diet of dogs with chronic kidney disease may reduce the workload placed on your pet's kidneys. Reduced sodium in the diet could also help your dog to maintain normal blood pressure. Beyond feeding a therapeutic diet, reducing your dog's sodium intake will also mean paying special attention to the treats you offer your dog. Jerky and cheese slices are typically very high in sodium and should be avoided.
Increased Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Dogs with Kidney Disease
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease in dogs by reducing the production of inflammatory compounds that create oxidative stress to the animal's kidneys. Foods with higher levels of omega-3 often contain salmon and other fish which many dogs enjoy, or your pup's food can be supplemented with fish oil, or flaxseed oil.
What is the best food to feed my dog with chronic kidney disease?
If your dog is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease your veterinarian will recommend the best food to help your pooch fight the progression of the disease. Each dog is different, and the food recommended for your dog will depend on the severity of the disease, how far it has progressed, as well as your dog's age and overall health.
Most standard dog foods are likely to contain levels of protein and phosphorus that are too high for dogs with chronic kidney disease, however, there are a number of prescription therapeutic foods available from your vet's office.
Prescription diets have been formulated to meet all of your pup's nutritional requirements while offering restricted protein, phosphorus and sodium. Ask your veterinarian which food is best for your dog with kidney disease.
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.
Wondering what you should feed your dog with kidney failure? Contact us, our experienced South Charlotte vets can recommend the best foods to treat your pet's condition.
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