Canine Kidney Health Tips

The canine kidney plays an important and functional role in a dog’s health and well-being. The kidneys filter blood to maintain the balance of electrolytes and chemicals, remove waste products, and eliminate waste in a dog’s urine. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure and make hormones that jump-start the production of red blood cells.

Maintaining Canine Kidney Health with Prevention

Since a dog will not display signs of kidney failure until he has almost lost all kidney function, prevention is the key to making sure this organ stays healthy throughout his life. Prevention begins with a dog’s diet. First off, mammals need to drink a lot of water. Making sure a dog is drinking enough water will help ensure toxins and waste products in his body are being thoroughly flushed-out in his urine. A lack of water could cause a buildup of calcium and other nutrients, which could cause kidney or bladder stones. Some experts advise that dogs not consume dry foods, especially if they are predisposed to kidney problems, because they can easily become dehydrated.

A diet that has sufficient, healthy fatty foods in them is beneficial to kidney health. The fats in a dog’s diet, however, need to come from whole, non-processed meats like lamb, chicken, beef, chicken or turkey. Fats can also come from eggs and whole milk. Pet owners should also consider purchasing foods that are low in phosphorus, like beef, as this element can contribute to the formation of stones in a dog. Also, feed a dog food that has Omega-3 fatty acids in it rather than Omega-6, which can impair the function of the kidneys.

Some experts recommend diets that are low in proteins for a dog since metabolizing them can be hard on the kidneys. Instead, it is recommended that dogs be fed foods that are high in fiber like grains, fruits and vegetables. Because there are so many theories and recommendations about what type of food a dog should eat, one should consult a veterinarian to see what foods he recommends to help maintain the health of a dog’s kidneys.

When Nature Calls

Kidney health is well maintained in dogs that are allowed to relieve themselves when needed. When a dog is not able to urinate on a regular basis due to not having adequate time to empty his bladder, a blockage, etc., urine will begin to build up in the bladder. This will cause the bladder to expand and eventually burst. In this situation, compounds will begin buildup in the kidneys as they have not been flushed away; this is a dangerous and sometimes fatal situation. Making sure a dog is able to relieve himself when needed—or on a regular basis—and making sure he has enough time to do so is vital to ensuring the health of his renal organs.

The thought of keeping a dog’s kidneys healthy should start when a dog is a puppy. Lifelong prevention and care will help ensure the only thing a dog owner needs to worry about is making it home on time to walk the dog.