Kidney Diet for Dogs

The diet for dogs with kidney disease must be different from a healthy dog's diet.

The kidneys produce the urine, but have also homeostatic functions and regulate the body's blood pressure as well as the acid balance. The kidneys also produce hormones.

Prescription food or homemade food is recommended for dogs with kidney disease or kidney failure, to diminish the kidney's workload.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Canine kidney disease may be signaled by the followings:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination or the inability to urinate
  • Foul odor urine
  • Impurities in the urine
  • Colored urine; the urine will be yellow-orange and sometimes there is blood in the urine
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath and even mouth ulcers

It is important to take your dog to the vet to diagnose kidney disease in timely manner, so as to avoid canine kidney failure, which may be a fatal condition. The vet will prescribe medication and a special diet for an ill dog.

Low-Protein Diet

A low-protein diet is helpful to lessen the workload of damaged kidneys. The protein needs to be replaced with fibers or fat. Carbs are not necessarily beneficial for the dog's overall health, but may be helpful in kidney disease, especially when the dog is older.

The diet must also be low in phosphorous.

Wet Food

Wet food is recommended for dogs with kidney problems, as wet food is easier to digest.

Wet food contains a lot of water, which will be easier for the kidneys to process.

Vets will typically recommend canned food for dogs with kidney disease.

A dog with kidney problems also needs a lot of water to flush out the toxins that may be located in the kidneys; soups are also recommended for ill dogs.

If your dog's diet relies solely on wet food, make sure to include some dry chew treats, to prevent any dental health issues. Opt for treats that are low in protein.

Prescription Dog Food

Often, the dog will receive prescription dog food; the prescribed formula is created mainly for dogs with kidney disease.

The prescription dog food will contain all the needed nutrients and will make it easier for the kidneys to process the food. The nutrients will support the kidneys' functions.

Prescription dog food may be needed for the rest of the dog's life to prevent kidney failure. Kidney disease is an irreversible condition.

Natural Diet

Natural diet is also recommended for dogs with kidney disease; the herbs will cleanse the dog's blood, washing away all the impurities. Talk to a holistic doctor about some dietary options


A dog with kidney problems may get some supplements that will help the damaged kidneys. Supplements of omega 3 and 6 are recommended. Other antioxidants such as selenium or vitamin E are also beneficial for the overall health of the pet. Avoid mineral supplements and phosphorous; these will only create more work for the kidneys.