The Best Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease in 2024

By Amber Smith
Jan 1, 2024 4:00 AMJan 1, 2024 8:51 PM
Pupper Fuel Dog Food


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Dogs with kidney disease require a special diet to ensure their health and well-being. In 2023, there are several options for pet owners looking to provide the best nutrition for their furry friends. It is important to note that the best diet for dogs with kidney disease will depend on the severity of their condition and the recommendations of their veterinarian.

One popular option for dogs with kidney disease is a low-protein diet. This type of diet reduces the amount of protein in a dog's food, which can help to reduce the workload on their kidneys. However, it is important to ensure that the dog is still receiving enough essential amino acids and other nutrients to maintain their overall health. Another option for dogs with kidney disease is a prescription renal diet. These diets are specifically formulated to support kidney function and often include a balance of high-quality protein, low phosphorus, and other essential nutrients. 

Dog Food for Dogs with Kidney Disease

  1. Pupper Fuel Dog Food  

  2. Royal Canin Renal Support Dry Dog Food 

  3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dog Food

  4. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support 

  5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Support 

  6. SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula Dry Dog Food

Kidney disease is a common and serious health issue that affects dogs of all ages and breeds. It occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to function properly, leading to a buildup of waste products and toxins in the body. This can cause a range of symptoms, including increased thirst and urination, decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy.

There are several different types of kidney disease that can affect dogs, including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and congenital kidney disease. Acute kidney injury is typically caused by a sudden injury or illness, while chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition that develops gradually over time. Congenital kidney disease is a genetic condition that is present at birth.

The most common cause of kidney disease in dogs is age-related degeneration, but other factors can also contribute to the development of the condition. These include infections, cancer, immune system disorders, and certain medications.

To diagnose kidney disease in dogs, veterinarians typically perform a series of tests, including blood and urine tests, imaging studies, and a kidney biopsy. Treatment options for kidney disease depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition, but may include dietary changes, medications, and supportive care.

Importance of Diet in Managing Kidney Disease

Diet plays a crucial role in managing kidney disease in dogs. The right diet can help slow down the progression of the disease, reduce the symptoms, and improve the quality of life of the dog. In contrast, the wrong diet can worsen the condition and cause further damage to the kidneys.

Dogs with kidney disease need a diet that is low in phosphorus, sodium, and protein and high in antioxidants. Phosphorus and sodium can put extra strain on the kidneys, while too much protein can increase the workload of the kidneys, leading to further damage. Antioxidants can help protect the kidneys from oxidative stress and inflammation.

There are many commercial diets available that are specifically designed for dogs with kidney disease. These diets are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the dog while also supporting kidney function. Some of the key features of these diets include:

  • Low phosphorus content

  • Restricted protein content

  • High-quality protein sources

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Antioxidants

Dogs with kidney disease need a diet that is low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium. This is because the kidneys are responsible for filtering these substances out of the body, and damaged kidneys may not be able to do so effectively. However, it's important to ensure that the diet still provides adequate nutrition. Some key nutrients to look for in a kidney-friendly diet include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These can help reduce inflammation and improve kidney function.

  • B vitamins: These are important for energy metabolism and can be depleted in dogs with kidney disease.

  • Antioxidants: These can help protect the kidneys from further damage.

Foods to Avoid

In general, dogs with kidney disease should avoid foods that are high in protein, phosphorus, and sodium. Some specific foods to avoid include:

  • Red meat: This is high in protein and phosphorus.

  • Dairy products: These are high in phosphorus.

  • Processed foods: These are often high in sodium.

Homemade vs. Commercial Diets

There are two main options for feeding a dog with kidney disease: homemade diets and commercial diets. Homemade diets can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the dog, but they can also be time-consuming and difficult to balance. Commercial diets are more convenient, but they may not be as customized to the dog's needs.

In general, it's best to work with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist to determine the best diet for a dog with kidney disease. They can help ensure that the diet provides all the necessary nutrients while avoiding foods that could make the condition worse.

Transitioning Your Dog to a New Diet

Transitioning to a new diet can be a challenging process for both you and your dog. It is crucial to introduce new foods gradually to avoid any digestive issues or discomfort. Here are a few tips to help you transition your dog to a new diet:

  • Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog's current diet. Gradually increase the amount of new food while decreasing the old food over several days or weeks.

  • Monitor your dog's appetite, energy level, and bowel movements during the transition. If your dog experiences any digestive issues, slow down the transition process or consult with your veterinarian.

  • Consider adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth to the new food to make it more appealing to your dog.

  • Offer small, frequent meals throughout the day to help your dog adjust to the new diet.

  • Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water at all times.

Monitoring Your Dog's Health

Owners of dogs with kidney disease must monitor their pet's health regularly to ensure that their condition does not worsen. Routine veterinary check-ups are essential to evaluate the progress of the disease and adjust treatment accordingly.

In addition to regular vet visits, owners should monitor their dog's water consumption, urine output, and appetite. It is essential to measure the dog's weight regularly, as weight loss can be an early sign of kidney disease. Owners should also keep track of any vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive issues that their dog may experience.

It is crucial to follow the prescribed diet and medication regimen closely. Owners should ensure that their dog is consuming the recommended amount of food and taking medication at the prescribed times. They should also keep track of any adverse reactions to medication and report them to the veterinarian immediately.

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Kidney Disease?

When choosing the best dog food for dogs with kidney disease, it's crucial to take several factors into consideration. First and foremost, consult with your veterinarian, as they can provide tailored dietary recommendations based on your dog's specific needs and the stage of their kidney disease. They may suggest a prescription diet or offer guidance on suitable commercial dog food options.

One key aspect to look for in dog food for kidney disease is a low phosphorus content. Reducing phosphorus intake helps alleviate the workload on the kidneys. Therefore, opt for dog foods that are specifically labeled as "low phosphorus" or "kidney support."

Controlled protein levels are also important. While dogs with kidney disease may require restricted protein intake, it's essential to ensure they still receive adequate, high-quality protein sources. Look for dog foods that contain high-quality proteins with lower phosphorus content to meet their nutritional needs.

1.     Pupper Fuel Dog Food  

Just like humans, canines are affected by a poor diet. Unbalanced meals with excessive carbohydrates and imbalanced macronutrients put dogs at risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. A subpar diet leaves dogs feeling lethargic and unpleasant, leading to low energy levels and overeating. 

Fuel is a grain-free dog food formulated for optimal health and peak performance. It contains 13 active and 16 inactive ingredients, including chicken for muscle development, sweet potatoes for vitamins and antioxidants, and kelp for digestive health. 

2.     Royal Canin Renal Support Dry Dog Food 

Discover the new and improved Royal Canin Renal Support Dry Dog Food! With an enhanced aromatic profile, this formula offers even more health benefits for your large and giant breed adult dogs managing all stages of kidney disease. It is highly digestible and contains a low level of phosphorus, supporting renal health. Additionally, our special blend of antioxidants helps maintain a healthy immune system. Trust Royal Canin Renal Support Dry Dog Food to provide the essential nutrition and support your dog needs for optimal kidney function and a thriving life.

3.     Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dog Food is designed to protect vital kidney and heart function, while also supporting the natural ability of dogs to build lean muscle on a daily basis. The inclusion of Enhanced Appetite Trigger (E.A.T.) technology helps increase their appetite and food intake, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrition. 

This specially formulated food contains controlled phosphorus and low sodium levels, along with therapeutic levels of l-carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides high levels of essential amino acids, which serve as the fundamental building blocks of protein. Manufactured in the USA, this dog food has undergone clinical testing to improve and extend the overall quality of life for dogs in need of kidney care support.

4.     Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support


Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support is a carefully crafted dog food designed to provide optimal kidney support. It features controlled levels of protein, which helps manage the workload on the kidneys. Additionally, controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium contribute to supporting kidney health. This specialized formula includes antioxidants, l-carnitine, and Omega-3 Fatty acids, which work together to support overall health and maintain a healthy body condition in dogs.

What sets this kidney support diet apart is that it is made without the grains that many pet parents choose to avoid. It offers a wholesome and natural diet that not only provides beneficial nutrition but also delivers a taste that dogs will absolutely love. Give your furry companion the care they deserve with Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support, promoting their well-being and ensuring they enjoy their meals to the fullest.

5.     Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Support 

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Kidney Support Formula is designed to provide dietary management for dogs with chronic kidney disease. Our formula is made with high-quality ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest, providing them the support they need during this difficult time. 

This specialized diet includes controlled levels of both phosphorus and sodium, which help manage the workload on the kidneys and reduce stress on the body. It also features a proprietary blend of antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids, and l-carnitine to help support overall health and maintain a healthy body condition in dogs suffering from kidney issues. Whether your pup is dealing with chronic or acute kidney failure, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets can give them the nutrition they need to get back to feeling their best. 

6.     SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula Dry Dog Food

SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula Dry Dog Food was specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with special requirements, providing essential support for kidney health. This high-quality dog food is proudly made in the USA, using trusted ingredients. It was developed by SquarePet's team of certified veterinary nutritionists and veterinarian owner, ensuring the utmost expertise and care in its formulation.

In addition to its targeted low phosphorus formula, this dog food is enriched with clinically proven antioxidants, including vitamins E and C. These antioxidants work together to support the immune system, promoting overall health and well-being for your furry companion. Trust SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula Dry Dog Food to provide the specialized nutrition your dog needs while maintaining the highest standards of quality and effectiveness.

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