What to Look For—and What to Avoid—in Kidney Dog Food

The kidneys get rid of the waste that builds up in the body. When a dog develops chronic kidney disease (CKD), that waste ends up building up in the bloodstream—causing sickness.

There’s no cure for CKD, but with the right diet you can manage the symptoms and prolong your canine loved one’s life.

Here are three of the best and worst nutrients to have in your kidney dog food.

3 Good Nutrients to Have in Kidney Dog Food

These three nutrients must be part of your dog’s kidney diet to keep them healthy:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Inflammation is common with chronic kidney disease and speeds up CKD’s progression. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, thereby slowing the progression of the disease.

2. High-Quality Protein

While protein has been attributed to kidney problems, it’s still important to keep protein in your dog’s diet to maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass. Instead of minimizing protein, increase the quality of the protein in your dog’s kidney food.

3. Carbohydrates

Dogs with CKD can lose weight quickly, which is why carbohydrates are essential in any dog kidney diet. While they don’t provide as much musculature as protein, they help keep your dog’s weight steady.

Use healthy sources of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables for extra benefits.

3 Bad Nutrients to Avoid in a Kidney Dog Diet

Here are three common nutrients in dog food that need to be limited when your dog has CKD:

1. Phosphorus

Limiting phosphorus is the cornerstone of any kidney diet and slowing the progression of CKD. The kidneys’ job is to get rid of excess phosphorus, but when they malfunction they struggle to do so. Built-up phosphorus can lead to vitamin D deficiency and calcium deposits on the kidneys.

2. Sodium

A little bit of sodium is okay for dogs with kidney problems, but high levels in kidney dog food can be lethal. Reducing the amount of sodium your dog consumes will lessen the strain the kidneys endure.

3. Potassium

Potassium is also eliminated through the kidneys. The less of it that must be processed, the less work for the kidneys. If too much potassium builds up it can affect the heart.

It’s Possible to Make a Tasty Kidney Dog Food

It may seem difficult to create a diet that’s both tasty and healthy, but it is possible. Focus on getting whole food ingredients, whether you make the meals yourself or buy something from the store. If there is an ingredient you’re not sure of, see if there is an alternative brand.

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