If your dog has kidney problems, controlling their diet is one of the most important things you can do. A kidney diet needs to have 1) MOISTURE, and 2) low phosphorus levels, under 1% on a dry matter basis. *Dry matter is calculated by subtracting moisture, and is not the number found listed directly in the nutrient analysis.
(This is true for cats too. You can read about a newsletter article about cat food for kidneys here.)
The very best kidney diet is raw or dehydrated raw food. It's moisture rich, easy to digest and highly bio-available, because it hasn't been denatured by heavy processing, so
there is less waste for the filtering organs to deal with. However, many raw foods are high in phosphorus due to inclusion of bone meal, so you need to choose wisely. A few top picks:
Nature's Logic, Raw Frozen, Beef - .8% phosphorus (special order, please call ahead)
The Honest Kitchen, Dehydrated Raw, Keen - .87% phosphorus
The Honest Kitchen, Dehydrated Raw, Love - .95% phosphorus
The Honest Kitchen, Dehydrated Raw, Zeal - .85% phosphorus
The Honest Kitchen, Dehydrated Raw, Preference* - .71% phosphorus
*Preference is a base mix. Add your own low phosphorus protein such as high fat (20%) ground beef or green tripe (read more about tripe below)
My Perfect Pet, Fresh Cooked Frozen, Roxy's Blend - .55% phosphorus
My Perfect Pet, Fresh Cooked Frozen, Boomer's Blend - .60% phosphorus
My Perfect Pet, Fresh Cooked Frozen, Snuggle's Blend - .53% phosphorus
My Perfect Pet, Fresh Cooked Frozen, Knight's Blend - .59% phosphorus
The foods listed above are our top choices, but we understand that feeding a larger dog exclusively raw or fresh food can be cost prohibitive. Dry food can help reduce the cost of feeding, but understand that dry food on it's own is NOT a good choice for kidney health. We recommend using a moist food topper, such as one of the above listed foods, or low phosphorus canned food such as Tripett green tripe, and offering plenty of low sodium broth to increase fluid intake. We see lots of recommendations for feeding a senior food to kidney dogs, but we feel that is not necessarily a good choice as the phosphorus levels may not be any lower than non-senior food, and because senior foods replace healthy animal protein with less utilizable plant protein. Instead, we prefer a traditionally formulated food with naturally low phosorus levels. For this, one food stands out about the rest.
FirstMate, Pacific Ocean Fish - .56% phosphorus
This is a very high quality, grain free, all life stages, dog food. One of the few, if not the only, dry foods to provide lower phosphorus levels without altering the original formula.
So when it comes to kidney health, don't feel forced to feed a special food with questionable ingredients. You do have options.
Posts made after 2/1/2013 written by Kelly. Most older articles written by Cathy. She accepts sole responsibility for typos and bad grammarisms.