Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Question Regarding Canine Kidney Disease Diet

Q: Thank you for the very informative article. You mentioned that the pet should have a high quality, low protein phosphorous diet, do you suggest any particular dog food? My current vet has her on Hill's k/d diet which I have heard some negative things about. Thank you again.
~One nervous pet owner

A: Thank you for submitting a question about such an important topic. You are correct--when a dog or cat has kidney disease, the diet is of utmost importance. Giving too much protein at any one meal can elevate the phosphorous and BUN levels in the blood and make the dog or cat feel sick. Symptoms of canine and feline kidney disease can include excessive thirst, excessive urination, lethargy, inappetance, nausea, etc. So to keep your pet's phosphorous and BUN levels as regulated as possible, the diet needs to regulated too.

Several considerations regarding diets for dogs and cats with kidney disease: pets often become inappetant and need variety; avoid using any type of treat or food that contains preservatives or chemicals, try to use a homemade diet if at all possible and avoid giving the pet high protein/high phosphorous foods such as milk products and fish.

There is no "canned" recipe or commercial dog food that works for every dog or cat with kidney disease. The reason for this, is that kidney disease is often accompanied by other health conditions. These can include pancreatitis, anemia, heart disease, liver issues, allergies, etc. It is not advisable to use a recipe or commercial diet intended for any pet with kidney disease because it may not be the right one for your pet. I have seen many dogs with kidney disease get worse from being on so called "homemade canine kidney disease diets" because they are too high in fat. Your best bet would be to seek out the advice of a veterinary professional and get a custom-tailored diet specifically for your dog. We offer this service through Ask Ariel and there are other pet nutritionist services available online.
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