Canine renal failure is a serious condition that happens when a dog’s kidneys lose the ability to remove waste from the blood. It most typically occurs in older dogs as their kidneys simply wear out after years of use. A dog suffering from renal failure may experience diarrhea, vomiting, depression and even appetite loss. There are many methods of treatment and management of this disease, including dietary management.
Dietary Management of Renal Failure
Any treatment of canine renal failure is focused on improving your dog’s quality of life and prolonging your dog’s life. Your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet in order to do both of those things. Your dog’s kidneys are basically filters. A special diet for your dog removes as much of the extra waste from the food as possible, therefore relieving the kidneys from the work of removing said waste. This aids in making your dog more comfortable and helps your dog feel better. As some dogs experience severe weight loss due to loss of appetite, these diets are also formulated to stimulate your dog’s appetite to encourage food intake and weight gain. You can purchase commercially prepared foods for canine renal failure, but you may prefer to prepare the diet for your dog yourself.
When preparing homemade renal failure diets for your dog, there are ingredients that are important to avoid as well as key ingredients you need to include. There is an age-old argument that protein must be restricted in a canine renal failure diet, but it is actually important for your dog to eat protein. What you want to limit is your dog’s intake of phosphorus, which weakens your dog when it accumulates in the blood. The problem is that phosphorus is a by-product of protein digestion, so you must choose a protein source with a low phosphorus level. You also need to limit sodium intake. Ingredients to include besides protein are fiber, fatty acids, B vitamins and calcium.
Very lean meat can be used in small amounts to make a meal for your dog. Combine 1/4 cup cooked lean hamburger or chicken, 3 cups of cooked potato (with skin), 1 tbsp. of chicken fat, 500 mg of vitamin C, 1 tbsp. of minced parsley, 1/2 tsp. of calcium powder and a veterinarian-recommended canine multivitamin. Mix thoroughly and serve at room temperature. Eggs are a complete protein with the lowest phosphorus level, making them perfect for a renal failure diet. Combine 1 scrambled egg (or use 1 chopped hard-boiled egg), 3 cups of cooked potato with skin, 1 tbsp. of chicken fat (or a fish oil capsule), 1/2 tsp. of calcium powder, 500 mg. of vitamin C, 1 tbsp. of minced parsley and a veterinarian -recommended multivitamin. Again, mix thoroughly and serve at room temperature.
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