Raw Food Diet for Dogs With Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is a common problem in dogs, especially older dogs. The failure can be caused by numerous factors including injury or trauma, parasites, infections, autoimmune disease or poisoning. Dogs that are experiencing kidney failure usually require a change in their diet to mitigate symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Basic Raw Diet
Raw diets for dogs attempt to mimic what wolves and wild canines eat. Specific ingredients vary, but the basics of a raw diet include raw meaty bones, muscle meat and organs, with or without small amounts of fruits and vegetables. Raw diets can be easily tailored to meet the specific needs of an individual dog by changing the ingredients or amounts fed, or by adding or removing supplements.
In the past it was believed that dogs in kidney failure required a low-protein diet, based on the fact that the kidney filters the by-products of protein digestion. The thought was that a lower-protein diet would relieve the burden on the kidneys. More recent research has shown that dogs with kidney failure do best on a diet with moderate levels of highly-digestible proteins.
Unlike protein restriction, research has shown that limiting phosphorus in the diet is beneficial for dogs with kidney failure. The more advanced the disease, the lower the amount of dietary phosphorus. In general, carbohydrates are low in phosphorus, while bones, organs, meats and dairy products are high.
Raw Diet for Kidney Disease
Modification of the basic raw diet is required for dogs with kidney disease, especially in advanced stages. Protein is generally not an issue–the protein in a raw diet is usually highly digestible and fed at a moderate level. Raw diets are typically high in phosphorus, however, since they are composed mainly of bones and meats, with very little grains or carbohydrates. Raw feeders who have dogs with advanced kidney disease can decrease the amount of raw meaty bones they feed and substitute with grains, winter squashes, potatoes and yams.
Several supplements have been suggested for dogs with kidney disease. The most promising is fish body oil, which contains omega-3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to slow the progression of kidney disease. Other suggested supplements include as vitamins C, E and B-complex or coenzyme-Q10. While these may or may not help with renal failure, they have many other beneficial properties when given at the appropriate dosage level.
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