How to keep dogs naturally healthy despite kidney failure

Whether it’s in humans or dogs, healthy and functional kidneys are necessary for survival. But as in the case of humans, dogs become more prone to kidney failure the older they get. Apart from visiting the vet as needed, you can also follow several natural steps to keep your pet safe and healthy despite them suffering from kidney failure.

Diet changes

Changing what your dog eats can have a significant impact on the state of its health. Kidney failure can occur because your dog has too much phosphorus in its body and too little calcium. If this is the cause of the disease, then increasing your dog’s calcium intake will help.

Although dogs are capable of being omnivores, their anatomy and behavior are clearly that of carnivores. For this reason, they need plenty of protein in their diet. However, dogs with kidney failure tend to have a hard time processing protein, leading nitrogen to build up in their body. This puts further stress on both your pet’s kidneys and liver.

As previously mentioned, protein is an essential part of the canine diet, so it’s important not to withhold the nutrient from your pet without your vet’s recommendation. Instead, you can opt out of conventional dog food and give your pet fresh proteins instead. These are easier to digest than dog food.

Thankfully, you have a lot of options in what proteins you can feed your dog. Eggs are highly digestible and so are dairy products – just make sure the dairy is raw. Homogenized and pasteurized milk have altered amino acids and fat molecules that may lead to more diseases. Poultry is also an excellent choice, being more digestible than red meat.

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Increased hydration

A dry food diet composed mostly of dog food can be ruinous to your dog’s kidneys, especially if it has already been weakened by disease. To prevent rapid deterioration of your pet’s health, make sure to give it sufficient water. Give them moist or wet foods from time to time, too. (Related: Does your dog have kidney stones? Study finds that false pepperwort leaves can help.)

Oil supplementation

Just like you, your dog needs “good” fats to stay healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most essential fats for good health. They perform several key functions, including maintaining the integrity and function of vital organs and preventing inflammation that may cause serious disease. Fortunately, they are easily found not just in supplements, but also in actual foods. Here are natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are also good for your dog:

  • Fish – Feeding your pet whole fish is a great way to boost their omega-3 intake, as well as provide many other important nutrients. However, fish – especially those that eat other fish – have heavy metals in their body and may harm your dog. Feed your pet small fish that eat phytoplankton instead, as they contain lower concentrations of toxins. These include Atlantic mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
  • Hemp oil – This natural oil contains plenty of important nutrients, as well as a good ratio of good fatty acids that help balance the omega ratio in your dog’s body.
  • Phytoplankton – These tiny organisms are what give fish their high omega-3 content in the first place. Unlike fish, however, they are less likely to contain heavy metals and can be grown in filtered water, making them both healthy and environmentally friendly.

You can also give your dogs vitamin E supplements. Just remember not to overdo supplementation with fats as too much can cause canine diarrhea.

Vitamin supplementation

Kidneys help with excretion. Damage to them not only affects how waste is eliminated but also how long nutrients stay in your pet’s body. Water-based nutrients, such as vitamins C and B-complex, are often among the first to go when your dog has kidney failure, leading to a deficiency in them. As it turns out, supplementing with vitamin B can improve your pet’s health, as well as its appetite. Just be sure to check with your vet for recommendations on dosage and the supplements needed.

Learn how you can best address kidney problems and other health issues in your pets at

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