The Best Food for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. - Our editorial process

If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney disease or other kidney issues, it’s a worrying time.  Alongside worrying about your dog, you’ve most likely had advice to try a vet-recommended renal diet and are wondering what food is best for kidney disease.

The following information will help you navigate your dog’s kidney issues, dietary choices and support you in adjusting to a new feeding routine.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs?

Here are the signs of kidney disease to look out for if you suspect your dog has a kidney issue:

  • Weight loss

  • Drinking more than usual

  • Frequent urination

  • Decreased appetite

  • Vomiting/Diarrhoea

  • Poor dental hygiene (ulcers, bad breath, pale gums)

  • Urinating indoors due to the more frequent urination

  • Weakness

  • Mouth Ulcers

  • Lethargy

Stages of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Stage 1Normally, no noticeable signs or symptoms at this stage. Usually, if blood work was done, kidney disease may not be detected.
Stage 2Still normally no noticeable signs, however, if blood work was done, the creatinine levels would be higher than usual.
Stage 3Here is when you would start to notice changes in your dog. They may be drinking more along with urinating more. They will start to display the symptoms of kidney disease, and these will become noticeable.
Stage 4Your dog would become a lot weaker, and kidney disease symptoms would be shown in the dog at their worst.  The creatinine levels in the blood would be at their highest.

Renal Dog Food Explained

There are a number of key elements to renal dog food that protect the kidneys:

  • Low protein levels in the food.  By reducing the amount of protein contained in a dog’s diet, the kidneys don’t have to work as hard to process waste products.

  • Reduced salt.  Removing salt from dog food is a good way to support kidney health

  • Low Phosphorus content.  If phosphorus levels build up, as is often the case in dogs with kidney disease, symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, as well as dehydration.  Feeding a low-phosphorus diet may help alleviate some of these issues.

Kidney function may be improved by adding Omega 3 fatty acids into the diet with things like salmon oil, which reduces harmful triglyceride levels and inflammation and helps boosts immunity.

Hydration is also key to caring for kidney problems in dogs, so make sure to choose a diet like Pure, which is high in moisture.

Which foods to include in a dog’s renal diet?

As a general rule it’s important to choose foods with a lower protein content, so here are some options of ingredients that can be added to make the food both healthy and tasty:

  • Fruits, such as apples, blueberries and strawberries are good to combat toxins and support the dog’s kidneys. 

  • Egg whites are a low-phosphorus food which are good as they are gentle on the kidneys.

  • Potatoes, carbohydrates with a punch when it comes to B vitamins

Unfortunately, the complexity of producing homemade food for your dog increases with a renal diet.

At Pure, we’ve spent a lot of time building a renal range that is healthy, tasty and nutritious while placing you dogs kidney health as the highest priority. Our vet recommended range has been formulated by our inhouse nutrtionists.

Choose from delicious chicken with peas, carrots and apple and healthy beef & turkey with potato, peas and apple

What food should I avoid for dogs with kidney disease?

  • Cheeses can be high in salt along with other common treats such as deli-meats and bread products and should be avoided

  • Tomatoes should be excluded from your dogs diet. High levels of potassium are not recommended for kidney issues

  • Tuna is very high in phosphorus and so not suitable for dogs with kidney disease

Always check with your vet if unsure and rest assured that our renal dog food range is designed to care for your dog’s health. Simply trll us about your dog and we’ll create a plan to suit their needs

How can Kidney Disease be prevented in dogs?

  • Taking care of your pup’s dental hygiene is important as it is vital to a dog’s long-term health

  • Keeping your dog away from consuming harmful substances such as medications, cleaning products and food

  • Having a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.

  • Keep up-to-date on vaccines.

  • Have regular check-ups.

Why Pure is great for dogs with Kidney disease?

  1. Aid the signs associated with accumulating waste products in the blood.

  2. Support fluid and mineral balance

  3. Maintain suitable and adequate nutrition.

  4. Help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Next steps:

Tell us about your dog - we’ll take into account their age, weight and ailments

We'll create your tailored plan - completed and balanced meals just for your dog

Discover delicious food your dog deserves

Learn more