Nutrition and diet play an instrumental role in supporting normal kidney function in both people and pets. As dogs age, they may become prone to developing problems with their kidneys, especially among certain breeds such as the English Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, Cairn Terriers and Bull Terriers. It’s estimated that around 10% of dogs will develop kidney problems at some point in their lives. It’s important to note, however, that a diagnosis of kidney disease isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your precious pup.
Incorporating the right foods into your dog’s diet can help make all the difference in positively benefiting their quality of life. Dogs eat a variety of foods, but mainly meat. When they’re suffering from kidney issues, however, it’s important to try adding in some more carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
Although dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, changing their diet so that it is comprised of at least 50% carbs can keep their phosphorous levels low and extend the life of the kidneys.
Some of the best grains/carbohydrates to add include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squashes
Vegetables and fruits are also a good way to get your dog the vitamins their bodies are craving and help optimize their defenses and support kidney function.
Keep in mind, any vegetables you plan on feeding your dog should be pureed, cooked or blended in a food processor/blender in order to ensure good digestion.
Additionally, cooking is encourage because it leaches out phosphorous …which must be monitored closely when dealing with any kind of kidney problem, as impaired kidneys have a harder time excreting these minerals, which become toxins within the body when they can’t be flushed out.
Boiling or steaming removes more phosphorous than baking, so these should be some of the go-to cooking methods you opt for.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding vegetables and your dog’s kidney diet:
- Avoid parsley, dandelion and celery parsley and dandelion greens are diuretics, which may not be desirable for dogs with kidney disease.
- If your dog also suffers from arthritis, avoid tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes and eggplant.
- Cabbage holds benefit for ulcers, which are common with kidney disease.
- Lower phosphorous choices include collard greens, green peppers, beets, carrots, cauliflower, celery, squash and zucchini.
- Fruits to feed include apple, cantaloupe, cranberries, banana, mango, peach, pear and pineapple.
- Again, if your dog suffers from arthritis, a few fruits like mango and papaya are especially useful.
- It should go without saying, but never feed your dog grapes and raisins. Also limit fruit intake, as excessive fruit consumption may lead to loose stools.
In conclusion, there is a rich, abundant assortment of fruits and vegetables to include in your dog’s diet that could help them look and feel better than they have in a long time, so always be mindful about what you’re feeding them.
For supporting good kidney health in your pets visit our store to read about our two products designed for cats and dogs with kidney issues.