Old age comes pretty hard on dogs, and it comes quite soon as well. Dogs have very small lifespans, ranging from an average of 15 to 18 years. However, these lifespans can be extended by a couple of years with the right kind of care. One of the most common problems that dogs experience in their later years is kidney failure. This is what we’re going to be focusing on today. Homemade dog food for kidney disease can help you minimize the effects of this common disease.
A dog’s kidneys function a lot like a human’s. They act as the body’s natural filters that help in expelling a variety of toxins present within the body. Some of these toxins are natural while others are introduced into the body through what we eat. A diseased or malfunctioning kidney is a major problem since your body’s ability to filter out toxins becomes compromised. In fact, kidney disease in dogs is terminal and cannot be cured. As sad as this may sound, there are ways of controlling the acceleration of this disease. With proper care and a reevaluation of your dog’s diet, you can reduce the impact of this disease. Doing so can ensure that your dog’s senior years are comfortable and fun.
How Do You Detect Kidney Disease?
There are some telltale signs that you should be aware of. Usually, when a dog is suffering from kidney disease, it experiences various digestion problems and a loss of appetite. Not everyone has the trained eye of a vet that can help them spot this disease the moment it raises its ugly head. This is why it is highly recommended that you take your dog to a vet for regular checkups. If you do feel as if your dog may have this disease, head over to a vet immediately, the sooner you can identify the disease, the sooner you’ll be able to start preparing for it.
Your vet can help you a lot in making necessary changes to your dog’s diet. They can provide you with professional advice and assist you in devising a proper meal plan.
Changing your dog’s diet has a major impact on kidney problems. This is because a carefully planned diet will reduce the amount of foods being eaten that place an extra burden on the body’s filtration system.
The first thing that you want to do is make sure that your dog drinks plenty of fresh water on a daily basis. The softer the water is (meaning it has a lesser amount of minerals and metals in it) the better. Water acts as a filtering agent that helps the body pass out bad toxins more efficiently.
Secondly, you want to decrease portion sizes and increase the number of meals per day. Smaller portion sizes are easier for the body to digest. This alleviates extra burden off of the digestive system and makes sure that your dog doesn’t have to deal with needless discomforts after every meal. Increasing the number of meals per day will make sure that your dog gets the required amount of nourishment that it needs to remain healthy, without burdening the digestive system.
You also want to eliminate salt from your dog’s diet. Salt is already discouraged for dogs, but it becomes a strictly prohibited substance if your dog has kidney problems. This is because salt causes dehydration and gives the kidneys a very hard time filtering out toxins from the body.
These are the three basic things that you must do to deal with kidney disease. Now let’s move onto more advanced steps and the subject of this article; making your dog’s food by yourself to control kidney disease.
Homemade Dog Food For Kidney Disease
The concept of making dog food at home is beginning to catch on again for some reasons — the biggest one being that it gives dog owners greater control over what their dogs are eating. This is also the main reason why homemade dog food is recommended for dogs with kidney disease. The best way to deal with a terminal health problem is by taking preventive measures. In terms of kidney problems, this means to regulate what your dog eats.
Homemade dog food is devoid of any chemicals, low-quality ingredients, and “filler” ingredients that make it bad for an unwell dog. There are a ton of other benefits of switching over to a homemade diet. If you’re interested in learning about them, then you can go through one of our previous articles on the topic.
When you’re making homemade dog food to control kidney disease, you have two goals. The first is to make food that has low levels of sodium and phosphorous. The second is to maximize the amount of useful nutrients that your dog is eating, namely:
- 1Good fats
- 2Sources of carbohydrates and fiber that have a high level of vitamins in them (green veggies and starchy veggies)
- 3Fatty acids such as Omega-3
There are a handful of vitamins and nutrients that you should actively avoid. These include:
- 1Vitamin D
- 2Omega-6 fats
- 3Sodium and phosphorous
Now let’s take a look at a few ingredients that would be ideal for a dog with kidney failure.
An average dog needs a diversified and balanced diet to stay healthy. This means plenty of protein, fiber, carbs, calcium, and some other vitamins and nutrients. You should keep in mind that no two dogs have similar nutrition requirements. Their age, health conditions, and other factors affect the kind of nutrition that their body needs. For a dog that is suffering from kidney disease, you want to make sure that the ingredients that you choose are in line with what we discussed above. Primarily, you want ingredients that are easy on the stomach and also pack loads of nourishment. These ingredients include:
- 1Red/white meats, cleaned of excess fat.
- 2Brown, whole grain rice.
- 3Organ meat.
- 4Starchy veggies and green veggies.
- 5Certain fruits.
- 6Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
How you prepare the ingredients matters as well. You want to make sure that everything is well cooked to make it easier to digest. Cooking food can also reduce the amount of toxins it carries in some cases. There’s a great turkey and rice crockpot recipe that we’ve covered in one of our guides. It’s a perfect example of what you would want to feed dogs with kidney failure.
Make sure that you consult your vet about what meals you choose for your dog. You want to keep them involved throughout the process and only feed stuff to your dog that the vet approves. Also, sometimes it is recommended to add multivitamins to a dog’s meals to make their food more nourishing. You can choose to either buy readymade multivitamins or add natural substances such as cod liver oil.
Lastly, make sure that you don’t just stick to one meal. Choose at least a couple of different recipes. This makes sure that your dog’s diet has a variety of flavor and a variety of ingredients. The whole point of making homemade food for your dog is to provide it with wholesome food that works wonders for its health and improves its quality of life.