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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease 2022: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein

Best Dog Food For Kidney Disease

About 1% of dogs are affected by chronic kidney disease. With the right treatment, many dogs are able to live comfortably for many years despite kidney diseases, especially if caught at an early stage.

With your vet’s help, the right nutrition can help prevent the disease from progressing. Find the best dog food for kidney disease in this 2022 guide and review.

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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOOD FOR KIDNEY DISEASE

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 2
  • Promotes overall wellbeing
  • Ideal for special needs pups
  • Low in protein, phosphorus & sodium
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 4
  • Highly palatable
  • Energy-dense formula
  • Helps promote kidney function
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 2
  • Fresh & quality food
  • Door to door delivery
  • 50% off first order
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →

What Causes Kidney Disease in Dogs?

Just like in humans, your dog’s kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste, balancing nutrients, and increasing red blood cell production. They also play a vital role in helping regulate blood pressure and metabolize calcium. 

Kidney failure can result in a rapid decline of multiple functions of a dog’s body and cause high blood pressure, potassium deficiency, and other conditions.

Kidney disease can be congenital, which means the dog was born with it. It can also be acquired through inflammation, stones, infections, toxins, or cancers of the kidney that leads to permanent damage. Urinary obstruction can also lead to kidney problems, due to the kidneys not getting enough oxygen.

Acute Kidney Failure

Acute or short-term kidney disease happens fairly quickly and lasts several days. In dogs, it is typically caused by the ingestion of toxins such as household chemicals, spoiled or contaminated food. 

A bacterial infection such as leptospirosis can also cause dogs to develop kidney disease. Other causes include dehydration, snake bites, and heat strokes.

Because of the sudden malfunctioning of their kidneys, dogs suffering from acute kidney disease require immediate medical attention. They will need to undergo a range of diagnostics that will help assess the underlying cause of kidney disease and the level of dysfunction. 

The vet may require blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, ultrasound, and blood pressure measurements.

Intensive treatments are usually in the order in cases of this type of kidney disease. 

Treatments for Acute Kidney Disease

  • Intravenous fluid therapy 
  • Antibiotic medication
  • Nutritional support
  • Medication for nausea and gastric irritation
  • Monitoring of urine and blood
  • Monitoring and treatment of any secondary health problems

Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney disease is the slow or gradual decline of the kidneys’ health. It is more common in senior adult dogs. More than 10% of dogs aged over 15 have chronic kidney disease. While not common, kidney disease occurs in younger pups as well

Dogs with chronic kidney failure may experience mild symptoms that may go unnoticed at first. The sooner it is discovered, the better it can be managed by pet owners and help their pups live comfortably. 

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

  • Increased water intake
  • Increased urine output
  • Weight loss
  • Sometimes decreased appetite
  • Occasional vomiting, increasing with frequency over time
  • Blood in urine
  • Signs of dental disease like pale gums, bad breath, mouth ulcers

Diagnostics

Vets monitor and diagnose kidney disease through blood tests that would indicate the following:

  • Urea and creatinine rise with canine kidney disease
  • Phosphate rises with long term kidney disease
  • Regular full blood profiles can also monitor all the body systems. Changes in any other system will also affect a dog’s kidneys.

Urine tests are also important. Dogs with poor kidney function are unable to concentrate or dilute urine.

  • A Sedivue test can be used to detect infection in the renal system. Controlling any infection is important for maintaining kidney function.
  • The presence of protein may indicate a need for medication.

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 7
Royal Canin Renal Support S
  • Highly palatable
  • Energy-dense formula
  • Helps promote kidney function
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 8
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function
  • Reduced level of sodium
  • Great-tasting wet dog food
  • Specially formulated to help support kidney function
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 9
Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Renal Support Diet
  • Limited-ingredient formula
  • Formulated to help renal and cardiac problems
  • Lower protein, phosphorous and sodium content
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 10
Nom Nom Pork Potluck Fresh Dog Food
  • Fresh & quality food
  • Door to door delivery
  • 50% off first order
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 11
SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula
  • Promotes overall wellbeing
  • Ideal for special needs pups
  • Low in protein, phosphorus & sodium
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 12
Lotus Wholesome Good Grains Senior Special Needs Recipe
  • Crafted with healthy grains
  • Features fresh chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Oven-baked to help preserve protein & nutrients
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 13
Merrick Colossal Chicken Dinner
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Made in a savory gravy
  • Features big chunks of chicken
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Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 14
Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner
  • Vegetarian loaf
  • Great for dogs and cats
  • With zero preservatives
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  1. Royal Canin Renal Support S
  2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function
  3. Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Renal Support Diet
  4. Nom Nom Pork Potluck Fresh Dog Food
  5. SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula
  6. Lotus Wholesome Good Grains Senior Special Needs Recipe
  7. Merrick Colossal Chicken Dinner
  8. Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner

We have reviewed the most popular prescription foods or veterinary diets that have been able to give satisfactory results, as well as non-prescription dog foods that have some of the lowest phosphorus content in the market.

Whether your vet advises you to put your pup on a prescription diet for kidney failure or low phosphorus commercially available dog food, our list of best dog foods for kidney disease can help cut down the time you’ll be spending on the quest for the right food for your pup.

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1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S 

First 5 Ingredients: Corn, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Brown Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 15

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 10.5%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 3.7%

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S dry dog food is one of the most popular dog foods for kidney disease.

This is because the dog food brand is one of the very few ones that make prescription pet foods. They are also one of the first to do it. Veterinary authorization is required to purchase this product.

Renal Support S is just one of the dog foods formulated by Royal Canin for kidney disease. Depending dog’s kidney problems, your vet may prescribe a different type of renal care food.

The “S” in Renal Support S stands for Savory. This dry dog food is formulated to help encourage dogs with decreased appetites to eat. It offers a more varied flavor profile.

The kibbles in this diet for kidney issues are designed to be energy-dense to be able to provide enough nutritional support even in small portions. This feature is important as many dogs with chronic kidney disease have very low appetites.

This chicken dry dog food is quite low in protein at only 10.5% to ensure that the kidneys are not overworked. The main source of protein in this veterinary diet for kidney failure is chicken by-product meal. The phosphorus content is also much lower compared to regular dry dog foods at only 0.42%.

Aside from the optimized protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels, this renal supportive diet also has fish oil as a high-quality source of omega 3 fatty acids. A precise blend of antioxidants also helps in reducing inflammation and promotes good cellular health. The carb and fiber sources in this recipe are brewers rice and corn.

This formula has received numerous rave reviews from owners of dogs with kidney disease and other related conditions. Their dogs prefer this food over other kidney diet or kidney care food. The highly palatable kibbles also smell quite good.

Most importantly, this food seems to have helped many dogs restore their kidney values at more ideal levels, or at least slow down the progression of the disease. Overall, the buyers are just thrilled that their pups are enjoying having their meals again.

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Pros:

  • Optimized protein, phosphorus, sodium levels for dogs with kidney disease
  • Highly palatable to increase dog’s appetite
  • Fish oil – a source of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Energy-dense to provide adequate nutrition even in small amounts
  • Great feedback from owners of dogs with kidney disease

Cons:

  • More expensive than over-the-counter dog foods
  • Can be a bit greasy
  • Chicken by-product meal

2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function

First 5 ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Meat By-Products, Rice, Corn Grits, Beef

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 16

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 3.8%
Crude Fat 5.5%
Moisture 74%

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function canned food is formulated specifically to help support the kidney health of dogs with kidney problems.

It has restricted amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium to avoid adding more strain to diseased kidneys. A vet’s authorization is required to purchase this canned dog food.

This prescription wet food has a minced texture, making it ideal for pups who prefer dog foods that are easier to chew.

It is especially made to be very meaty and tasty to encourage dogs with reduced appetite levels to eat. This dog food has beef, meat by-products, liver, and chicken by-products as its sources of animal protein.

Despite the presence of liver which is an organ meat, the phosphorus content of this wet food is quite low at only 0.36% on a dry matter basis.

The protein levels are restricted too, as it is quite difficult to achieve very low phosphorus levels without reducing the protein content as well. 

According to buyers, this minced veterinary diet has helped improve the creatinine levels of multiple dogs with kidney problems. Others also credited this renal supportive diet with improving the overall kidney function values as shown in the dogs’ bloodwork. 

Just like with most owners of dogs with kidney issues, a lot of them are quite thankful that their dogs eat this NF Kidney Function canned food. It is quite a challenge to feed dogs with kidney disease. 

Many of the dogs like one thing and then ignore it the next day. However, a lot of dogs seem to find this quite tasty.

Pros:

  • Optimized protein, phosphorus, sodium levels for dogs with kidney disease
  • Highly palatable
  • Increases dogs with kidney problems’ moisture intake
  • Helped numerous dogs show improved kidney health values in their bloodwork

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can be slightly dry and crumbly (simply add a bit of warm water)
  • Unnamed animal ingredients (liver, meat by-products)

3. Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Kidney Renal Support Diet 

First 5 ingredients: Rice, Pea Starch, Vegetable Oil, Hydrolyzed Fish Protein, Hydrolyzed Potato Protein

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 17

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 18%
Crude Fat 16.5%
Crude Fiber 2.5%

Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Kidney Renal Support Diet is a great alternative to more expensive kidney care prescription diets.

It is specially formulated to help support renal and cardiac health in dogs by providing controlled levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium. This renal formula does not require a vet’s prescription to purchase.

This dog food for kidney disease has an as fed basis protein content of only 18%, and phosphorus content of 0.6% and 0.1% respectively. It is made with Icelandic wild-caught anchovy that has been hydrolyzed to enable the body to absorb the proteins without triggering allergic reactions in sensitive pups. 

Fish is also naturally high in omegas for healthy skin and coat. The anti-inflammatory properties in fish oil also help slow down further damage to the kidneys. 

This single-source protein dry dog food is ideal for dogs with kidney disease who are sensitive to chicken and beef. It has pea starch, which is a high-quality carb and fiber source. It contains no unnamed animal ingredients, whole grain corn, wheat, or soy.

Antioxidants from cranberries, dried dandelions, and dried clover help protect the immune system from free radicals and promote healthy cellular function. The antibacterial properties in cranberries help prevent urinary infections.

This kidney diet from Forza10 is another product that has delivered great results to dogs with kidney disease. According to their owners, the proof is in the bloodwork. The kidney values of these pups have improved since they switched to this dry dog food.

The renal diet has been quite popular among the pups as well. The owners are thrilled to see that their dogs enjoy their meals. For them, this is one of the best dog foods for kidney health.

Pros:

  • Controlled protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels for dogs with kidney issues
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Single-source protein for sensitive dogs (hydrolyzed fish)
  • Fish oil – omega 3 fatty acids source
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Highly palatable
  • Cheaper than veterinary diet
  • Prescription not required

Cons:

  • Kibbles are a bit too large for some small breed dogs

4. Nom Nom Pork Potluck Fresh Dog Food

All ingredients: Ground Pork, Russet Potatoes, Green Beans, Squash, Kale, Cremini Mushrooms

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 18

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 7%
Crude Fat 5%
Crude Fiber 2%

Nom Nom Pork Potluck fresh dog food is a high-quality fresh-cooked food that is made with only the best human-grade ingredients.

The food is gently cooked for maximum nutrient retention while also eliminating harmful bacteria. More and more dog owners believe that fresh food is one of the best dog foods that money can buy.

Each recipe is tailor-made according to your dog’s weight, weight goals, age, and activity levels. The food is pre-portioned using an algorithm developed by the brand’s team of health experts based on the most recent research in veterinary nutrition. 

This makes feeding time very convenient for busy pet parents who want nothing but the best for their pup.

Out of the four Nom Nom recipes, Pork Potluck is the lowest in protein at 7% on as fed basis. Fish oil is the source of healthy fats instead of pork fat. The brand does not specify the phosphorus and sodium levels of the food. 

According to its website, prescription diets are not offered at this time. However, they are happy to discuss your dog’s nutritional requirements and work directly with their in-house veterinary nutrition team to see if any of their recipes would be a good fit for your dog.

This product has numerous rave reviews from pet parents. Their dogs are showing significant improvement in their overall health. They have brighter eyes, shinier coats, healthy skin, and increased energy levels. 

A lot of them are senior adult dogs and sensitive dogs who were suffering from various conditions such as skin and digestive issues, diabetes, and even brain tumors.

The dog owners believe that the elimination of overly processed foods in their pooches’ diets is what ultimately helped them achieve better health. They love that the ingredients are visibly real and smell like cooked human food.

We highly recommend contacting Nom Nom to discuss the specific protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels that your dog needs. If tailored to your dog’s needs, there is a good chance that fresh food could prevent your dog’s kidneys from sustaining more damage.

Pros:

  • High-quality human-grade fresh food
  • Zero preservatives, artificial enhancers
  • Customized according to your dog’s weight, weight goal, age, activity levels
  • Has fish oil instead of pork fat
  • Pre-portioned for convenience
  • Highly palatable
  • Antioxidants from superfoods

Cons:

  • Expensive

5. SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula

First 5 ingredients: Brown Rice, Whole Egg, Turkey, White Rice, Turkey Fat

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 19

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 14%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 2.5%

SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula is a dry dog food formulated by a team of veterinary professionals to support dogs with special dietary needs.

This specific recipe has controlled levels of phosphorus, protein, and sodium – making it ideal for dogs with kidney disease. This is a better alternative to prescription food than most over-the-counter kibbles in the market.

On a dry matter basis, this SquarePet dry dog food has only 0.32% phosphorus content, while its protein and sodium levels are at 15.48% and 0.31% respectively. These lower levels are designed to avoid overworking the kidneys and further advancing renal damage.

The main protein sources are whole egg and turkey, which are both easy to digest. These two protein sources also make it ideal for dogs with kidney disease who are allergic to beef or chicken proteins. 

The carb and fiber sources are also carefully selected to ensure that the food is gentle on sensitive stomachs. This includes white rice, tapioca, and sweet potato. No corn, wheat, or soy are used in this dog food.

Salmon oil is included as a high-quality source of omega 3s which support the immune system, brain, skin, and coat health. It is also known to help slow down the progression of kidney disease.

This low phosphorus formula is enriched with antioxidants to support oxidative stress. It also has prebiotics and probiotics to help improve dogs’ gut health. 

Because the brand is fairly new to the market compared to others on this list, it does not have as many reviews from buyers. That said, it has still received mostly rave reviews from the pet owners who have purchased it. 

A lot of them discovered this formula in search of food that their dog would like after trying numerous kidney care foods.

To their surprise, their dogs seem to love this egg and turkey recipe. Some have even managed to put on a bit of weight – something that is quite hard to achieve in dogs with kidney disease.

Another factor that impressed the buyers is its ingredient quality. Its ingredient list is absolutely free from sub-par ingredients such as unnamed animal ingredients, by-products, and artificial ingredients. It is free from whole grain corn or other corn derivatives typically found in more popular brands of prescription foods.

This recipe is definitely worth trying. Just make sure that you consult your vet before trying any new food for a dog with kidney disease.

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Pros:

  • Controlled protein, phosphorus, and sodium levels
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Highly digestible protein sources – whole egg, turkey
  • Salmon oil – omega 3 fatty acids source
  • Antioxidants 
  • L-carnitine
  • Prebiotics, probiotics 
  • Highly palatable
  • Cheaper than veterinary diet
  • Prescription not required

Cons:

  • Limited buyer reviews on results due to the product being fairly new

6. Lotus Wholesome Good Grains Senior Special Needs Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Rye, Chicken Liver, Sardine, Brown Rice

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 20

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 18%
Crude Fat 9%
Crude Fiber 4.5%

Lotus Wholesome Good Grains Senior Special Needs Recipe is a dry fog food that is specially formulated for senior adult dogs with special needs.

It has lower phosphorus and calcium levels, which makes it a good veterinary diet substitute for dogs with kidney disease. Because it is not specifically made to support renal health, we recommend that you consult your vet first before buying this product.

Compared to most commercially available dry dog foods, this Lotus senior dogs recipe has a lower phosphorus content. On a dry matter basis, its phosphorus content is 0.54%. The protein percentage is not too high at 20.56% DMB, and sodium is quite low at only 0.15% DMB.

Despite the presence of chicken liver, the brand is still able to keep the phosphorus content at a fairly restricted level. The other animal protein sources in this recipe are chicken and sardines, making it very flavorful.

This grain-inclusive recipe for senior dogs has only wholesome grains as its fiber and carb sources. Formulated to be low in starch, this food has rye, barley (whole, instead of cracked pearled barley), and oats. 

The oven-baked kibbles also have antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies such as apples, blueberries, spinach, and carrots.

To support a healthy digestive system, fiber-rich pumpkin is included along with probiotics. Salmon oil provides the much-needed omega 3 fatty acids, while glucosamine and chondroitin promote good joint health.

This food for senior dogs seems to be getting rave reviews from owners of dogs with various special needs. From renal failure to pancreatitis and even liver issues, many of the buyers took a chance on this senior formula and found success.

The lower phosphorus, protein, sodium, and fat levels of this food made it suitable for a lot of dogs' special dietary requirements.

The pet parents credit this food for improving the overall health and the kidney function values of their pups. They also love that they can save on prescription food costs, plus the pups love the oven-baked kibbles. Some even use these chicken and sardine kibbles as treats.

Pros:

  • Controlled protein, phosphorus, fat, and sodium levels
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Wholesome grains
  • Salmon oil – omega 3 fatty acids source
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Joint support
  • Probiotics 
  • Highly palatable
  • Prescription not required

Cons:

  • Kibbles may be too large for some small breed dogs (Lotus makes a small bites version of this recipe)
  • Kibbles don’t soften much when soaked in water

7. Merrick Chunky Colossal Chicken Dinner

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Carrots, Peas

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 21

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 8%
Crude Fat 3%
Moisture 82%

Merrick Chunky Colossal Chicken Dinner is a tasty canned dog food that features meaty chicken chunks in gravy.

While the phosphorus content of this canned food is not as low as what we’d prefer to give to dogs with kidney disease, the use of deboned chicken has made it lower in phosphorus than majority of other wet dog foods.

The phosphorus content of this wet dog food is 0.14% on an as fed basis or 0.77% on a dry matter basis. This food can be a good meal topper for prescription food, or as a supplemental meal to increase your pup’s hydration. 

While it may be good enough for some dogs with early-stage renal disease, we highly recommend getting the approval of your vet before adding any type of food to your dog’s restricted diet as it may affect the target kidney function values.

Made of USDA chicken, this tasty meal is free from chicken by-product meal or artificial enhancers. This grain-free recipe has carrots, peas, and potato starch as its sources of fiber and carbs.

Salmon oil and flaxseed oil provide high-quality sources of omega fatty acids. These essential fats promote healthy brain, cell, skin, and coat function in dogs. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help slow down the advancement of renal disease.

Based on online reviews, this chunky stew is beloved by a lot of dogs. They lap up the savory gravy and happily gobble up the big meaty chunks. This saucy dog food is great for adding more moisture to your dog’s diet.

Because it is not specifically made for special needs dogs, the phosphorus content is higher than ideal but much lower than most non-prescription wet dog foods.

With a little digging, we found that this recipe is already in the radar of pet owners dealing with canine renal failure. The majority of them use this recipe as part of their dog’s diet, but not exclusively. 

Some add this as a meal topper, while some mix it with homemade dog food to suit their pups’ specific nutritional needs. 

Pros:

  • Lower phosphorus content than most commercial canned foods
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Deboned chicken is the main protein source
  • Salmon oil – omega 3 fatty acid source
  • Highly palatable
  • Good amount of gravy for extra hydration

Cons:

  • Too much potato for some buyers’ liking
  • Reports of possible formula change

8. Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner

First 5 ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Water Sufficient for Processing, Brown Rice, Carrots

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 22

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 7%
Crude Fat 2%
Moisture 76%

Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner is a pate that is low in fat and sodium. Its phosphorus levels are not very low but are definitely lower than most of the canned dog food on the market. 

The absence of meat makes it fairly low in phosphorus. For dogs who have early-stage kidney failure, this food can be a good topper or supplemental meal for increased hydration in your dog’s diet.

Instead of meat, this vegetarian (not vegan) recipe has dried eggs and peas or pea protein as its protein sources. Egg is a bioavailable protein source that is naturally lower in phosphorus compared to organ meats and bone-in meats that are used in a lot of wet pet food. 

This meat-free recipe is 0.2% phosphorus on an as fed basis or 0.83% on a dry matter basis. It is low in sodium at only 0.33% on a dry matter basis, which is helps the kidneys regulate or control blood pressure.

This grain-inclusive recipe has fiber-rich rice, sweet potatoes, and potatoes, making it gentle on sensitive tummies. Superfoods high in antioxidants such as carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, and cranberries are also included in this recipe. 

Antioxidants are beneficial to dogs with kidney disease as they help improve overall cellular health and protect the immune system from free radicals.

Most of the feedback for this vegetarian product is from pet parents of special needs dogs. From pancreatitis to kidney issues, to meat allergies and gastrointestinal issues, a lot of dogs seem to do quite well on this low-fat, low sodium food. 

It is important to note that many of them are also fed other foods along with this pate in order to meet their specific needs.

While it is formulated to be nutritionally complete and balanced to be served on its own as a meal to healthy dogs, a pup with renal disease may have a different requirement.

Ask your vet if the protein and phosphorus levels of this product are appropriate for your dog’s food or diet.

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Pros:

  • Lower phosphorus content than most commercial canned foods
  • Low-sodium, low-fat, low to moderate protein levels
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Egg, pea protein, and other plant-based ingredients are the protein sources
  • Highly palatable
  • Gentle on sensitive stomachs
  • Good for supplemental feeding or as a topper

Cons:

  • Pate is slightly dry
  • May not be ideal as an exclusive meal for dogs with more advanced kidney disease

Best Supplement for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Vetoquinol Renal K+ Powder Kidney Supplement

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 23

Vetoquinol Renal K+ Powder Kidney Supplement for Cats & Dogs is one of the highest-rated kidney health supplements in the market.

It is formulated to boost the potassium levels in potassium-deficient dogs and cats – a condition quite common in animals with chronic kidney disease.

Prescription is not required for this supplement. However, the product label states that it is not suitable for acute, oliguric, anuric, or very advanced renal failure.

It is best to consult your vet prior to giving any supplements as you could give too much to your dog, whose kidneys may have trouble regulating excessive potassium levels.

Specially made to be highly palatable, the powder is quite easy to administer for most dogs’ owners. Simply measure out the appropriate dosage using the included scoop and sprinkle it on your dog’s meal. It can be used in conjunction with other kidney care aids such as prescription diets and medication.

This supplement has received excellent feedback from owners of dogs and cats suffering from kidney disease. Many have credited Renal K+ powder for the significant improvement in their dogs’ health. 

Aside from the renewed energy levels and boosted appetites, their bloodwork numbers have also been restored to better levels.

Pros:

  • Helps restore potassium levels in pets with chronic kidney disease
  • B-complex vitamins to help support normal muscle and nervous systems
  • Can be used in conjunction with medication, special diets
  • Highly palatable
  • Easy to administer
  • Has been proven to deliver excellent results

Cons:

  • Not suitable for pets with acute, oliguric, anuric, or very advanced renal failure
  • Reportedly smells like dead fish
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How Can Kidney Diseases in Dogs be Prevented?

Acute kidney failure can be prevented by taking a few steps in making sure your dog is protected from accidental ingestion of toxic substances. Make sure all medications, household cleaning chemicals, insecticides, antifreeze, and other chemicals are all properly resealed and stored in an area that they cannot reach.

Ensure that containers or such substances are also disposed of properly and away from your pups. The garbage can is another thing that bored dogs can easily get into. Here is where they can find a treasure trove of bottles of cleaning materials, discarded chemical-soaked rags, and contaminated food. 

The smell of leftover food can definitely attract pups who always have food in their minds. Rotten food thrown in the trash is contaminated with harmful bacteria and possibly other chemicals present in the trash. Make sure that it is covered and not easily accessed by your dogs.

Avoid feeding your pets foods that can be harmful to them. Human foods such as chocolates, raisins, alcohol, coffee, artificial sweeteners, etc.

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 24

What to Feed Dogs With Kidney Disease

The dietary changes that need to be made will depend on the severity of the dog’s kidney disease. In general, most vets would prescribe a diet that is lower in phosphorus, sodium, and protein. 

Working with your vet is the best way to determine the specific diet and nutrient levels that are appropriate for your dog.

Water

Because malfunctioning kidneys are no longer able to are no longer as effective at excreting waste products as they used to, it is also unable to concentrate urine as needed. 

In order to continue to rid the body of its toxins despite more dilute urine, the body compensates by increasing thirst.

Your pup must have access to fresh, clean water at all times. You can also increase her moisture intake by feeding canned dog foods approved by your vet. Low sodium broth made from boiled chicken breast, tuna juice, or low sodium vegetable broths can also be poured over their meals for added hydration. 

Protein

Foods with lower protein levels are typically prescribed by vets for dogs with kidney disease. This greatly reduces the strain on the kidneys and decreases the need for the excretion of protein itself through the kidney. 

This is why prescription dog food formulated for kidney or renal care all have low protein percentages compared to regular dog foods. As a general rule, the recommended range of protein on a dry matter basis for dogs with chronic kidney disease is around 14-20%. 

However, the range of protein levels that will be prescribed by your vet will still depend on the severity of the kidney disease among other things.

Please note that the dry matter basis is not the numbers you see in the guaranteed analysis printed on the packaging of dog foods. To compute for the dry matter basis (DMB) percentage of a particular nutrient in a brand of dog food, we can use this equation:

DMB% = As fed basis% * 100% / (100% – Moisture%)

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 25

Phosphorus

Restricting the dietary phosphorus in dogs can help slow down the progression of kidney disease. Because phosphorus content is related to protein content, it is impossible to achieve very low levels of phosphorus without also lowering the protein content.

Meats with bones are commonly higher in phosphorus compared to protein sources like boneless chicken breast. Organ meats can also have higher phosphorus content.

Sodium

The sodium intake of dogs with kidney disease or kidney failure must also be reduced. This eases the workload on the kidneys and helps prevent high blood pressure. 

Aside from the dog’s meals, the treats should also be lower in sodium. Avoid salty treats like cheese, deli meats, and treats that are high in artificial flavors.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to dogs with kidney disease. The production of inflammatory compounds creates oxidative stress in the tissue of the diseased kidneys. 

Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to slowing down the progression of the disease by helping reduce the protein ‘leaking' through the kidneys.

Conclusion

Pets with renal failure no matter what stage can be quite challenging to treat, especially for chronic kidney disease which is irreversible.

Because of the delicate nature of the disease, you will need to work closely with your vet to determine which aspects of kidney health you need to work on to prevent renal failure from progressing further.

For most dogs, a combination of food with the appropriate nutrient levels, medication, fluids, and supplements is what works best to slow down the progression of the disease. The appropriate diet and treatment will greatly depend on the severity of the renal damage.

We hope that our list has made it easier for you to find the right dog food that will help your pooch live comfortably and happily for the rest of her years.

Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease [year]: Meals Low in Phosphorus & Protein 26
Farmers Dog
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