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Friday, 9 March 2012

Diet help for kidney disease

Hi there,

Just had my dog diagnosed with Kidney Disease. Normal practice I understand is to feed a low protein/low phosphorus diet but I have also read its better to feed a higher quality protein. I am not confused.

Can anyone else tell me what they have tried with success or at least to keep her comfortable. I know there is no cure for this disease so won't to make sure she has the best why she is still with us.

Many thanks

Jan, by email

Alison Logan, vet, advises...

Actually, there is no confusion. You are considering two different aspects of the protein in the diet and, as you inadvertently but correctly say, a dog with kidney disease needs a lower level of higher quality protein.

Kidney disease affects the ability of the kidneys to excrete the waste product urea from the body which arises from the liver breaking down surplus dietary protein. It therefore makes sense to try to feed only as much protein as the body needs, reducing the amount of urea produced so that the kidneys can cope with excreting it. Many of the effects of kidney disease arise from excessive levels of urea in the blood so your dog will feel better if these levels can be brought down.

Your vet will probably have advised feeding a prescription diet formulated to meet all the needs of a dog with kidney failure. Thankfully, there is a choice so that if your dog dislikes one diet there will be another one he can try. This was not the case when I qualified more than twenty years ago!

It is possible to home cook a suitable diet but there are different ideas out there as to the ideal recipe.


  1. I have a cat with kidney disease, If that's any help. Tried him on Royal Canin special kidney diet wet and dry, but he didn't much like the food. I was also recommended to feed him on Senior food, but its so confusing! I now use a powder prescribed by he vet called Ipakitine, which you sprinkle on their food, and he can eat anything and is much happier. It's more than 6 years since diagnoss and he is still stable.

  2. Christine Bailey14 March 2012 at 15:08

    There is a website that is regularly recommended this is - run by a lady called Mary Strauss

    Also info on feeding dogs with kidney problems can be found on the b-naturals site -

  3. Thanks to everyone that responded.

    Sadly my lovely dog lost her battle and we had to have her put to sleep today.