The diet for chronic kidney failure of the dog is very important for several factors. First of all, because the disease leads dogs to anorexia and therefore it is necessary that the diet is able to give the right calorie intake. Secondly, because it manages to control two very important aspects that aggravate the disease: the excessive intake of proteins and the intake of phosphorus.
The main characteristics of the diet should be:
Protein intake of up to 20% (20 g per 100 g)
Low phosphorus: High phosphorus levels increase the production of parathyroid hormone, a hormone that draws calcium from bones and makes them brittle. Calcium released from the bones passes into the blood; if calcium and phosphorus in the blood are high, they can form salts that are deposited in various organs causing serious damage (joint pain, hypertension and calcification, possible heart attack, etc.).
Vascular support: selected nutrients that help support renal perfusion.
Antioxidants and omega-3: to decrease metabolic degradation.
Selected nutrients to improve digestion.
The diet should be implemented from the early stages of chronic renal failure and it is advisable to prolong the treatment for life.
Diet for chronic renal failure in the dogIn case of chronic renal failure, home feeding is absolutely to be avoided. First of all, there is a risk of obtaining a diet that is valid for renal overload, but which is not completely nutritionally balanced (not only because of the distribution of micronutrients, but also because of the simple caloric requirements that are clearly indicated on the packaging with industrial products; secondly, it is quite easy to get the wrong information (such as the information that lean cheeses are indicated); lastly, indications such as “chicken meat” are absolutely misleading if the maximum quantities are not specified. There are specific dietary products; Royal Canin is certainly a very advanced company in the study of the problem (many Internet sites refer to the large study published by the company) and its Renal can be considered a reference product.
For information only, here are some foods (in brackets the content of phosphorus in mg per 100 g of food) that are indicated in chronic renal failure of the dog.
Apricots (16), bananas (28), watermelons (2), apples (12), melons (13), peaches (20) – This fruit can be indicated both because it is rich in liquids and because it has a very low protein and phosphorus content. Not all fruit is good, however: absolutely avoid grapes and dried fruit (both because it is protein and because it has a high content of phosphorus).
Beans (48), potatoes (62) – These are the best vegetables both because they have a certain degree of palatability (for example, green beans with butter) and because they bring calories.
Butter (16), oil (0) – Pure fats (not to be confused with fatty foods) contain practically no phosphorus and obviously no proteins.
Partially skimmed milk (93) – Unlike milk (for which it is not advisable to abuse it anyway and in any case not whole) cheeses and dairy products are to be avoided because they have generally contained very high phosphorus (for example parmesan, taleggio, pecorino and also the very palatable robiola which has 700 mg of phosphorus per 100 g).
Rice, pizza margherita, bread – They are around 100 mg/100 g of phosphorus and have a protein content of around 10 g/100 g. It is not by chance that dietary products for dogs often have rice as their first ingredient. Interesting the line of dietary biscuits Bisc Aproten (phosphorus less than 30 mg/100 g and, as the name suggests.
Proper water supply is essential in chronic renal failure. In the early stages of the disease the dog is often not particularly inclined to drink more (which happens in the more advanced stage) and it is necessary to stimulate him to drink, either by inserting foods with a good content of liquids (small portions of fruit in addition to the product chosen specifically for renal failure) or by preferring the wet version of the basic product over the dry one (which can still be maintained). To stimulate the dog to hydrate, it is advisable to use fresh water, possibly running water (many dogs drink more with the classic fountains for dogs that provide running water or with the simple jet of the home bidet).