The Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease: What You Should Try?

Discovering that your dog has kidney disease can surely make you feel lost, sad, and devastated!

Kidney diseases can be scary. But, dogs diagnosed with the condition tend to live comfortably for years when caught early on with appropriate treatments.

While most drugs can only alleviate the symptoms, feeding your dogs with the right diet can have dramatic effects on their survival. In fact, those taking foods designed for kidney disease can live twice as compared to those who consume typical diets.

Worry no more as there are various food formulations to control the symptoms and help your dogs feel better. It is not easy to change their diet plan right away, but things will definitely get a lot better with planning.

Keep reading as we unfold the best dog foods for kidney disease that you can give to your furry buddies. 

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Top 6 Dog Foods for Kidney Disease

what is the best dog food for kidney problems

To help narrow down your options among the variety of dog foods for kidney problems available on the market, we've listed the top choices for you.

Editor's Choice
Veterinary Diets Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food, 6 lb*
Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature 8+ In Gel Canned Dog Food, 5.8 oz Can (Case of 24)*
Best Selling
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support for Dogs 6Lbs*
Price
$36.53
$40.82
$36.10
Prime
-
-
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Complete nutrition for optimal health
A high amount of moisture content
Wholesome and all-natural ingredients
Editor's Choice
Veterinary Diets Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food, 6 lb*
Price
$36.53
Prime
-
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Complete nutrition for optimal health
Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature 8+ In Gel Canned Dog Food, 5.8 oz Can (Case of 24)*
Price
$40.82
Prime
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
A high amount of moisture content
Best Selling
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support for Dogs 6Lbs*
Price
$36.10
Prime
-
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Wholesome and all-natural ingredients
Purina Veterinary Canine Kidney Function Dry Dog Food - Premium Pick Dog Food for Kidney Disease

Purina Veterinary Canine NF Dog Food is a dry kibble that your dogs will surely love over wet foods. It features complete nutrition, yet can be mixed with water and other kidney-friendly wet foods for optimum nutrition.

To ensure efficiency towards several kidney problems, its formulation contains a low amount of protein, sodium, and phosphorus. This makes it an ideal therapeutic meal for dogs suffering from acute and chronic kidney diseases as it helps reduce the workload of your dog's kidneys.

As an added factor, Purina Veterinary Canine NF Dog Food contains omega fatty acids to support kidney functions and help slow down the progression of hepatic diseases and renal failures, especially in adult dogs.

Moreover, its formulation contains rich sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin B-complex, to achieve proper break down of nutrients and ensure optimum protection of your dog.

Other than supporting kidney functions, the composition of Purina Veterinary Canine NF Dog Food also ensures the right nutrition. The recipe doesn't come with any meat-based proteins. Instead, it contains whole grains such as corn, rice, and dried whey. 

Pros
  • Restricted levels of high-quality protein
  • Controlled levels of sodium and phosphoru
  • High moisture content
Cons
  • Contains corn ingredient

Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature 8+ in Gel Wet Dog Food - Best Wet Food Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature Wet Dog Food is a highly palatable diet for older dogs since their sense of smell is starting to decline. This food recipe is also best for dogs suffering from kidney problems and diseases.

The formulation comes with reduced phosphorus levels to support superior kidney health. Its less protein content combined with more amount of water makes it an excellent recipe to fight-off kidney disease.

Additionally, Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature Wet Dog Food uses chicken as its primary source of protein to ensure that your dogs get the best nutrition that they deserve. It also contains rice, corn, fish oil, and dried beef components for healthier skin and a shiny coat.

For its price, this diet is formulated with the necessary vitamins and minerals to provide complete nutrition to your dog's everyday needs.

Being wet food, the Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Mature Wet Dog Food is easier to consume, especially for dogs with dental health issues and concerns. Dogs, especially senior ones, will enjoy every flavor that it offers over dry food options. 

Pros
  • High in moisture
  • Low in protein and phosphorus
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Highly palatable for dogs
Cons
  • Contains potential allergens

Blue Buffalo Natural Diet Kidney Support for Dogs - Best Dry Food Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease

The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet is for dogs who love to munch on dry foods the most. It comes with wholesome and natural ingredients that are both beneficial to your dog's nutrition and appetite.

As an ideal diet for dogs with kidney diseases, it is formulated using controlled levels of protein to help manage the kidney's workload. Generally, this diet contains only 14% of animal protein from high-quality sources such as deboned chicken, potatoes, peas, and other vegetables.

Each kibble of Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet contains a low amount of sodium and phosphorus to ensure proper support for kidney health. It uses flaxseeds for a boost of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids guaranteeing overall wellness.

Despite the low amounts of these two nutrients, this dog food is rich in other micronutrients that are easily digestible and safe for your dogs. Its formulation is packed with vitamins and minerals, which is perfect for your dog's sensitive stomach.

Moreover, Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet is rich in antioxidants and lacks any grain components to support the health and condition of your dogs.

Pros
  • Wholesome and natural ingredients
  • Controlled levels of protein
  • Low amount of sodium and phosphorus
  • Rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants
Cons
  • Expensive to feed as a staple food

Hills K/D Renal Health Dog Food - Most Economical Food Choice for Kidney Disease

Hill's K/D Renal Health Dog Food is a specialized diet to address kidney damages and diseases. It is guaranteed to provide your dogs with the essential nutrients to maintain a good quality of life.

To support your dog's kidney functions and sustain healthy muscle mass, this diet comes with high-quality and all-natural chicken and vegetable stew recipes. It is clinically tested to improve health and to lengthen the quality of life.

This contains a lower amount of protein while maintaining its high quality to give your dog all the amino acids needed to maintain healthy muscles and to prevent the loss of mass.

Moreover, Hill's K/D Renal Health Dog Food is low in phosphorus and sodium, making it a safe and effective treatment for dogs with kidney and heart disease. As additional beneficial effects, each kibble contains L-carnitine and omega fatty acids, which are essential to ensure the growth of your dogs.

Even though kidney conditions are irreversible, this diet can considerably lengthen your dog's life while maintaining its good quality. The stew of meat and vegetables in Hill's K/D Renal Health Dog Food provides your dog's needs towards a healthier and more normal life.

Pros
  • Controlled levels of phosphorus, sodium, and protein
  • Supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids
  • All-natural recipe and formulation
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids and L-carnitine
Cons
  • Contains some pork and chicken by-products

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food - Best Kidney Diet for Adult or Senior Dogs

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food is a good consideration if you are in search of a diet to support your dog's overall health. It is also a good option for dogs suffering from kidney disease due to its high-quality ingredients.

This dog food provides easily digestible ingredients to support nutrition, energy, and activity levels in adult dogs. It comes with high-quality protein to help maintain lean and healthy muscles in dogs.

Made with natural ingredients, Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food uses a balanced set of minerals to ensure kidney health and a strong heart. Also, it provides the omega-6 and vitamin needed by your dogs for a healthier coat and skin.

To top it all, this diet has moist-low proteins which are sourced from beef, pork liver, fish meal, dried whey, and corn. It can both support the dog's kidney functions and overall health.

Additionally, Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food contains the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed by your dogs to grow strong and healthy. It doesn't come with any artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives to ensure precise dog nutrition, especially on the renal system.

Pros
  • Low amount of high-quality protein
  • Formulated with omega-6, vitamins, and minerals
  • Comes with antioxidants
  • No artificial preservatives
Cons
  • Contains potential allergens

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food - Best L.I.D for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Natural Balance LID Dog Food offers premium quality nutrition to ensure that your dogs are healthy and happy. It is formulated using the finest ingredients to give the best results, especially on kidney functions.

This dog diet is formulated with premium protein, and carbohydrates form all-natural and premium sources. Thus, it helps in supporting the dog's digestion together with healthy skin and a luscious coat.

Salmon, being the primary source of protein, provides the essential amino acids needed to maintain strong muscle tone. The sweet potato components of Natural Balance LID Dog Food serve as the main source of carbohydrate, which is also known to be a highly digestible energy source.

Additionally, this diet plan is formulated using limited ingredients, which makes it a premium and high-quality nutrition for all breeds of adult dogs.

To help aid in proper digestion, Natural Balance LID Dog Food comes with natural fibers from the freshest sources. It is grain-free and formulated with no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives to ensure the best nutritional values for your dogs.

Pros
  • Simple and all-natural ingredients
  • Premium source of protein
  • Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Grain-free and additive-free
Cons
  • Contains some allergens

Kidney Disease in Dogs - Overview

best dog food for renal disease

Just like in humans, the dog's kidneys act as sophisticated filters. These remove waste materials and unnecessary water from the blood, thus eliminated in the body in the form of urine.

When the kidneys aren't functioning correctly, the waste products, including urea, salt, and phosphorus, can start to build-up in the system at dangerous levels. This decline in kidney functions will eventually lead to kidney problems and diseases. 

This involves a sudden collapse in the functioning of the kidneys, which usually occurs days after the ingestion of poisonous substances and infections in the urinary tract.

This is a slow decline in kidney functions over months or years, making it more difficult to spot. The causes are hard to identify but are often related to an underlying health condition.

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Common Symptoms of Kidney Diseases

The following are the most common signs and symptoms associated with kidney diseases in dogs. 

top dog foods for kidney disease
  • Change in water consumption
  • Change in the volume of urine produced
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Unusual breath odor
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of weight
  • Blood in the urine

Dog Breeds Prone to Kidney Diseases

Purebred dogs are more likely to have kidney failure than those of crossbreds. Some of the dog breeds most susceptible to kidney diseases include:

  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Boxer
  • check
    German Shepherds

What Is an Ideal Diet for Dogs with Kidney Diseases?

best over the counter dog food for kidney disease

Depending on the dog's disease, you can determine the diet plan that perfectly fits your dog. Here is what to consider when selecting the best dog food for kidney disease.

1. Low Protein

Kidneys tend to remove the toxic by-products produced by proteins. Once the kidneys fail to function properly, then a possible build-up of these by-products can be observed.

It is vital to give your dogs reduced amounts of protein. While an ideal kidney diet contains fewer proteins, it should be of high-quality to ensure less toxic by-products for the kidneys to process.


2. Organic and Natural

When the dog's kidneys start to fail, its ability to breakdown and clear cheap components such as flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives decreases.

Dog foods designed for kidney diseases should come from natural sources. This tends to be less tasty, which encourages the dog to eat despite the loss of appetite.


3. High Water Content

Water is essential to ensure better filtration of the toxins in the dog's bloodstream. Giving your dog wet diets such as canned foods is essential to keep them hydrated.

Mixing your dog's food with water and other wet options can also give them enough water on their diet.


4. Less Sodium and Phosphorus

good dog food for kidney disease

High levels of sodium can increase the dog's blood pressure, thus, worsening the kidney damage. Try to avoid salty treats such as cheese and bread to reduce the symptoms and prolong your dog's life.

On the other hand, the presence of phosphorus, especially on puppies with kidney problems, can be very poisonous. The damaged kidneys won't be able to remove the extra phosphorus present in the bloodstream, causing an increased amount that is harmful to your dog's bones.


5. Increased Fatty Acids

The increased amount of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the inflammation by lowering the pressure in the kidneys. This can also enhance the removal of waste materials present in the bloodstream. 


6. Added Antioxidants

Antioxidants tend to fight off the free radicals, thus preventing cell damage. While it can't stop the progression, its presence can slow it down to ensure a longer life for your pets.

This can also boost the immune system of your dogs, which is extremely important in dealing with kidney failures. 

The Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease - Final Thoughts

Dog foods that are specially made for kidney diseases are guaranteed to give more beneficial results than the regular diet. While you can mix dry and wet dog foods, you can also combine kidney disease foods with regular ones to reduce cost.

All the products above are great for kidney problems. However, Purina Kidney Function Dry Dog Food is our top pick as the best dog food for kidney diseases. It promises to give a longer and healthier life despite the health conditions, particularly kidney diseases.

Veterinary Diets Purina Veterinary Canine NF Kidney Function Dry Dog Food, 6 lb*
  • Complete and balanced formula for adult dogs
  • Therapeutic diet for dogs with acute and chronic kidney disease
  • Low in phosphorus to help support the kidneys
  • Rich source of omega fatty acids
  • Restricted amount of high-quality protein

Moreover, this diet formulation is a premium choice offering complete nutrition for optimal health.

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