As a dog owner, nothing hurts more than knowing that your pooch suffers from health issues and is prone to life-threatening acute and chronic kidney disease. Well, that doesn't mean you will lose your beloved friend, as kidney disease typically is not always fatal.

A balanced and appropriate diet can make all the difference. Yes, there are still favorable chances of slowing the progression of the disease, reducing symptoms, and improving your dog's quality of life with the right food.

However, with so many options, opting for the finest dog food for your furry friend is challenging. But you don't have to worry. This guide will cover the 5 best dog foods for kidney disease that will not only improve your dog's health but also cost less.

What Dietary Needs Do Dogs With Kidney Disease Have?

Dogs with kidney disease have special dietary needs that must be considered while selecting the specific food formula or preparing homemade dog food recipes. This way, you will ensure proper kidney diets and a healthy life span for your canine buddy. Some of the underlying ingredients to feed your dog with kidney disease are as follows:


Kidneys are crucial in filtering waste products from the blood and regulating the body's fluid balance. However, the kidneys may not be able to function properly. This may lead to a buildup of waste products in the blood and a decrease in the body's ability to regulate fluid balance.

To support kidney function in dogs with kidney disease, it is essential to ensure they get enough water. Adequate water intake can help dilute waste products in the urine. It also reduces the risk of dehydration, especially in dogs with chronic kidney disease.

Adding moisture content to your pup's diet is recommended. To achieve this, you can go for wet or canned food or rehydrate the dry food with a good proportion of water.

Low Level Of Sodium

High sodium levels in dog food can cause extreme stress on the kidneys. It can be harmful to both diseased, and healthy dogs. However, the severity ratio exceeds in dogs with kidney disease since they already have a compromised kidney function. A high sodium diet can also lead to high blood pressure and gastrointestinal problems in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

So, it is vital to choose diet formulas with low sodium levels because it will help you increase your dog's lifespan and avoid kidney failure.

Decreased Protein Profile

Protein is an essential element that has a number of benefits, but we can't ignore the fact that high protein intake readily produces waste that could be difficult to excrete for dogs with compromised kidneys. So, if you're considering a ready-made diet or homemade dog food recipes with high protein content, this won't a suitable option for dogs with kidney disease. It will cause more stress on your dog's malfunctioning kidneys, resulting in hazardous health effects. Therefore, the vet always recommends low-protein dog foods for a healthier life span.

Reduced Phosphorus Level

High phosphorus levels in a dog's diet can harm their kidneys, especially diseased ones. Therefore, a low-phosphorus diet is recommended for dogs with kidney disease. Lowering phosphorus levels in dogs with kidney disease is imperative to support kidney function and prolong their lifespan. Aim for up to 0.5% of phosphorus levels in your dog's food is good. You can do this by restricting organ meat, bones, and other phosphorus-rich diets and leveraging low-phosphorus vegetables like green beans.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can provide several health benefits for dogs with kidney disease. These fats have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and kidney damage caused by the disease. It also prevents the protein from leaking into the kidney. Thus, dog foods with a good composition of these fatty acids can readily slow down the progression of kidney disease.

5 Best Food For Dogs With Kidney Disease

Dogs struggling with kidney disease and experiencing a loss of appetite, causing them to feel weak and tired, is a common symptom you can easily treat by giving them delicious and nutritious kidney diets. Fortunately, you won't have to look further after exploring the finest options mentioned below:

ROYAL CANIN Canine Renal Support

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Royal Canin renal support is one of the therapeutic kidney diets for dogs with chronic kidney disease and poor appetite. The formula is designed with a varied flavor profile, making your dog crave more every time. It also contains highly digestible protein sources such as chicken, which helps to support healthy muscle mass while reducing the load on diseased kidneys.

Additionally, it contains a precise blend of antioxidants that help to support your dog's immune system and maintain overall health. The special kidney diet allows some extent of water with it to make a perfect treat for your pooch. The Renal support dog dry food has low levels of protein, sodium, phosphorus, and high-quality omega-3 fatty acid to regulate proper kidney functioning.

This energy-dense formula can fulfill the high nutritional needs of your dog, even with small portions. Some reviewers have also revealed that switching to this food improved their dog's coat and skin health.

Blue Buffalo Kidney Support

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Blue Buffalo contains controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium to help support kidney function. This dog food's active ingredient is chicken, which ensures your dog will have a low protein level.

This dry dog food is the perfect formula for dogs with disturbed nutritional needs. The recipe includes digestible kibbles that are palatable to taste buds and best for good stomach functioning. It is 100% natural diet with no artificial flavors.

The primary ingredients of this dog food are sweet potatoes, peas, Omega 3, Omega 6, vitamins, and high-profile minerals to combat renal issues. The product also includes ingredients like cranberries and blueberries, which are high in antioxidants and can improve your pup's overall health.

Hill's Prescription Diet Kidney Care

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Hill's Prescription is a reputable brand and expert choice for all dog's kidney care. Whether your dog is in the initial stages of kidney disease or suffering from kidney failure, the hand-selected ingredients of this formula will provide the perfect food for your canine.

This dog food is formulated with controlled protein and phosphorus levels to support kidney function and combat kidney failure. It also includes greater antioxidant levels, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which can damage the kidneys.

Powerful ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and L-carnitine work wonders to prolong life and boost vitality. This dry dog food has a considerable water content that ensures easy digestion. It has varied flavors and lets pet owners find their dog's preferred taste to encourage their pup to eat well and avoid weight loss.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function

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Purina Pro Plan is a specialized dog food product for dogs with kidney problems. However, you will need vet authorization to buy this whole nutritional formula. This grain-enriched dog food comes with limited sodium and potassium levels that help reduce acute and chronic kidney disease progression.

The dry formula also contains vitamins and restricted levels of high-quality protein to support the immunity of your pooch. It also has a blend of antioxidants, including vitamin E and beta-carotene, which can help regulate kidney function and reduce oxidative stress which reduces the chances of kidney failure.

The Omega-3 fatty acids are also the active ingredients of the Purina Pro Plan to support healthy skin and coats.

SquarePet is one of the best dry pet food options for dogs with kidney disease. It is formulated by expert veterinarians who know how to take the stress off your loved canines. This dog food contains extremely low sodium, phosphorus, and protein content to control the progression of your dog's kidney disease and high blood pressure levels.

With carb and fiber sources like white rice, tapioca, and sweet potato, you can avoid stomach upsets. The antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics are the active ingredients of the SquarePet VFS formula that support your dog's overall health and well-being, while promoting healthy kidney function. Moreover, it is suitable for all dog ages.

This pet food recipe also contains premium omega 3s (salmon oil) that effectively boost your dog's overall immunity and gut function. This tailored nutritional recipe for dogs with renal disease has scored some best reviews from pet parents who have used the product.


What Is The Maximum Survival Duration For Dogs With Kidney Disease?

The lifespan of a dog with kidney disease can vary as per the severity of the ailment, how well it is managed, and the individual dog's overall health. Some dogs with acute kidney disease can live for several years with proper management. Conversely, others may experience a more rapid progression of the disease and a shorter lifespan. It also depends on how early you catch the symptoms and devise a cure for your pup.

Is Wet Or Dry Food Better For Dogs With Kidney Disease?

Wet dog food is generally better because it contains higher moisture content, which helps keep your dog hydrated. However, some dogs may prefer dry food or do better with it. Hence, it's important to consult your vet to find the best option for your dog.

Can Supplements Help With Kidney Disease In Dogs?

Yes, many supplements can help in managing the symptoms of kidney disease. For instance, fish oil is highly effective in relieving kidney inflammation. Before giving any supplements to your dog with renal disease, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian familiar with your dog's medical history and current treatment plan.

Can Kidney Disease Be Fatal In Dogs?

Acute and chronic kidney disease may become fatal in dogs, mainly if it is not detected and treated early, or progresses rapidly. In cases of prolonged negligence, kidney disease in dogs can lead to various complications, including fluid buildup, electrolyte imbalances, anemia, and damage to other organs.

What Homemade Dog Foods Are Safe For Dogs With Kidney Disease To Consume?

Some homemade dog food options that are safe for dogs with kidney disease include:

· Cooked low-phosphorus vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

· Lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey, and beef (without bones).

· Small amounts of cooked brown rice or quinoa.

· Eggs (cooked without added salt or seasoning).

· Limited amounts of fruits, such as apples, blueberries, and bananas.

· Cooked salmon and white fish

All homemade dog food should be prepared with care and attention to food safety to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination. Also, homemade treats for dogs with kidney disease must not contain high phosphorus, sodium, and protein levels.

What Is The Process Of Transitioning A Dog To A Renal-Friendly Diet?

Transitioning a dog to a renal-friendly diet should be done gradually over several days. It will allow their digestive system to adjust to the new diet without disturbing the stomach. Start with a ratio of 25% new food to 75% old food, and gradually increase the proportion of new food for 7-10 days. During the transition period, closely monitor your dog's appetite, behavior, and overall health. If your dog goes through vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive upset, slow the transition or consult your veterinarian.


Feeding a dog with kidney disease requires a specialized diet that meets unique nutritional needs. However, you can't rely on each product claiming to be the best option for your dog. The right approach includes consulting your vet and considering your dog's health conditions. The above guide reviewing top selects can help you decide the best dog food for kidney disease.