Ensuring that your dog gets the proper nutrition he deserves can be difficult, especially if it is struggling with kidney problems. Many owners choose instead to cook for their dogs at home. With this method, you may end up saving money and can rest easy knowing exactly what your dog is eating. There are just a few simple guidelines to follow to make sure that your canine friend stays happy and healthy for years to come.
Limit phosphorus. Reducing levels of phosphorus has been proven to slow the progression of kidney disease in dogs. For dogs with advanced kidney failure, no more than 10 mg per lb. of body weight should be fed to the dog. In early stages, phosphorus levels can be as high as 30 mg per lb. Foods with the highest levels of phosphorus include bones, fish with bones, egg yolks, dairy products and organ meats. Do not completely eliminate these foods from your dog's diet, but do limit your dog's intake.
Increase fats. For the most part, dogs do not suffer high cholesterol or other problems humans associate with high fat intake. Unless your dog is overweight or inactive, increasing the levels of fat in his food is a good way to add calories without adding too much phosphorus. However, you must increase the levels of fat in your dog's diet gradually to avoid digestion problems. Add high-fat hamburger, lamb or pork to your pup's dinner. If your dog will accept it, you should be able to feed it most meats raw, but check with your butcher to make sure it is safe. In general, do not feed dogs raw hamburger unless you have ground it yourself. Bacon fat, chicken fat and fish oil are other easy ways to incorporate fat into your dog's diet.
Add carbohydrates. Most dogs do not require carbohydrates, but in the quest for increasing calories while decreasing phosphorus, carbs are a great place to start. About 50 percent of your dog's diet should come from carbohydrates. Start by adding vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes and other root vegetables. Bake or steam these veggies first to make them easily digestible and to leach out any phosphorus that may be present. Grains like white rice, pasta and farina (Cream of Wheat) all make excellent additions to your dog's diet.