We’ve been talking about chronic kidney disease (CKD) - how it can be prevented and some new research that’s come to light on the nutrition front. If you missed the first two parts in our kidney disease series, you can find them here:
Why Kidney Diets Don’t Work (Part 2)
We Often Get Asked: What Do I Feed My Pet If He/She Is Diagnosed With Chronic Kidney Disease?
Let's talk about what your options are when your pet is diagnosed with kidney disease and how you can manage it with holistic strategies. Often, it takes time to find a balance and a treatment plan that works for your pet. This should always be done with the knowledge and assistance of your veterinarian.
Importance Of Hydration For Pet's With Chronic Kidney Disease
We sometimes forget that water is an essential nutrient. Animals that eat a fresh food diet will naturally consume large amounts of moisture with their food. This keeps them fully hydrated throughout the digestive process. As discussed in Part 1 of this series on kidney disease, dry food diets leave the animal temporarily dehydrated making them thirsty. Pets with kidney disease do best with high-moisture foods such as raw or canned food. Your veterinarian may also recommend regular fluid therapy, depending on the severity of your pet’s disease.
Why Cat's and Dog's With Chronic Kidney Disease Should Still Eat Protein
Conventionally, a high-protein diet is considered to be a negative course of action when it comes to feeding pets with kidney disease. Protein waste products are processed by the kidneys. The idea behind reducing dietary protein is to decrease the workload of the kidneys. Fresh meat/carnivore diets contain a much higher protein level than conventional processed diets and this precipitates the myth that they are harmful for pets with kidney disease. However, protein content is only one of the many factors that you need to consider for pets with chronic kidney disease. Dogs and cats need protein to survive and limiting protein in their diet will mean that their body will begin to consume protein in the muscles, leading to other health complications.