The Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease | Top Picks for Renal Health

As a dog owner, it is very important that you keep the urinary tract of your dog healthy at all times, especially when your dog is getting old.

Dog renal failure is a common health condition that often affects older dogs, and it is very painful.

This health condition can cause your dog to urinate more, eat less, become easily fatigued, experience poor vision, and more.

If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, you need to watch what it eats. The dog’s diet must cater to its nutritional and health needs.

 As such, it would greatly benefit from the best dog food for kidney disease. While there is no reversal to this issue, you can manage your dog’s condition using the proper diet.

Read on to see the top-rated dog food for dogs with kidney disease.

Our number one pick is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula. This wet dog food is formulated for dogs with kidney disease and it helps to combat the symptoms associated with this health condition. It contains low levels of protein, sodium, and phosphorus, and it promotes kidney function.

Here Are the Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease:

ProductDetails
1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, sensitive digestion
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2. Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult, senior
  • Breed: small breed
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Appetite stimulation
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3. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support Grain-Free Diet

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Grain-free, veterinary diet, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: veterinary diet, pea-free
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5. Hills’ Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: veterinary diet, pea-free
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6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, low-protein, sensitive digestion
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7. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Kidney Support Canned Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, grain-free, no wheat, no corn, no soy
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8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Canned Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, low-protein
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9. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Sensitive digestion, grain-free, gluten-free, chicken-free, limited ingredient diet
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1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula — Best Dog Food for Kidney Health

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula is a great diet for dogs with kidney disease. This a wet formula and you need the authorization of a vet to purchase it.

This canned food offers a blend of everything your dog needs for enhanced kidney function. It is formulated to help minimize further damage to the kidney of your dog, slowing down the progression of the disease.

It contains low levels of phosphorus and sodium to reduce stress on the kidney and enhance the overall health of your dog. It also contains moderate levels of protein, at 8 percent.

The crude fat of this food is 2.5 percent while the maximum crude fiber is 1.5 percent. The top five ingredients of this formula are meat by-products, water sufficient for processing, barley, chicken, and rice.

While being low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium, this food is not low in essential nutrients. It contains all the essential nutrients your dog needs to fight this health condition.

The formula also contains taurine to support the heart of your dog. It contains healthy antioxidants and prebiotic fiber to ensure your dog lives a normal life even with this health condition.

The formula also promotes optimal nutrient absorption.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, sensitive digestion

Pros

  • Low in sodium, protein, and phosphorus
  • Helps to alleviate kidney disease symptoms
  • Contains healthy antioxidants and prebiotic fiber
  • Highly palatable and easily digestible

Cons

  • You need a vet authorization to purchase

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2. Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food

For a dog suffering from kidney disease, a diet containing low to moderate protein is the best way to go. If your dog is having this issue, you should avoid feeding them with high-protein foods.

Wet formulas are also placed above kibbles, as the sufficient amount of water in them helps the kidney remove waste.

As such, the Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food is one of the best dog food for dogs with this health condition.

This food is highly delicious and it contains moderate amounts of protein. It is a pocket-friendly option, and it contains a sufficient amount of water to reduce strain on the kidney.

It also contains reduced phosphorus levels to boost the kidney health and function of your dog.

The top ingredients of this formula are water sufficient for processing, pork by-products, chicken, chicken liver, cornflour, and rice flour.

It also contains fish oil to provide your dog with the DHA and omega fatty acids it needs.

The formula contains all the essential minerals and vitamins that your dog needs. You can mix this food with kibble or serve it alone.

The food is also formulated to stimulate appetite, thanks to its high palatability. It contains a minimum crude protein of 7.5 percent with a minimum crude fat of 3 percent.

The maximum crude fiber is 1.5 percent while the caloric content is 158 kilocalories per 5.8 oz. can.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adult, senior
  • Breed: small breed
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Appetite stimulation

Pros

  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • Reduced phosphorus to support the kidney
  • Healthy protein sources
  • Reduced protein and fat counts

Cons

  • Contains corn and wheat

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3. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support Grain-Free Diet

Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog food brands, and this brand took its time to make this food for dogs with kidney disease.

The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney Support Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is vet recommended.

The food is formulated to provide dogs with this health condition with all the support they need. If your dog prefers kibble to wet food, this is a great option to turn to.

This food is easily digestible, highly palatable, with very low protein percentage. The protein content of this food is just 14 percent, which is great for dogs with this health condition.

The minimum crude fat is at 18 percent while the maximum crude fiber is at 7 percent. It also contains low levels of phosphorus to support the kidney health of your dog.

Even though the protein count is low, the protein is from high-quality animal and plant protein sources.

The top five ingredients of this formula are deboned chicken, potato starch, pea starch, peas, and potatoes.

It contains fish (which is a great source of DHA) and flaxseed (which is a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids).

This food will help your pup to develop healthy skin and coat while the DHA will enhance its eye and brain functions. It also contains lots of healthy fruits and veggies, which are rich in antioxidants.

This formula is also great for dogs that are allergic to grains, as it is 100 percent grain-free. It is also free from other fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy. The food is ideal for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Grain-free, veterinary diet, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Controlled protein levels
  • Great protein sources
  • Supports overall health and body condition
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies

Cons

  • It is expensive

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4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Next on the line is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food. This is one of the best dog food for kidney disease on the market.

It has been the number one choice of many dog parents over the years because of its effectiveness and the numerous health benefits it offers.

Compromised kidney health in dogs usually results in urinary issues. If that is the case of your dog, this is one of the best dog foods to turn to.

This food contains 17 percent protein from great protein sources such as chicken fat and chicken by-product meal.

This is not a grain-free formula, but it contains wholesome grains such as brewers rice and brewers rice flour.

The crude fat content of this food is 15 percent while the maximum crude fiber is 3.7 percent. It contains only 0.75 percent of phosphorus and 0.75 percent of calcium to help reduce stress on your dog’s kidney.

It also contains DHA to enhance the vision and brain function of your dog. One of the special features of this diet is its Relative Supersaturation (RSS), and this helps to dilute excessive minerals that cause crystals and stones in the kidney.

The magnesium count of this food is also very low, and this helps to maintain your dog’s urinary system health. The formula can also help stop the recurrence of struvite stones.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: veterinary diet, pea-free

Pros

  • Helps to minimize the chances of crystal formation
  • Supports overall bladder health
  • Dissolves struvite stones and prevent reoccurrence
  • Nutritionally balanced and complete

Cons

  • It contains corn

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5. Hills’ Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dry Dog Food

The Hill’s Prescription Diet Kidney Care Dry Dog Food is another specialized food for dogs suffering from kidney disease.

Hill’s Prescription Diet specially formulated this food to provide dogs with this health condition with all they need to live a healthy, happy, and normal life.

The top five ingredients of this formula are brown rice, brewers rice, pork fork, cracked pearled barley, and chicken.

This food will help boost the organ function of your dog while improving the symptoms associated with this ailment.

It features a blend of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to give your canine friend optimal nutrition for kidney care.

This is a dry formula and it is highly palatable and easily digestible. The protein content of this food is only 12 percent, which is great.

It contains a minimum crude fat of 18 percent and a maximum crude fiber of 5 percent. It also features very low levels of sodium and phosphorus to ensure your dog’s kidney is not stressed.

This formula features an Enhanced Appetite Trigger (EAT) technology that boosts the appetite and food intake of your dog.

This low-protein diet also contains therapeutic levels of omega 3 fatty acids and l-carnitine.

The food is of high quality and it is made in the United States of America. To purchase this food, you would need a vet authorization.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: veterinary diet, pea-free

Pros

  • Controlled levels of protein, sodium, and phosphorus
  • Contains essential amino acids
  • Increases appetite and food intake
  • Enhances heart and kidney function

Cons

  • It is quite expensive

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6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S Dry Dog Food

If you have a fussy eater with kidney disease, we recommend you go for the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S Dry Dog Food.

This food is highly palatable, it has a great aroma, and it comes in a great shape that your dog will love.

Dogs with this health condition are known to experience reduced appetite; this formula will help to boost your dog’s appetite and increase its food intake.

The top five ingredients of this food are corn, brewers rice, chicken fat, brown rice, and chicken by-product meal.

The protein content of this food is 10.5 percent; this would help minimize strain on the kidney of your dog.

It contains a minimum crude fat of 16 percent with a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent. The caloric content of this food is an impressive 365 kcal/cup.

This food contains DHA and EPA to boost the brain and eye development and maintenance of your dog.

It contains specially formulated fatty acids from fish oil, antioxidant complex, low levels of phosphorus, and targeted levels of protein to support a healthy kidney and heart function.

This dry dog food is ideal for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, low-protein, sensitive digestion

Pros

  • Increases appetite and encourages regular meals
  • Supports a healthy kidney and heart function
  • Provides your pup with all the nutrients it needs
  • Ideal for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes

Cons

  • It contains grains

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7. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Kidney Support Canned Dog Food

This Natural Veterinary Kidney Support Grain-Free Canned Dog Food from Blue Buffalo is another great dog food for dogs with kidney disease.

It is formulated to cater to the overall health of dogs suffering from this health condition. The formula contains chicken as the number one protein source, and the protein count is very low.

The crude protein content of this canned food is 3 percent while the crude fat content is 2.5 percent.

It has a caloric content of 336 kilocalories per can while the maximum crude fiber is 3 percent. Other notable ingredients in this diet are chicken broth, water, potato, starch, and chicken fat.

Being a grain-free formula, it contains potatoes as a great alternative carb source.

This food also contains fish oil and flaxseed, which are both great sources of DHA, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. This will leave your pup with a healthier coat and skin while enhancing its vision.

It also contains lower levels of minerals such as phosphorus and sodium to support your dog’s kidney health.

In addition to being grain-free, this food does not contain any wheat, corn, or soy, making it a great option for dogs with allergies and sensitivities.

It also contains antioxidants and l-carnitine to enhance the overall body condition of your dog.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, grain-free, no wheat, no corn, no soy

Pros

  • Ideal for dogs with allergies and sensitivities
  • Manages the workload on your dog’s kidney
  • Contains highly beneficial nutrients
  • Caters to the overall health and body condition

Cons

  • Some fussy eater may reject it

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8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Canned Food

Next up is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Canned Food. This is another great dog food that caters to the nutritional needs of dogs with this health condition.

Many pet owners said that this food helped their dogs with kidney issues after consistent feeding over some time.

This food contains water sufficient for processing, meat by-products, rice, corn grits, beef, liver, and chicken by-products.

Despite containing all the great ingredients, it still features a very low protein count of just 3.8 percent.

The minimum crude fat content is 5.5 percent, the maximum crude fiber content is 2 percent, and the caloric content is 483 kilocalories per can.

There is also fish oil in this meal, and this would help to enhance the vision of your dog.

The maximum phosphorus content is 0.15 percent and the maximum sodium is 0.13 percent, which means your pup’s kidney will be less stressed.

The food is also fortified with vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and riboflavin. It also features healthy antioxidants to boost the immune system and overall health of your dog.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Wet food
  • Special Diet: Veterinary diet, pea-free, low-protein

Pros

  • Great taste and smell
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Reduces levels of phosphorus and sodium
  • Great protein sources and lower protein count

Cons

  • It contains grain and corn

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9. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe

The last on our list is the Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe, and it is pretty much okay for dogs with this health condition.

This is a non-prescription formula and it is great for dogs with early stages of renal failure. The good thing about this product is that you can buy it without providing vet authorization.

It is a limited ingredient formula, which means it contains only a few, but high-quality ingredients.

The ingredients are easy on the metabolism of your dog and they help with optimal kidney function. This food is made with lamb meal, lamb, tapioca, peas, and canola oil.

The protein content is 24 percent, which is good for the early stages of this health condition. It contains 21.5 percent crude fat and the maximum crude fiber is 3.5 percent.

The caloric content of this food is an impressive 447 kilocalories per cup.

This formula is also ideal for dogs with sensitivities, as it is completely free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, soy, and chicken.

It is also free from fish, beef, potatoes, dairy, eggs, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It features a blend of antioxidants and omega fatty acids to promote a healthy immune system, skin, and coat.

Specs

  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Breed: All breeds and sizes
  • Form: Dry food
  • Special Diet: Sensitive digestion, grain-free, gluten-free, chicken-free, limited ingredient diet

Pros

  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitivities
  • Promotes immune health, healthy skin, and coat
  • Gentle on the digestive system and kidney

Cons

  • Protein content might be too much for intense cases

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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

Health issues associated with kidney diseases can be very challenging for dogs. The symptoms of this health condition can affect the overall health and wellbeing of your dog directly.

Nevertheless, there are chronic and acute renal issues; here is what you need to know about them:

Acute Renal Failure

Acute renal failure has an unexpected onset. Things like poisoning or forbidden foods such as grapes or raisins could trigger it. Other possible causes of acute renal failure are trauma, dehydration, infection, or certain medication.

Here are some of the symptoms that could follow an acute renal failure:

  • Change in water consumption
  • Weakness
  • More frequent urination
  • Change in behavior
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in coordination
  • Increased lethargy

Early detection of this health issue is very important, as your dog can make complete recovery with proper treatment and change in diet.

If not taken care of on time, the situation might result in chronic renal failure. As such, it is important you consult your vet immediately you start noticing the above symptoms in your dog.

Chronic Renal Failure

This is more common in senior dogs. However, younger dogs can also experience chronic renal failure due to direct poisoning.

Chronic renal disease usually comes at a slow pace, and this makes it hard to see through the symptoms.

Despite its slow pace, it still moves progressively. If you do not manage it very well, it would only get worse with time.

Here are some of the symptoms associated with chronic renal disease.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increase in water consumption
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Pale gums
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination

Once you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, we advise you consult your vet and carry out a full-body examination.

What To Look For In Dog Food For Dogs With Kidney Disease

The best dog food for dogs with this health condition depends on the severity of the disease the dog has. At the very early stages, you might not need prescription dog foods as the reduced protein levels could result in muscle loss.

However, as the case progresses, you might need to make some dietary changes. If the case is obvious, your best option might be a prescription diet.

Here are some of the characteristics of the best dog food for dogs with kidney disease:

Reduced Levels Of Protein

As we said earlier, you should try to go for moderate levels of protein at the early stages of this ailment.

Protein is very important in the diet of a dog, and the deprivation of protein could result in other health issues.

Hence, a moderate protein level should be maintained at the early stages of this health condition.

Nevertheless, with advanced kidney failure, you might want to modify the protein content. At this stage, we highly recommend you go for dog foods with very low protein counts.

Keeping the protein content low would help reduce stress on the kidney, and this would help reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Reduced Levels Of Phosphorus And Sodium

You also need to watch the levels of sodium and phosphorus in the diet of the dog. For dogs with this health condition, low levels of sodium and phosphorus are needed for adequate kidney function.

Higher amounts of these nutrients can significantly increase the workload of the kidney, and this can result in hyperphosphatemia.

Increased Water Levels

It is very important that dogs with kidney disease consume a lot of water. They need more than enough water to ease the stress on the kidney.

As such, canned dog foods are the best to turn to, as they contain enough water. However, this does not mean that your dog cannot eat kibble.

We have several great dry dog foods that are formulated for this health condition on our list. You can also mix the dry food with moist food or water to ensure your dog gets enough fluids.

Increased Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids are also very important in the diet of a dog with this disease. Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation.

These acids also help to boost the overall health and wellbeing of your dog. You should look for food that contains great sources of omega fatty acids such as fish oil, flaxseed, or chicken fat.

Antioxidants

You should also opt for food that contains powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E help to fight free radicals and prevent cell damage.

They also play a crucial role in boosting the overall health of your dog while slowing down the progression of the ailment.

Conclusion

Even though kidney disease can be a severe issue, the life of your canine friend does not have to be over. Your dog can live for years even with this health condition with proper care and diet.

With the best dog food for kidney disease, you can help your dog to live a longer, better, and happy life.

From the products reviewed in this guide, our most recommended product is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula because it helps to alleviate the symptoms of this issue, helping your dog to live a better, happy life.

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