The Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease | Reviews and Top Picks

Just like humans, dogs also suffer from kidney disease. Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, occurs when the nephrons (a part of the kidney) become damaged. The work of the nephrons is to filter excess fluid and waste from the kidneys. Nevertheless, if your dog is diagnosed with this issue, it can still live a happy life.

To make your dog feel better, it is crucial that you feed them with the right diet. The best dog food for kidney disease would help slow down the progression of the disease and even prevent the issue from recurring once your dog has recovered.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dog food for dogs with kidney disease, and this can make the process of finding one a bit tricky. In this article, we will walk you through some of the best dog foods that would help make your dog feel better and recover faster.

Our top pick is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Canned Dog Food. Canned foods are great for dogs with kidney failure, as it contains water that is needed for the filtration of toxins from their bloodstreams. It also comes with adequate levels of sodium, phosphorus, and protein to support your dog’s health.

The Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease Are:

ProductDetails
1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Canned Dog Food

  • Wet Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, sensitive digestion, pea-free
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2. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, grain-free, no wheat, corn, or soy
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3. Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Canned Dog Food

  • Wet Food (Stew)
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, pea-free
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4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support S Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Low-protein, sensitive digestion, veterinary diet, pea-free
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5. Wysong Synorgon Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • All life stages
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion
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6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion, limited ingredient diet, gluten-free, grain-free, no corn, wheat, and soy
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1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Canned Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Kidney Failure

If you are looking for a wet food for your dog with kidney disease, you should consider the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Canned Dog Food.

This dog food will do a great job in minimizing further damage to your dog’s kidneys as it helps to slow the progression of the disease. The first five ingredients of this food are water, meat by-products, water, rice, corn grits, and beef.

Wet food is generally better for dogs with renal issues because the high water content lets the kidneys do their job and helps dilute the minerals that could build up and form stones.

This food is low in phosphorus and sodium to reduce the stress on the kidney and boost the recovery of your dog. It also features a lower protein count, which is great for dogs with kidney disease.

This food contains plenty of nutrients to improve your pup’s health. The spicy flavors and the premium ingredients of this food make it a great choice for dogs with renal and hepatic issues.

All the ingredients are highly digestible to promote optimal nutrient absorption. It also features a blend of antioxidants and medium-chain triglyceride vegetable oil to enhance the skin and coat health of your dog.

This food contains prebiotic fiber to provide your pup with a healthy GI tract. It contains a moderate level of fat, low carbs, and highly palatable.

The protein content of this food is 8 percent while the minimum fat content is 2.5 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 1.5 percent with a caloric content of 405 kilocalories per can.

Specs

  • Wet Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, sensitive digestion, pea-free

Pros

  • Low fat, protein, and carb contents
  • Supports a healthy GI tract
  • Highly palatable
  • Easily digestible ingredient

Cons

  • It contains meat by-products

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2. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Kidney Issues

This kidney support formula from Blue Buffalo is one of the best dog food for kidney health. Having kidney issues requires that your pet sticks to strict diets with limited sodium, phosphorus, and protein to help manage them. This prescription food comes with controlled levels of nutrients but you would need a vet’s authorization to buy it.

The ingredients included in this formula are deboned chicken, potato starch, peas, pea starch, chicken fat, flaxseed, dried egg product, and more. This food is completely free of grain and it does not contain other common allergens, making it a great option for dogs with sensitive digestion and allergies.

It contains adequate levels of L-carnitine, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants to boost the overall health and body condition of your dog. It is made with high-quality, natural ingredients that support dogs with this health issue.

The protein count of this food is adequate for dogs with kidney disease, at only 14 percent. The minimum crude fat content is 18 percent while the maximum crude fiber content is 7 percent. it is calorie-dense, with a caloric content of 404 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, grain-free, no wheat, corn, or soy

Pros

  • Helps to manage your dog’s kidney workload
  • Low protein content
  • Supports overall health and body condition
  • Grain-free formula

Cons

  • It is expensive

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3. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Canned Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Kidney Health

This is another great wet dog food for dogs having kidney disease. Hill’s no longer needs an introduction in the pet food market, as it is one of the most popular and highly respected brands. Hill’s specifically formulated this stew for pups with kidney issues, and it helps to enhance the recovery process of your dog by boosting organ function.

The main ingredients of this food are chicken, carrots, rice, and pork liver. It also contains soybean oil and fish oil, which are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin. This food features a powerful blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to provide your pup with optimum nutrition for kidney care.

This food comes with Enhanced Appetite Trigger (E.A.T.) technology, which helps to increase the appetite and food intake of your dog. It protects heart function and boosts the natural ability of your dog to build lean muscle every day. This food also contains low levels of sodium, phosphorus, and protein to take away the strain on your pup’s kidney.

It is ideal for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes. The crude protein content of this food is 12 percent while the minimum fat content is 18 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 5 percent and the caloric content is 402 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Wet Food (Stew)
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Veterinary diet, pea-free

Pros

  • Enhanced Appetite Trigger technology
  • Controlled levels of sodium, phosphorus, and protein
  • Protects the heart and kidney function
  • Highly digestible

Cons

  • It is not gluten-free

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4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support Dry Dog Food

This veterinary diet renal support dry dog food from Royal Canin is formulated to handle the early stages of kidney disease in all adult dog breeds and sizes. It is a versatile option, as you can feed it to small, medium, and large breed dogs. This food helps to minimize uncomfortable symptoms and slow the progression of kidney issues.

The first five ingredients of this food are brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, chicken by-product meal, and brown rice. This formula uses dietary fat to enhance palatability to enable dogs with liver issues to eat it.

It is highly digestible and it is packed with plenty of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, DHA, and EPA to enhance the overall health of your dog.

This food contains controlled levels of protein, sodium, and phosphorus to slow down the development of the disease. It boasts of better texture and aroma to make it more appealing to pooches. The “S” in the name of the food stands for savory, and it helps to stimulate the appetite of your dog and encourage regular meals.

The protein content of this food is 10.5 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 16 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber content of 4 percent with a caloric content of 365 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Low-protein, sensitive digestion, veterinary diet, pea-free

Pros

  • Supports healthy kidney function
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Low levels of protein, sodium, phosphorus

Cons

  • It is expensive

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5. Wysong Synorgon Dry Dog Food

The Wysong Synorgon Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food for kidney disease out there. This food is formulated by a veterinarian and it contains a full spectrum of micronutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, and other vital elements that your dog needs. The top ingredients of this food are chicken, turkey meal, brown rice, peas, chicken fat, dried plain beet pulp, and flaxseed.

This health boosting-diet also contains quality organs, fruits, and vegetables. However, this food is not ideal for dogs with advanced stages of kidney disease, as it contains up to 30 percent protein. The early stages of this issue do not require strict diets, which is where this food comes into play.

The kibble is coated with probiotic to enhance the digestive health of your dog. The protein content of this food is 30 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 14 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 4 percent with a caloric content of 430 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • All life stages
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion

Pros

  • Ideal for all life stages
  • Rich in micronutrients
  • Probiotic-coated kibbles
  • Made in the United States

Cons

  • Not ideal for dogs with chronic kidney disease

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6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

The last on our list is the Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food, and it is one of the best dog foods for dogs with early stages of kidney failure. The first five ingredients of this food are lamb meal, peas, tapioca, pea protein, and canola oil. It is completely free of grains and gluten, and it does not contain other common allergens.

It is a limited ingredient diet with restricted ingredients and nutrients that are easy on the digestive system of a dog and support kidney function. This is a single protein sourced food with most of its nutrients from vegetables.

This food is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to provide your pup with healthy skin and coat. It does not contain soy, wheat, corn, chicken, beef, potatoes, eggs, and other ingredients that could trigger allergies or sensitivities.

The protein content of this food is 24 percent while the crude fat content is 21.5 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 3.5 percent with a caloric content of 447 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion, limited ingredient diet, gluten-free, grain-free, no corn, wheat, and soy

Pros

  • Limited ingredients
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Easily digestible protein
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitivities and allergies

Cons

  • Some fussy eaters may reject it.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food for Kidney Disease

Low Protein Level

Kidneys often remove the waste byproducts of protein breakdown. When the kidneys start failing, these toxic byproducts would start building up. As such, it is important that the diet of your dog contain fewer quantities of protein.

A good diet for kidney disease should contain less protein, but the protein should be of higher quality. High-quality proteins break down without many toxic byproducts, which means less stress on the kidney.

Reduced Levels of Phosphorus and Sodium

While phosphorus plays a crucial role in maintaining the teeth and bone of your dog, it can be poisonous for dogs with renal failure.

Kidneys are responsible for getting rid of the extra phosphorus from the blood, and they may not be able to do that job once they start failing. This can result in too much phosphorus in the bloodstream, which is detrimental to your dog’s health.

Also, high levels of sodium can increase the blood pressure of your pup, which can increase the damage to its kidney. As such, you should opt for dog food with controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium when picking dog food for your pup.

Increased Vitamin B

While the kidney does not benefit directly from vitamin B, it can help to reduce the symptoms. It is also easy on the kidney, as it dissolves in water and clears easily. Overall, you should make sure that the food contains vitamin B and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

Kidney disease is irreversible but with the right diet, your pup can live longer and happier. Our top pick for the best dog food for kidney disease is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Canned Dog Food because it was specifically formulated for dogs with this issue.

It contains controlled levels of sodium, phosphorus, and protein, with adequate levels of vitamins and minerals to support your dog.

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