Dog Kidney Disease Diet Information and Recipes

In kidney failure like any other disease, Diet is your number one priority. You will need to feed your dog a high-quality protein, low phosphorus, highly nutritious whole food diet that avoids processed ingredients and any hard to accept, synthetic vitamins and minerals.

Diet is by far one of the most important factors in your dog’s fight against kidney disease. At Five leaf Pet Botanicals in the course of over thirteen years we have had thousands of dogs on our canine kidney health program and we have noticed the best improvements with the following diets.

PLEASE NOTE. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND ANY COMMERCIALLY PREPARED FOOD EVEN IF ITS FORMULATED FOR KIDNEY DISEASE. These foods are processed and refined and generally made from poor quality ingredients. They do not contain the nutrition your dog’s body requires to support recovery.

We do not sell dog food either, we recommend preparing your dog’s meals yourself from fresh whole foods at home. For convenience, all recipes can be made in large batches and frozen in meal-sized portions to avoid having to cook or prepare meals from scratch each day. Try to use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

We start off by ensuring the recipes include a source of high quality protein. Many make the mistake of thinking dogs with kidney problems should not have any protein or only extremely low amounts. This is not the case. Dogs are omnivores by nature but lean more toward the carnivore side. Dogs require a reasonable amount of protein along with other nutrients for tissue, cells, muscles and organs to function and repair.

Not all proteins are created equally. There are high quality proteins and lower quality proteins. This means some are digested and broken down more efficiently within the body than others. The waste product from protein digestion is Nitrogen waste. In a healthy animal the kidneys are responsible for removing this waste product of digestion. Compromised kidneys are not able to remove this waste product as efficiently and it builds up in the blood stream. It is measured as the Blood Urea Nitrogen or BUN.

The higher the quality of protein the less nitrogen is left behind when it is digested. Eggs and Raw Meat are the two highest quality proteins for dogs. This means a dog with kidney issues can eat a larger quantity of high quality protein than it can of a lower quality protein without as much waste being left behind for the kidneys to eliminate. It’s similar to gasoline for your car’s engine. If you use high grade gasoline it burns more efficiently, it gives you more mileage and it leaves less gunk and build up in your car’s engine and filters than regular gas would.

Many neglect this and stick with usual prescribed low protein diets and end up watching their dog’s condition continue to deteriorate.

Research done by Kenneth C. Bovee, DVM, MMedSc, “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”, and Delmar R. Finco, DVM, Ph.D., “Effects of Dietary Protein Intake on Renal Functions”, show that low protein diets do not extend the life of dogs with renal disease. The predominant effect of the low protein diet is to minimize production of uremic toxins so that the patient feels better. This means that if you choose a high quality protein which leaves less waste you can actually feed your dog more protein.

Now don’t worry about feeding raw right away, we know some people are afraid at first but we have a way to get you started and remember a home cooked meal is still many times better than any commercially available processed pet food.  In addition to the raw recipe we have included two cooked recipes that many dogs have done very well with. If your dog will accept the raw meat recipe this is definitely our first choice. It is excellent for diabetic dogs too.  Remember that dog’s bodies are designed to utilize raw food. If they were left to their own devices they would not be lighting a campfire and cooking their prey before eating it. Dogs have a very acidic saliva and stomach acid and are not susceptible to infection from the same types of bacteria found in raw meat that can make humans sick. Dogs are exposed to E-Coli with their daily grooming habits alone (licking their anus). As unpleasant as it is, many dogs also eat their own or other dog’s faeces which is full of E-Coli. If E-Coli were to make them sick all of our dogs would be sick from exposure all the time. Salmonella is also not foreign to their digestive tract, like it is to ours, and is commonly found in their system causing no harm at all.

If you prefer to put a recipe together yourself, just keep in mind that if you are feeding raw meat you can make up to 50% of the meal by volume raw meat. If you choose to use cooked meat you should keep this to no more than 25% of the meal by volume. The other 75% of the meal should be made up of vegetables and starches.

Many dogs with reduced kidney function lose their appetite. This is usually due to their stomach becoming overly acidic. This in turn causes them to feel nauseated. If you have ever experienced bad acid reflux or heartburn you can probably relate. Even if your dog is not vomiting, he may still be nauseous. Here is an excellent natural antacid/nausea remedy to help settle their stomach and improve their appetite.

Nausea Remedy (Antacid)

A wonderful natural antacid is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. You can purchase this at your health food store. Make sure it’s RAW!

Give ¼ teaspoon for dogs up to 20 lbs, ½ teaspoon for dogs up to 40 lbs, ¾ teaspoon for dogs up to 60lbs and 1 teaspoon for dogs 80 lbs and over. You can mix this with some unsweetened applesauce and syringe in his mouth 3-4 times per day or as needed.Powdered Ginger root is an excellent herb for settling the stomach. If you have a larger dog you can purchase capsules and give 1-2 capsules 3-4 times per day. If your dog is too small to swallow capsules, you can mix a pinch of ginger powder in with some unsweetened applesauce. You can give in the same dose with the Apple Cider Vinegar if you wish.

RAW DIET (This is the best recipe if your dog has an appetite and is eating on their own.)

The following recipe is a days food for a dog of 40 pounds. A formula and chart can be found below the recipe that you can use to calculate the correct amount for your dog’s weight.

Here is how to prepare the food:

Equal Parts raw meat any of the following (Chicken, Turkey, Beef or Lamb) to Equal parts Raw Pureed Fruits and Vegetables. If you can find Raw Green Tripe ( they are in California but they ship or they are in NC and also ship) then you can substitute this for the other meats listed above.

That would be a 50/50 mix of meat to veggies by volume (1 cup to 1 cup or one pint to one pint).

You can make as large of a batch as you like and freeze it in meal-sized portions.

Do NOT feed Onion, Grapes or Raisins to dogs. Dogs can have any other fruits and veggies you wish. Parsley, Watermelon, Cucumber and Celery are all excellent kidney foods so try to incorporate some of these into the mixture.

You can add 1/3 teaspoon powdered egg shells to each meal as a phosphorus binder.

Dog Greens add 2 teaspoons per meal assuming you are feeding two meals per day. (Dog Greens comes in Kidney Health package.)

Once you have the meat and veggies mixed together weigh out his daily portion of food. Dogs typically need to eat 2-3% of their body weight in raw foods for maintenance.

If 40 pounds is you dog’s healthy weight then he should be fed a total of 1 pound (16 ounces by weight) of the raw food mixture per day. Feel free to divide the daily mount into as many meals as you wish to feed that day. If he is losing too much weight feed him more, if he is gaining too much weight feed him less.

How to calculate your dog’s daily amount of food (for raw recipe only):

Your dog’s daily food requirement should be approximately 2.5% of their weight.
To simplify the calculation use the following formula.
Take your dog’s weight in pounds and convert it into ounces (there are 16 ounces in a pound) then multiply by 0.025.
e.g. 65 (dog’s weight in pounds) x 16 (ounces) x 0.025 = 26 ounces.
So the average 65-pound dog should require 26 OUNCES (measured by weight not volume) of food for one day.

Here is a simple chart to help you:

Dog’s weight Daily requirement
20 pounds 8 ounces
30 pounds 12 ounces
40 pounds 16 ounces
50 pounds 20 ounces
60 pounds 24 ounces
70 pounds 28 ounces
80 pounds 32 ounces
90 pounds 36 ounces
100 pounds 40 ounces


Egg & Sweet Potato

This recipe is the daily amount for a 40 lb dog, divide into as many serving as you wish. Adjust recipe according to your dog’s weight.

Two large boiled Organic Eggs

3 cups of boiled Organic Sweet Potatoes with skin

1 1/2 cups of pureed or shredded Organic Vegetables – Carrots, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Leafy Greens, Parsley etc

1 tablespoon of Organic Oil blend – any organic oil blend that says 3-6-9 omegas preferable with DHA, UDO’s makes a very nice one.

Dog Greens

Beef & Rice – This recipe has been adapted from Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

This is one day of food for a 40 lb dog. Adjust recipe according to your dog’s weight.

1/4 pound (1/2 cup) regular fat Hamburger/Ground Beef, Chicken, Turkey or Lamb (preferably organic, you can have the butcher grind some organic meat for you)

2 3/4 cups cooked Organic White Rice

2 large Organic Eggs

1/4 cup cooked Organic Carrots

2 Tablespoons Organic Safflower Oil

2 Tablespoons fresh diced Parsley

1/2 clove Garlic (if he likes it)

Mix all ingredients together and serve raw if the dog will accept it.  Otherwise bake for approximately 20 minutes in the oven at 350F, let cool then add Dog Greens to each meal before serving.


All reviews quoted are authentic and from actual Five Leaf Pet Botanicals customers. All reviews are documented and available for legal inspection. Emails, letters and pictures are used with permission. Individual results may vary.
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brandy martin

Our 12 year old yellow lab, Rally, was very ill out of the blue one Sunday afternoon. She was vomiting and not acting like her happy self. After my wonderful neighbor (lucky for us, our local veterinarian!) examined her, he suggested settling her stomach because you never know what labs may eat. He also told us to monitor her carefully for a day or two. On Tuesday she wasn't much better, so we took her to the vet. They took blood and discovered her kidney values were off the charts—9.7 Creatinine and 155 BUN—diagnosing her with Kidney Failure. We were shocked, devastated and beside ourselves. They kept her for three nights administering IV fluids and giving her proper medicine... Even though I was skeptical, I knew there was hope because Rally was always a very healthy, active dog... I began the program immediately and sure enough after the first cycle, Rally's Creatinine dropped to 2.8 and BUN dropped to 36. After the second round her Creatinine was 2.1 and BUN was 16!!! We were (and still are!) jubilant!!*

*Testimonial results not typical; your results may vary.

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Hi and welcome to Five Leaf Pet Botanicals. My name is Amanda Banting, I am a Herbalist and the founder of Five Leaf Pet Botanicals.

We have been helping dogs with kidney, heart and liver disease live happier, healthier, longer lives for over ten years. Please read my story below to get an idea of who we are and how we can help.

Fourteen years ago one of my seven dogs, Tom (he was 6 years old at the time and my eldest), was diagnosed with heart disease, he was given only 6 - 12 months to live. I was devastated. My dogs are my children, so I could not accept his prognosis. I was already practicing natural healing and was very knowledgeable in the power of herbs as medicine, but my education had focused on treating humans, not canines. I, like many other dog owners, thought dogs were dogs - they were fed kibble, brought for walks, given vaccines here and there and they would live into their teens, hopefully dying in their sleep.

Since all my dogs were still young and relatively healthy up until that point, I never had to think about treating them with herbs and natural healing. Since the Vets had given me no hope for Tom and actually told me flat out ''there is no cure for heart disease'' I felt I had no choice but to take matters into my own hands...