What to Feed a Dog with Kidney Failure Who Will Not Eat?
For many dog lovers, the term “chronic kidney disease” may be a worrisome word since they usually assume it implies that the kidneys have entirely ceased functioning. While the kidneys are not functioning optimally, they are still functional and may be encouraged to perform properly with medicine and a restricted diet.
What should I feed a dog with renal disease who refuses to eat? Along with any medicine and dietary advice provided to you by the doctor, the food you provide your dog must be low in phosphorus and protein, both of which may create waste matter accumulation in their system and possibly aggravate the state of the kidneys.
Caring for a dog with kidney disease may appear to be a difficult task at first, but understanding the fundamentals of feeding your dog and how to feed them may be critical to their health and happiness.
What meals are beneficial for dogs with renal disease?
Because perfectly functional kidneys are used to eliminate excess phosphorus, proteins, and sodium from the blood, these waste products are not correctly filtered when kidney disease develops. They are present at a greater level than usual in the circulatory system. As a result, animals with renal illness need a low diet in phosphorus, protein, and sodium to relieve stress on the kidneys and enable them to fulfill their tasks without danger of additional harm.
There are several renal dog meals on the market, but it is always a good idea to read the labeling to see how much of each of the decreased minerals and protein is in each meal. The NRC (National Research Council) recommends that your dog get no more than 22.25mg of phosphorus every day. They must also be given a low amount of protein, and the protein should be of very high quality and bioavailability. Also, each calorie has less than 1 mg of sodium (which is often found in salt).
With the decrease in their meals, they must replenish with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil (NOT cod liver oil, which is inflammatory). Those fatty acids are very beneficial to dogs, particularly those suffering from illness, renal illness, arthritis, and other long-term health concerns. When purchasing omega-3 pills, check the manufacturer’s website or ask your veterinarian whether that specific brand is OK for your dog.
While it is more frequent in older dogs, being diagnosed with kidney illness does not spell the end of your dog’s existence, and many dogs with the diagnosis may live happily for years after that. The sad fact is that there is no way to heal the damage caused to the kidneys since they do not recover like certain organs such as the liver. However, future damage may be avoided with a few very simple lifestyle adjustments.
Once you get a vet’s diagnosis, it is always essential that you follow any medicine or dietary directions they have given you to the letter since this might be critical to your dog’s health. This entails administering the prescribed medication precisely as directed since any modifications in medicine dose might result in serious complications.
Feeding strategy: Instead of providing your dog with two big meals a day, offer them a few little meals scattered throughout the day, ensuring that the food is fresh each time. This may be useful if they don’t have much of an appetite or are having difficulty eating a substantial meal.
Avoid giving your dog too many more snacks or scraps between meals: Although your dog may enjoy the odd treat, try to avoid offering them too many more snacks or scraps between meals. This is also typically suggested for most dogs since it prevents them from gaining weight, which may harm their health.
Ensure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water: Kidney illness may frequently increase your dog’s thirst, so make sure they always have access to clean, fresh water all the time, replacing their bowl as soon as you detect it is going low. As a result, giving your dog moist or wet food may assist in satisfying their thirst.
A dog suffering from renal illness is refusing to eat
Lack of appetite is a typical symptom and side effect of renal illness, but it is critical for your dog’s health to ensure that they eat enough every day.
Dogs with renal illness who refuse to eat are most often nauseated. Changing the diet is a possibility, but it’s possible that they’ll require IV fluids at the vet to filter out the extra waste products that are triggering nausea, or they’ll require an anti-emetic to alleviate the discomfort.
Suppose your dog refuses to eat or continues to consume an alarmingly small quantity of food. In that case, it is suggested that you consult with your veterinarian first to ensure that there is no medical explanation for this. They may also be able to advise you on how to motivate your dog to eat, as well as what sorts of food they like.
Changing the type of food you feed your dog abruptly may be the cause of their not eating, so it is best to gradually transition them to renal food products over a few days (again, with your vet’s advice). If your dog doesn’t enjoy the taste of the food, you may experiment with other brands and varieties of renal dog food, or you may add delightful low-sodium treats like fish oil.
Some dogs even like the variety of meals, with their appetites shifting throughout the day. You wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day, so have a variety of food alternatives on hand if your dog rejects their normal diet.
Suppose your dog prefers home-cooked meals to store-bought dog food. In that case, there are numerous recipes available to cater to renal illness, and it is critical that the meal is properly balanced and includes no more than the threshold point of either phosphorus, salt, or protein. A board-certified animal dietitian is often your best chance to discover appropriate recipes, which may be obtained via your veterinarian’s suggestions.
Getting a kidney-diseased dog to eat
If your dog is still refusing to eat, you may need to use assisted feeding at first to urge them. Never push your dog to eat, as this might stress them out, but they may be convinced and assisted in restoring their appetite by enticement and appreciation.
As previously stated, moist or wet food is preferable to dry food for dogs with increased thirst. Nevertheless, make sure your dog has enough water in its dish to keep itself hydrated.
If your dog is unfamiliar with a new variety of dog food, try hand-feeding tiny pieces of food that have been warmed to just below body temperature. Over a few days, they will get used to the new flavor and be content to eat from their dish. Small snacks may also be used to keep them nourished during periods of weak appetite, but in large quantities, they may be harmful.
In more severe circumstances, if an animal rejects or is unable to eat normally, veterinarians may employ feeding tubes, which enable liquid food and medicines to be directly fed into the stomach through a syringe. This is ideal for animals that experience excessive stress at mealtimes since it improves their standard of living.