Kidney problems are common in aging dogs and tend to get progressively worse. Changing your dog's diet and lifestyle may help stop kidney disease and raise your dog's quality of life, but you should always consult your veterinarian when your dog has kidney problems to monitor your dog's symptoms and severity of the kidney problems.
Common dog kibble may be the biggest contributor to your dog's kidney problems. The processed food in most kibble is difficult for your dog's kidneys to filter out of its body, making toxicity more likely. If you decide to continue feeding your dog a store-bought diet, look for the food that contains the least amount of phosphorous. Feeding your dog food with low levels of phosphorous may help to reduce mineral deposits in the kidneys, slowing the progression of kidney disease. You may also want to think about switching from dry kibble to semi-moist or wet food, which will help keep your dog hydrated.
If you decide to take your dog off store bought food completely, feed him fresh, raw vegetables and fruits and meats. Holistic veterinarians recommend feeding raw meats in order to avoid any kind of processing the dog's kidneys may not be able to handle. Raw meats also have a higher water content, aiding in hydration.
If your dog has kidney problems, hydration is essential. Water helps the kidneys flush out toxins, and dehydration concentrates toxins in the dog's body. Always keep a water bowl where your dog can access it easily and make sure it is always full. Let your dog drink as much water as he wants to. You might also filter your dog's water. Water straight from the tap sometimes has hard minerals and toxins in it. Filtering your water before giving it to your dog just eliminates some of the work its kidneys will have to do.
If your dog has progressive kidney problems, providing the best quality of life is important. Dogs that are stressed may be more prone to fatal kidney disease, so reduce the amount of stress your dog feels as much as possible. When you and your dog are relaxing together, massage your dog in small, circular motions with your fingertips, starting at the head and working down the back to the base of the tail. This will help your dog's muscles to relax, reducing stress on the whole body.
Exercising your dog also helps improve quality of life. If your dog is currently ill, provide gentle exercise, such as slow walking, even if it's just around the house. Mild to moderate exercise helps reduce your dog's stress level and may help his body to recover from kidney problems or slow the progression of disease.
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