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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My dog is 35lbs and probably somewhere around 9-11 years old . He was having some reoccurring bloody urine issues lately so I just had him go through a full ultrasound check. Turns out his bladder is extremely thickened possibly due to chronic inflammation so he's going to be on anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics for a while to hopefully get it back to normal.

During the ultrasound, they also discovered that he has some mineral deposits in his kidney. The vet told me that there may be kidney issues eventually down the line but there's not really anything that can be done about the stones. She said it's possible to consider lowering the protein content of his food and mentioned science diet K/D but that's a prescription diet for dogs with kidney failure.

Anyways I want to see what people here think. I'm not really keen on K/D since his kidneys are still working fine and the ingredients for K/D are crap. However I am kind of looking at the nutritional values listed as a comparison for a "kidney friendly" diet.

Currently I feed him ToTW and he gets raw marrow bones as snacks. The vet believes the bones shouldn't be an issues since it's mostly fat.

For ToTW, the protein content actually seems slightly on the lower end for grain free dog foods at >32%. In comparison K/D is listed at 14.3% protein.

The sodium content seems fairly comparable with ToTW at <3% and K/D at 0.23%

I can avoid grain free and get protein levels down in the 20-25% range with foods like chicken soup, natural balance, etc. Sodium content seems about the same for most dog foods.

I'm curious as to where opinions lie regarding protein content and kidney health. I've read studies that say lower protein for kidney health is just a myth and that it's actually better to just feed higher quality protein.

So in the end should I consider changing his diet? If so any recommendations?

Thanks for your time.
 

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This is a very debatable topic. Almost all vets recommend low protein diets when it comes to kidney issues. Just as you said, some experts believe that protein is not bad for the kidneys and that recent studies credit the "high protein diet = bad for kidneys" as a myth. Others (usually the general public) believe that if the dog is healthy then a high protein will not hurt but on the other hand if the dog already has kidney problems then high diets can cause even more damage (general public and vets perspective).

I wish I knew the exact answer. One thing I do know for sure and that everyone seems to agree with is that if your dog has kidney health issues, especially kidney stones, then make sure that your dog is drinking enough water... preferably more than their usual amount, just enough not to cause water intoxication. "On the average, a healthy dog drinks about 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day."

If you feed dry kibble make sure to moisten it up by adding a little bit of water (4 part food to 1 part water). Don't add water to kibbles if they contain citric acid. Don't let your dog hold its urine for a long time, I mean make sure that they can pee whenever they need to. You can also make your dog drink more water if he's not drinking enough by adding unsalted chicken stock to his water or you can also get your dog's favorite treat and chop it into little pieces then add it to a little bit of water in a bowl; your dog will be forced to drink the water in order to get to the chopped pieces of treat.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/dog-food-protein-faq/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-karen-becker/high-protein-pet-diet_b_869015.html
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?dept_id=0&siteid=12&acatid=284&aid=459#answer_5
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/low-protein-dog-foods/
http://www.dogster.com/dog-food/how-much-water-should-a-dog-drink
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. I had forgotten about the ToTW lamb and fish formulas since I usually avoided them due to the lower meat content. Funny how thing can change.

As for making the dog drink more, idk why i never thought of that. I knew people added water to dog food etc to get them to drink more water but for some reason I never did it. He's always just had free access to water. Making him drink more should help with his bladder problems as well.
 

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I don't think much of having a lower protein food. From what I've found it's gas by-products that are formed from eating fattier meats that harm the kidney and liver. Leaner and more digestible meats are fine.
 

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Look into "Missing Link" for added Omega-3 to help with inflammation ? Also, can you walk him more, maybe an additional 3 min. a day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think much of having a lower protein food. From what I've found it's gas by-products that are formed from eating fattier meats that harm the kidney and liver. Leaner and more digestible meats are fine.
hmm fattier meats, would that include marrow bones? I give him quite a bit of raw marrow bones from the asian market. They have a fair amount of meat and fat on the outside too.

Look into "Missing Link" for added Omega-3 to help with inflammation ? Also, can you walk him more, maybe an additional 3 min. a day?
Missing Link, is that like a multivitamin? I do add fish oil to his food but I guess a doggy multi wouldn't hurt. It doesn't seem too expensive. Is there a preference on which formula?

I'm not sure I follow what the point of longer walks are. I can certainly extend his daily walks a bit more.
 

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Hi, Im new to this forum (just signed up today) and so far, I think its wonderful. I work for a very successful holistic pet specialty store and I get asked similar questions to this every day. My co-workers and I have been looking into this topic for years now and after lots of research and positive customer feedback we've come to these conclusions...If you can, it is best to feed only wet food, mainly because of its higher moisture content. You also want to find a wet/canned food that is low in phosphorus and magnesium.(Foods that do not intentionally add bone) WERUVA brand is definitly one of the best for this. Not only is it low phos/magn, but it also contains more moisture than most canned foods and much less fat (1.4%) You also want to stay away from fish as its known to alter the ph levels. Every now and then its fine, just as long as its not the primary source of protein.
As for whether or not high protein is a bad thing, Im a firm believer in that its the quality of the protein and not so much the amount. Foods that are loaded with meat by-products are the worst for kidney health. If you find a food with no by-products then chances are that its also free of corn, wheat, soy, etc...which usually signifies that its a good food, unlike science diet/hills which is packed with the worst ingredients.
Lastly, if wet food isnt an option and you absolutely have to go with kibble then i would suggest any of petcurean's "now" formulas as they have some of the lowest phos/mag levels i've seen in dry food.
 

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hmm fattier meats, would that include marrow bones? I give him quite a bit of raw marrow bones from the asian market. They have a fair amount of meat and fat on the outside too.



Missing Link, is that like a multivitamin? I do add fish oil to his food but I guess a doggy multi wouldn't hurt. It doesn't seem too expensive. Is there a preference on which formula?

I'm not sure I follow what the point of longer walks are. I can certainly extend his daily walks a bit more.

It could include marrow bones. Beef is sometimes considered a fattier meat. And how could I forget, cranberry products are great for kidney health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It seems like my local pet food store carries weruva canned foods. I'll take a look at it next time I'm in the store.
The ingredients list is making me wonder if I'm better off looking into just cooking for him. Would be easy enough to just cook him a special portion when I make dinner.

cranberries huh? craisins? :p
 

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It seems like my local pet food store carries weruva canned foods. I'll take a look at it next time I'm in the store.
The ingredients list is making me wonder if I'm better off looking into just cooking for him. Would be easy enough to just cook him a special portion when I make dinner.

cranberries huh? craisins? :p
Homecooking is great, raw too for kidney health. The added moisture really helps.

http://dogaware.com/health/kidneydiet.html
 

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Kidneys process and filter...just as they do for you. I suggest distiller water. It is free of all the minerals and chemicals that tap water has and it will take a lot of stress off the kidneys. Stones are created with minerals not protein. Focus on feeding food that is low processed and free of anything artificial. The more crap the kidneys have to filter the worse off the dog will be. I suggest Grandma lucys freeze dried food. Its not processed like kibble and dogs love it. I feed their pureformance line to my dogs if I am traveling, since they are raw fed. It's great only take a few minutes to prepare and the 10lb bag makes 55lbs prepared. It actually ended up being cheaper than kibble.

Just my two cents, but think about how they handle kidney problems with humans. They don't make you stop eating meat, they make you stop eat processed crap and drink distilled water to avoid all those harsh minerals :)
 

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It seems like my local pet food store carries weruva canned foods. I'll take a look at it next time I'm in the store.
The ingredients list is making me wonder if I'm better off looking into just cooking for him. Would be easy enough to just cook him a special portion when I make dinner.

cranberries huh? craisins? :p
Not craisins - they have raisins in them, which are toxic to dogs. You can get a cranberry supplement at a healthfood store. Just make sure it's the pure cranberry supplement and not a chew or syrup (lots of sugar in these).
 

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Missing Link IS like a multivitamin, but Omega-3 works as well.

I did a typo, not 3 min., but 30 min. a day for walks. I was in too much of a rush. My suggestion is to go on at least two 30 min. walks per day. Walking helps with digestion and regularity. But if you already do this, there is probably no benefit in more...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not craisins - they have raisins in them, which are toxic to dogs. You can get a cranberry supplement at a healthfood store. Just make sure it's the pure cranberry supplement and not a chew or syrup (lots of sugar in these).
Wait what? craisins have raisins in them?
Ok I might have missed something all this time but I thought raisins are just dried grapes (which can be bad for dogs), and craisins are just dried cranberries.........

I've been giving him filtered water lately cause I was thinking the same thing about minerals and kidney stones.

For walks, I've been taking him on shorter more frequent walks just so he'd pee and drink more often. I also try to take him up hiking a couple times a week.
 

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I think Craisins are dried cranberries, but they're sweetened, so I would avoid them. Get a cranberry supplement. I take them myself in pill form. They're somewhat inexpensive and you should be able to find them with the other supplements at basically any grocery store or pharmacy.
 
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