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Kidney Disease in Dogs


My interest in kidney disease stems from being involved with a breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei, that is prone to genetic kidney disease (renal amyloidosis), and belonging to a family that also has genetic kidney problems (my grandfather, father, uncle and sister all have had Polycystic Kidney Disease).

I have compiled information here on diet, supplements, and medical treatments for dogs with some degree of kidney disease. One of my main goals is to provide alternatives to feeding your dog k/d, which I believe is inappropriate for dogs with early-stage kidney disease. It is also a problem if your dog does not want to eat it, as many dogs do not.

The first section is about the Tests Used to Diagnose Kidney Disease. This information will help you to understand your dog's diagnosis, and decide whether additional tests might be advisable. It is important to know the severity of your dog's problem to best understand how to treat it, and it can also be meaningful to find the cause of the problem, especially in younger dogs, who may be suffering from Acute Renal Failure (ARF) rather than Chronic Renal Failure (CRF).

Next is Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease. This section will not provide specific diets, but will give you the information you need to create your own diet that is right for your dog.

Is Feeding a Low Protein Diet Necessary or Desirable? provides links to and excerpts from a number of different articles and studies that show that feeding a low protein diet will not prolong your dog's life or slow the progression of the disease.

A Table is provided that lists nutritional values for a number of different foods you may want to feed.

Sample Daily Diet provides specific diet diet guidelines, and Nattie's diet talks about the diet and treatment that I used with my own dog.

I have also included information on Prescription Renal Diets and Non-Prescription Commercial Diets that may be able to be used for at least part of the diet for dogs with early-stage kidney disease.

Information on Supplements for dogs with kidney disease is also provided.

Last is information on Medical Treatment, including the use of Sub-Q Fluids.

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Links to More Information

Diet Information

Web Sites with Current Information on Kidney Disease


Feline oriented

More Links


These sites are technical, but provide very good information:

Leptospirosis (Acute Renal Failure)

Email Groups

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You can contact me if you have any comments, but I regret to say that I can no longer respond to questions about individual dogs. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or


Rocky is a Yorkie-Poodle mix who had suffered from digestive problems his whole life. Click on his image to read about the diet his owner finally found to help him.
Pashoshe Fisher, a Chihuahua, was a wonderful, joyful companion to his owner for 19 & a half years. He was on a high quality raw diet for over half his life.
This is Ella, my Norwich Terrier.