Cooking for your dog is the best way to feed them when they have been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Reducing the amount of phosphorus is a critical component of that diet. This list outlines which grains and the top five carbohydrate-heavy vegetables you can add to your dog’s kidney-friendly meals.
When To Use Grain or Starchy Vegetables?
Home-cooked diets that cannot have high levels of fat as an energy source will need to utilize starchy vegetables for energy.
Ideally, your dog can eat butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin or yams. This provides some added calories and fiber. But if your kidney dog will not eat them or is sensitive, then you have to turn to other sources of carbohydrates.
While this list includes things like rice, I recommend that you turn to other grains like barley before you make a meal with rice in it.
That said, I know that not everyone has access to all of these ingredients, so I list them so that you can see the phosphorus levels of all of the possible options.
The amount you would add to the recipe will be around 10% of the recipe. In some cases, you can go up to 20% of the recipe.
List of low-phosphorous foods (grains and starchy vegetables) for every 100g of food
|Yellow Cornmeal (Grits)||14mg||65|
|Rice Noodles (Cooked)||20mg||108|
|Japanese Soba Noodles (Buckwheat – Cooked)||25mg||99|
|Butternut Squash (Cooked)||27mg||29|
|Japanese Somen (Cooked)||27mg||131|
|Short Grain White Rice (Cooked)||33mg||110|
|Medium Grain White Rice (Cooked)||37mg||130|
|Long Grain White Rice (Cooked)||43mg||130|
|Pearled Barley (Cooked)||54mg||123|
|Sweet Potato (Baked)||54mg||69|
|Spinach Egg Noodles (Cooked)||57mg||132|
|Pasta – Unenriched (Cooked)||58mg||158|
|Potatoes (Baked without skin)||70mg||76|
|Egg Noodles (Cooked)||76mg||138|
|Brown Rice (Cooked)||77mg||112|
|Wild Rice (Cooked)||82mg||101|
|Brown Rice (Cooked)||103mg||123|
|Oat Bran (Cooked)||119mg||40|
|Whole Wheat Pasta (Cooked)||127mg||149|
|Oat Bran (Raw)||734mg||246|
Why Do We Need To Feed Low Phosphorus To Dogs With Chronic Kidney Disease?
With kidney disease that affects the tubules, waste products build up in the bloodstream rather than being excreted out into the urine. When this happens, it becomes toxic to the body. Phosphorus is one of those waste products. In dogs with kidney disease, it interacts with calcium, causing loss of calcium from bone and leading to mineral buildup in parts of the body that shouldn’t have any. Furthermore, the kidneys can become mineralized, hastening the progression of the disease.
In a homemade diet, I recommend that the protein level is at the very least two times the recommended daily amount set for AAFCO and the phosphorus levels at the minimum.
AAFCO: The minimum recommended allowance for dietary phosphorus is 0.3 DM in foods for healthy dogs. The mean DM phosphorus content for several grocery brand dog food is 1.39 DM.
CKD Phosphorus: The recommended phosphorus levels for foods to manage dogs with CKD are 0.2 to 0.5%. Achieving this can be challenging when you are using commercially prepared food. Home-made therapeutic diets allow us to get closer to this goal through the ingredients we select as well as using powdered eggshells as the calcium source.
What Else Do CKD Dogs Need In Their Diet?
Phosphorus isn’t the only component to watch. The other nutrients to manage are:
- Protein levels
- Calcium levels
- Fat content
- Fiber content
- B vitamins
- Omega 3s
The Easiest Way To Start Feeding Home-Cooked Meals To Dogs With CKD
Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
You can book a package with me for help with therapeutic recipes or you can start today.
Dr. Harvey’s has several base mixes that get you cooking the same day you buy their product.
All you do is add your protein and oil and use their base mix. They use eggshells as the calcium source, which helps keep phosphorus down.
You can buy it on Amazon: Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food, Human Grade Dehydrated Base Mix for Dogs with Organic Whole Grains and Vegetables (5 Pounds)
Their other base mix Paradigm would be my second recommendation and Raw Vibrance being last (due to the shellfish in it).
If You Only Remembered One Thing
If you came to this page confused because of your dog’s recent kidney diagnosis, or you are just starting your own journey in gathering what you need to prepare cooked meals and feel overwhelmed.
Remember that the number one factor in extending a dog’s life is to keep the phosphorus level as low as possible in your dog’s home-cooked meals.
Getting your dog’s blood level checked regularly will provide the information you need to know if you are on the right track. When you are first starting out, getting the blood checked every 30-60 days is ideal. Then you can have your vet guide you on how often return for blood checks.
For those that need help, I’m available to help you formulate recipes. Visit my packages page to learn more.
I wish you and your dog good health.
Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
Healthy and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Dogs Have Differences in Serum Metabolomics and Renal Diet May Have Slowed Disease Progression
Nutritional and laboratory parameters affect the survival of dogs with chronic kidney disease
Diet for Dogs with Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats
Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs & Cats
Nutritional Management of Renal Disease – What to Feed and When to Start
Treatment Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Dogs & Cats – Staging and Management Strategies
Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying to get her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.
She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.