Renal Failure: Kidney Disease diet for dogs

Canine Stars Dog Health

In September 2015, at 11 years old, Kaya was diagnosed with Renal Failure.  We are treating her with a natural home made Kidney diet and supplements, as an alternative to commercial dog foods prescribed by most veterinarians (Hill’s Science Diet Prescription Kidney Care k/d, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula, or Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support A).

Kaya is now 14 years old and still doing great, so we’d like to share what has worked to keep her going strong.  We hope that other dogs who have been diagnosed with Renal Failure will be inspired to try a natural approach to treatment, after reading her story.

2015 National Champion in Dock Diving


Kaya is a Border Collie x Rat Terrier mix that we adopted from a Rat Terrier rescue group in Nebraska when she was 2 months old, in February 2004.  Since then, she has become probably the only dog in the world to become a Finalist & Champion in four different athletic sports.  Her major accomplishments are:

HOBBES Flyball Champion

100,000 points in Flyball – HOBBES Title

  • 2006 USDAA / Cynosports World Games: Dog Agility Steeplechase, Finalist
  • 2008 Cynosports World Games: NAFA Flyball, Bronze Medalist
  • 2009 CanAm Championships; NAFA Flyball Multibreed, 5th Place
  • 2010 NAFA Flyball HOBBES 100,000 points (still is in the top-10 Flyball dogs of all time)
  • 2014 Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship: Microdog Distance, World Champion
  • 2015 AKC National Championships: NADD Dock Diving, National Champion

Just 2 months AFTER she was diagnosed with Renal Failure, at the AKC National Championships, she WON the lap dog dock diving and became the 2015 National Champion.  At almost 12 years old, what a girl!

Raised GRAIN-FREE & occasional RAW.

Kaya has always been fed a grain-free diet.  Normally she was fed a high quality kibble, such as Orijen, Acana, Fromm, Petcurean, and Earthborn.  She also occasionally was fed raw, we bought frozen pre-mixes which include the veggies, and she was given raw knuckle bones, chicken drumsticks and wings, necks, etc.  Supplements throughout her life were salmon oil, chondroitin, glucosamine, probiotics and raw goats milk.


After diagnosis, and several days scouring Google for information, Kaya’s diet has been modified to the following.  We’ve been following this diet for over 2 years, it’s based on low phosphorus foods with liquids and supplements for kidney health.

LIQUIDS (Get them to drink often!)
  • Fresh water available at all times (filtered or bottled water preferred)
  • Answers Fermented Additions – Either Raw Goats Milk or their Fermented Fish Stock
CARBS (Daily)
  • Kindly – Honest Kitchen Grain Free Veggie Base Mix (Carrots, Flax, Peas, Celery, Coconut)
  • low phosphorus raw veggies & fruits are: Apple, Cucumber, Cabbage, Celery
  • Azodyl – Renal support w/ Probiotics, Prebiotic, Magnesium and Psyllium husk for detox.
  • Benazepril – Prescribed for her Heart Murmur, but it’s als0 an ACE Inhibitor proven to aid in renal (kidney) repair.

These are important for all our dogs…not Kidney specific:

  • Omega 3s (Krill Oil is the best, with Astaxanthin)
  • InClover Connectin Joint supplement (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid, Yucca & more)
  • Cetyl-M (arthritis preventative with Cetyl Myristoleate, Resveratrol and Blue Green Algae)
  • Spirulina, Chlorella
  • Vitamin C (preferably Ester-C)

Bloodwork & Chemistry Lab Reports

Some of Kaya’s bloodwork numbers may be of interest to some of you, to compare against your own dog’s values.  The main numbers that are important to note in Renal Failure is the BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and CREA (Blood Creatinine Level), and the ratio of the two.

Normal: 7 – 27 0.5 – 1.8
05/16/13 15 mg/dL 1.3 md/dL 12
09/21/15 39 mg/dL 2.8 mg/dL 14
9/21/15 – IV Treatment
09/22/15 12 mg/dL 1.8 mg/dL 7
05/04/16 51 mg/dL 3.2 mg/dL 16
06/01/16 50 mg/dL 3.3 mg/dL 15
6/2/16 – IV Treatment
06/02/16 30 mg/dL 3.2 mg/dL 9

Twice she has been treated with a day at the vet on IV fluids including electrolytes and Vitamin B, both times reduced her BUN and CREA levels.  We do have emergency fluids on hand in case Kaya is ever having a bad day and needs them, but so far we have not had to administer them.

As of February 2018 she’s 14 years old and still doing great!

Hiking on Kaya’s 14th birthday!