Top tips to maintain healthy kidney function in pets

Kidneys carry out many important tasks in your pet’s body. Kidneys help to balance certain substances in the blood and filter out the body’s waste as urine.

They maintain normal concentrations of salt and water in the body. They also help to control blood pressure, aid in calcium metabolism and sustain phosphorus levels.  Kidney function in pets is known to decline with age, and this can be associated with a decrease in renal Omega-3s and an increase in inflammation. Kidney problems in pets are common but feeding them a good quality diet and providing them with a constant supply of fresh clean water will help to support their kidneys.

Typical signs of kidney problems can include, a frequent urination, increased drinking to replace fluids, tiredness and lethargy, retching or going off food. Here are some tips to help maintain your pet’s kidney health:

Water intake

Water is essential for all animals but especially important for healthy kidney function. Make sure your pet has access to fresh and clean water on a regular basis.

Protein management

Too high a protein content can lead to an accumulation of toxic products within the blood. However, lowering the protein levels too far can lead to problems. The best diets will contain proteins of a high biological value, ensuring there are no deficiencies in essential
amino acids.

Reduce sodium content

High sodium levels can lead to hypertension; however care must be taken as reducing the levels too far can be a contributing factor in metabolic acidosis and it can affect palatability.

Good fibre levels

Fibre is important to help gastrointestinal motility.

Reduce stress

Keep your pet calm where possible as when a pet is stressed, they may eat or drink less. Reduced water intake is detrimental to the kidneys.

Clean teeth

Periodontal disease has been shown to increase a dog’s risk of developing renal failure. Regular teeth brushing can help to prevent this.

Reduce toxins

Poisons is a leading problem for renal health. Understanding what substances and foods are unsafe for your pet can keep them safe from poisoning. For example, chocolate, grapes and raisins or antifreeze and some cleaning products.

Omega 3s

A diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids can help. High purity Omega 3s from fish oil can have beneficial effects on supporting the animal’s natural systems that control inflammation and supporting a better quality of life.

Reduce phosphate content

Reducing the phosphate content in the diet can help in reducing damage to kidneys and has been linked to extending life, especially in cats.

Regular monitoring

Regular vet visits are important to monitor our pet’s health and your vet is best placed to offer the best advice. Always take on your vet’s advice.

Natural supplements

Consider using natural supplements to help support your pet’s kidney health. Supplements that contain key ingredients such as Omega 3, Calcium and Chitosan can aid renal function, bind toxins and support a pet’s quality of life.

If you are worried about your pet’s health or anything above, consult your vet who is best placed to offer advice dependent on their age and breed.