WELLNESS PLAN AND SUPPORT FOR IMPROVED KIDNEY FUNCTION - for dogs
|Step 1: Nutritional Supplements that Support Kidney Function|
Clinical studies indicate a number of natural supplements that improve kidney function and promote overall kidney health. In step 1 of our plan we include our hand picked essential supplements.
In one study involving dogs with chronic renal failure, patients showed marked improvement on a diet high in fish oil. The conclusion was that a diet high in omega-3 long chain fatty acids improves kidney filtration while reducing renal scarring. Similar results are mirrored in human studies and show that omega-3 supplementation slows the progression of kidney disease.
Whether you are focused on keeping your dog's kidneys healthy or trying to slow the progress of renal failure, adding a high quality fish oil to their diet may help your dog's kidneys function better and give them the extra advantage they need. Nutri-Vet salmon oil comes from 100% wild salmon, not farmed sources. Wild salmon has higher levels of beneficial omega-3 and lower levels of saturated fats.
Antioxidants are also thought to improve kidney filtration by reducing oxidative stress and possibly assisting the cells in regenerative repair. Antioxidants, particularly bioflavonoids, play an important roll in aiding dogs with compromised kidney function as well as in the prevention of kidney disease.
The active ingredient in GSE50 for dogs is grape seed extract, standardized to yield 95 percent proanthocyanidins per capsule. Proanthocyanidins are a highly specialized group of bioflavonoids. They are one of the most potent free radical scavengers known, possessing an antioxidant effect. In some comparative tests, proanthocyanidins were found to be 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than vitamin C.
New research is showing that supplementing with prebiotic and proboitic bacteria is effective in decreasing BUN and serum creatinine levels, the key markers used to evaluate kidney function. It is believed this is accomplished by supporting the intestines ability to eliminate toxins, putting less burden on the kidneys and resulting in less toxic build up. Adding these beneficial bacteria to your dog's dietary regimen could provide the crucial advantage your pet needs if he already has reduced kidney function. It can also provide protective benefits to keep a healthy dog's kidneys functioning properly.
Gentle Digest provides human grade lactobacillus sporogenes that promotes growth of friendly bacteria to your dog's digestive tract. Unlike other products, Gentle Digest uses live microencapsulated spores with Chicory, a recognized prebiotic, which are resistant to gastric acids and therefore insure delivery to the intestines. In addition, it is shelf stable and no refrigeration is required. To learn more about Gentle Digest probiotics, click here.
As dogs age they lose the ability to produce adequate digestive enzymes and today's processed commercial pet diets lack the natural enzymes for proper digestion. In addition, dogs with compromised kidneys have particular difficulties with proteins. Specifically, the enzyme protease is helpful in breaking down proteins for more efficient digestion and a reduced load on the kidneys. Dr Goodpet's Canine Digestive Enzymes are formulated with protease and other enzymes especially for a dog's mixed carb/protein diet.
Get all these supplements and more in
the Essential Kidney Function Kit
|Step 2: Adequate Hydration - through either water consumption or SubQ Fluids|
Dogs with reduced kidney function lack the ability to concentrate their urine, resulting in more frequent urination. Their water intake must be increased in order to be able to flush waste products from the kidneys. If their water consumption is not adequate they risk dehydration and a build up of toxicity. In the later stages of kidney failure subcutaneous fluids (fluids given under the skin) are often prescribed to supplement the water the dog drinks in order to avoid dehydration. The procedure usually needs to be done several times a week and most dogs learn to tolerate it.
In providing your dog with adequate hydration, the following considerations are important:
The water source must be pure - Spring water is considered the best. It is naturally free of additives like chlorine and fluoride that can tax the kidneys. Never let your dog drink from puddles or other standing water. If you must give your dog tap water, make sure it has been filtered.
The water must be kept clean - Dogs are messy drinkers! Pet food, hair and other waste can quickly contaminate their water bowls. Bowls of standing water are an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria, so water bowls should be cleaned daily and the water replenished.
There must be plenty of it - Dogs suffering from renal failure can drink copious amounts of water in an attempt to keep the kidneys flushed. A healthy dog will drink one to one and half cups of water for each 10 pounds of body weight per day. A dog with kidney problems will drink much more. Without an adequate water supply a dog with CKD can quickly become dehydrated.
|Step 3: Proper Diet - increased hydration needs means limiting dry foods|
Dry vs. wet: In general, canned food is thought to be better for dogs with kidney disease. Kidneys need adequate hydration to function properly. This becomes even more imperative when your dog's kidneys are compromised. Canned food offers an additional source of water that is not present in dry varieties. Furthermore, dry foods can be dehydrating and dogs seldom drink enough water after eating dry kibble to compensate.
If your pet is accustomed to an all-dry diet, add canned food gradually to avoid stomach upset.
The low protein diet: For years the standard diet for dogs with renal insufficiency was one of restricted protein. New evidence has shown that high protein diets do not make renal failure worse and that the amount of protein may be secondary to the quality of the protein source. For dogs with early stage kidney failure, many veterinarians do not recommend low protein diets due to evidence that protein restriction could inhibit the body's ability to repair itself. However, restricting protein in late stages of CKD may be helpful because it reduces nitrogenous wastes, making it easier for the kidney to do its job.
Although ranks are still divided on whether to restrict protein the experts agree that phosphorous should be limited. Foods that are high in phosphorus include egg yolks, bones of any kind, organ meats and dairy products. If your dog's kidneys are compromised, these foods should make up a very limited part of their diet.
To better control the sources of protein that make up their dog's diet, some guardians opt to give their pets homemade meals. Preparation of these diets can be time consuming, but many find it worth it. Remember, a homemade diet requires adding specific supplementations to make sure your dog is getting the proper nutritional requirements.
|Step 4: Lifestyle considerations|
In an attempt to deal with stress the body produces a variety of chemicals, one of the most important being a type of natural cortisone. This is actually a calming substance that is effective in helping the body deal with short-term stresses. However during prolonged periods of stress the perpetual production of such chemicals can overload the system and create other problems such as decreased immune efficiency. This can have negative ramifications for a healthy dog, but it can be disastrous to a sick pet.
There is a great deal you can do to reduce the stress in your dog's environment like maintaining a consistent routine, regular exercise, creating a safe retreat, etc.
With excitable, high-strung breeds or in certain unavoidable situations you may need a little extra support. A calming mist diffuser can help. Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Natural Calming Mist for Dogs provides a natural calming scent that offers relief during times of high stress or even day-to-day living. It contains essential oils - not extracts - of herbs that serve as calming agents, mood elevators and personality modulators. The calming mist diffuser offers a natural solution that is non-toxic and non-addicting.
Adequate exercise is important for your dog in all stages of life. It promotes good health and reduces behavioral issues. For a dog with kidney disease, exercise should continue to be a part of an overall lifestyle that supports improved health and longevity.
As it relates to kidney function, exercise is helpful in the following ways:
When your dog doesn't feel well, getting enough exercise might be a challenge and will probably require more interaction from you. A healthy dog needs about 1 hour of exercise per day (more for active breeds). You can shoot for this but you may find your pet tires easily. If this is the case, try for several short play times throughout the day.
- Improves metabolism and increases elimination efficiency.
- Combats muscle wasting, a common side effect of kidney disease.
- Improves physical functioning and stamina while enhancing emotional well being.
- Boosts liver function and digestive performance.
- Improves circulation.
Addressing all of the issues that affect your dog's kidney function is vital for their longevity and quality of life. By implementing the 4-step plan to kidney health today you give your dog the best advantage for the future.
Get the essential supplements plus 2 special
reports on diet and lifestyle considerations
for dogs with kidney disease.