Homemade diets

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: December 9, 2019
A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

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Kidney disease is relatively common in dogs, especially in old age. The function of the kidney is to eliminate waste substances and toxins from the body. Animals, like people, generate toxins throughout the day and then expel them through their urine. When a dog suffers renal failure, the kidneys fail to carry out this function properly.

Here you can find a general guide on what to feed dogs with kidney failure. However, today, we take this one step further with an explanation of how to create a homemade diet for dogs with kidney failure. Keep reading this new AnimalWised article to discover homemade recipes suite to your dog's condition.

You may also be interested in: What Foods Should A Dog With Kidney Disease Eat?
  1. First visit your vet
  2. Lots of fresh water
  3. Don't use salt
  4. Provide a low-phosphorus diet
  5. Rice, turkey and beef recipe for dogs with kidney failure
  6. Other ingredients you can use
  7. Nutritional supplements

1. First visit your vet

Your vet's advice is essential when planning a homemade diet for your dog. Don't forget that every dog is different, and each one will have specific needs. You have to be even more careful with your dog's diet when it is suffering from kidney disease.

Your vet will indicate the type and amount of food your dog should eat on a daily basis. Renal feed for dogs can be found in shops. It is highly likely that your vet will recommend alternating this type of feed with homemade dog food recipes.

  • Extra tip: decrease the amount of food, but increase the number of servings of food each day. This way, it will be easier for your pet to digest food.

2. Lots of fresh water

A dog with kidney problems needs to drink plenty of water. This is very important in helping the kidney get rid of toxins and you should always make sure you put out sufficient fresh water for your dog.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - 2. Lots of fresh water

3. Don't use salt

Salt (sodium) is prohibited in any diet for dogs. In fact, a high consumption of salt can cause severe damage to your pet, including:

  • Fluid retention
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Mild intoxication
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sleep
  • Kidney damage
  • Frequent urination

For a dog with kidney disease, homemade food should be low in sodium, as should any bought feed.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - 3. Don't use salt

4. Provide a low-phosphorus diet

A low-phosphorous diet is also imperative when feeding a dog with kidney disease. Renal failure means they won't be able to process phosphorus properly in the kidneys. Lean meat is a good option, always in moderate quantities.

Remember that you should ask your vet what the correct amount of food is for your pet. Now that the basics are clear, put on your apron and let's prepare some homemade dog food for kidney disease.

Rice, turkey and beef recipe for dogs with kidney failure

The ingredients for this dog food recipe are:

  • Rice
  • Turkey meat
  • Beef


  1. To cook the rice you need two cups of water for each cup of rice. The rice will take 20 minutes to cook.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Clean the turkey meat thoroughly and cut into small pieces.
  4. After the rice has boiled for ten minutes, add the turkey meat.
  5. Once everything is cooked, drain the ingredients and allow it all to cool.
  6. In another pan, bring water to a boil. Add the beef only once the water is boiling.
  7. Cook the beef for around 5 minutes. You will know it is ready when it turns for red to brown.
  8. Rinse the cooked beef in cold water and remove any white foam attached.
  9. Chop the beef into small pieces and add it to the rice and turkey.

And there you have it - a simple, homemade recipe for dogs with kidney disease.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - Rice, turkey and beef recipe for dogs with kidney failure

Other ingredients you can use

Here are a few ideas:

  • Substitute rice with for pasta or polenta.
  • Use chicken instead of turkey.
  • Add boiled vegetables (only in small quantities).

When choosing ingredients for homemade recipes for a dog with kidney failure, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Low-phosphorus and low-sodium
  • High in essential amino acids
  • Only lean meat
  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon

Nutritional supplements

Remember that your dog may be lacking other vitamins or minerals because of their kidney disease. For example, in some diets, it is advisable to incorporate calcium, omega-3 fatty acids or B-complex vitamins. Of course you should always consult your vet for advice, and only give your dog nutritional supplements specifically prescribed by the vet.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - Nutritional supplements

If you want to read similar articles to A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.

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What did you think of this article?
How much food can I feed my 3 Ibs with stage 3 kidney failure. Please advice
Susan Claire
Can the turkey be both white and dark meat?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Susan,

White is best, but the dark meat won't harm them!
Beth Byars
Many recipes say to add B vitamins. No one mentions where to find this vitamin combination for canines except in regular vitamin which apparently contains things contrary to what a dog with kidney disease should eat. Any suggestions whould be appreciated. The rest of the article was very helpful.
Matthew Nesbitt (AnimalWised editor)
Hi Beth,

We would recommend speaking to your veterinarian. Not only will they recommend (or maybe even prescribe) the correct vitamins, they will be able to determine whether or not they are suitable for the individual.
Rhonda M Brenneman
I have a chihuahua that has Kidney disease. He was placed on a prescription diet (k/d) This retails for over 3 dollars a can! I am looking at the ingredients, and I'm thinking, I can buy the same ingredients, add some gravy and Brewers yeast. I took your advise and called the Vet. She couldn't advise me because she doesn't cook!! I just felt that all of these manufactures have brain washed these clinics/Doctors to buy there foods to make it easier for clients. I can buy organic food and ingredients and make a better product for my little guy. What are your thoughts? Do you have a naturalpathic Vet on staff?
Hi Rhonda,
Go ahead and experiment on your dog with the natural food. That is exactly what the vet is doing with your dog. You know best. Keep up the good wok. Or find a new vet.
Linda Nebel
I would like to feed my dog the diet for kidney failure found in this article but you do not give the amount of beef and turkey to use in the mix with the rice. which I would think is important.
Mary Ann
Hello, My vet told me to put my dog on a lesser protein. Diet. Just starting to show slight signs of kidney issues. So, can you send me the recipe? Thank you
Merja Wagenknecht
Thank you, for tips you gave, food receptions for dogs with kidney failure. I really need now
Administrador AnimalWised
We are so glad to help, thanks for the comment!
has to be fresh every day? or cook for a full week and divided ? My toy poodle is 7 pounds now and 15 yrs old. She lost about 5 pounds the last 6 months.
My rottweiler pup get leptospirosis now he has a problem in his kidney, he cannot urinate. What should i do and what diet is necessary because he is still undergoing medication. We already go to the vet but the doctor says there's a little chance of survival. So my wife discharged our pup and now hes only in home medication. Any suggestion and comments i am willing to here it from the most professional. Thanks you šŸ˜¢
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Clark,

We cannot give any specific medical advice for an individual case. The veterinarian is the one who knows the clinical picture and can give the right instructions. However, we can share this article which goes a little further into what a dog with kidney failure should eat:

Karon moore
I was just wonder about vegetables in the diet...
Currently my little Yorkshire (Terrorist !! Ha !!)
eats "Canagan" tinned and dried food...which has lots of vegetables (sweet potato, peas, carrots etc).
But I have just noticed that her kidneys seem slightly enlarged...a trip to the vet has been booked.
Also, I am a carer for my mum who has "end stage kidney failure" so I am aware of the importance of diet in dealing with kidney problems....
So can you advise me on the addition of vegetables in my dog's diet in relation to your recipe please ?
I know what vegetables my mum needs to avoid...so maybe it is the same.
But I just wondered why you haven't included any vegetables in your diet recipe...so, maybe it is different for dogs?
I look forward to hearing from you,
Thank you,
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Karon,

Thank you for this question. Firstly, we are sorry to hear about your Yorkie, but we hope they are able to come back from the vet with a clean bill of health. In regards to vegetables in a kidney disease diet, we focus on meat because this is where dogs get the majority of their nutrients. Vegetables can be used as a supplement, but they are not strictly necessary. However, this doesn't mean you can't use them in their diet. To know more, these articles should be of help:


Good luck!
It is sometimes good to substitute calcium? This makes me realize you do not know much about dog nutrition at all. Calcium is a must addition to any home made dog foods. If the dog doesn't get enough calcium the body will pull it from the bones. Liver is high in phosphorus. I would not recommend this food at all.
Administrador AnimalWised

We say to ā€˜incorporateā€™, not ā€˜substituteā€™ calcium.
steve irwin
Sorry I am confused in your recipe you say change the turkey for chicken or beef but then in the answer to the question regarding treats you say avoid red or fatty meat. Isn't beef a red meat
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Steve,

There was confusion over the type of meat mentioned in a different comment regarding offal. We have now fixed it. Lean red meat is low in phosphorous, so should be good for dogs with kidney failure in small amounts.
Joseph Muthee
Very good for animal manufacturers peoples like me
What can you give a dog with kidney problem as a snack or treat?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Petra,

Anything which is high in phosphorous or potassium needs to be avoided. Foods high in essential amino acids are good. Stay away from offal or fatty meat. Chicken pieces are good as are a few peas. Don't give them anything which is forbidden for dogs (see below) and stay away from starchy veg like potatoes. A piece of carrot or a little celery may be good.

Which snacks and multivitamin can i give my 12 year old Pekingese. She has kidney failure. She is lethargic and has appetite loss
It's pretty straight forward, more food for big dogs, less for small- i have Jack Russell and German Shepherd mix, no need to measure food portions. You just know how much they should eat.
Denise Bowdish
I don't see any ratios listed other than rice to water which is no help. How much rice? How much turkey? How much liver? That's it? No vegetables or eggs or something else?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Denise,

The amount depends on the size of your dog. It is fairly intuitive, just consider how much your dog would normally eat and ensure they have enough. It is particularly good if your dog is suffering obesity issues which may or may not be related to kidney problems. Here is a video to give you a good idea:

Shary Rosenbaum
You did not give any proportions for ratio of rice to turkey and/or liver. If you could please add those it would be very helpful.
3 parts chicken. 2 parts rice. 1 part liver.
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A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure