A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 14, 2019
A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

See files for Dogs

Kidney problems are 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.

Here you can find a general guide as to how to feed dogs with kidney failure. However, today, this will be taken one step further with an explanation of how to create a homemade diet for dogs with kidney failure. So don't take your eyes away from the screen now that you've started a new AnimalWised article.

You may also be interested in: What Foods Should A Dog With Kidney Disease Eat?

First of all: 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, therefore, each one may have specific needs. In fact, it is common to have to boost a dog's diet when it is suffering from kidney problems.

Your vet will also indicate the amount of food your dog should eat on a daily basis. You must also take into account that renal feed for dogs can be found in shops. It is also highly likely that your vet will recommend alternating this type of feed with homemade 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.
A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - First of all: Visit your vet

Lots of fresh water

A dog with kidney problems needs to drink plenty of water. This is very important and you should always make sure you leave a sufficient amount of fresh water available for your dog.

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

Salt is prohibited

Salt 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

Now that the basics are clear, put on your apron and prepare a homemade diet for a dog with kidney failure.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - Salt is prohibited

1. A diet low in phosphorus and sodium

Phosphorous is also something imperative to avoid when feeding a dog with kidney failure. They won't be able to process it properly in the liver, so feeding high phosphorous diets can cause even more damage. Remember that you should ask your vet what the correct amount of food is for your pet. The ingredients that will be used in this recipe are as follows:

  • Rice
  • Turkey meat
  • Beef

2. Rice and turkey recipe

The ratio of water to rice is very simple, so for each cup of rice, you need two cups of water. The cooking time for the rice is 20 minutes and while it begins to cook, you can carry on preparing the rest of the ingredients:

  • Clean the turkey meat thoroughly.
  • Cut the turkey into small pieces.
  • After the first ten minutes, add the turkey meat.

Once everything is cooked, the only thing left to do is to drain the ingredients and allow it all to cool.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - 2. Rice and turkey recipe

3. What do you do with the beef?

Bring another pan filled with water to the boil. The beef must only be added when the water is boiling. The cooking time is around five minutes. But you will know it is finished cooking when it loses its reddish tone in color and becomes more brownish.

Afterwards, rinse it with cold water and remove any white foamy slime that might still be attached. Leave the beef to cool and chop it into small pieces.

Mix all the ingredients together and you will have a homemade, delicious and healthy recipe for your dog.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - 3. What do you do with the beef?

Don't forget that you can use a combination of other ingredients

Here are a few ideas:

  • Rice can be substituted for pasta or polenta.
  • Turkey can be exchanged for chicken.
  • You can also incorporate boiled potatoes into the recipes (but not an excessive amount).
A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - Don't forget that you can use a combination of other ingredients


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 or iron, and sometimes even multivitamins. You should always consult your vet for advice, of course.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure - Multivitamins

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

Write a comment about A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
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 😢
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 maybe it is the same.
But I just wondered why you haven't included any vegetables in your diet, 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 ‘incorporate’, not ‘substitute’ 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.

A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure
1 of 8
A Homemade Diet for Dogs with Kidney Failure

Back to top