A Dog with Kidney Disease: What Foods to Avoid

Kidneys are in charge of waste removal from the blood which comes out as urine. Dog’s kidney disease can either be acute or chronic. Acute kidney disease occurs all of a sudden whereas chronic develops over a long time and is common in aged dogs. Acute kidney disease can be reversed whereas chronic kidney disease cannot.

Studies have shown that when dogs with kidney disease are subjected to the right diet, they survive twice as long compared to those that are not. However, it’s important to note that each dog will require a different diet based on how severe its kidney condition is. With the right food, you not only get to manage your dog’s kidneys failure but their health in general. These are foods with less potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and sodium with increased high-quality proteins and fats.

Foods to avoid:


Chocolates have high levels of caffeine. When your dog eats chocolates, the caffeine stimulates their blood flow which increases their blood pressure leading to a strain on their kidneys. Also, 100 grams of chocolate contains 15% of potassium and 44% calcium thus a high intake will lead to higher than recommended levels of both potassium and calcium in your dog’s blood.



Foods such as beans and lentils have high levels of potassium. Since your dog’s kidneys are damaged, a high intake of potassium will cause the mineral to build up in your dog’s blood that eventually leads to heart damage. Other low potassium alternatives that you can consider are cabbage and boiled cauliflower.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk contains high levels of phosphorus which your dog’s kidneys will not be able to filter from the blood once taken in large amounts. A high concentration of phosphorus in the blood will lead to weak bones since phosphorus pulls calcium from the bones.


Ham contains high levels of sodium. As you may know, high levels of sodium lead to high blood pressure which causes further damage to your dog’s kidneys.


When your dog has kidney disease, their chances of getting pancreatitis is also increased. A high intake of fatty foods such as bacon may be fatal in the long run. This, however, does not mean that you do not give your dog foods with fats, you should because they are important, but you need to reduce the intake.

Dairy products

Milk contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus among other nutrients. Kidneys are responsible for stabilizing the levels of minerals in the blood, and since their effectiveness has been impaired, increased intake of milk may lead to the weakening of your dog’s bones.


On the other hand, dairy products are rich in calcium and protein. An increase in protein wastes in the body overworks the kidneys.


dog eating fresh fish Fish is high in phosphorus which will be fatal to your dog given their damaged liver. The same applies to chicken and turkey. You should consider foods with low levels of phosphorus such as minced beef, pork, and lamb.


Avocados contain high levels of potassium. You need to keep your dog from ingesting avocados to maintain the potassium levels in their blood.


Alcohol poisoning is fatal, and it leads to further damage to your dog’s kidney over time. Alcohol can be present in some kinds of toothpaste and other dental products for pets.


Oranges and orange juice contain high levels of potassium. As you are now aware, a high concentration of potassium in your dog’s blood leads to serious heart problems. Citrus is also harmful to kidneys and will further damage your dog’s kidneys.


Grapes and raisins

Consumption of grapes by dogs is known to cause acute kidney failure. Although what causes the reaction is not yet known, grapes have been reported to be toxic to dogs. In a study ran from April 2003 to April 2004, in a sample of 140 dogs, 50 were reported to show symptoms of kidney failure while 7 died.

Although not all dogs react the same way after the ingestion of grapes and raisins, your dog already suffers from kidney failure and exposing them to further damage can be fatal. Whether seeded or non-seeded, homegrown or bought from the store, keep your dog off these fruits.

Also, 100 grams of raisins contains 21% of potassium which is relatively high. Potassium is usually eliminated from the blood by the kidneys. Since your dog’s kidneys are now impaired, a higher than normal concentration of potassium leads to increased acidity in the blood affecting the heart’s function.


Just like raisins and grapes, the toxic substance in nutmeg remains unknown, but it has been confirmed to be fatal to your dog.


Ingestion of wood, husks, nuts, and shells of walnuts is toxic to dogs. The toxin causes damage to your dog’s kidneys which is fatal if they are already suffering from renal disease.

Wild mushrooms

Your dog may be attracted to wild mushrooms because they smell like fish. Some mushrooms may not be hazardous to your dog, but it will be good to keep an eye on what your dog ingests to be sure. The first two days after your dog consumes mushrooms may seem okay, but eventually leads to the destruction of kidney cells which is fatal to already damaged kidneys.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is inflammatory and not recommended if your dog suffers from kidney disease. You can opt for safer options such as fish oil and coconut oil.


Xylitol is often used as a substitute of sugar and it is hazardous to dogs even when taken in small amounts. It causes low blood pressure which limits the blood flow to your dog’s kidneys causing further damage.

Table salt

Salt is prohibited in a dog’s diet whether they have renal failure or not. Salt and foods that are high in sodium lead to high blood pressure in your dog and further damages their liver.


Remember, the stage of your dog’s kidney disease determines the type of food you should or should not give them. It is crucial for you to visit a veterinary to get guidance on the recommended levels of minerals and types of foods that your dog should consume. We hope that our list of foods that you should avoid for dogs with kidney disease has helped you understand what you need to give your dog to prolong their life. Note that feeding your dog will be hectic since they have lost their appetite and you will have to switch to the renal failure diet gradually.


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