Treatment instructions for a dog with a chronic renal insufficiency

The function of kidneys

The kidneys’ main function is to filter impurities from the blood. The kidneys also take care of the body’s fluids, acid-base balance and electrolyte balance. Kidneys participate in regulating blood pressure and production of red blood cells.

Chronic renal insufficiency

When symptoms appear, at least 2/3 of the renal tissue are damaged. Damaged kidneys are unable to filter out the impurities or direct water and electrolytes back to the body.

Impurities accumulate in the body, leading to uremia, which is a serious threat and always requires medical attention.


Typical symptoms of kidney failure are heavy drinking and urinating, loss of appetite, weight loss and vomiting.


There is no cure for chronic renal insufficiency, but with diet and treatment the lifespan of the animal can be lengthened without causing suffering to the animal.

The dog must have enough water and it needs to go outside often enough to urinate. You need to walk the dog late in the evening and early in the morning.


Commercial diet food

You can feed the dog with commercial foods that take the special requirements of a kidney patient into account. You can buy the food from our clinic.

If You decide to feed commercial food to Your dog, it is important for the success of the treatment that the dog only eats the prescribed diet food and water. Even small amounts of other food, minerals or vitamins can ruin the treatment completely. Home food and commercial food are two separate options, and they should not be mixed.

Suitable diet foods are e.g. Waltham ca Renal, Specific CKD and Hill’s K/D.

Home food

To alleviate the symptoms, the dog should eat only a small amount of protein. It should be high-quality protein, such as egg, dairy, meat or fish. In addition, give the dog high-fat and high-carbohydrate foodstuffs, such as butter, cream, ice cream, corn oil, light vegetables, potatoes and root vegetables, macaroni and rice.

If the dog eats any of these below-mentioned protein sources, the need for protein is satiated.

110 kg dog/day 40kg dog/day
egg 1,3 eggs 3,6 eggs
meat 55 g 155 g
Cottage cheese 100 g 285 g

Calorie requirement of a large dog: 70 kcal/kg/day.

Calorie requirement of a small dog: 110 kcal/kg/day.

Calorie requirement depends on the metabolism and exercise of the dog. The dog should be weighed once a week to make sure it does not get too little or too much food. The best way to weigh the dog is to hold the dog and step on the scale. Then weigh yourself and the remainder is the weight of the dog.

Suggestion for home food

Stew the meat in a pan under a lid and save the fat it renders. Combine the ingredients and mix well. To improve flavours You can add water. The mixture has 825 kcal/500 g. It contains only little protein and phosphates. The daily amount of food can be calculated according to the dog’s weight.

If You wish to feed home-cooked food to the dog, we suggest that You contact a nutritionist (Kulkurinputtiikki, tel. 044 0126 021,, who can help You plan a diet for Your dog.


It is important that the owner understands the nature of the illness and the importance of treatment and diet. With proper care, the animal may live for a long time in spite of the illness. Kidney disease worsens slowly and at some point the animal is unable to compensate for the insufficiency. The course of the illness is individual and the vet will always make a prognosis that is as realistic as possible, taking into account the condition and age of the animal as well as other factors.

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