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Protect Your Dog's Kidneys with these simple steps!


Today I want to talk about your dogs very hard working kidneys, how to minimize any damage to your dogs kidneys especially as they age. The kidneys are very diligent organs that can actually take quite a beating. While they cannot regenerate if damaged, they do have a spare capacity that can allow them to continue to function well even after some initial damage has been caused. It takes around 2/3s of the kidneys to be damaged before it will clinically show as kidney disease. And while that’s great, we really want to protect these hard working organs. So let’s take a deeper look at your dogs kidneys and how we can protect them over the long term.

Hi there Lyndall Pinchen, canine naturopath from canine vitality and welcome back to happy healthy dogs. If you are new to the channel thankyou for stopping by- I hope you find todays video helpful. Feel free to like and subscribe and click on that bell for notifications. If you are a regular thankyou and welcome back.

Our dogs kidneys are certainly hard working organs with each containing around 1 million tiny filters known as nephrons which basically work day in and day out without stopping helping to filter the blood. What sort of things come into the kidney to be filtered via your dogs blood?? Well all foods including processed foods, medications, pollutions etc that your dog might be exposed to. All of these will end up in the kidneys which then have to work out what can be recycled and what has to be eliminated from the body. So each of these tiny filters or nephrons are having to do this on a daily non stop basis. Over time, this can lead to a reduction of filters so that the kidneys can actually shrink and the same thing happens to us as humans. So you can see from this that these are organs that deserve to be taken care of if they are to last the life of your dog- imagine the non stop filtering that each kidney is constantly having to do- it really is incredible! While its important to take care of the kidneys at any stage of life for your dog, as they age this becomes even more urgent.

So let’s take a look at some of the things that lead to damage of your dogs kidneys. Something that can lead to kidney damage is the presence of kidneys stones. The crystals of kidneys stones can actually cause scar tissue within the kidney itself. Most stones are made up of oxalates in particular calcium oxalate, but you can also find struvite or urate stones also affecting the kidneys. So if your dog is prone to developing kidneys stones, one of the best things to do is avoid oxalates in their diet. So foods such as spinach, swiss chard , kale and celery, grains, legumes such as beans, sweet potato, and tapioca which is common used in grain free kibble products – all of these contain good levels of oxalates so while a healthy dog can handle these in moderate amounts, if your dog has had kidney stones or has them now, please avoid these foods where possible. And one of the best ways to help prevent the development of calcium oxalates is to add potassium rich foods into the diet one of the most protective minerals for the kidneys is potassium. Now certainly if your dog has end stage kidney failure then you would not add extra potassium but for the average dog, and even those that have some early kidney damage can benefit from potassium. Foods such as free range meats, poultry, fish and eggs, watermelon, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and zucchinis, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and bananas are all good choices to add into your dogs diet to boost potassium without adding in oxalates.

But probably the number one thing that will cause damage to the kidneys is sugar as there is always an increase in kidney failure in dogs that are diabetic. And when I refer to sugar I mean a diet that is high carbohydrate including foods such as processed kibble (this is really the main baddie here) along with other white carbohydrates like pasta, rice etc and of course, sugars in processed foods and treats. When the tiny filters or nephrons in your dogs kidneys are constantly exposed to these types of carbohydrates it causes oxidative or free radical damage- a bit like something that goes rusty when left exposed to the elements, so we definitely don’t want that as it causes the kidneys to age prematurely.

And finally one of the most obvious things- if your dog drinking enough water> And if so is that filtered water as this is preferable to avoid both chlorine and fluoride which are both very hard on the kidneys. Aim for your dog to drink between 1-2 ml per kg bodyweight each day over a 24 hour period. This may be a little less for those raw fed dogs. And if your dog doesn’t drink a lot of water try adding in water to their food and look to transition away from kibble based diets.

So in summary guys, look to avoid those oxalate rich foods where your dog might be prone to stones, increase potassium rich foods, avoid processed and high carbohydrate foods and make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water for their weight.



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