Holistic Dog Care 101: Kidney Disease

Jean & Leslie Kessigner, Owners Three Dog Bakery

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Kidney disease is not reserved for humans alone. Your dog can suffer from this same disease. In fact, nine in every 1,000 dogs that are examined are diagnosed with chronic renal disease – and it’s more common in older pups. Cats can also be affected by kidney disease.

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“The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood stream and forming urine. One of the most important parts of that filtration is monitoring the levels of vitamins and minerals, removing excesses and returning what is needed to the body,” says Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Franklin. “Kidneys that are not functioning at optimal levels often experience a buildup of crystals or bacteria that can cause significant pain and infections. Those conditions can be much easier to resolve, typically involving a change of diet and a round of antibiotics,” she adds.

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Symptoms of kidney disease usually occur gradually over a period of time, and by the time the symptoms are caught, it may be too late to effectively treat the disease. Although renal failure cannot be cured, its progression can be slowed through proper treatment and management of the contributing factors.

According to petmd.com, symptoms of kidney disease occur gradually over an extended period of time and can include:

“Getting the diet right for a dog suffering from kidney disease is extremely important. A pet food with high quality, but smaller percentage of protein is usually the best. It keeps the kidneys from becoming overwhelmed,” says Kessinger.

Now Dog Food
You can find Petcurean’s NOW Dog Food at Three Dog Bakery in Franklin.

Kessinger advises when deciding on a food high in protein, to find one low in ash content. Ash is the remaining mineral content of food after having been incinerated. For example, as the food cooks down, the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates burn away, leaving only the mineral content. As Kessinger explains, “Dogs that have kidney disease require a low-ash content in their food because the dog’s organs are already struggling to filter its bloodstream. Adding too much ash/mineral content in the food puts stress on the kidneys.

“We like to recommend Petcurean’s NOW Fresh line. Those foods have some of the lowest ash content for dry dog foods on the market because it uses only fresh meats in its cooking process rather than meal.” Kessinger says wet dog food is another great option because it keeps the dog hydrated — which helps to flush their the system and has appropriate levels of mineral content.

Visit Three Dog Bakery, located on West McEwen Drive, adjacent to Whole Foods in the McEwen Shopping Center in Franklin for all your holistic dog food and dog treat needs.

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If you have health concerns about your dog, consult your veterinarian. This article is not meant to substitute or act as medical advice for pets.

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