Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease

Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease

Every dog parent dreads the idea of their dog getting sick, and kidney disease is no joke for dogs. As in the case of humans, this disease is not curable, but manageable. All we can do is make lifestyle changes that slow the progression of the damage and allow the dog to live their best life for as long as possible! And this means providing them with food specially formulated for dogs with kidney problems.

It can be a bit overwhelming to find the best foods for your dog with this health condition. However, we have done some of the research for you! Here are our top 6 favorite kidney-supporting dog foods.

Once you read our product reviews, consult with your veterinarian for recommendations appropriate for the specifics of your dog’s case. Your dog’s dietary needs will largely depend on the state and progression of his condition. Because the diet is a very important part of the management of this condition, regular sampling and diet and treatment adjustments will need to be done. As a general rule, your dog needs to keep adequate hydration levels, so fresh or wet food is preferred over kibble. Protein amounts in the diet are limited, therefore, a good quality protein source is very important in kidney cases to avoid muscle wasting and to give the best of this important nutrient.

The percentage of protein to reduce depends on the stage of progression of your dog’s kidney disease, so there is no one solution that fits all. Because the diet is such important management of this disease, it’s on a case by case basis.

The 6 Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

This recipe is prepared from the finest ingredients and boasts an optimal balance of high-quality nutrients to enhance kidney and liver functions. The formulation also includes other key nutrients, such as vitamin E, to maintain your dog’s healthy fur. With moderate levels of protein in the recipe extracted from chicken meal, the ingredients do not put extra strain on the kidney or digestive system. The delicious flavors are an added benefit that makes transitioning to a new food easier.

Forza10 Nutraceutic Renal Support Wet Dog Food – Best Value

Forza10 Nutraceutic Actiwet Renal Support Wet Dog Food
Container Weight: 3.5 oz
Flavor: Lamb lung and chicken
What Kind of Food?: Pate
Other Special Diet Types: Pea-free, no GMOs, corn, wheat or soy

The best dog food for kidney disease for the money is Forza10 Nutraceutic Actiwet Renal  Support Wet Dog Food. This pate food is reasonably priced, meaning your dog gets the benefits of a renal-specific wet food for less money, and you get the peace of mind of knowing that your dog will be fed what they need to thrive despite their kidney disease. Based on lamb lung and chicken as a source of good quality protein, this unique renal-specific formulation includes dandelion root that has a purifying and diuretic effect. There are added cranberries as a source of natural antioxidants, and this food is free of wheat, soy, corn, by-product meals, GMO ingredients, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Dogs that are allergic to poultry will have to pass on it since it doesn’t come in any other flavors than lamb lung and chicken. There were small bone fragments reported in a batch so we recommend double-checking the food before feeding your dog as an added safety measure.

  • Not suitable for dogs with chicken allergy
  • A batch reported containing small bone fragments
  • Wet food, moisture-rich
  • Low levels of good quality protein
  • Low sodium and phosphorus
  • Dandelion root as a diuretic
  • Cranberries as a natural antioxidant

JustFoodForDogs Renal Support Fresh Frozen Food – Best Overall

JustFoodForDogs Veterinary Diet Renal Support Low Protein Fresh Frozen Dog Food

Container Weight: 18 oz pouch, 72 oz pouch
Flavor: Lamb
What Kind of Food?: Fresh frozen food
Other Special Diet Types: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

If you’re looking for the best overall dog food for kidney disease, look no further than JustFoodForDogs Veterinary Diet Renal Support frozen fresh dog food. This amazing recipe features a low-protein meal formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. This recipe provides the best quality nutrition while keeping controlled levels of phosphorus, potassium, and sodium as indicated for dogs suffering from kidney disease. The low levels of high-quality lamb-based proteins are perfect for preserving your dog’s muscle mass while protecting its kidney function for as long as possible. The other fresh ingredients include vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, and blueberries that provide fiber, micronutrients, and antioxidants for round-up nutrition. This food is excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs since it is a limited and natural ingredient recipe.

There are two pouch sizes to choose from. We recommend the small size if you only have one dog. This food is all-natural and free from preservatives, it can be stored frozen for up to a year and lasts 4 days in the refrigerator. There are twice-a-week deliveries so you do not have to take up a huge part of your freezer and fridge space.

  • Needs to be stored in freezer or fridge
  • Expensive
  • Fresh food, moisture-rich
  • Low levels of high-quality lamb-based proteins
  • Controlled levels of phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
  • Real fresh food
  • No preservatives

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Compromised kidney health often leads to urinary problems in dogs. And if that’s what your dog is suffering, provide him a nutritionally supportive diet that helps with bladder and urinary tract health. The recipe is formulated with Relative Super Saturation (RSS) to dilute excessive minerals that cause stones and crystals in the kidney by increasing the amount of urine your dog produces. Also, specialized nutrition has low levels of magnesium to maintain the urinary system health of your pooch.

The recipe has low levels of protein extracted from animal-base sources, which makes it a good solution for most dogs with kidney disease. Serve it on its own or mix it with a wet food combination or water to increase the moisture intake of your dog. This veterinary diet is rich in other essential nutrients as it includes important ingredients such as chicken fat, eggs, and fish oil. The minerals and vitamins included in this formula are great for maintaining the overall health of your precious pooch.

Supportive diet for bladder and urinary tract, limited animal-based protein, specialized veterinary diet

Blue Buffalo Kidney Support Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
Container Weight: 12.5 oz can
Flavor: Chicken
What Kind of Food?: Wet
Other Special Diet Types: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Wet Dog Food is a great quality kidney-specific wet dog food made with natural ingredients. This food features low levels of protein featuring chicken as the first ingredient. The low protein content reduces the workload of the kidneys, protecting your dog’s kidney function by slowing the kidney’s damage progression. There are no highly processed meat meals or by-products used in this formulation. Sodium and potassium levels are also controlled, as required in kidney disease diets. Additionally, this food has added antioxidants from blueberries and cranberries to maintain your dog’s overall health and reduce free radical oxidation. This food is free from artificial flavors or preservatives and is excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs since it has a limited-ingredient formula.

The downside of this product is that the only available formula is chicken so it is not a suitable product for dogs that have kidney disease alongside chicken allergies.

  • Only chicken recipe available
  • Chicken meat as the first ingredient
  • Low protein
  • Low phosphorus
  • Natural antioxidants

JustFoodForDogs Renal Support Shelf-Stable Fresh– Premium Choice

JustFoodForDogs Veterinary Diet PantryFresh Renal Support Low Protein Shelf-Stable Fresh Dog Food
Container Weight: 12.5 oz tetra pak
Flavor: Lamb
What Kind of Food?: Fresh
Other Special Diet Types: Human-Grade

Our premium choice goes to JustFoodForDogs Veterinary Diet PantryFresh Renal Support it features natural, top-quality ingredients packed with nutrients and bolstered with vitamins and minerals your dog needs to succeed! Since Justfoodfordogs are fresh products, they have a higher moisture content than kibble, which is excellent for dogs with kidney issues! This amazing fresh food is specifically formulated to provide a low quantity of good quality protein, exactly what a kidney disease dog patient needs to maintain its muscle while preventing kidney deterioration. This amazing product features a low protein, low phosphorus formulation based on natural, human-grade ingredients such as lamb, sushi rice, and cauliflower. Including carrots, spinach, and blueberries this diet is packed with nutrients and bolstered with vitamins and minerals your dog needs to succeed!

This shelf-stable product packs all the nutritional benefits of fresh dog food so it is great for dog parents who want to feed fresh but do not have huge fridge storage space. Delivered in a convenient tetra pak, this food does not need refrigeration before opening. Although this amazing product has a two-year shelf life, it is free from artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Once opened the food lasts for 5 days in the refrigerator.

  • Expensive
  • Shelf-stable fresh food
  • High moisture content supports kidney health
  • Low quantity of high-quality lamb protein
  • Low phosphorus
  • Free from artificial flavors, colors or preservatives

Hill’s Prescription Kidney Care Wet Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Beef & Vegetable Stew Wet Dog 12 oz
Container Weight: 12.5 oz can
Flavor: Beef and vegetables
What Kind of Food?: Wet
Other Special Diet Types: No soy, wheat or corn

Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Beef & Vegetable Stew Wet Dog Food is another specially formulated dog food for dogs who need a renal friendly low-protein and low phosphorus diet. This prescription diet is formulated for dogs with specific needs without the use of rendered meat meals. Hills has a complete kidney line of products to suit your dog’s specific needs depending on their dietary preference. This product contains essential amino acids, with vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to thrive despite their kidney conditions.

Caramel color is listed in the ingredients, and we would prefer avoidance of coloring ingredients that offer no nutritional value. While not in the product name, there is also chicken and pork in this formula ingredients so it is not suitable for dogs with chicken allergies.

  • Contains colorant
  • Not single source of protein
  • Low protein
  • No meat meals
  • Low phosphorus
  • Different flavors available
  • Contains essential amino acids

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Canned Dog Food

Dietary management is crucial for proper treatment of your dog, and if you’re looking for a wet-food blend that offers everything your dog needs for improved kidney function, you cannot go wrong with this option by Purina. This specifically formulated diet in minced consistency is great for minimizing further damage to your dog’s kidneys, which helps to slow the progression of the disease.

The formula has reduced protein and is low in sodium and phosphorus to avoid stressing the kidneys and improves your dog’s health. What it’s not low in is essential nutrients; the dietary benefits of this meal provide optimal nutrition for your pooch without compromising on their special needs. The quality ingredients and savory flavors make this an excellent food option for hounds with hepatic disease, renal failure, or any other condition related to the kidney. Serve the palatable meal and keep your dog’s symptoms in control.

SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus

SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus
Container Weight: 4, 22 lbs
Flavor: Turkey
What Kind of Food?: Kibble
Other Special Diet Types: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

SquarePet VFS Low Phosphorus Formula is a dry food option for dogs with kidney disease. This food features not only a low protein content but also a low phosphorus content that’s perfect for taking some of the stress off your pup’s kidneys. This formula also contains boosted omega-3 to help protect what’s left of your dog’s kidney function!

This food is also great for dog parents who prefer that their dog’s food be made in the USA, and it is processed with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients that your dog will love! It’s also bolstered with antioxidants and vitamins that help your dog age gracefully.

  • Bag weight might be low for dog parents who like to buy in bulk
  • Low phosphorus and protein content
  • Made in the USA with sustainably sourced ingredients

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb Dry Dog Food

For dogs in the early stages of renal failure, this non-prescription recipe is a good option even though it’s not specialized for kidney care. The limited ingredient formula has restricted nutrients and ingredients that are easy on your dog’s metabolism and kidney function. The recipe also features a single-based protein and vegetable as sources of nutrients. This particular recipe boasts lamb and peas as primary ingredients. With limited ingredients in hand, the experts have formulated a recipe that’s ideal for dogs with health issues, especially associated with certain nutrients.

The limited protein content is derived from grass-fed lamb while the peas provide minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants for a well-rounded and balanced diet. Also rich in essential omega fatty acids, the formula is free of wheat, grain, soy, corn, as well as chicken, eggs, fish, beef, dairy, potatoes, and a variety of other ingredients that could trigger sensitivities in dogs. So if your dog is in the early stages of kidney disease, this holistic food is a good choice.


Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Foods for Kidney Disease

What Do Dogs with Kidney Disease Need Nutritionally?

Dogs who experience some level of kidney failure have different nutritional needs than healthy dogs. Because the kidneys are responsible for extracting and passing waste from digestion, particular food and nutrient profiles put more stress on the kidneys, which can be harmful when the kidneys are already struggling to function correctly. Changing the concentrations of the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals your dog consumes can help preserve their kidney function for as long as possible.

Here are the nutritional keys to feeding a dog with kidney failure:

Low Sodium

  • Sodium is another mineral that puts extreme stress on the kidneys when being processed. Sodium is not only bad for the kidneys; it’s bad for dogs in general. High sodium levels in the bloodstream can make dogs ill and even be fatal.
  • While it’s unlikely that your dog will be able to kill themselves simply by eating salty foods, doing so puts a lot of pressure on the kidneys, and if your dog’s kidneys are already struggling, this could be the end of their kidney function.

Low Protein

  • While lowering the protein content of a dog’s diet is a highly controversial subject, there’s no doubt that a high protein diet puts an undue amount of stress on the kidneys. Some vets may suggest a low-protein content diet to preserve your dog’s kidney function for as long as possible to remove some of the pressure on the kidneys.
  • The protein content of dog food has long been a source of contention amongst dog owners and veterinarians alike. However, when left to their own devices in observation, dogs gravitate to an omnivorous diet rather than a strictly carnivorous diet. So, with proper care, transitioning a dog to a lower-protein diet should not be harmful to them.

Low Phosphorus

Extremely high phosphorus concentrations in food can be dangerous already since phosphorus can lower bone density. However, phosphorus is also highly stressful for the kidneys to process. So, reducing the phosphorus content of your dog’s food will help preserve their kidney function for as long as possible.

Boosted Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been shown to bolster kidney function and offer improved kidney support whether your dog has trouble with their kidneys or not. They’re a great addition to any diet, but dogs with kidney troubles need even more omega-3 fatty acids than the average dog to help slow the progression of their kidney disease.


  • Moisture is another critical part of treating kidney disease. Acute kidney failure is usually treated with intravenous fluids to help dilute the toxins in the kidneys and take the stress off them to prevent their kidneys from further damage.
  • Increasing the amount of moisture in your dog’s diet will help keep their kidneys functioning for longer. It’s crucial to always keep fresh water available for your dog since they will likely have an increased thirst due to the disease. You can also help increase the moisture in their diet by feeding them canned food and adding water to their kibble.
  • Dehydrated foods are an excellent option for dogs who need more moisture in their diets since you can control the humidity added to them, and you can add more water when rehydrating the food if your dog will tolerate it!

Final Thoughts

Nutrition is essential for dogs with kidney disease. If you need to make sure your dog is getting all its nutritional needs met, try our choice for the overall best dog food for kidney disease, JustFoodForDogs Renal Support Fresh Frozen. Pet parents on a budget can look at our best dog food for kidney disease for the money, Forza10 Nutraceutic Renal Support Wet Dog Food. But remember, it is always essential to discuss your dog’s diet with your vet before making any changes.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.