My dog has kidney failure and won’t eat

In this brief discussion, we will address the question “ What to do if my dog with kidney failure won’t eat? “ We will also discuss dietary and lifestyle changes that can help in better management of kidney failure in dogs.

What does chronic kidney disease mean?

Most pet owners are terrified of the phrase “ chronic kidney disease “ because they assume that their pet’s kidneys have completely stopped working. 

However, this is not always the case. The kidneys of pets are still functional to some extent and can be encouraged to keep functioning with the help of their medication and specific dietary changes.

Taking care of dogs with kidney failure is a tough task but it can be achieved by educating yourself about important information on dietary specifications and how they can help to maintain your dog’s health and quality of life.

Why does my dog with kidney failure refuse to eat?

Kidney failure is a serious condition that affects your dog’s overall health as well as its quality of life. Most dogs suffering from kidney failure refuse to eat because of a loss of appetite. 

It is a common symptom of kidney failure. It is also possible that your dog is feeling nauseous due to which he is refusing to eat. Fortunately, there are certain strategies you can use to make your dog eat so that you can prevent his condition from deteriorating any further.

However, if your dog still refuses to eat, or eats a worryingly low amount of food, you should call your vet and take their advice to handle this situation better.

My dog refuses to eat, what can I do to make it eat?

If your dog has kidney failure, it is probably refusing to eat due to loss of appetite, nausea, or because he is disturbed by the sudden transition of its food to renal food. In such conditions, you can use the following strategies to entice your dog to eat:

  • You can try changing their normal food and introduce new options to entice them to eat.
  • Warming up your pet’s food by adding hot water or broth is also another way to entice your dog to eat because warm food enhances the smell of food which can be intriguing for dogs.
  • You can also consult your vet and give your dog n anti-emetic on their recommendation.
  • Your vet can also give certain IV fluids to filter out excess waste products in your dog’s body. This will help in getting rid of nausea.
  • Try making home-cooked food for your dog. You can follow kidney-friendly dog food recipes available on the internet.
  • Give wet food to your dog instead of dry or dehydrated food.
  • Try hand feeding small amounts of food to your dog. This will help your dog in becoming used to its new food and it will eventually start eating on its own.
  • Give small treats to your dog throughout the day. Make sure the treats are low in sodium and proteins.

Which foods are good for my dog with kidney failure who refuses to eat?

Kidney failure is very discomforting for dogs and often leads to fatal consequences if they’re not taken care of properly. Dogs with kidney failure need a controlled diet that is low in sodium, phosphorus, and proteins.

This is because high amounts of these nutrients can put an extra load on kidneys to filter them, and this can further worsen your dog’s condition. Therefore, you should make sure that you feed your dog low sodium, potassium, and protein foods. 

Most vets also recommend supplementing your dog with mega-3 fatty acids from fish oils. This can help to maintain their health. However, you should avoid cod liver oil as it is inflammatory and therefore armful to dogs with kidney failure.

What lifestyle changes can help to manage kidney failure in dogs?

Even though there is nothing you can do to repair the damage done to your dog’s kidneys, you can still prevent them from further damage by adopting certain lifestyle changes. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help in better management of kidney failure in dogs:

  • Give your dog small meals spaced throughout the day instead of two large meals. You should also make sure that the food is fresh.
  • Avid giving too many treats and snacks to dogs because excess treats can contribute to weight gain which can further worsen your dog’s condition.
  • Give plenty of water to your dog. Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times. Also, try feeding them moist or wet food instead of dry food.


We addressed the question “ What to do if my dog with kidney failure won’t eat? “ We also discussed dietary and lifestyle changes that can help in better management of kidney failure in dogs.


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