Many senior dogs are susceptible to their bodies breaking down and not working as well as they did when the dog was younger. Your dog's kidneys are a crucial part of their entire system, and without them, your dog cannot maintain internal balance and rid their body of toxins and waste.
Causes of Kidney Failure in Dogs
Kidney failure is a condition that can be caused over time by age and failing bodies. Alternatively, it can be due to an excessive and immediate change in diet and water consumption. Your dog could also go into immediate kidney failure if he is exposed to poison or a toxin. There are ways to prevent some of these things from causing kidney failure altogether.
Toxins and Poisons
One of the most common causes of kidney failure occurrences in younger dogs from ingesting a poison or toxin. If your dog has ingested a poison, you may already be seeing vomiting and diarrhea, fever, or listlessness. What you may not see internally are the kidneys failing.
The best way to keep toxins out of your dog's kidneys is to keep toxins out of your dog's body altogether. Keep your dogs away from rat poisons and antifreeze and anything else that they can get into while unsupervised that could cause harm to their bodies--especially to their internal organs, which you cannot see or diagnose many times until it is too late. Keep all poisons and toxins hidden and well away from areas where your dog may roam free. If your dog must be in an area where these toxins are readily available, please keep your dog supervised so he is not ingesting anything that could cause dysfunction or failure of his kidneys. As well as toxins and poisons that are obvious to you, avoid giving your dog over the counter medications without your veterinarian’s approval. Medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can be detrimental to your dog's kidneys. Also, keep an eye on your dog when he is around your house as he can get into tainted food or foods his body cannot process within your trash can or left out on the counters, such as grapes and avocados.
Maintaining General Health Through Veterinary Checkups
Be sure your dog is visiting his veterinarian as recommended. Kidney issues such as kidney blockage or kidney stones can be diagnosed in your vet's office through urine testing, CBC blood tests, and potentially even x-rays. If you are taking your dog to his well visits and maintaining his overall good health with your veterinarian and preventive measures, he is less likely to develop a condition you are unaware of.
You or your veterinarian may detect bacterial infections by behavior changes or fevers. Often these infections can be stopped with antibiotics or other medications. However, if left untreated, bacterial infections could cause kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure. Your veterinarian can prescribe medications to help maintain kidney health if your dog is a senior dog with a history of kidney problems. Your veterinarian can also prescribe or recommend foods which are specifically designed to maintain kidney health. Preventive care through your veterinarian is important for many conditions and diseases as well as for your dog's overall health. Be sure you are seeing your veterinarian on a regular basis for preventive care as well as for vaccines that could prevent diseases, parasites, and conditions that could ultimately lead to kidney failure
An important component to your dog's overall health, including the health and function of his kidneys is going to be his diet. Be sure you are feeding your dog a high-quality dog food with lean protein as the first and main ingredient. If your dog is of a breed that is susceptible to kidney problems or if your dog has had kidney stones, bladder stones, or urinary tract infections in the past you can easily supplement their diet with probiotics to keep good bacteria in their system and keep bad bacteria down to a minimum. You can also add cranberries to keep bacteria out of their kidneys. Be sure your dog has plenty of access to clean, fresh water. Fresh water will be free of bacteria that could potentially cause infections in his kidneys, which could ultimately lead to kidney failure. Drinking water on a regular basis dilutes your dog's urine, which allows your dog's body to flush toxins more often and with ease. Feeding your dog a top-notch healthy diet is key in preventing many diseases and conditions including kidney failure. If your dog has a history of kidney problems, your veterinarian can prescribe and recommend specific foods designed for your dog's kidney health.
Importance of Preventing Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is fatal for your dog. Even if it takes time, if the kidneys fail, your dog's body could eventually also fail. Maintaining a dog's health is often less expensive than treating a condition or a disease. Starting your dog off on the right foot with a healthy diet and preventive care from your veterinarian is often the least expensive route to take when it comes to treating diseases and organ failures. Keeping your dog safe and away from poisons and toxins as well as away from foods their bodies cannot process is a normal responsibility of a dog owner. Your dog can be happy and healthy on a diet filled with fun foods, delicious treats, and healthy options.
Providing Good Care All Along the Way
If your dog is young there was probably a reason for kidney failure that is completely preventable. If your dog is older and he is at the point where maintaining his health until his time has passed is your goal, talking to your veterinarian about making your dog comfortable is a good option. In any case, keeping your dog eating well and in safe environments with preventive care their entire lives is the absolute best prevention for kidney failure.