Managing Renal Disease with Restricted Formulas

Renal disease, often referred to as kidney disease, is a serious and common health issue that affects countless furry companions. Renal disease occurs when a dog’s kidneys lose their ability to function properly, meaning, they fail to filter waste products and excess fluids from the bloodstream, fail to maintain electrolyte balance, and fail to produce essential hormones— which leads to a range of health issues.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the challenges and options available for managing this unfortunate, uncurable condition. Fortunately, advancements in pet nutrition have paved the way for specialized therapeutic diets designed to support dogs with renal disease and help them lead healthier, more comfortable lives.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the causes of renal disease, signs that your dog may be suffering from the disease and introduce you to Dave’s Pet Food therapeutic renal recipe and treats—created in collaboration with Certified Veterinary Nutritionists—that will you help manage the disease along with the support of your veterinarian.

What Are Common Causes of Renal Disease in Dogs?

  1. AGING Renal disease is more prevalent in older dogs.
  2. GENETIC Certain dog breeds are predisposed to kidney issues.
  3. INFECTIONS Chronic infections can harm the kidneys over time.
  4. TOXIC SUBSTANCES Ingesting or being exposed to toxic substances can damage the kidneys.
  5. DIET Poor diet choices can contribute to the development of renal disease.

Early Detection and Management are Crucial for Addressing Renal Disease in Dogs

As an owner, you’re responsible for doing what’s necessary to ensure your dog’s overall health and well-being. Regular check-ups and a balanced diet can play a role in preventing and/or managing this condition. If your dog shows any signs of these symptoms, please seek out the support of a vet:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Bad breath with ammonia-like odor
  • Swollen abdomen

Managing Renal Disease with Diet

Diet is one of the most effective ways to manage renal disease in dogs. Through a carefully planned and specialized diet with food that is specifically formulated for renal support, it’s possible to alleviate the workload on the kidneys, reduce the accumulation of waste products, and maintain your dog's overall health. 

Dave’s Restricted Phosphorous Crumble is a nuanced, therapeutic recipe, developed with Certified Veterinary Nutritionists, that is specifically tailored to meet the unique nutritional needs of dogs with renal disease. The formula incorporates several key features that make it an excellent choice for managing the condition.


Because elevated phosphorous levels can accelerate the progression of kidney damage, controlling its intake is a pivotal step in preserving the delicate balance of minerals in the body. With kidney disease, the kidneys' filtering ability decreases, potentially causing phosphorus build-up. Elevated phosphorus levels can contribute to several problems including calcification of soft tissues, progression of renal disease, and other clinical signs such as increased thirst and urination, lethargy, loss of appetite and weight loss.


Restricting protein intake is vital for dogs with kidney disease as it directly impacts the workload on the kidneys. Excessive protein can contribute to the accumulation of certain waste products, which places an additional burden on the already compromised renal function. A controlled approach to protein intake helps to minimize the production of waste substances, allowing the impaired kidneys to filter toxins more effectively from the bloodstream. This is a cornerstone in the comprehensive care plan for dogs suffering from the disease as it aims to enhance their overall well-being and extend their quality of life.


We prioritize sodium restriction in Dave’s renal formula for various reasons. Sodium plays a crucial role in blood pressure regulation, and elevated blood pressure can exacerbate kidney damage. Moreover, sodium is closely linked to maintaining water balance in the body. High sodium intake can lead to increased water retention, posing challenges for dogs with kidney disease. As one of the essential electrolytes in the body, controlled sodium intake aids in maintaining a proper electrolyte balance, crucial for dogs with kidney disease where electrolyte imbalances can occur.


Recognizing that kidneys often lose substantial fluids, and water-soluble B-vitamins along with them, we've incorporated additional B vitamins into our formula to support overall canine health. We’ve also included omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, not just to promote kidney health and reduce inflammation, but also to elevate the overall palatability of the formula for our furry friends who often don’t want to eat.


Digestible carbohydrates, like rice and sweet potatoes, play a crucial role in the diet for dogs with kidney disease. Dogs with the disease may experience a decline in overall energy levels and digestible carbs provide a readily available source of energy. They are also calorically dense and help your dog maintain its body weight without putting undue stress on the kidneys. Including digestible carbohydrates in the diet can enhance the palatability of the food, making it more appealing to your dog and ensuring they receive a spectrum of supportive nutrients. Lastly, certain digestible carbs that are high in fiber can aid in digestive health. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, which can be important in managing symptoms associated with kidney disease.

It's important to note that dietary management for dogs with renal disease often involves a combination of factors, including controlled levels of protein, phosphorous, and other nutrients. The overall goal is to provide a nutritionally balanced diet that supports your dog’s health while minimizing strain on the kidneys.

Always consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations tailored to your dog’s individual needs and the stage of renal disease.

Why We Made Dave’s Restricted Phosphorous a Crumble

When Dave initially approached the Veterinary Nutritionists about the concept of formulating a renal-specific diet, the team decided on a crumble. Why? Because they wanted to develop a product that required mixing it with water.

In the context of kidney disease, a prevalent issue is compromised kidney function, which leads to inadequate filtration. As a result, amounts of water and essential nutrients are lost through urine. Dave’s Restricted Phosphorous is exceptionally calorically dense, packing calories and important nutrients into a compact form. What sets it apart is the absence of water in the product itself, unlike canned alternatives where you essentially pay for water content.

The brilliance of the crumble form lies in the flexibility it provides to you, the owner. By adding water, you can tailor the consistency to precisely suit your dog’s preferences. Whether your dog prefers a more liquid gruel, or a thicker oatmeal texture, the amount of water can be adjusted accordingly. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for dogs with kidney issues, as they often experience water loss and maintaining adequate hydration poses a persistent challenge for these pets.

Pricing Dave’s Restricted Diet Phosphorous Crumble

At first glance you, the customer, might have concerns about the price per bag. It looks pricey! But the unique aspect here lies in the formula’s exceptional caloric density and the fact that the crumble is mixed 1-to-1 with water. For instance, take a four-pound bag. After evaluating several formulas, we determined that this bag would sustain a 30-pound dog for about 10 days. By these calculations, the cost per feeding is actually lower than the cost of feeding canned food. This insight underscores the value proposition of the formula—it not only costs less than feeding canned food, but also provides the nutritional content to support renal health.

Dave’s Restricted Phosphorous Wet Food

Formulated by Board Certified Veterinarian Nutritionists, Dave’s canned wet food is a cost-effective solution to managing kidney disease. It’s a low-phosphorous, low-protein formula that helps protect your dog’s vital kidney function that adds moisture and just the right amount of taste and texture when mixed into Dave’s Phosphorous Crumble or other dry renal food you’re feeding your dog.

No Prescription Needed for Dave’s Renal Recipe

Since there is no prescription required to buy this product, you may want to take it to your veterinarian for a consultation and approval. Involved them in the process! This is a vital step in ensuring your dog truly benefits from this specialized diet. It’s specifically formulated for intermittent and supplemental feeding and designed to manage kidney disease by restricting certain nutrients. Dietary needs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s important to feel Dave’s Restricted Phosphorous to dogs with a genuine need for this type of dietary restriction.

Approximately 10% of Dogs Will Develop Some Form of Kidney Disease in Their Lifetime

Renal disease in dogs can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right approach your furry friend can lead a happy and fulfilling life. Dave's Pet Food Renal Phosphorous Crumble is a valuable resource in the battle against renal disease, providing tailored nutrition that supports kidney health and overall well-being. Remember your veterinarian is your best resource for guidance on managing your dog's renal disease, so be sure to work closely with them to create a comprehensive care plan for your beloved companion.


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