Just like people, dogs have two kidneys that serve to regulate blood pressure along with calcium and vitamin D metabolism, but they also help in the creation of new red blood cells. The kidneys help normalize salt and water in the dog’s body.
A dog’s kidneys balance certain substances in the bloodstream while helping to filter out waste as urine. If the kidneys malfunction, toxins back up in the blood and a dog can become seriously ill and die.
Some estimates say that 1 in 10 dogs will develop kidney disease in their lifetime. We’re all about preventative medicine to keep kidneys healthy. Sadly, kidney disease happens when something malfunctions, and by that time, kidneys are likely functioning at a much lower-than-normal capacity.
In an ongoing effort to provide our readers with the very best health and wellness news, Fidose of Reality is examining the organs of dogs all year long. Let’s talk canine kidneys, how to prevent illness, what to do if your dog has kidney disease or kidney failure, and how a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes may change your dog’s prognosis.
About Canine Kidneys
Very similar to human kidneys, located in the back are a dog’s kidneys near his mid-abdominal region. They are atop the bladder and are a part of the dog’s urinary system.
Inside the kidneys are little filtration units called nephrons. Each of those nephrons has a filter – think of your kitchen strainer – with a long tube that modifies the material filtered to produce urine. Now imagine all those tubes coming together at the center of the kidney and then emptying into a small tube. That small tube is called a ureter.
The ureter carries urine to the bladder to store before being excreted.
With age comes breakdown and those nephrons may stop working. If they do, kidneys are compromised. Kidneys lose their essential function when nephrons are depleted, and chronic kidney disease results.
How to Keep A Dog’s Kidneys Healthy
Most articles discuss what to do if your dog is diagnosed with some form of kidney disease, whether acute or chronic. First, let’s talk preventative care of canine kidneys.
Fresh real whole food that you quickly make in 15 minutes or less each week may keep a dog’s kidneys at optimum functionality.
By adjusting the amount, type, and quality of protein your dog consumes, his health and longevity are both positively affected. I’m all about food without preservatives, dyes, or artificial ingredients
Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
You’ve probably heard that not brushing your dog’s teeth can lead to heart problems via bacteria from gums and teeth getting into the dog’s bloodstream.
When bacteria invade the kidneys, it damages glomerulus membranes, causing them to malfunction. Bacteria also can cause functional changes in the liver of dogs. Not only do bacteria get lodged in kidneys but the constant effort against bacteria creates an enormous amount of junk for the kidneys.
Avoid Chemicals In And On Your Dog
We hate fleas and ticks, but we hate the toxic chemicals to eliminate fleas and ticks even more. Here’s our reality: A topical chemical flea and tick preventative treatment burned the hair off my dog (it never grew back) and caused what I believe to be the beginning of her end.
Blood and Urine Screening
We recommend your dog has bloodwork and a basic urinalysis every six months. The dog’s body ages faster, so it’s better to get ahead of a problem than behind it.
Blood tests should include a complete blood count, blood chemistry panel, and blood electrolytes.