Recently a member of a canine kidney disease Facebook group posted that her young dog had just been diagnosed and she had devised a plan where she was going to get him on a high grade dehydrated food with the addition of green tripe later on. She said she had made the mistake of sharing this with her vet who, predictably, attempted to frighten her away from it, saying that it would be much safer to feed a kidney formula prescription diet. The dog owner was fearful of going against her vet’s advice but she didn’t completely give up on her plan. Instead she came to the kidney disease group and solicited feedback. In response, a few members commented that their kidney compromised dogs were “cured” when they started feeding a popular commercially dehydrated food.
I thought this presented an opportunity to explain to the dog owner why her vet responded the way she did and also to opine about dehydrated foods vs. proper feeding, so I left the following comment.
“Your vet may want what’s best for your dog but the system that trained her absolutely does not. The system is not human and it has no heart. It uses vets to make it appear human. Vets are pawns of this system and they in turn make pawns of dog owners. They do this in many ways but their #1 preferred way is through fear, a strategy your vet has mastered, apparently. Your fearful response was exactly what she wanted and expected. You need to fire her and take charge of your dog’s health yourself, imo.
Commercial dehydrated raw foods are a halfway point, if that. They are an improvement over the foods that caused the disease in the first place. But, if they ever reverse any disease it’s because the disease was not severe enough to require full removal of cause. That would involve an optimizing of the diet to reflect the natural model, which is the only source of objective information we have about dog feeding. In dogs with advanced disease of any kind, including kidney disease, this is what is going to be required to have any hope of turning things around. Blood tests can tell us a bit about how severely the kidneys are compromised, but no matter how severe it is, there’s no reason to mess around with halfway measures when proper feeding is so cheap and easy.
Dehydrated foods not only have all the problems I mentioned in my article about commercial raw grinds, but they have also obviously had all their water removed. When water is removed from a food, it’s not just the water that is lost, nutrients go with it as well. And when water is re-added, those lost nutrients are not restored. Think of a potato next to a pile of re-hydrated potato chips or a real strawberry next to a dried one that’s been soaked. Water is extremely important to a kidney-compromised dog, and all foods that are normal for dogs are very rich in water as long as they are fed sans processing (cooking, dehydrating, etc.).
The main point to keep in mind is that there is no commercial food manufactured with nourishing dogs as its top priority. They are all produced to make money for their makers. These producers do not view kidney disease in dogs as a problem to be solved, but as a new market niche to be filled. Disease equals opportunity, to the sick dog industry.
Proper home feeding is much cheaper, easier and simpler than it is being made out to be, even by raw-feeding groups and gurus. You don’t have to belong to a raw feeding co-op, consult with a holistic vet, buy expensive supplements and other junk, research endlessly, shop in health food stores or know a hunter. You can buy everything you need at the same stores where you buy your own food. I’ve been feeding my animals this way for 20 years and my last dog died peacefully at home at age 19 without having visited a vet for the last 11 years of his life. I’ve been teaching others how to do it almost as long and they invariably have the same experiences. The only reason why ALL dog owners aren’t doing things this way is because they have been brainwashed by a heartless industry that seeks only to sustain itself through repeat business.”