Kidneys act as a filtering system by getting rid of waste products. Vitamin D is activated in the kidneys. They balance the body's fluid content by reabsorbing immense amounts of water into the blood, produce hormone that helps to make red blood cells and help to control blood pressure.
The food that your dog eats is broken down and part of this breakdown, along with the normal breakdown of body tissues becomes waste. This waste is sent to the blood which moves to the kidneys for removal. When kidney function is compromised, the wastes build up, damaging the body and often causes nausea.
Problems and Controls
Kidney trouble may come from stones, or the compromise of kidney function for many reasons including the ageing process. Not that long ago, it was believed that less protein in the diet would help kidneys function better, but more recent studies prove that, in fact, protein restriction is not required in the early stages of kidney failure. Protein restriction in late-stage failure may be necessary.
Lowering the amount of phosphorus in the diet is the main goal when the kidneys need some help.
Vitamin D plays a critical role in cases of kidney disease. Read about it here.
Do's and Don'ts
In the case of kidney trouble, fish oils such as Wild Salmon Oil have been proven to be kidney friendly while vegetable oils are something to stay away from. Vitamin C supplements tends to acidify urine, but also, vitamin C is flushed out of the body via urine. Combined with excess calcium in urine, it's the perfect set-up for calcium oxalate stones. You never want to supplement vitamin C in the diet of a calcium oxalate stone forming dog.
The B-Complex vitamin group supports almost every cell and body tissue and these vitamins are flushed out of the body via urine. Compromised kidneys can cause a dog to urinate more frequently and/or greater volume which can create a B vitamin deficiency. Supplementation with a vitamin B compound is prudent.
For Further Reading
Optimal Nutrition: includes in-depth discussions about kidney disease, urate stones, struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones and sample diets to address each condition.
Detection of a Lactobacillus Substance that Inhibits E. Coli by Dr. LJ Leventhal: Acidophilus helps to suppress E. coli in the urinary tract