TCVM Warming Food for Dogs With Kidney Failure

TCVM Warming Diet for Dogs in Renal Failure

Characteristics of Dogs with Kidney Failure

It’s sometimes sad to look at dogs with kidney failure.

Dogs with kidney failure become weak and thin.

They often stop playing the way they used to play and become sluggish and depressed. 

When dogs act as described above, they display signs of Qi deficiency. 

Unfortunately, chronic kidney failure cannot be cured or reversed.  So, it’s important to detect and treat it early–with the help of your veterinarian, of course.

However, there is good news!

You can help your dog feel much better by feeding energetically appropriate food for dogs with renal failure.

The Best Food for Dogs with Kidney Failure (Qi Deficient Dogs)

Many dogs suffering from renal failure are Qi deficient. 
And with Qi deficiency, a warming diet is the best food for dogs with kidney failure.

Qi deficient dogs in renal failure appear lazy, lack energy, and snuggle up in warm places. 

If your dog suffers from kidney disease and displays the characteristics listed above, a warming dog food recipe will make him or her feel much better! 

The classic signs of Qi deficiency in dogs are: 

  • Pale, swollen tongue 
  • Drooling 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Seeking warm places 
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Loose stools 
  • Wiry pulse 
  • Depression 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Slow metabolism


What is Qi Deficiency in Dogs with Renal Failure?

In TCVM, Qi is the energy of the body. 

Qi is the energy of the meridians within the body, the energy of food, and the energy of the universe. 

Qi deficiency is a state in which the body lacks Qi. 

When a dog suffers from renal failure, the entire body suffers and slows down, resulting in Qi Deficiency. 

Energetically Warming Foods for Qi Deficient Dogs with Kidney Failure 

You can use Eastern Food Therapy to warm a cool dog. 

Treat dog Qi Deficiency by feeding an energetically warming dog food. 

A nutritionally balanced diet for dogs in the early stages of renal failure contains: 

  • 60% – 80% Protein – mostly from meat
  • 20% – 40% Carbohydrates – from grains, vegetables, and fruit
  • A minimum of 2% fat
  • Avoid salt, bones, dairy


In late-stage renal failure, increase fat content to decrease the protein level of the diet. You may need to increase carbs to help accomplish an overall lower protein level. 

Consult with a TCVM veterinarian for the best advice for your dog’s late-stage renal failure diet. Your vet will tweak the diet for your dog’s individual needs. And, remember to avoid salt, bones, and dairy. 

Then, simply use the list of foods below to create endless delicious recipe combinations for your furry friend! 

Just mix up the ingredients as needed to create a food that your dog loves. 

You can easily track protein, carbohydrate, and fat ratios in an online food log like the ones found on Fitbit and Livestrong websites. 

In addition, make sure to add in a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.

Energetically Warming Food

It’s best to use all warming foods, but you can use one neutral ingredient per batch for convenience.


And remember, avoid salt, bones, and dairy! 

Meats/Protein Source 

Shrimp, lobster 
Sunflower seeds 
Pork, pork liver & kidney (neutral) 
Beef,  beef liver (neutral) 
Fish, salmon, sardines, tuna, dogfish, carp, mackerel (neutral) 
Goose (neutral) 
Pigeon (neutral) 
Wild rabbit (neutral) 
Quail (neutral) 


Sweet potato 
Sweet pepper 
String beans (neutral) 
Green beans (neutral) 
Green peas (neutral) 
Beets (neutral) 
Cabbage (neutral) 
Apple (neutral) 
Carrots (neutral) 
Cauliflower (neutral) 
Asparagus (neutral) 


Corn (neutral) 
White rice (neutral) 
Beans, soy, black, broad, kidney, red (neutral) 
Peanuts (neutral) 
Potato (neutral) 


Olive oil 
Flaxseed oil 
Soya oil 
Peanut oil (neutral) 
Black sesame oil (neutral) 

Creating the TCVM Warming Diet 

Below is an example slow cooker recipe: 

3 pounds of meat (see “protein” list above)
2 pounds of organ meat (see “protein” list above)
1-1 1/2 pounds of vegetables (see “vegetable” list above)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or flaxseed oil
1 pound of sweet potatoes 
1/2 pound white rice (cooked weight)
Optional: 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon clove


Debone and chop meat and vegetables.

Place all ingredients in crockpot layering:

  • Slow cooking root vegetables on the bottom
  • Meat in the middle
  • Fast cooking items on top.

Top with 1 cup of water.

Cook on low for 4 hours.

In addition, add the following to your pet’s diet:

Feeding Schedule:

  • Feed 1.5 cups per 25 pounds of body weight twice daily
  • Make sure to give your dog a canine multivitamin while on this plan.
  • Monitor your pet’s weight. If undesirable weight loss occurs, please contact your veterinarian immediately so you can make an adjustment in the feeding/diet plan.

As you can see, cooking food for dogs with kidney failure isn’t really difficult, and can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog! 

Please consult with your veterinarian when cooking at home for your dog

Are Homecooked Diets Safe?

Even though pet food recalls and the poor quality of some pet foods are a concern, many veterinarians voice concerns over homemade diets. 

Some vets feel when fed exclusively, homemade diets may result in vitamin/mineral deficiencies that can adversely affect a pet’s health. 

If you choose to feed your dog a homemade diet, you must understand and meet your dog’s needs to stay healthy. 

Please share our recipe with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can advise you on supplements for your pet’s individual situation. 

Monitor your dog’s health by observing his/her temperament, skin, coat, and waste. If you notice anything strange, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

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