Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

25 Best Foods for a Lab with Kidney Disease

Written by: Z


Z is a Special Project Coordinator of HomeLife Media and a writer for She has 3 dogs namely Skye, Luna, and one of them is a rescue, named Tesla.Read more
| Published on May 10, 2023
Does your Lab have chronic kidney disease? You’re not alone. Members of our I Love My Lab Facebook community recently shared their insights on the following question: What food would you recommend for a Lab with kidney disease? We received hundreds of helpful replies and below have compiled some of the best responses.


Always remember to consult your veterinarian before making any health changes to your lab’s diet, especially if the suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). iHeartDogs is reader supported, so some of the links below may be affiliate links where we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

25 Best Dog Foods for a Lab with Chronic Kidney Disease

Yes. My English Lab has kidney disease and the vet recommended Purina Kidney food, which is a prescription diet.

Author: Lynn R.

Likes: 3

My dog had liver issues I made a liver diet you can go online to get it for dogs, I am thinking sweet potato, brown rice, chicken, carrots. I made it in a big Tupperware in the beginning of the week and heated it up during the week. But you should check with your vet. Good luck

Author: Joanne B.

Likes: 0

My last lab had pancreatitis was on a RX food and it was vastly went to refill needed new RX then asked them can I buy something grain free cheaper they said sure go to Purina one grain free ….I did…. he lived to 13 3/4 good dog but tuff he was strong willed alpha male geeeez

Author: Christine L W.

Likes: 3

My lab went diabetic- we started him on Pet Fresh, the 6 lb log, and he did great in it. Loved it and lost weight. We still feed it to our current dogs.

Author: Jan Reeder S.

Likes: 1

My dog had eating issues after having pancreatitis and liver issues from the drug Rimadyl that was given to him after cancer surgery. Would not eat anything. So I did my own research. I boiled chicken breasts and added rice and string beans and sweet potatoes. You can also change up and use regular potatoes, corn, peas, and I do add pumpkin puree. Everything is cooked. I throw the sweet potatoes or the regular potatoes into the microwave for like 5 minutes. What really did it was the topper that I mixed in and also left on top which was chicken bone broth. They make it for dogs I believe its called Brutus Bone Broth or you can just use the human one. I make like 4 breasts at a time and give him one a day (sliced all up) with the rest of the food so I am not cooking everyday. I did not think I would be able to handle the extra work but it is really not time consuming and actually comes out cheaper than the expensive dog food if you can buy chicken cutlets for $1.99 a pound like I can here in NJ. He gobbles it down with no problem! Good luck!!

Author: Cecilia M.

Likes: 2

Our Maci has Cushing’s. Pro Plan weight control, Pro Plan kidney wet food and a couple of pills a day for her. She is “picky” now with her food. She’s 12 so she is a bit stubborn too.

Author: Douglas L.

Likes: 1

My dog was diabetic and had to eat the hills and Royal Canin for diabetics which of course she didn’t care for so I started looking up every human recipe for dietetics and figured out what she could eat from the list and then I started making her food from scratch…also I did find that is I took the dry diabetic food and grinded it to make a powder like a flour I could then add ingredients to it and bake them like cookies she loved them… I hope this helps I sure do miss my fur baby

Author: Sherry P.

Likes: 2

Mix the new food with the old. Start 75% old w 25% new. After a few days, go to 50/50; then 75/25; then all new. Dogs get attached to their normal food so transitioning to new is a process. If the pup is accustomed to dry food, you may also want to try mixing the new food with wet per the above. God bless you and your pup.

Author: Paul P.

Likes: 1

Royal Canin. Our lab doesn’t like it, but eventually eats it. We put broth with it. Her numbers are much better and she has dry diapers.

Author: Gail Dietz B.

Likes: 2

My dog has stage 3 kidney disease. We tried all the prescription diets, but he hated them. I got a recipe from our vet for homemade food and he loves it. I cook 1 pound of turkey, add a whole egg, then the rest is baby food. Vet said I don’t need to add any vitamins if I use baby food. I add to the chicken and egg, baby rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, & applesauce.

Author: Donna Wikstrom H.

Likes: 0

Royal canin renal support wet food

Author: Robyn Brodsky S.

Likes: 0

There is special food for kidney disease. Hill’s Prescription diet k/d. My lab had kidney disease and my vet said to feed him whatever he would eat if he wouldn’t eat the special food. Bland chicken and brown rice is always a good temporary substitute. Carrots and broccoli are good to give them too. Praying for you and your baby.

Author: Holly P.

Likes: 0

Orijen is the only one my dog would eat and not get sick

Author: Nyla B.

Likes: 1

Mine was on Hills Science diet, kidney care. He didn’t like it well but eventually ate it. We had the chicken and turkey!!!

Author: Colleen K.

Likes: 2

Our 11 year old lab has kidney issues and can’t have anything with protein in it. She’s on Royal Canin Renal. It’s prescription food.

Author: Kathy F.

Likes: 0

We use purina kidney function and mix in hills wet kindney with the night time meal, both prescription. I had to try a few to find the one he likes, so buy small bags at first. We also give him twice a week infusions of lactated ringers solution. It’s been 2 years and his numbers are in normal range. He gets his levels checked twice yearly.

Author: Amy K.

Likes: 0

When your dog has kidney issues a low protein diet is best that’s what my vet said when my boy kept getting infections. He said put him on Purina dog chow or any low protein food and it worked he seems to prefer Purina moist and meaty lower protein than most!That is my experience may not work for your pup

Author: Pat K.

Likes: 1

Try fresh lamb… less fat… if you have a grinder, grind it together with dry toast… 1/2 cup at a time, three times per day… if he tolerates it then after two days, you can increase the feedings to four times per day… if you don’t have a grinder, dice it up finely. NOT a cure, but it’s designed to ease the way his system processes food.

Author: Clee M.

Likes: 0

I do So she wouldn’t eat the dry, until I added the wet. So she wouldn’t eat any of the Hills K/D until I ordered the beef stew and she eats it up like she hasn’t eaten in days. I am told all dogs loves this one. I tried everything, baked chicken cut up, turkey, eggs, broth with no salt, I tried everything and nope…until I got this Beef gravy stew one.

Author: Jody N.

Likes: 2

You can contact justfoodfordogs and have them formulate a food for you. That’s what I did with my lab.

Author: Julie A.

Likes: 0

Make your own food. That prescription food causes way more issues, it’s not even real food which is why most dogs won’t eat it and are finicky with it. It’s totally processed crap. A good homemade food with garlic (yea garlic) it’s great for liver and kidney function. Tons and tons of info out there. I’d never give my dogs anything from Purina either, they use animals from shelters that have been euthanized and put it in their food, there’s a huge processing plant in LA. They’ve found the euthanasia drug in 13 of the major brands of dog food.

Author: Mellissa Ann C.

Likes: 0

My dog is 8, With no health issue. Since a year old. I give him goats milk. Goat milk contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a cancer-fighting fat that provides a lower risk of cancer and can shrink cancer tumors. The fats increase white blood cell count and boost immune cells. This milk can help pets who have been diagnosed with liver disease, kidney disease and stones, and diabetes.

Author: Joan Teresa P.

Likes: 0

It’s not really about the food if your baby is a lab; they love all food. Kidney disease makes them feel nauseous- it just does. And then dehydration is added on because they don’t really want to eat or drink= more nausea. Put the food out and your baby will eat it when nausea isn’t so bad.

Remember that dogs live in the moment and hopefully the moments he/she has left are more good moments than bad. Kidney disease sucks.

Author: Louise P.

Likes: 0

There is a paste you can get from the vet it comes in a tube and you use a syringe for dispensing food, Amazon has them, you stick the tip of the syringe on the side of the mouth, just put the tip in gently, slowly squeeze, the pup will naturally lick it, it gives calories not full nutrients but it does give enough energy to maybe, hopefully will jump start the natural diet, also try warming up pups dinner, with warm water, it sometimes promote appetite, get some soft food for kidney diet, some dogs will eat the soft instead, my vet told me that dogs can associate their food with the reason they feel bad, a throwback, to being in nature, eat bad stuff, you get sick sort of thing, I have one doing that right now, I started feeding him by hand, it’s working, so I am going with, the stuff in the tube I believe is called K Cal I think but I can check the name if you are interested.

Author: Linda K.

Likes: 0

I give my pup Hill’s prescription diet k/d dry and I add her pills and water to it. When she first got put on it I would add sugar free applesauce to it so it helped motivate her to eat. She’s a lot better about it now, but some days she only eats once a day. Another option I spoke to my vet about was making homemade dog food, she suggested I check the website definitely something to talk to your vet about if interested. After looking it over, I decided to stay with the dry food because it’s easier for me

Author: Erin Bradbury W.

Likes: 0

In conclusion, managing chronic kidney disease in labs is crucial for their long-term health and well-being. Selecting the best dog food tailored to your pet’s specific needs can significantly improve their quality of life. Opt for diets low in phosphorus and high-quality proteins, with added omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential vitamins. Consult with a veterinarian for personalized recommendations for your lab, and always transition your pet’s diet gradually. By providing the appropriate nutritional support, you can help manage your dog’s kidney disease and ensure they continue to lead a happy, healthy life.

iHeartDogs is reader supported, so some of the links above may be affiliate links where we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog