Good ol’ Ranger boy took a trip to the vet the other day and had a full blood panel test. The results came back, but were different than I expected: Ranger has protein in his urine.
Vet recommendation: Feed Ranger a diet with less protein per serving.
Hmm…he’s only 5 years old. What is all this about anyhow? So, I took 5 dog health and holistic type dog books out of mine and my friends’ collective libraries and set out to read.
Ranger rarely drinks water. Uh oh. Bad news for kidneys. It is possible that at his young-ish age he is experiencing a decline in his kidney function to where he needs less protein, but could it have to do with water consumption as well?
Also, one of the treatments for failing kidneys is to give a subcutaneous fluid injection (a needle is inserted just under the skin and fluids are pumped in). Expensive at the vet (or scary for me to do my self), and not fun for the dog.
So, being the fussy dog mommy that I enjoy being to my guy, I decided to experiment with water. And what about his existing food? It’s still food, right? I have two large bags of a very high quality dog food (Acana Pacifica, to be specific), It has lots of other great ingredients that I would have a hard time assembling twice a day, day after day. So Mommy Soup was born. And, he loves it!
Slurp! Slurp! Slurp! All that good water getting inside of him. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see him pee as much as he is.
I’m taking Ranger back in for a complete urinalysis next week, so I will provide an update to see if anything has changed or improved, but I have to think this is a step in the right direction.
Mommy Soup Recipe
Now, I tried putting his kibble in my soup batch the first time and cooking it all together, but then I couldn’t tell exactly how much protein/kibble he was actually getting.
New concept: Keep a big batch of good tasting, healthy water in the refrigerator. At feeding time, measure out a little less kibble than he normally gets (used to be 1/2C, am now reducing it to 1/3C and checking to see if he complains about being hungry. So far, so good.) I toss his kibbles into a pan, add a lot of the liquid to make a decent sized bowl of soup. (1 1/2C maybe? I’ll measure sometime. I just eyeball it, you can experiment with what you think the right amount would be for your dog). I warm it for just a few seconds so that the kibble expands and absorbs some water too. He loves lukewarm food so much more than cold. It’s amazing the difference it makes for a lot of dogs.
*Bottled water (don’t want the kidneys to have to try to eliminate any toxins–I get mine from a local water store)
* Meat (so far, I’ve used chicken and some salmon skin, might try duck next)
* Asparagus (I read this was healthy for kidney functioning)
* Parsley (same with parsley)
* Kale (just seems like it’s good for everything)
* Carrots (why not?)
* Rice (just happened to have some on hand–he likes it)
Note: No onions! No salt!
Organic vegetables: Yes
How much meat? I don’t know. Enough to flavor the water. I used a package (about 1lb. of *organic* boneless chicken thighs from Costco – again, want my mixture as clean as possible so that his kidneys aren’t fighting to filter pesticides, hormones, etc.) to about 6C of water. I like it to e very, very watery. I accidentally made a batch that turned into being more of a chili texture and he didn’t like it at all.
1. Cook meat in the water slowly. (Don’t boil it to death, just cook it and let all the juices come out).
2. Dice all of the vegetables together in a food processor. (I had to do this because my dog will not eat a vegetable if he detects it in its natural form. (I’ll post a picture and you’ll get the idea!)
3. Once the meat is cooked, I toss in the vegetables and let it simmer awhile in the meat juice.
4. If using rice, cook it on the side and add it to the cooked meat/vegetable mix.
5. I’m not sure how much protein is in salmon skin, so I have been removing the skin from the water and tossing it even though I know he loves these as a treat. I’ll play it safe for now until I get his next test results back. I do pick out the cooked chicken pieces and chop them up small and put some back into the soup. I freeze the rest to be used as treats for training.
If you have any great additions or variations…or if there is something I am seriously overlooking, do let me know in the comments. I’m just really pleased to see him drinking in this water and I think it seems overall like a pretty healthy (or at least neutral) way of doing so.
What Ranger thinks of vegetables!! It’s like he had an outright tantrum.