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Kidney Disease

Contrary to popular (and professional) belief, high protein diets do not cause nor exacerbate kidney disease. The research that has been used to claim the opposite was not done on cats or dogs, it was done on rodents feeding them a high protein food — something they would not even naturally consume. If anything, kidney disease requires increased high quality protein and decreased nutrient-displacing starches, their sugars, and the insulin resistance caused by them.

• “…protein does not adversely effect the kidneys…protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs…” Laflamme, D.P. Pet Food Safety: dietary protein. Top Companion Animal Medicine, 23 (3), 154-157, 2008.
• “Diets replete in protein were not associated with increased severity of glomerular or nonglomerular renal lesions, increased proteinuria, or decreased GFR (glomerular filtration rate)…results raise questions about the practice of restricting quantity of protein in the diet of cats with chronic renal failure, with the intention of ameliorating development of further renal damage.” Finco, D.R., et al. Protein and calorie effects on progression of induced chronic renal failure in cats. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 59 (5), 575-582, 1998.
• “…exposed to the low-protein diet had smaller kidneys which were shorter and wider than those of control animals. Creatinine clearance was significantly reduced in 4-week-old rats exposed to thelow-protein diet…suggestive of a progressive deterioriation of renal function in hypertensive rats exposed to mild maternal protein restriction during fetal life…” Nwagwu, M.O., et al. Evidence of progressive deterioration of renal function…exposed to a maternal low-protein diet in utero. British Journal of Nutrition, 83, 79-85, 2000.
• “...restriction of protein intake does not alter the development of renal lesions nor does it preserve renal function. Considering these (research) findings, the authors do not recommend reduction of dietary protein in dogs with renal disease or reduced renal function in order to achieve renoprotective effects.“ Kirk's Veterinary Therapy XIII, Small Animal Practice, page 861, written by Finco, Brown, Barsanti and Bartges.
• “The dog can digest large amounts of proteins, especially those of animal origin.“ stated Prof. Dominique Grandjean DVM, Ph.D., at the Fourth Annual International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association Symposium (page 53 of 1997 PROCEEDINGS).
• “The protein requirement for the cat is significantly higher than that of the dog.“ (page 131) CANINE AND FELINE NUTRITION.
• “There is no conclusive evidence showing that protein intake actually contributes to the development of kidney dysfunction in healthy animals.“ (page 117) CANINE AND FELINE NUTRITION.
• “It is recommended that the protein in the diet of geriatric dogs should not be restricted simply because of old age.“ (page 256) CANINE AND FELINE NUTRITION.

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