I Love Google… & Dawny

Did you know that by the time blood work shows evidence of kidney disease in your dog, the kidneys have already lost about two-thirds of their function?  Google hit me with that little tidbit.

I love Google.  It puts a world of information at your fingertips.  I know there are other search engines out there, but I have been using Google for ages.  I like how the word “Google” rolls around in the mouth.

Having Google in your pocket is like having a best friend on beck and call any hour of day or night.  “Hey!  Google!  Wake up!  What should I do about…”  this or that bothersome little issue or full-grown crisis?  And Google calmly returns with answers.  Answers that can put your situation into perspective.  You have to sift carefully through search results because there is a lot of chaff mixed in with the wheat.  But if you look at enough of the hits (avoiding the ones that are advertisements for something they are trying to sell), you can start to separate the more reliable information from the junk.

So, last week after Dawny’s vet appointment, I returned to my computer and asked Frau Google:  “What should I feed a dog who has kidney disease?”

A low (but high quality) protein and low phosphorus diet was the common denominator from the Googlian hits to my question.  Also, she should be getting 35-50% more calcium than phosphorus.  I found a wealth of information from experts and common folk alike, including recipes for homemade food to help my four-legged loved one live as long and as well as possible.

Dawny’s new diet will be a work in progress and adjusted as I see how she does, but this is what I have determined so far:

Ground beef.  Beef has less phosphorus than chicken or turkey.  Also, fatty beef is better than lean since it has less protein.  Apparently dogs don’t have the same issues we humans do when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease from fatty meat.

Rice.  While brown rice has much more nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, and fiber), white rice has less protein and less phosphorus.  Because the outer hull is discarded from white rice, arsenic and other harmful minerals that are often absorbed by rice when it is being grown becomes less of a problem.  Given Dawny’s need for as clean a diet as possible, I am going to try white rice.

The need for a clean diet is also why it is important to provide high quality water.  Distilled water is great.  Nice to know, since that is what I have been giving her ever since she came to live with us.

Egg whites are a source of very high quality protein, but egg yolks are high in phosphorus.  So, more yellow for me on egg day!

Moringa Leaf powder–given to us by some good friends who love Dawny dearly–is loaded with nutrients that she might be missing out on by eating less commercial dog food.  Better yet, its protein content is high quality and it contains way more calcium than phosphorus.  Perfect for the kidneys.  I mix about a teaspoonful in with the dollop of plain yogurt she gets at lunch time and she loves it.  Yogurt is also a good source of calcium and is a high quality protein food, not to mention all the good it does replenishing intestinal flora.

Sweet potatoes and green beans nicely mashed together will give her great fiber content and more vitamins and minerals.  We had a dog once (yay, Buster!) who made it to 18 years old back when I used to always cook for our dogs.  His diet was primarily ground meat, rice, and green beans.

I will still feed my girl some commercial dry food, at least for awhile.  She simply eats too much (four to five times a day/night when she is feeling well) for me to keep up with her in the kitchen.  That will also help meet her need for certain nutrients that dog food manufacturers add to their formulations.

The dry dog food I’ve been using with good success for about a year, when Dawny’s digestive problems started in ernest, is Rachel Ray’s Zero Grain Salmon and Sweet Potato.  It is lower in protein and higher in fiber than most other dry food and fairly easy to find at many Walmarts and most grocery stores.  As I shop around, I will look closely at the nutritional info panel on other options and may switch if I find a lower protein and phosphorus mix.

If Dawny loses her appetite down the road, I will probably phase the commercial food completely out.  We shall cross that bridge when we get there.  Meanwhile, I am looking forward to spoiling her with home-cooked supplemental meals.  She has always been a food hound, so I know it will be greatly appreciated, and she will feel like the Queen that she is.

Thanks, Google!

I love you, Dawny.

(The photo at the top of this post is of Dawny in her camouflage-patterned winter coat, bought and modeled when we were in Texas.  She likes it waaaaay better than her stupid sweater.  All she needs is a gun rack!  Oh, and a final note:  Exercise, exercise, exercise!  Whenever your pup is feeling up to it, get them out for a lovely stroll, especially after a meal.  It helps with their digestive process and, most importantly, their frame of mind… and yours.)


  1. Carol, I love Google also!! I spend an awful lot of time searching information. The last several days, I visited dozens (hundreds?) of sites. I was rewarded with an eventual answer and I wrote about it tonight on my blog: “Second day of spring.” https://threequartersandcounting.com/2017/03/21/second-day-of-spring/

    OMG, you have your work ahead of you preparing food for Dawny.

    • Lorraine, you are one who inspires others with your use of Google! I’ve been enjoying your blog and rooting for you and your scanning project. I hope you have a lovely Texas springtime, no scary storms, and continue to enjoy good health and friendships. (((hugs))) Carol

  2. Mr. Mike says:

    All my love and hopes for you both.

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