Creatinine is a chemical substance present in the body. It is produced as the waste product in muscles and enters the blood. The kidney filters the creatinine and removes it through urine.

Sometimes due to dysfunction of the kidney, creatinine level increases in the body. The elevated level of creatinine can cause several health-threatening conditions. So, it is crucial to keep the creatinine level of blood in a narrow range. In case your dog has elevated creatinine levels, then worry not because we will tell you how to lower creatinine levels in dogs?

After the creatinine level test, the veterinarian can suggest the appropriate way to lower the creatinine level. If there is a sky-high creatinine level veterinarian might recommend fluid therapy. Fluid therapy flushes the kidneys and lowers the creatinine level in dogs. Furosemide and mannitol also reduce creatinine effectively. In case of a moderate increase, prevention is the best treatment. Feed your dog with food containing less protein food and more fibers.

Various things elevate the creatinine level of the body temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, there are many health and physiological conditions that cause an increased creatinine level. If your dog has an elevated creatinine level, you must contact a veterinarian and develop a reliable plan to address the reason behind the elevation. In this article, we will discuss some most common causes of an increase in creatinine level of the dog, and we will discuss the treatment for lowering creatinine levels in detail.

How Creatinine is Produced in the body?

Creatinine is a by-product of normal muscle metabolism. Phosphocreatine is an energy-storing molecule present in muscles. During the active stage of muscles, the phosphocreatine undergoes rapid cyclization. The cyclization produces inorganic phosphate and creatine. Creatinase converts creatine into creatinine, and the kidney filters almost all the creatinine from the body. Creatinine is freely filtered from the glomerulus and is not absorbed through the tubules. Intestines of the dog absorb a minute amount of creatinine during the filtration.

The normal level of serum creatinine for dogs is less than 1.4 mg/dl. Any greater value than this could be indicative of kidney disease.

Why Creatinine Increase in dogs?

In most cases, an increase in the creatinine level occurs when kidney function decreases beyond a specific point.

In some dogs, creatinine production is more than in other breeds. The condition is present in the dog breeds of larger muscle mass. Boxers, sled dogs, and greyhounds are the most common victims. Because of their increased muscle mass, they produced more creatinine as a by-product. That’s why these breeds are often diagnosed with a slight increase in the serum creatinine level.

When dehydration increases from 5% a decrease in extracellular fluid occur, which causes an increase in the creatinine level of the body. An increase in serum creatinine level due to dehydration is a temporary increase.

Active consumption of the food containing the creatinine causes a marked increase in creatinine level.

Age: Blood creatinine concentration in dogs increases actively during the growth period up to one year in a puppy.

Bodyweight: Blood creatinine concentration is directly related to body weight. An increase in the body causes an increase in the creatinine level, which is why large muscle mass breeds of dogs might have moderately high blood creatinine concentration. And similarly, muscle atrophy in case of cachexia decreases blood creatinine level.

Time of sampling: The concentration of creatinine in dogs usually remains constant during the day, but after the meals, the creatinine level slightly increases in the body. So ideally, a sample for checking the creatinine level, should not be taken immediately after the meal.

Exercise is a factor that can cause a marked increase in creatinine level immediately. Exercise causes an increase in blood creatinine concentration in greyhounds (a 20% increase can occur after strenuous exercise.) But exercise is not a very obvious case to elevated creatinine levels in sled dogs. So, sampling is also not recommended immediately after exercise.

Protein intake: Food containing a high concentration of protein fluctuates blood creatinine concentrations. After a proteinaceous meal, an Increased concentration of up to 50%, can be seen after one to four hours of a proteinaceous meal. It is also a temporary case.

The last three cases of creatinine increase that you read are the cases that temporarily cause an elevation in the creatinine level. To avoid this type of false sampling, you should take the sample from the dog when they are in the fastened stage and before any strenuous exercise.

As you see above, an increased level of creatinine could be due to temporary and permanent causes. So, it is crucial to interpret the increased level of creatinine correctly. Two basic methods are in use to interpret an elevated creatinine level in dogs. Let’s discuss these cases one by one.

How to Interpret the Elevated Creatinine Level of the dog correctly?

There are two methods that commonly that are in use:

  1. In the first method, tests are conducted to check the creatinine level in a dog. And the test results are compared with the standard value. This method is not appropriate. Because a standard value is not feasible for all breeds of dogs and different regions of the world. And also, this method didn’t tell about the temporary and permanent increase.
  2. In the second method, a test to check creatinine is conducted twice in a dog to obtain two values. Then according to physiological conditions, clinicians decide either the obtained range of creatinine is normal or not. It is probably the better and reliable way. And also, it can differentiate between a temporary and permanent increase in the creatinine level.

If you are taking creatinine level as indicative of kidney dysfunction. Then, it is substantial to interpret the elevated creatinine level correctly to avoid any inconvenience.

Signs of Kidney Issues in dogs

Prevention is always better than treatment. If you diagnosed the elevated creatinine level of your dog at the early stage, then you can control it or lower it very easily. But how would you diagnose an elevated creatinine level of the dog at early stages? Well, following are some signs that dogs show while having issues with their kidneys.

  • Change in frequency and volume of water. In most cases the volume of urine reduces.
  • Change in the frequency of thirst
  • Loss of activeness and interest in physical activities
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Any sign of long-term dental disease.

If you see any or combination of the above-mentioned signs. Then it means your dog is having a problem with their kidneys, and in the future, they might face an elevated level of creatinine in the body. In this case, you should contact a veterinarian. The veterinarian would possibly suggest several tests including the creatinine level test. This test will tell you about the level of creatinine in your dog’s body.

If unfortunately, your dogs are diagnosed with an elevated creatinine level, then no need to panic. Because it is possible to lower the elevated creatinine level by following some simple methods, let’s see, what are those methods?

How to Lower Elevated Creatinine Level in dogs?

It is possible to lower elevated creatinine levels in dogs by correcting the potential cause that is causing an increase in the creatinine level of blood.

For example, if an increase in creatinine level is due to dehydration, then intravenous fluid therapy is recommended to correct elevated creatinine levels. Intravenous fluid will flush the kidney, it will remove all the extra creatinine, it will also correct the dehydration.

Sometimes it happens that kidneys fail to produce urine due to many reasons. If you feel that your four-footed friend is producing less amount of urine. Then your dog might face an elevated level of creatinine in the coming days. In this case, you can administer furosemide and mannitol to your dog. These are diuretics. Diuretics are the medications that stimulate kidneys to filter more body fluid, and as a result, more urine is produced. And ultimately, the level of creatinine decreases.

Feeding a dog with a diet containing high protein content causes a sudden increase in the creatinine level of the body. This type of elevation is temporary at the start, but if a protein diet is given long-term, then there could be a permanent increase in the creatinine level of the body. To avoid the latter case, you need to feed your dog a balanced healthy diet. If you are seeing bulk muscle mass on your four-footed friend, then avoid giving a whole protein diet to your dog. In this case, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian before making any change in the dog’s diet. However, a balanced diet with low protein and phosphorus content is best for dogs.

If you don’t want to treat elevated creatinine levels with medication, then you can simply reduce it by adding more fibers to your dog’s diet. It is not clear, how fibers lower the amount of creatinine, yet and more study is required in this area. Nevertheless, research has shown that fibers reduce the amount of creatinine in the body. To provide your dog with a high fiber diet, you can add legumes and whole grains to your dog’s diet.

One potential cause of creatinine elevation in dogs is kidney failure or kidney dysfunction. So, it is very important to have an eye on the factors that can cause kidney dysfunction. Because those factors will ultimately cause an increase in creatinine levels in dogs. One of the most common causes that cause kidney dysfunction is high blood pressure and toxicity due to different drugs and toxic substances. So try to keep the salt consumption of your dog as low as possible. And also, avoid overuse of drugs and supplements that could cause toxicity and kidney dysfunction.


Creatinine is a waste product in the body. Its elevated concentration is harmful to the body. So, it is very crucial to maintain the creatinine level of your dog’s body under control. So you can enjoy the good health of your four-footed friend.

Keep in mind that creatinine levels increase in the body due to kidney dysfunction. If the dog’s kidneys are working fine, then there are fewer chances of developing an elevated creatinine level in the body. Through this article, we tried to describe to you how to reduce elevated creatinine levels in dogs. So, if unfortunately, you see any sign of elevated creatinine level, then try to follow the prevention and treatment mentioned above. It will surely make a difference.