- Common Lower Urinary Tract Health Conditions and their Symptoms
- How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Urinary Health
- Prescription vs. Non-Prescription
- Ingredients that Impact a Dog’s Urinary Health
- Best Foods to Promote Good Urinary Health
- 1. Hill’s — Urinary Care u/d Dry Dog Food
- 2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Dry Dog Food
- 3. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Complete Health Dry Dog Food
- 4. Diamond Naturals Light Lamb and Rice Formula Adult Dog Food
- 5. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney + Mobility Dry Dog Food
- 6. Royal Canin Canine Urinary SO Small Dog Food
- 7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
Urinary problems are a common issue for many dogs. Some dogs experience chronic problems with infections, and others suffer from constant bladder stones and urinary crystals, causing them significant discomfort.
Chronic health issues of any kind are frustrating, but they are particularly hard when it happens to our beloved dog, who can’t understand what is going on or tell us when they’re not feeling well.
Urinary health issues vary in severity from minor urinary tract infections (UTI) to kidney disease, which can be fatal. Whatever the problem is, it is essential as dog parents we do all we can to provide the proper care and support to keep our canines feeling good.
One of the ways we can help promote good urinary health is ensuring we are feeding the best possible dog food available.
Thankfully there are several foods available that can help promote good urinary health, and prescription dog food is now available online pet supply stores like Chewy.com.
However, there are also a few non-prescription brands that can aid in maintaining good urinary health.
Below we have provided information regarding some of the common urinary health problems dogs suffer from and the foods that can help keep these issues at bay. Also, if you are looking specifically for low protein dog food options, check out our article Top 6 Best Low Protein Foods.
Common Lower Urinary Tract Health Conditions and their Symptoms
Several common lower urinary tract health issues affect dogs. Some of the more typical urinary issues seen in dogs are:
- Bladder or kidney stones or crystals
- Straining or signs of discomfort when urinating
- Squatting for a prolonged period
- Increased frequency of urination
- Bloody urine
- GI upset such as vomiting and loss of appetite
- Urinary tract infections
- Color changes in the urine such as blood or cloudiness
- Straining or discomfort when urinating
- Frequent urinating
- Excessive cleaning of the urinary opening
- Kidney Disease
- Increased thirst and urination
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bad breath
- GI issues like vomiting and diarrhea
- Sore mouth
- Weakness and lethargy
- Lack of energy
- Change in coat
- Loss of bladder control when sleeping
There are several reasons for urinary health problems, including diet. Dogs who have chronic bladder or kidney stones are treated long term with diet modifications. Specific minerals in a dog’s diet can cause a build-up of debris, resulting in stones.
Specific diets can also dissolve and reduce the future formation of bladder stones.
How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Urinary Health
The first thing to look for in a food regardless of your dog’s health is the AAFCO statement, showing that the food is nutritionally balanced for the specific life cycle indicated on the bag’s label. After that has been identified, be sure the food you choose is:
- A reliable brand with a sound history – Check the history of the company and ensure they stand behind their products. Additionally, if they have had a recall be sure that they fixed the issue and that they did not continue to have recalls regarding the same issue.
- Verify where the ingredients are sourced as well as where the food is manufactured
- Ensure that the life stage indicated is the proper stage for your dog
In addition to the base guidelines, the food must contain:
- A good source of protein in moderate quantity
- A high protein diet is not beneficial for dogs with urinary health issues
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Only natural preservatives and flavors
- A good source of easily digestible fiber
Prescription vs. Non-Prescription
Ideally, if your dog suffers from any chronic urinary health issue, your vet will recommend an appropriate prescription food. But, in the event your vet hasn’t specified a specific brand, we have listed some excellent foods below that will aid in promoting good urinary health.
Though some dogs may not have a severe enough condition to warrant a specialty food, they may still benefit from a diet that contains a lower protein level with more digestible fiber to support a healthy urinary system.
Whichever your vet recommends, that is the food you should begin feeding your dog. But if in the event your dog doesn’t care for the food, there are other options available.
Ingredients that Impact a Dog’s Urinary Health
Magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are all essential minerals in a dog’s diet. However, even though they are needed in your dog’s diet, some dogs have a more difficult time processing these minerals resulting in adverse reactions such as urinary health issues. For dogs who suffer from chronic urinary health conditions, it essential to control the amount of these minerals in their diet.
Other ingredients to take note of are:
- High-Quality digestible fiber – Digestible fiber not only boosts a healthy digestive system but also helps the body absorb vitamins and nutrients
- Foods high in antioxidants – Foods high in antioxidants increases the effectiveness of the immune system
Dogs with chronic urinary health issues should avoid high protein diets. Protein content needs to be carefully managed in your dog’s food so to avoid overtaxing the kidneys.
Best Foods to Promote Good Urinary Health
1. Hill’s — Urinary Care u/d Dry Dog Food
Best Food to Reduce Non-Struvite Stones
Hill’s u/d is formulated for dogs who suffer from chronic non-struvite stones and poor kidney health. This food contains low crude protein levels guaranteed to fall between 8%-12%, making it ideal for reducing the strain on the kidneys.
In addition to lower levels of protein, Hill’s u/d has carefully controlled amounts of calcium to decrease bladder stones.
Plus, Hill’s u/d has added both taurine and L-carnitine to support healthy heart muscle functions and circulatory system. And, if that isn’t enough, Hill’s has given the food an antioxidant boost to create a stronger immune system and manage cell oxidation.
- Managed levels of high quality easily digestible proteins
- Engineered to reduce the formation of non-struvite stones and promote kidney health
- Supports healthy pH levels in the urine
- First five ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Pork Fat, Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose
2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Dry Dog Food
Best Food to Reduce Struvite and Calcium Oxalate Crystals Purina
Purina developed the Ox/St formula to reduce urinary stones by making an undesirable environment for crystals, stones, and cystitis. Purina Ox/St contains above the minimum protein requirements, with a crude protein minimum of 21%. The moderate protein levels assist dogs in the building and maintaining healthy muscle mass, while not putting unnecessary strain on the kidneys.
Purina Ox/St contains chicken as the primary protein source and whole-grain corn and brewers rice for the main carbohydrates.
- Moderate protein levels make it ideal for active adult dogs
- Engineered to create an unfavorable urinary environment for sterile struvite stones and calcium oxalate stones
- Specifically designed for dogs with lower urinary tract disease
- First five ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols
3. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Complete Health Dry Dog Food
Best Non-Prescription Food to Boost Good Urinary Health
Solid Gold Holistique Blendz is specially created with reduced amounts of phosphorus, calcium, and sodium to aid in promoting proper kidney function and reduce the chances of calcium buildup. Additionally, Holistique Blendz contains several superfoods that support a healthy immune system, and cranberries are beneficial to urinary health.
Holistique Blendz is ideal for senior canines as well as less active adults. It has an 18% minimum crude protein level, which is lower than the average dog food but meets the AAFCO’s minimum for non-prescription foods. And it is enhanced with probiotics to encourage digestive wellness.
- Low crude protein 18%
- Contains Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids
- Contains cranberries to promote urinary wellness
- First five ingredients: Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Peas, Ocean Fish Meal, Dried Eggs
4. Diamond Naturals Light Lamb and Rice Formula Adult Dog Food
Best Economical Choice
Diamond Pet Food is one of the biggest pet food manufacturers in the world. This recipe is both economical and useful for weight management.
Diamond Lamb and Rice is enhanced with probiotics to promote good digestive health and glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. Also, it has a minimum protein level to reduce strain on the kidneys and is packed with superfoods like kale, spinach, flaxseed, and blueberries
- Low crude protein 18%
- Contains Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids
- Abundant in healthy easily digestible fiber
- First five ingredients: Lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice.
5. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney + Mobility Dry Dog Food
Best Duo Formula
Hill’s k/d + mobility is a unique formula in that it is made to aid both mobility issues and kidney disease.
K/D + mobility made with chicken supports proper kidney function and mobility; it is perfect for senior canines suffering from kidney disease. The recipe has strictly regulated amounts of phosphorous and sodium.
Plus, it has high amounts of essentials amino acids, which will help your dog build muscle making them more mobile. Additionally, k/d mobility has been enhanced with glucosamine and chondroitin to support proper joint health.
- Low crude protein 15.3%
- Contains Omega-3 fatty acids
- Contains dried beet pulp to aid in digestion
- First five ingredients: Brewers Rice, Flaxseed, Pork Fat, Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp
6. Royal Canin Canine Urinary SO Small Dog Food
Best Small Breed Option
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO was created to support urinary and bladder health in small breed dogs. The SO formula reduces excess minerals to avoid crystals and stones formulating in the urinary system.
Additionally, this recipe aids in supporting a healthy urinary environment lowering the risk of both struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. As a bonus, the kibble is designed to help reduce tartar buildup.
- Low crude protein 18%
- Controlled phosphorus and calcium levels
- First five ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn, Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal
7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
Best Non-Prescription Food for Dogs with Food Allergies
Natural Balance LID Bison and Sweet Potato protein levels aren’t as low as some of the other brands but still lower than the average. However, this formula is grain-free, limited ingredient, and uses a novel protein, all of which is ideal for canines with food allergies or sensitivities.
Natural Balance LID Bison and Sweet Potato are ideal for adult dogs who are at a higher risk for kidney disease. Additionally, it has lower levels of phosphorous and calcium, which will reduce the chances of crystals and stone formation.
- Low crude protein 20%
- Controlled phosphorus and calcium levels
- First five ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Bison, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dicalcium Phosphate
What are the most common urinary health issues in dogs?
Urinary tract infections, urinary stones or crystals, incontinence, urinary tract obstruction, and kidney disease or failure.
Which dog breeds are more susceptible to urinary issues?
Though it depends on the health issue, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Bichon Frise, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Dalmation, Pug, Welsch Corgi, Pekingese, Dachshund, Basset Hound, Bulldog, and Miniature Schnauzers, though all breeds are susceptible.
How can I tell my dog has UTI?
Color changes in the urine such as blood or cloudiness, straining, or discomfort when urinating, frequent urinating, leaking, excessive cleaning of the urinary opening.
How can I tell my dog has bladder stones?
Straining or signs of discomfort when urinating, squatting for a prolonged period, increased frequency of urination, bloody urine, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Why does my dog keep getting UTI?
There are several reasons why dogs get UTIs; amongst those issues is debris, including feces entering the urethral opening. Additionally, dogs with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for UTIs as well.
Can commercial dog food cause urinary health issues?
Dog food does not cause problems with urinary health. However, dogs that are more prone to urinary issues can have adverse reactions to foods with higher concentration levels of proteins, phosphorous, calcium, and sodium.
Can my dog die from urinary diseases?
It depends on the condition, kidney disease can be fatal, and almost any infection left unattended can cause significant health issues.
Can a lack of urination cause urinary problems in dogs?
Dogs who have more concentrated urine, so when it is not diluted, can have urinary problems.
How can I increase my dog’s urination?
To increase your dog’s urine production, you need to add more water to their diet. Two easy ways of doing this are feeding more canned food or adding water to your dog’s dry dog food.
Which medicines can I give my dog for better urinary health?
Your vet will prescribe any medications needed to resolve any urinary health issues, including but not limited to antibiotics and pain medicine as required.
Which supplements can I give my dog for better urinary health?
Remember, we are not veterinarians and believe that readers should always feed the food recommended by their vet. However, we also know that there are several brands to choose from, and if our dogs are not eating or responding well to a specific variety of food, it is always nice to be aware of your other options.
My dogs require a prescription food for their allergies. My dogs are quite picky and wouldn’t eat the recommended brand, so I needed to find one on my own. Not all vet clinics carry all prescription brands; it would be impracticable for them to do so. However, if you ask, most vets will provide a written prescription so you can purchase the right food for your dog from another source.
We hope that this article has helped you and your dog find the right diet and that they are feeling better and doing well.