Frequently Asked Questions: Diet And Canine Bladder Stones
These are just some of the dog food formulas available that can be beneficial for dogs prone to bladder stones. There are other choices and we do know that pet parents often have questions both about bladder stones in dogs in general and the best ways to use diet to help prevent them and keep their pup as healthy as possible.
Here is a look at some of the most frequently asked of those questions:
Proplan Veterinary Diets Ur Urinary Ox/st Canned Food
This is another prescription only wet dog food designed to promote urinary health, dissolve potentially harmful struvite and calcium oxalate crystals and add extra moisture into a bladder stone prone pup’s diet.
The primary protein in this solid style wet dog food is a high quality chicken which is supplemented by chicken liver, and offers a very high quality protein source. It is also supplemented with a number of vitamins to help ensure the overall health and function of your pup’s body, especially his immune system.
- Pros: Has found to be excellent for dissolving struvite crystals. Vitamin enhanced for an immune system boost. Offers a very high quality protein.
- Cons: Available via prescription only.
How Can I Get The Most Out Of My Urinary Stone Diet
I always tell my clients that if Rover is prone to plumbing issues, the more water he gets into his system, the less chance hell have of things getting stuck.
The principle works by diluting urine and by keeping the relative supersaturation of stone-forming minerals and metabolites as dilute as possible.
If your dog is not a big fan of water, adding wet food to his food ration will help get that necessary fluid in their system by disguising it as something tasty.
This could potentially help manage your dogs weight if they also have a weight problem. As discussed earlier, obesity can often lead to bladder stone issues. This way youre hitting two birds with one stone.
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Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+u Weight Management + Urinary Care
If your veterinarian is adamant that even the best non-prescription dog food for urinary health wont be enough for your dog, at least go with a trusted brand like Blue Buffalo.
This Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Urinary Care wet food is a prescription formula, but it is made with much higher quality ingredients than the leading brand.
It comes in both a dry food and canned food formula, both featuring increased levels of fiber to boost satiety with controlled levels of magnesium and sodium to support urinary health.
This canned food is made with fresh chicken as the main ingredient followed by chicken broth for a boost of moisture and natural flavor.
It contains fresh fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, as well as added vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
- Pros: Veterinarian-recommended for urinary health, increased moisture content, fresh chicken as the main ingredient, fresh fruits and veggies for natural nutritional content
- Cons: Fairly expensive compared to non-prescription diets, contains plant protein as main ingredient
What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Stones In Dogs
Any human who has ever had to deal with kidney or bladder stones knows that significant pain is one of the most noticeable symptoms experienced, along with .
Your pup has a harder time expressing he is in pain though, but there are several ‘tell-tale’ signs that he may be suffering from this painful condition, including all the following:
- Whimpering or restlessness
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Breed Size: Small Breeds, Medium Breeds, Large Breeds, All Breeds
- Total Weight: 30 Pounds
As we mentioned, cranberries are an exceptional ingredient for urinary health, it happens to be included in the list of ingredients. Aside from bladder and urinary tract health, the Blue Buffalo formula focuses on protein with chicken and very healthy amounts of omega fatty acids that boost skin and coat health.
You can also find sources of vitamin C and B12 that will further the effects of urinary health protection. Your pup will benefit from this food and have a stronger immune system, bones and teeth.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch, Flaxseed , Chicken Fat , Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber
- Breed Size: Small Breeds, Medium Breeds, Large Breeds, All Breeds
- Special Diet: Grain-Free, Gluten Free, High-Protein
The Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free dog food contains levels of vitamin B12 for a stronger immune system. Your dog will be less likely to develop urinary issues with additional levels of vitamins and minerals. The roasted bison and venison is considered a more exotic form of protein your dog will love and there is even proprietary probiotics to give a healthy digestive system by lowering urinary tract infections.
- Special Diet: Pea-Free, Veterinary Diet
What Will Dissolve Bladder Stones In Dogs
This option is ultrasonic dissolution, a technique in which high frequency ultrasound waves are used to disrupt or break the stones into tiny particles that can then be flushed out of the bladder. It has the advantage of immediate removal of the offending stones without the need for surgery.
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How Will I Know What Steps I Need To Take And What I Need To Feed My Dog In Order To Prevent His Bladder Stones From Recurring
The nutritional focus for a particular dog will depend on the specific diagnosis that dog receives, and your veterinarian is a key partner in creating an overall plan that best fits your dog’s bladder stone composition. There are, however, some general statements that can be made about the nutritional management of bladder stones that occur in dogs:
Regardless of the ultimate treatment of canine bladder stones – surgical removal or dissolution – nutrition will play a critical role in preventing recurrence. Once a nutritional profile has been chosen, it is important to feed only what has been prescribed, so speak to your veterinarian before offering any additional food or treats. The add-ons may undermine what the prescribed nutrient profile is able to do to prevent bladder stones from recurring.
What Cupcake Eats In A Day
I usually batch prep the protein and vegetables at the beginning of the week. If Im making ground turkey, I will cook a whole package, separate it into small containers and freeze what Im not using. The same with the vegetables, I will chop a batch of fresh vegis every 5 days or so and keep it in the fridge. Unfortunately, because the vegis are fresh, you cant make too big of a batch because it will go bad.
- Breakfast: 30% ground turkey, 70% vegetables , 1/4 an avocado, 1 TSP of coconut oil drizzled over food.
- Snack: Sliced apples with peanut butter or diced bananas with goats milk.
- Dinner: 30% ground turkey, 70% vegetables , 1 TBSP of sardines , olive oil.
Depending on what I have in the fridge at the time, I may throw in some sweet potato, breadfruit, brown rice, or quinoa. I occasionally will give her a store bought dog treat, but I stay away from the ones filled with junk. If your looking for a tasty treat without all the bad preservatives, you have to try Rocco & Roxie Jerky Dog Treats, my babies go nuts over these things!
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Q What Foods Can Cause Bladder Stones In Dogs
A: No one food has been proven to actively cause bladder stones in dogs, but it is well documented and agreed upon in the veterinary medical community that certain foods do indeed contribute to the problem.
Food that is very high in protein can be a problem. While every dog needs a certain amount of protein to be healthy too much can lead to excessive protein deposits in the urine which in turn can be a catalyst for the formation of bladder stones.
High fat dog foods have also been found to be a possible contributing factor, so a lower fat diet is recommended instead. In addition, high levels of sodium should be avoided, which means that all table scraps should be off the ‘menu’ for your pup and their dog food should be a lower sodium choice.
Hills Prescription Diet C/d Multi
Easily one of the most popular brands of prescription pet food, Hills is a company that many veterinarians trust. If youre looking for a prescription canned food that is formulated to support your dogs urinary health, consider this Hills Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew.
Here are the main options for treating bladder stones:
Dietary dissolution is the preferred treatment for many veterinarians because it is non-invasive and it can help prevent stones from reforming in the future. Keep in mind that not all stones can be dissolved through dietary changes youll need to ask your vet if it is possible.
Dietary dissolution can also be a fairly slow process, taking weeks or months to dissolve a large stone. If your dog is at risk for urethral obstruction during this time, you may want to take a more direct approach to treatment.
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What Should I Feed My Dog If Theyre Experiencing Frequent Urinary Tract Issues
Youll want to talk with your vet before making any changes to your pets diet. They can provide guidance on the right diet for your pup and give you instructions for transitioning to a new food safely. Remember to never just give your pup a different food right away. Their stomachs are sensitive and you could cause a major upset if you make the switch too quickly.
Here are a few urinary tract-friendly options you can discuss with your vet:
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+u Canned Food
Most Affordable: Youve already learned that wet food is a good choice for dogs at risk for bladder stones because it is higher in moisture than kibble. Increasing the moisture content of your dogs food is a simple way to dilute his urine and remove some of the acidity in his urine pH to help reduce the risk of stone formation.
If your dog already has bladder stones or has had them before, however, you need more than just a typical canned food you need one designed for urinary health. This Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Weight Management + Urinary Care Grain-Free Canned Food is a great choice because it is veterinary formula but made with high-quality, natural ingredients.
It features fresh chicken as the main ingredient with both chicken broth and water for added moisture. Youll find fresh fruits and vegetables which provide natural sources for key nutrients with vitamins and chelated mineral supplements to ensure balanced nutrition and optimal nutrient absorption.
It may cost more than your average canned food, but it is veterinarian-recommended and proven to support urinary health.
- Pros: Veterinary diet for urinary health, real chicken main ingredient, controlled levels of magnesium and sodium, wholesome natural ingredients, complete and balanced
- Cons: Requires a veterinary authorization to purchase, significantly more expensive than average canned food
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Hills Prescription Diet Urinary Care
Hills Prescription Diet is one of the few who have developed dog food that mainly focuses on dogs urinary health.
It contains ingredients that help reduce the possibility of your dogs having struvite and calcium oxalate stones.
It also contains a controlled level of protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium which ensure that the health of your dogs would not be compromised.
It also has a rich amount of antioxidants and moisture levels which can help in the reduction of urinary crystals.
Lastly, it contains potassium citrate and Omega-3 fatty acids which both help in the digestion of food while keeping your dogs skin and coat healthy.
How To Choose The Right Dog Food For Urinary Health
- More Moisture
Look for food with higher moisture content. Canned food is usually a better option because it has more moisture. Plus, the meat is closer to its unprocessed form, and the pH level more appropriate as compared to kibble. If you cant afford wet food all the time, switch it with one meal a day or just sprinkle some of it on the kibble as a topper.
- Suspect Ingredients
Suspect ingredients can potentially cause or increase inflammation. They include grains, refined carbs, chemical preservatives, artificial additives, and fillers.
Some minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, are often the cause behind the formation of crystals in the bladder and urinary tract. It is better to avoid food with a high concentration of these minerals.
- Ingredients to Include
Look for ingredients that support urinary health. I always recommend dog food with cranberry, since it is a fantastic cleanser for the urinary system. Vitamin E and B are also good for the system. Other UT friendly ingredients include cod liver oil and chitosan.
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Be Careful With Added Ingredients
A cat or dog on a therapeutic diet shouldnt be allowed to eat other foods without the permission of your vet. Dr. Susan Jeffrey, a veterinarian with Truesdell Animal Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, had a client who had been mixing a therapeutic diet with an over-the-counter diet. The cat’s stones returned and he needed another surgical procedure to remove them, she recalls.
Although your vet has the final say about which foods are appropriate, there are some general guidelines. Avoid rawhide, pig ears, bully sticks, and other collagen-rich treats, Larsen says. They are not only not high enough in moisture but also provide compounds converted to oxalate by the body, which is an obvious no-no for pets with calcium oxalate stones. Su adds, For patients with calcium oxalate stones, make sure to avoid excess calcium , and high oxalate ingredients . Animals with urate and cysteine stones should avoid added protein , Larsen says.
And continued, close monitoring for symptoms of stone recurrence is vital. Dietary manipulation does not work in all cases. Recurrence of stones, especially calcium oxalates, can occur in some patients even if they are strictly fed the appropriate therapeutic diets, Su says.
Stones In The Kidneys
Stones can form anywhere along your pup’s urinary tract, including his kidneys and bladder. These stones can cause serious health conditions such as kidney failure or urinary blockages if left untreated. Some pups are predisposed genetically to developing kidney stones. Their kidneys don’t produce enough of a substance called nephrocalcin, which helps to discourage the formation of stones, according to VeterinaryPartner. Other pups may develop kidney stones due to bladder infections, diets high in protein and minerals or high amounts of calcium in the blood, according to petMD. Certain health conditions like Cushing’s disease also may predispose a pooch to developing kidney stones.
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Hills Prescription Diet C/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Main Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Meal, Pork Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Mill Run
Although most bladder stones are caused by urine that is too alkaline, thats not always the case. In certain situations, lower urine pH can lead to problems. For dogs with a lower urine pH, Hills Prescription C/D Urinary Care is the solution.
Its high magnesium and phosphate content help balance the pH of your dogs urine. Also, it provides enough calcium for growth and maintenance without delivering too much, which can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate stones.
What Are The Benefits Of Dog Food For Bladder Stones
If you choose your dog food appropriately for a dog with bladder stones, you are bound for the following benefits:
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Ur Urinary Ox/st Canned Dog Food
Main Ingredients: Chicken, Water, Rice, Meat by-products, Liver
This therapeutic diet is specially formulated for the treatment of struvite and calcium oxalate stones. It keeps the urine diluted to prevent the mineral deposits that result in crystal growth. Also, its low fiber and high moisture levels are well suited for dogs with compromised kidneys.
It is a pea-free food perfect for dogs with a sensitive digestive system. Whats unique about this dog food is that it has more protein than most therapeutic diets. If your dog is underweight, a low protein diet can be harmful, but this particular product is ideal since it keeps the dog energized and the urinary tract healthy.