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What’s The Best Dog Food For Urinary Health? Reviews & Buyer’s 2021 Guide

top picks for best dog foods for urinary health issues - feature image

About 27% of dogs will develop a urinary health problem at some point in their life and the most common urinary health concerns in dogs include bladder stones, urinary stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and loss of bladder control.

Whatever the urinary health issue is, it’s important as responsible dog parents to do everything possible to provide proper care to keep our canine companions feeling healthy. One of the best ways you can help improve urinary health in your dog is by feeding them the best dog food for urinary health. A urinary care dog food plays a vital role in preventing and managing a UTI.

If you want to keep your dog’s urinary health on the right track or are looking to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections, then it’s important to consider your dog food options seriously.

We already did all the research for you. If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the best food for urinary care, here are our top choices.

PRODUCT / PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet dog food for urinary problems

1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet with reduced protein levels and L-carnitine for kidney disease

2. Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Care u/d Original

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet urinary tract health

3. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Dry Dog Food, Canine Formula

Top 7 Best Dog Food For Urinary Health

1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet dog food for urinary problems

At the top of our list of the best urinary food for dogs is the Royal Canin Canine Urinary SO recipe. This dry dog food was formulated to support bladder and urinary health, as well as the overall wellbeing of small breed dogs. This formula gets rid of excess minerals to prevent crystal formation in the urinary system.

In addition, this SO dog food formula helps with supporting a favorable environment for reducing the risk of both calcium oxalate and struvite urinary stones. Moreover, the kibble helps to minimize tartar buildup and other dental issues.

Its main ingredients include corn, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, and chicken by-product meal.

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2. Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Care u/d Original

Hill’s Prescription Diet with reduced protein levels and L-carnitine for kidney disease

If you are searching for a dry dog food that is specially formulated to improve the urinary health of your dog, while supporting his overall wellbeing, then look no further than the Hill’s Prescription Diet developed by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians. Hills is one of the leading pet food manufacturers around as it helps dissolve struvite stones. This dog food contains five key ingredients: corn starch, brewers rice, powdered cellulose, pork fat, and egg product that promotes balanced nutrition and urinary care.

A dog food that requires veterinary authorization, Hill’s Prescription Diet u/d Original dry food has been formulated for pups that suffer from kidney disease and chronic urinary issues. This dog food for urinary care contains low-crude proteins that range between 8% and 12%. This makes it perfect for minimizing the pressure on the kidneys.

In addition to the reduced protein levels, Hills U/D boasts controlled levels of calcium to reduce bladder stones.

As a bonus, the Hill’s u/d includes both L-carnitine and taurine to promote a healthy circulatory system and healthy muscle health. As if that is not enough, the manufacturer has added powerful antioxidants to boost the immune system and control cell oxidation.

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3. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Dry Dog Food, Canine Formula

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet urinary tract health

The Purina Pro Plan Ox/St Canine Formula is highly recommended by veterinarians since it has proven to be safe and effective at reducing sterile struvite stones and calcium crystals.

Purina created the Ox/St recipe to decrease urinary stones by creating an unfavorable urinary environment for cystitis, crystals, and stones. The formula contains the minimum nutrient requirements, including a crude protein level of 21%.

These moderate levels of crude protein will allow your dog to build and maintain lean muscle mass, without putting too much strain on his kidneys. The main protein source of this dry kibble is chicken, with the main carbohydrates being Brewers Rice and whole grain corn.

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4. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Complete Health Whole Grain Diet With Oatmeal, Pearled Barley & Ocean Fish Meal

Solid Gold Holistique Blendz urinary tract dog food

Solid Gold Holistique Blendz has been specially formulated with minimal amounts of sodium, calcium, and phosphorus to help with supporting healthy kidney function and decrease the risk of calcium buildup.

In addition, Holistique Blendz features a number of superfoods that boost the immune system, as well as cranberries that are particularly good for the kidneys.

Holistique Blendz is perfect for senior dogs and less active adult dogs. It boasts an 18% crude protein minimum level, which is much lower than the ordinary dog food but still meets the minimum AAFCO level for non-prescription dog foods. Plus, it is enriched with probiotics to promote healthy digestion.

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5. Wellness Core Grain Free Protein-Rich Nutrition For Puppies Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal & Turkey Meal Recipe

Wellness Core Grain-Free food for urinary health issues

Urinary tract problems in dogs often occur over time, and hence, are less common in puppies. Nonetheless, since certain breeds tend to be more vulnerable to urinary health problems, it is important to take the necessary preventive measures.

The Wellness CORE Grain-Free Recipe is one of the best dog foods for urinary health issues and a favorite puppy food thanks to its numerous health benefits and because it has the right balance of ingredients. It contains the perfect balance of organic ingredients. Your puppy will receive all the essential nutrients, as well as a controlled level of phosphorus and calcium.

Therefore, the risk of stone buildup and formation is greatly reduced. Moreover, it is a gluten-free and grain-free dog food option that helps to prevent digestive problems and UTI problems.

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6. Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula With Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Meals

Canidae All Life Stages for weight management

The CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula is a great option for senior dogs for various reasons. Although it is beneficial to dogs of all life stages, it is the perfect choice for seniors who are no longer active. It supports their urinary health while helping to keep any excess pounds off your best friend.

It is a highly digestible food thanks to its quality fiber and lean proteins. Additionally, you benefit from Canidae’s unique Health PLUS combination of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega acids which promotes a complete and balanced nutrition. It is the ultimate solution that your dog needs to stay healthy for a long period of time.

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7. Zesty Paws Cranberry Bladder Bites Kidney, Bladder & Urinary Tract Support, Chicken Flavor

Zesty Paws Cranberries

If your dog has urinary issues, then you should consider adding a quality and balanced food for urinary care like the Zesty Paws Cranberry Bladder Bites to his regular routine.

The bites are available in a pleasant chicken liver flavor that tastes delicious and the kibble size is also ideal for smaller and/or toy breeds. They are designed to balance your pup’s urine pH level while also promoting other aspects of their bladder health.

This limited ingredient dog food for urinary health issues features Cran-Max that includes revolutionary Bio-Shield technology to eradicate bad bacteria and proper bladder function.

When feeding your dog these supplements, carefully follow the feeding instructions on the product label to give your pup one to three chews per day. It’s as simple as that!

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risk factors and causes of urinary incontinence for certain breeds and food allergies in one dog's nutrition

Basic Information about Urinary Tract Health in Dogs

Besides the territorial aspect of it, urinating is a normal behavior for canines. When you notice changes in your dog’s urinary routines, it should be cause for concern.

Here are a few of the most common things that can affect urinary tract health of your dog: 

  • Infection – Lower urinary tract infections are common in canines which can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. UTIs are also more common in female dogs.
  • Kidney or Bladder Stones – Certain minerals can crystallize in a dog’s urinary tract and aggregate into tiny stones. Miniscule stones can pass in the pee, but large stones may clog up the urinary tract and cause pain.
  • Other Urinary Issues – Other issues that can affect the bladder and kidney include urolithiasis, bladder stones, urinary calculi, ureteral stones, and urinary calculus disease.
  • Incontinence – The muscle that holds urine in the bladder is called the urethral sphincter. When a pooch gets older, they sometimes lose control over their urethral sphincter which leads to incontinence.
  • Kidney Failure – Ingestion of certain harmful substances like antifreeze can lead to kidney failure in canines which may display some urinary symptoms.

Urinary routines vary largely from one dog to another, so just because your pooch only urinates twice a day does not necessarily mean something is wrong.

Your pet’s habits may change as he age as well – it is typically a result of the muscles that hold urine in the bladder weakening as they get older. If you’re not sure whether your pet’s change in peeing habits are something to be worried about, it is always safest to talk to your vet.

Whether your dog has a urinary stones, UTI, or another issue, your veterinarian is the best person to ask about treatment. In addition to whatever treatment your vet recommends, there are certain changes you may want to make to his diet, like switching to fresh food and adding more water to his diet.

Which Dog Breeds Are Prone To Urinary Tract Issues?

Toy breeds or smaller breeds of dogs are more vulnerable to lower urinary tract issues probably because of the narrower track and smaller bladder. Such breeds do not urinate as frequently as their larger counterparts.

Non-prescription diets are also more of a preventive. They are a great option for small breed dogs susceptible to urinary health issues. Make sure to encourage your dog to drink more fresh water.

Although it depends on their overall health situation, Miniature Schnauzers, Bulldogs, Basset Hound, Dachshund, Pekingese, Welsh Corgi, Pug, Dalmatian, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire Terriers are prone to urinary system issues.

5 Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection

Canines urinate regularly. Just like us humans, dogs will urinate to get rid of all waste material in their bodies.

There are even cases where dogs might urinate and mark the spot multiple times. These are normal, but how can you tell that your pooch has a UTI? Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:

1. Dog Feeling Lethargy

If you notice that your dog is low on energy or doesn’t want to take part in activities, chances are he has a urinary tract infection.

2. Foul Smell In Dog’s Urine

If your dog’s urine doesn’t smell good, chances are he is suffering from a urinary tract infection. The foul smell comes from crystallized urine in dogs. Excess levels of a certain protein are emitted into the dog urine. Crystals dog urine and even stones may build up and cause a serious obstruction if the issue isn’t addressed.

lower urinary tract and urine production issues - when to bring to one vet for diagnosis

3. Persistent Licking Of Genitals

Persistent licking of the genital area may also be a sign of urinary tract infections. If you notice your dog licking their genitals persistently, then that may be a sign that he has UTI. [1]

4. Dog’s Lack Of Appetite

Lack of appetite is something that most pet parents will definitely notice on their dogs. If your pup is not eating, chances are there’s something wrong. Loss of appetite and weight loss may or may not be a sign of UTI so be sure to contact your vet if your pup has lost his appetite.

5. Dog Urinating In Different Places

Dogs are usually trained to do their business on a particular spot in the house. This means that if he is urinating almost everywhere, there’s something wrong. Therefore, it’s important to contact your vet who can rule out major health problems.

These are a few of the signs you should watch out for. If you have noticed that your pup is displaying these symptoms, make sure to take them to your vet immediately.

care for body issue and bring to one veterinarian for one poor urination condition and digestibility

Important Features To Consider

Generally, it’s strongly recommended to feed your dog a well-balanced diet that is made from organic ingredients. Invest in a urinary pet food formula with natural flavors and that contains a fairly low number of whole food ingredients such as whole grains (for dogs with food sensitivities), real animal protein, or vegetable and fatty acids.

In addition to this general tip, there are some important things you should watch out for when looking for the best dog food urinary care option to help manage your dog’s urinary tract infection or any other urinary health problem.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for in the best dog food for urinary tract health:

High-quality, Whole-food Ingredients

Look for a limited ingredient diet with wholesome natural ingredients to help promote your dog’s urinary tract health. Cranberry is a wonderful ingredient in the best urinary health dog food because it helps to cleanse the urinary tract.

Vitamin B and vitamin E are also good for the urinary system. Additionally, your dog’s food should contain chitosan and cod liver oil, as these ingredients are also UT friendly.

Rich In Premium Animal Protein

You should make protein the foundation of your dog’s diet. Protein should come from high-quality protein sources such as meat, chicken, and fish, so look out for these on the ingredient list.

Blend Of Omega Fatty Acids

Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids boost coat and skin and can also offer anti-inflammatory properties while increasing your dog’s energy levels.

variety and balance of nutrients designed to provide a means of promoting one good digestive system

Low In Inflammatory Ingredients

Suspect ingredients in dry foods like refined carbohydrates and high starch ingredients can cause or worsen inflammation. Other inflammatory ingredients include artificial additives, wheat, gluten, soy, fillers, and chemical preservatives.

High In Moisture And Easy To Digest

Look for the best non-prescription dog food for urinary care with high moisture content to help increase water intake. High moisture content can help support urinary health and also ease digestion. Canned dog foods are a great choice because they have higher moisture content. Other ingredients like probiotics and fiber can also boost digestion.

If you can’t afford wet food or canned dog food constantly, switch it with one meal per day or just sprinkle some of it on the kibble as a topper. To maximize your pet’s moisture intake, moisten it with a little water or chicken broth (to add some chicken flavor to the food) before serving and following the feeding recommendations.

amount of minerals and plenty of other products in foods and brands to meet nutrition needs

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dog food cause urinary problems?

There’s no straightforward answer because many factors can affect a dog’s urinary health. However, many experts agree that some diets can result in crystals in dogs’ urine. The most common cause of UTI in dogs is a bacterial infection, but it can also be caused by diet.

Extraordinary levels of some minerals like phosphate and magnesium in a dog’s diet can alter the PH of their urine, resulting in urinary tract health problems like bladder stones. If you don’t meet the nutritional needs of your dog, their immune system could be compromised, making them more vulnerable to bacterial infections and other urinary problems.

How do you prevent struvite crystals in dogs?

Canines with struvite crystals or bladder stones are often given a therapeutic diet for the rest of their life. A diet low in protein, magnesium, and phosphorus are often recommended. A preventing diet does not work the same as a diet that encourages the dissolution of struvite crystals or bladder stones.

In some cases, medicines to acidify a dog’s urine might be used. Moreover, close monitoring of the dog’s urine to spot any signs of bacterial infection is extremely important. Urinalysis and bladder x-rays may be performed a month after treatment whether surgical or dietary and then every 3 to 6 months for the rest of the dog’s life.

Dogs showing symptoms of UTI like frequent urination, painful urination, urinating in different places, or the presence of blood in urine must be evaluated as soon as possible. It’s important to note here that the greatest risk for developing struvite crystal or bladder stones in dogs is UTI.

Is pumpkin good for dogs with bladder stones?

Yes, pumpkin is good for dogs with bladder stones and urinary tract disease. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids that support urinary tract health. They help to prevent bladder or kidney stones in dogs.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs with bladder stones?

Yes, apple cider vinegar is good for dogs with bladder stones. UTI can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your dog, especially if not treated on time. Apple cider vinegar helps to neutralize any bacteria that might have accumulated in the urinary tract.

Additionally, it acidifies his urine. High pH or alkaline environments are good for bacteria to increase, which can result in infections or struvite stones if not treated on time.

Make sure to encourage your pup to consume more to help prevent bacteria from multiplying on the lining of his bladder. Rather than adding apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water, add it to a flavorful food that will hide the vinegar taste to encourage him to consume more.

Conclusion

If you’re worried about your pet’s urinary health, you may be considering prescription diets. Unfortunately, many dog parents don’t know that these prescription diet foods are often made with low-quality grains, hydrolyzed proteins, by-products, and fillers, which could actually exacerbate your dog’s health issues.

Your dog is extremely important and so is giving them a high-quality dog food for urinary health issues. The best of it is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food, that is sure to be fit for your canine friend and live a long and happy life.

If your dog shows signs of urinary tract infection or any related problem, you should take him to your vet, who can evaluate the problem and provide the right treatment.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet dog food for urinary problems

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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food