When you think of urinary tract healthy the first thing that comes to mind is probably making sure your pup is adequately hydrating and going to the bathroom regularly. You may not know that your dog’s diet can also support their urinary tract health.
Common urinary tract issues in dogs
Like humans, dogs can have many issues with their urinary tracts, including:
- Bladder stones and crystals
- Bacterial infections
- Obstruction of the urethra
If you notice symptoms of urinary tract issues including regression in house/potty training, frequent accidents, frequent urination, crying or pain with urination, excessive licking, or cloudy urine/blood in the urine contact your vet. Some of these conditions can worsen of become fatal if left untreated so it is important to get your dog to the vet to figure out what is going on ASAP. Even if your dog has frequent issues with their urinary tract, you want to make sure to keep your vet updated. Since your pup can’t tell you what hurts, you will need to rely on your vet’s physical exams and lab tests to get a full understanding.
What should I feed my dog if they’re experiencing frequent urinary tract issues?
You’ll want to talk with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s 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:
1. Reduce grains and cereals in your pup’s food
Feeding low-quality food with cereal and grain fillers can make your pup’s urine more alkaline. This increases the risk of crystals forming and urinary problems. If you have been feeding a diet with a lot of filler, consider changing your dog’s diet. While this doesn't necessarily mean your pup should be grain free, you may just want to choose a food with less grain than what you're currently feeding.
2. Increase water intake
In addition to ensuring your dog always has access to a dish of clean, cool water, there are several other ways to increase their water intake. You can offer foods with high water content including watermelon, cucumbers, or berries. You can also switch from feeding dry kibble to fresh or wet food to add more moisture.
3. Invest in high-quality, protein-rich food
At Ollie, this is something we know a thing or two about. Our fresh food contains human grade high-quality proteins. Our delicious recipes are designed to support your pup’s nutritional needs and wellbeing. Pet parents can take our quiz to find the perfect meal plan for their pups. If you have questions about the recipes related to your pup’s medical needs you can contact our canine support center for guidance and speak with your vet.
4. Consider a prescription diet
If your pup is really suffering and you’ve done rounds of antibiotics and other treatments, your vet may suggest a prescription diet. These diets help by dissolving certain types of kidney and bladder stones and by preventing their reoccurrence. These formulas also help to dilute urine and help positively influence the mineral composition and pH of the dog's urine. Large companies like Hill’s, Royal Canin, and Purina Pro Plan offer these formulas. Talk to your vet about which is best for your pup.
Urinary tract problems can be painful for your pet and result in a near-constant need to have your pup have access to a place to go to the bathroom. Ensuring that their urinary tract is healthy and supporting that health with the right diet will help keep your pup healthy and comfortable. In addition to getting their diets right make sure you give your pup plenty of water and the opportunity to go to the bathroom regularly to flush everything out. Asking your pup to hold their bladder too long on a regular basis can also increase the risk of urinary tract problems.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.