Bladder stones are not only painful and can leave your dog feeling miserable, but they can also lead to serious and dangerous health concerns. There are many options out there for food, and each food will do something different depending on the type of bladder stone your dog has, so it’s important to understand the aim of each diet before you commit to buying.
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Bladder stones are preventable and manageable with some informed diet modifications that we will help you figure out. As this change in your dog’s diet is one that you will need to potentially navigate for the rest of their lives, we have put together a list of our top foods for bladder stones that will both do their job and taste yummy too!
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones
Hill’s Prescription Multicare Care Dry Dog Food
|Whole grain corn, chicken meal, pork fat, corn gluten meal, soybean mill run
|Minimum 13.0% and Maximum 18.0%
As food plays such a key role in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing Hill’s Urinary Care was developed by nutritionists and veterinarians to help support your dog’s bladder and healthy urinary function. Together they have produced food with a precise balance of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to deliver essential nutrition without overloading your dog’s system.
It achieves this by keeping your dog’s urine low in minerals and metabolites which are responsible for creating stones. It prevents struvite stones and offers enough calcium in its diet to prevent oxalate stones. It is also low in sodium which promotes a healthy immune system.
As the kibble is smaller than some other brands, it is ideal for small breeds and puppies to enjoy.
Blue Buffalo Wet Dog Food – Best Value
Our pick for the best dog food for bladder stones for the money is Blue Buffalo Basics because it is high in nutritional value while decreasing food sensitivities. If your dog suffers from calcium oxalate stones, this dog food is optimal because it doesn’t contain any wheat. Canned food also adds water to your dog’s diet, which is an important factor in preventing stone formation.
The recipe contains turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin, which provides protein while aiding digestion. Your dog will also benefit from the addition of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that support skin and coat health. Though this formula is not made specifically for kidney issues, it is an affordable option if your dog has a certain type of bladder stone.
- Not made specifically for kidney concerns
- High water content
- High nutritional value
- Wheat free
The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food
|Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, organic oats
|4,270 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/cup
The Honest Kitchen offers a diet that controls the levels of minerals and offers good hydration, which is essential for dogs with bladder stones. Not only that, but it is flavor-filled and hassle-free for you! All you need to do is add warm water, and you’ve got a warm, tasty meal ready to go!
Real food is used, including free-range chicken and organic oats. It is made to a high standard, certified by AAFCO, and without preservatives, fillers, and GMOs and it is nutritionally suitable for adult dogs and puppies of any breed and size, including adult mothers.
Purina Veterinary Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
When your dog suffers from bladder stones, the Purina Veterinary food is ideal for supporting and offering balanced nutrition. It is formulated with reduced sodium, phosphorous, and protein to lessen the workload on the kidneys.
This dog food is made in the U.S.A. and contains 12.5% protein, 0.5% calcium, and 0.4% sodium and phosphorus. The main ingredient is whole grain corn, followed by brewer’s rice. To decrease the amount of protein in the food, it doesn’t contain meat-based protein but instead uses corn and rice. There are added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to provide complete nutrition for your dog.
The Purina is a large kibble and may be challenging for smaller dogs to chew, but it can be moistened with water for easier eating. Some low-sodium dog foods are bland and it can be difficult to find one that your dog will eat, but most dogs love the taste of the Purina Pro Plan for kidney function.
- Not suitable for small breeds
- Low protein and sodium
- Balanced nutrition
- Therapeutic for kidneys
- Dogs love the taste
Hill’s Prescription Urinary Care Original Flavor Dry Dog Food
|Brewers rice, corn starch, pork fat, egg product
|Minimum 8.0% and Maximum 12.0%
Nutritionists and veterinarians have developed specially formulated food that provides nutrition to help support your dog’s bladder health, and added antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. The good quality, highly digestible protein, and low levels of calcium in this diet reduce the risk of bladder stones forming.
The added taurine and high levels of L-carnitine also help to maintain a healthy heart muscle function, to keep him happy and active. The small kibble sizes mean it is suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds. The original flavor can smell like corn and has more of a bland taste than other options.
Blue Buffalo Wet Dog Food – Best for Puppies
They make this canned dog food with real turkey and chicken for a high-protein option for your dog. It does not contain any wheat or soy, ingredients that your dog should avoid if they suffer from urate or purine stones. Blue Wilderness prides itself on creating food from the finest natural ingredients, free of artificial flavors and preservatives.
This wet dog food contains 10% protein and 78% moisture, so you know your dog is receiving plenty of water with their meal. On the downside, some wet dog foods can lead to gassiness, which may not be pleasant for your dog or you. Typically, however, the gas resolves over time, and transitioning to the wet food gradually will help prevent gas from becoming bothersome. On the upside, this food is enhanced with plenty of vitamins and minerals to support a balanced diet for your puppy.
- May cause gas
- No wheat or soy
- Preservative free
- High protein
- High water content
- Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
Royal Canin Urinary Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
Royal Canin has developed a food that bolsters your dog’s urinary tract and bladder health. It can help dissolve struvite stones and prevent calcium oxalate stones. When your dog eats this food, it helps create an environment that is unfriendly to crystal formation in the bladder and inhibits more struvite stones from developing.
The main ingredients are brewers rice, corn, and chicken fat. As such, this food has a chicken flavor that dogs enjoy eating. This veterinary-exclusive food increases the amount of urine that your dog produces, which dilutes the minerals that cause stone formation. Another benefit of this food is the decreased levels of magnesium that make for an unfavorable environment for struvite stones to form, and the Relative Super Saturation (RSS) helps diminish ion concentration.
On the downside, this food is pricey, but it can be fed to all breeds of dogs, small and large. Royal Canin has 17% protein, 10% moisture, and 0.75% calcium.
- Dissolves struvite stones
- Prevents calcium oxalate stones
- Supports urinary health
- Veterinary exclusive
- Chicken flavor that dogs love
Royal Canin Vet Diet Adult Urinary SO Loaf Canned Dog Food
|Water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, chicken by-products, pork by-products
|1,259 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/can
This veterinary-exclusive wet dog food has been developed to nutritionally support your dog’s bladder and urinary tract health. It increases the amount of urine your dog produces, which creates an unfavorable environment for the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.
RSS methodology lowers the ion concentration in your dog’s urine, which is a contributing factor to stones forming in the bladder. With its reduced level of magnesium, it helps to dissolve struvite stones and prevent them from forming in the future. The texture is in a pate-form, and it is one of the pricier wet dog food options.
Grandma Lucy’s PUREformance Dog Food
A way to add extra supplements to your dog’s diet to improve bladder health is by feeding Grandma Lucy’s freeze-dried dog food to your pet. It consists of fruits and vegetables that help prevent the development of urate or purine bladder stones.
Ingredients include chickpeas, cranberries, apples, flaxseed, pumpkin, and papaya. It is free of grains, by-products, and preservatives. You can rest assured that you are providing plenty of antioxidants, fiber, nutritious oils, and vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s health.
It is easy to prepare by mixing it with warm water and then adding meat if prescribed by your veterinarian. This mixture is ideal for dogs to chew, and they love the flavor combination. Grandma Lucy’s food does well at keeping the pH of your dog’s urine balanced to prevent stones from forming. On the downside, some individuals don’t like the smell of the garlic incorporated in the recipe.
- Strong garlic odor
- Ideal as a supplement
- Promotes bladder health
- Easy to prepare
Hills Diet Urinary Tract Dry Dog Food
To help prevent crystal formations that turn into struvite bladder stones, the Hills Diet is formulated with reduced levels of protein, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has 18% protein, 10% water, 0.7% phosphorus, and 0.12% magnesium. The main ingredient is corn to reduce the amount of protein in the food.
It is also low sodium and has added antioxidants that promote a healthy immune system. It’s good to note that Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed this formula to support dogs’ bladder health.
The kibble is little enough that small breeds can eat this with ease, and most dogs enjoy the flavor too. Hill’s Diet is pricey but provides enough calcium to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones.
- Small kibble
- Developed by professionals
- Prevents struvite stones
- Low protein
- Added antioxidants
- Prevents calcium oxalate stones
Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Dog Food for Bladder Stones
When considering what dog food would be best, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to recognize the signs of bladder stones.
Signs of Bladder Stones
Bladder stones start off small but can grow over time in number and/or size.
These symptoms are not just indicative of bladder stones, they could also be a sign of infections or tumors, for example, but your veterinarian will be able to confirm with an X-ray or ultrasound.
How Are Bladder Stones Formed?
Bladder stones develop when minerals that are concentrated in the urine crystallize. Most are made from struvite and calcium oxalate stone, with urate or cystine stones occurring rarely.
A veterinarian will typically prescribe antibiotics, for example, if the diagnosis is struvite stones, and recommend a therapeutic diet that will dissolve the stones and crystals to work alongside the drugs. This could end up being a long-term change for your dog’s diet, so you will want food that not only works but that your dog will enjoy.
The Importance of Diet In Preventing and Managing Bladder Stones
Diet plays a pivotal role in preventing and managing bladder stones in your dog, but how you do this depends on the types of stones your dog has. Specific diets are formed to influence specific factors, like the urine’s pH or the body’s electrolyte and mineral composition. Struvite stones, for example, require a pH that is more acidic to prevent a recurrence. Calcium oxalate prevention requires a diet that dilutes the urine to promote less acidity.
Struvite Bladder Stones
Struvite stones begin when your dog has a bladder infection, so preventing this will hinder this type of stone from forming. Keep your dog’s immune system strong with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your dog’s diet. Keep their water intake up and choose a food with low protein and decreased levels of phosphorus and magnesium as this will promote acidic urine.
Calcium Oxalate Stones
Diets that dilute the urine and contain moderate to low levels of animal protein are recommended. Canned food offers you a higher amount of water, diluting the urine. Try to avoid foods with wheat and organ meat in them as they have high oxalate content.
Urate stones are not as common and are sometimes referred to as purine stones. They are formed in concentrated or highly acidic urine and are more susceptible in certain breeds because of their DNA. A diet that is lower in meat (as organ meats can form urate stones) and higher in vegetables, with soy protein, and no oats or barley, is ideal for preventing this type of stone.
Cystine Bladder Stones
These types of stones are rare, but when they do occur, they usually do so in male dogs. Choose a diet that promotes diluted urine, which canned or wet food can help with because cystine stones form in acidic urine. Like urate stones, choose a low protein balanced diet (limit the choices of animal meat.)
Knowing the link between diet and stone formation will provide you with the knowledge of what type of food is appropriate for your dog. Our reviews list offers six different foods that are best for bladder stones.
Our top choice is the Purina Veterinary food, which is low in phosphorus and protein while offering a complete and balanced formula for optimal nutrition. The best value is the Blue Buffalo Basics, which is an affordable option if your dog suffers from calcium oxalate stones, since it is high in water content and contains no wheat. Royal Canin Canine is the premium choice, and if the price isn’t a factor, your dog will benefit from this food that supports the urinary tract and bladder health.
We hope these reviews and buyer’s guide will ease some of the frustration of choosing a dog food that has the potential to keep your dog healthy and prevent bladder stones from becoming an issue.