Top 10 Best Non Prescription Dog Foods For Urinary Health

Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Urinary Health

While urinary health isn’t a very popular subject, it’s critical to your dog’s overall well-being. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections can be very painful and dangerous to your dog. In addition to the trauma on your pup, certain types of stones may require surgery to treat, and all types of stones may require surgery for analysis so your vet can form a prevention plan to keep them from reforming.

We’ve reviewed the seven best dog foods specifically for urinary health to help you treat and prevent kidney stones and UTIs in your pup. Different stones will require different foods to help them dissolve (if dissolution is possible), but generally, dogs with urinary health problems may benefit from a wet food formula since dehydration is a primary concern. Dry food absorbs the water in your dog’s body, which may make it harder to urinate as well as digest food if they aren’t drinking enough water already or aren’t in optimal health. However, wet food can be more expensive, so we’ve included a mix of wet and dry in our reviews.

Which supplements can I give my dog for better urinary health?

You can give your dog urinary health supplements for the specific issue. There are anti-inflammatory supplements available for infections and there are a lot of cranberry based supplements as well. Cranberry is a natural cleanser and can help keep all kinds of urinary issues at bay.

Which medicines can I give my dog for better urinary health?

Any number of underlying reasons can cause urinary health issues. The medication depends on the diagnosis, which is only possible after proper medical examination. It is never a good idea to use medicines without your vet’s prescription and authorization.

How can I increase my dog’s urination?

Encourage your dog to drink more water. Switch to canned food for at least one meal a day. If your dog is deliberately holding its pee, gently squeeze the lower tummy between thumb and finger to let it release the urine.

Which dog breeds are more susceptible to urinary issues?

Smaller breeds and toy breeds are often more susceptible to urinary issues possibly because of the smaller bladder and narrower track. These breeds urinate less frequently. Encourage your little one to drink more water.

Can commercial dog food cause urinary health issues?

Low-quality commercial dog food is a common cause of urinary health issues in dogs. They do not contain the proper balance of minerals and nutrients that aid mineral absorption. They also have a low pH level, which provides a suitable environment for bacteria to thrive.

Can my dog die from urinary diseases?

Untreated lower urinary problems can lead to serious medical issues in addition to causing discomfort for your pet. Bladder infections can move to the kidneys and cause life-threatening infections. Stones can cause partial or complete obstruction of the urethra, preventing a dog from urinating.

Can a lack of urination cause urinary problems in dogs?

Lack of urination may be a symptom of an existing urinary problem in the first place. However, if your dog doesn’t drink a lot of water, or holds its pee habitually, it can become the cause of a urinary infection or stones.

How can I tell my dog has UTI?

Look for abnormal urination habits such as higher frequency, crying or whimpering during urination, straining during urination, or breaking house training. Severe UTI symptoms include blood in urine or dribbling. If your dog is licking its genital area too often, it may also be a symptom of UTI.

How can I tell my dog has bladder stones?

Look for symptoms such as straining or difficulty in urination. Frequent urination in smaller volumes is also an indicator of bladder stones or crystals. These stones can also cause lower appetite and vomiting after meals.

Why does my dog keep getting UTI?

Recurrent urinary tract infections in dogs are quite common and are caused by the presence of infectious agents in the system. Proper treatment with the right medications prescribed by a vet can help you get rid of the issue.

Is canned dog food better for canine urinary health? 

Because of its higher moisture content and less processed meat, canned food is often preferred over dry. But be careful because it isn’t the same for all brands. Lower quality canned foods can be more damaging than a high-quality kibble.

What are the common urinary health issues in dogs?

There are different types of urinary health issues that can affect your dog. These include infections in the urinary tract and bladder, as well as the formation of stones and crystals in the bladder. Some dogs develop weakness of urethral sphincter.

What dog food is good for urinary health?

A raw diet is often preferred for dogs with urinary health issues because of higher pH value. Look for food with a good balance of proteins and fiber and a lower percentage of minerals that cause buildup and crystals.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Urinary Tract Health

Nom Nom Fresh Pork Recipe

nomnom_dog bowl_pork_square

We love Nom Nom Fresh because it uses fresh, real ingredients to feed your dog! This food is formulated by Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists and customized to fit your pet’s health needs. This food has a high moisture level which is great for dogs with sensitive digestive and urinary systems. This recipe features pork as the main ingredient, providing a healthy but not excessive source of protein for dogs who might particularly need a protein-restricted diet due to cystine stones.

You can order Nom Nom Fresh through a subscription-based plan on their website or buy a sample at a PetSmart near you. Although we like how it’s more convenient than veterinary prescription diets, we’re a little sad to admit this food is not available on Chewy.

  • Real, fresh ingredients
  • Customizable to your pup’s needs
  • High moisture level
  • Doesn’t require a prescription to purchase
  • Expensive
  • Not available on Chewy

Blue Buffalo Urinary Care Dog Food – Best Value

Blue Buffalo 801331

The Blue Buffalo Urinary Care Dog Food is the food we picked as the best value. This brand is inexpensive and can help with weight management as well as urinary tract problems, making it the best dog food for urinary health for the money. The ingredients that work to promote weight loss also help prevent the formation of kidney stones.  Antioxidants provide an immune system boost while B vitamins give an increase in energy levels. Chicken is the first ingredient, and it’s free of chemical preservatives.

Some of our dogs didn’t like it, and it contains a lot of peas. A recent FDA warning says that peas may be linked to heart disease in dogs, so you only want to use this food as needed.

  • Some dogs don’t like it
  • Not suitable for long term use
  • Chicken first ingredient
  • Free of chemical preservatives preservatives
  • Help with weight management
  • Antioxidants

Hills Diet Urinary Tract Dog Food – Best Overall

Hills Diet 399

The Hills Diet c/d Urinary Tract Health Dry Dog Food won choice for the best overall dog food for urinary health. This food features a unique formula that reduces protein, magnesium, and phosphorus to help reduce the chance of your pet getting a kidney stone. The formula also reduces sodium to help prevent high blood pressure, and added antioxidants will help fight infection and reduce swelling.

Our dogs didn’t mind eating this food, and our only complaint is that you only get a small amount per package.

  • Small amount
  • Reduced protein, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Low sodium
  • Antioxidants

Royal Canin Adult Urinary SO Moderate Calorie Thin Slices In Gravy – Vet’s Choice

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Moderate Calorie Thin Slices In Gravy Canned Dog Food

Main ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Chicken By-Products
Protein content: 6.5%
Fat content: 2.5%
Calories: 286 kcal/can

Our vets like this food because it’s formulated to dissolve and prevent struvite stones while maintaining a healthy calorie count. Your doggie will enjoy this gravy-based wet food as opposed to hard, dry food that’s also harder for their bodies to process. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets do require a prescription from your vet, but they’re easy to order on Chewy as long as you have a letter of recommendation and your vet’s contact information.

  • Formulated to dissolve struvite stones
  • Low calorie to prevent obesity
  • Wet food
  • Expensive

Royal Canin Urinary Dog Food – Premium Choice

Royal Canin 20154574

The Royal Canin Canine Urinary SO Dry Dog Food won our premium choice award for dog food for urinary health. It uses ingredients that work to increase the volume of urine your pet expels. It also provides a balanced diet that has less protein, magnesium, and phosphorus, to help prevent the growth of new stones. This food also lowers the pH of your pet’s urine to create an acidic environment resistant to creating stones.

Most of our dogs like this food, but it is costly and can set you back quite a bit if you want to use it long term or need to feed several dogs with it.

  • Expensive
  • Increases urine volume
  • Reduced protein magnesium and phosphorus
  • Acidifies urine to prevent stone buildup

Hill’s Prescription Multicare Chicken Flavor Wet Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet cd Multicare Urinary Care Chicken Flavor Wet Dog Food

Main ingredients: Water, Beef By-Products, Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Liver
Protein content: 5.5%
Fat content: 4%
Calories: 446 kcal/13 oz. can

This food features the same health benefits as its dry food form, but it’s even better for urinary health because it’s a wet formula. We like how this food is low-sodium and uses carefully calculated levels of essential nutrients such as magnesium and calcium. These minerals should be included in your dog’s diet, but they may cause kidney stones if consumed excessively. To purchase from Chewy, you’ll need a prescription letter from your vet as well as your clinic’s contact information.

  • Wet food
  • Features appropriate levels of magnesium and calcium
  • Low-sodium
  • Very expensive

Health Extension Chicken Dog Food – Best For Puppies

Health Extension 858755000277

Health Extension Grain Free Dog Food removes the extra ingredients and gives you 95% pure chicken in a can and natural preservatives. This food is for puppies, and it eliminates the guesswork of finding out which ingredients are giving your puppy a problem. Once any urinary troubles pass, it makes a great occasional snack.

This kind of food is not cheap, and many of the cans we received had dents. We also found that the food had a bad smell and scent tended to linger.

  • Expensive
  • Lots of dented cans
  • Bad smell
  • Chicken main ingredient
  • Few ingredients

Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Nulo Grain-Free

Nulo Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food contains no corn, wheat, or soy products that can lead to digestive troubles in your pet. This brand features as the first several ingredients, and it also contains L-Carnitine so help boost the effectiveness of fatty acids like omega-3.

What we didn’t like about this brand is it has a lot of peas, which might lead to heart problems in the future. Besides that, only half our dogs would eat it, so dinner time was a struggle.

  • Our dogs didn’t like it
  • Peas
  • No corn ingredients
  • Meat listed as the first several ingredients
  • L-Carnitine

Hill’s Prescription Urinary Care Original Flavor Dry Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet ud Urinary Care Original Flavor Dry Dog Food

Main ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Pork Fat, Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose
Protein content: 10.5%
Fat content: 16.5%
Calories: 398 kcal/cup

This food is formulated to help your dog if they have non-struvite stones. Cystine stones require a low-protein, low-sodium food to dissolve the stones. Hill’s Prescription Diet u/d contains less protein than other dry foods and also features reduced levels of calcium to lessen the risk of kidney stones overall. We thought this food seemed incredibly expensive considering the first two ingredients are brewer’s rice and corn starch, but it does have what your dog needs to treat cystine and urate stones. This is a veterinary diet that requires a prescription to purchase.

  • Low protein content compared to other dry foods
  • Low sodium
  • Reduced calcium
  • Expensive considering the ingredients

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Dog Food

Purina 3810017109

The Purina Canine UR Urinary Ox/St Dog Food is the last dog food we have to review for you concerning dog foods for urinary health. This food also has a reduced fat content and reduced salt content to keep stable blood pressure.

This kind of dog food is good for helping with weight loss, but its not the best for urinary health. The protein level in this strand is too high for dogs susceptible to struvite stones in the kidneys or the bladder. We also didn’t feel like we got very much per package, and we noticed that it gave our puppies some bad gas.

  • Protein too high
  • Small amount
  • Causes gas
  • Reduced-fat
  • No salt

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Foods for Urinary Health

If your dog suffers from poor urinary health, they most likely have a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stones, or both. Treatment will vary depending on the type of stones, but in general your vet will follow this plan for treating kidney stones.

Cure the existing UTI. 

Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or other medicine to help your dog’s body heal. Sometimes the stones will pass on their own once the inflammation goes down.

Analyze the stones for further treatment. 

Your vet may want to perform surgery to remove some of the stones so they can identify what type your dog has. This will help your vet make informed decisions on diet and treatment because different stones have different needs that may contradict others.

Prescribe or recommend appropriate foods that can fight that certain type of stone. 

This is why it’s so important for at least one stone to be removed and analyzed by the vet. Though kidney stones form for a variety of reasons, some are food-related and may be prevented through the proper diet and medication.

Types of Kidney Stones and Dietary Requirements for Each

There are six major kinds of kidney stones. Each one has a different method of treatment and prevention, so it’s important to know which one your dog has so you have the best tools to help them.

Calcium Oxalate Stones

These stones unfortunately don’t dissolve, however, you may try feeding your dog a special diet to discourage them from forming. Find a food that’s low in calcium and protein in order to reduce the growth of calcium crystals and to make your dog’s urine more alkaline.

Purine Stones

If your dog’s urine is too acidic, Purine stones may form. The good news is these stones may be dissolved with a protein-restricted diet, ample hydration, and curing a UTI if one has formed.

Cystine Stones 

A low-sodium, protein-restricted diet and medication prescribed by your vet may dissolve these stones. You should keep your dog on their new food to prevent these stones from returning.

Calcium Phosphate Stones

These are more difficult to treat, but they rarely form. They don’t dissolve and aren’t as easy to prevent, but keeping your dog hydrated, reducing their sodium levels, and ensuring your dog’s urine is at the proper PH may help.

Silica Stones 

Thankfully, these stubborn stones rarely form because they have never dissolved on their own and will require surgery. Post-operation, your dog will need food with a high animal protein content and may especially benefit from a wet food formula.

Struvite Stones 

After curing any existing UTI, the plan of action is to switch your dog’s food to a recipe with relatively high amounts of fat that still keeps your dog’s calories in check. Keep in mind your dog’s new food will make them excessively thirsty, so make sure the water bowl stays full. It’s possible struvite stones may dissolve with the proper diet.

Final Thoughts

We recommend keeping a close watch on your dog’s weight and making sure they get plenty of fluids. If your dog hasn’t been diagnosed with any stones yet, keeping your pet fit and fed with a well-balanced meal that features meat as the top ingredient and doesn’t have chemical preservatives is your best bet. Don’t use grain-free food unless your pet is overweight or prescribed by a vet.

If your pet has had stones, we recommend the Hills Diet 399 c/d Urinary Track Health Dry Dog Food, our pick for the best overall.  This food features reduced protein, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as antioxidants that can help fight any infections. The Blue Buffalo 801331 Urinary Care Dog Food is our pick for the best value and is an excellent choice for an overweight dog.

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Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.