Are there diets that can help dogs with bladder stones?


Urinary problems in Dogs

Does your dog strain to pee or is there blood in it's urine? Then the problem could well be bladder stones or urinary crystals. Dogs, like people, can develop a variety of bladder and kidney stones. Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.

What are bladder stones?

Urine is produced in the kidneys, stored in the bladder and runs out of the body through the “urethra tube”. Urine carries away water, dissolved protein waste and excess minerals.  The problems occur when there are more waste materials than can be dissolved – and this is when stones may form. These stones can then block the urine passage, meaning that urine and waste elements are forced to stay in the bladder.

What are the symptoms of bladder stones in dogs?

The symptoms are similar to symptoms of a bladder infection or cystitis. These include blood in the urine and straining to pass urine. Large stones may cause obstruction at the neck of the bladder or small stones may flow with the urine and become lodged. If an obstruction occurs, your dog will not be able to empty their bladder fully. A complete obstruction will mean your dog will be unable to urinate at all.

  • Your dog may well need to pass urine more often
  • When passing urine, the bladder stones may can cause irritation, pain or blockage. This will mean your dog will find passing urinating difficult
  • You may notice that your dog is licking their genitals more than usual

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you will need to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Foods to support urinary health in dogs

How can diet help

Firstly, you need to see your vet to find out what type of stone they have, as different types of stones need different treatment.  

Some types of stone can be dissolved by a change in diet and with others it can help prevent them coming back once they have been removed.  

Changing diet works in two main ways

  • Diet can change the acidity of the urine – some types of stone are reduced or dissolved by a more acidic urine and others by a more alkaline one.  That is why it is important to know what type of stone you are dealing with.
  • Changing diet can also help reduce the amount of mineral and protein waste – so there is less material to make stones



Struvite Stones
These are the most common urinary stones in dogs. The good news is these can usually be dissolved.

  • Making the urine more acidic helping to dissolve the stones
  • Encouraging drinking to increase urination and so flush out the stones
  • Reduced mineral content, particularly magnesium and phosphorus, to help prevent crystals reforming

SPECIFICTM  STRUVITE MANAGEMENT, CCD, is designed for the management of struvite stones.  

Calcium-oxalate or cystine stones
About three-quarters of dogs diagnosed with this type of stone are males between the ages of 5 and 12.  Calcium-oxalate stones cannot be dissolved and must be removed surgically. Once they are removed, you can help prevent the formation of new stones by giving your dog the correct diet.

  • Lower protein to reduce the concentration of oxalate in the urine
  • Creating more alkaline urine, discouraging crystals from forming
  • Added potassium citrate keeps the calcium oxalate in solution rather than forming into solid crystals

SPECIFICTM HEART & KIDNEY SUPPORT, CKD & CKW, is recommended for the management of calcium-oxalate and cystine stones.

Urate stones
One of the most common bladder stones in Dalmatians is composed of urate crystals. Urate bladder stones are often the result of a genetic abnormality, although other causes of urate bladder stones include liver diseases.

The right diet can help prevent these stones from coming back by

  • Containing a low purine concentration
  • Lower protein
  • Creates more alkaline urine discouraging crystals from forming

SPECIFICTM FOOD SENSITIVITY, CDD, is recommended for the management of Urate stones.

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