9 Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Urinary bladder stones are a result of a change in the pH of your dog’s urine. This pH disturbance cannot be linked to one single cause yet, we all know that food always affects health in one way or another.

There is a possibility that excessive amounts of certain ingredients are causing bladder stones. Similarly, there are food options that can improve bladder health to cure bladder stones. There is a direct effect of food on the dog’s urine acidity.

To help your effected furry friend, I’ve put together a list of the 9 best dog foods that are an ideal treatment of bladder stones if consumed along with the right medication and with care. Please bear in mind that these foods are for dogs who have bladder stones. These are not part of a preventative diet. Only continue feeding these foods if a veterinarian recommends you to.

Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones

1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 1242 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Water, Chicken Liver, Chicken by-products, Pork by-products, Corn Grits
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 5.6%, fat (min.) 5.9%, fiber (max.) 2.1%, moisture (max.) 73.5%
  • Food texture/form: wet food, pate
  • Pea-free
  • Veterinary diet

The most common type of bladder stones is struvite stones. These are caused by the deposition of excess minerals in the dog’s urine. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet specifically deals with this sort of a problem. Not only is the formula great for dissolving struvite stones, but also helps prevent calcium oxalate stones.

This particular recipe is designed to help with all urinary health issues. It has been manufactured with a low Relative Super Saturation (RSS) methodology that basically minimizes the ion concentration in the dog’s urine. Once the excess ions are reduced, the risk of stone formation automatically eradicates.

One mineral to avoid in the case of struvite stones is magnesium. This food has low magnesium content. Moreover, it is wet food. These factors combined dilute the dog’s urine so that struvite stones can dissolve and other excessive minerals can flush out naturally.

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2. Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per cup): 375 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Meal, Pork Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Mill Run
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 18%, fat (min.) 13%, fiber (max.) 5%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food texture/form: dry food
  • Pea-free
  • Veterinary diet

Although most bladder stones are caused by alkaline urine, it is not the root problem for all cases of bladder stones. In certain situations, it is the lower pH of the urine that leads to urinary problems. In case this is the problem with your dog, Hills Prescription C/D Urinary Care is the solution.

Its high magnesium and phosphate content minimize the acidity of the urine. Also, your dog gets the right amount of calcium from this food. It is highly crucial to feed your dog just enough calcium to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

On top of that, it is a low-protein diet. In a normal scenario, a low-protein diet is immediately ignored. But, for dogs who have bladder stones, the protein intake must be minimized. Higher protein content in the blood can slow down the process of dissolution. Other than encouraging the cure of bladder stones, this food also boosts the overall immune system of the animal. The low sodium in the recipe keeps the fat levels in check too.

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3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 913 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Water, Chicken by-products, Pork Liver, Wheat Flour, Corn Flour
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 2.5%, fat (min.) 4.5%, fiber (max.) 1.5%, moisture (max.) 82.5%
  • Food texture/form: wet food, chunks in gravy
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Low protein
  • Pea-free
  • Veterinary diet

This veterinary diet has been designed by dog-loving professionals. It has a very well-balanced nutritional chart. The protein is content is not too high, neither is the fiber. On the other hand, the moisture level is pretty high. Paired together, these factors keep the urine dilute, hence, encourage the dissolution of stones quickly. Moreover, lower protein concentration minimizes the release of the uremic toxin. Since it is specifically designed for the renal health of dogs, switching to this food will reap noticeable results within weeks.

It is a pea-free recipe. A lot of dogs have a hard time digesting peas and that is definitely not recommended in the case of bladder stones. Food that is easy to digest is the most suitable for such dogs. Another thing that makes this an ideal choice for dogs with struvite stones is the low-phosphorous content.

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4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 1041 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Chicken, Water, Rice, Meat by-products, Liver
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 7.5%, fat (min.) 4.5%, fiber (max.) 3%, moisture (max.) 78%
  • Food texture/form: wet food, minced
  • Pea-free
  • Veterinary diet

This therapeutic diet is specially formulated for the treatment of struvite and calcium oxalate stones. It keeps the urine diluted to prevent the deposition of minerals. Also, its low fiber and high moisture levels are well suited for affected dogs.

It is a pea-free food perfect for dogs with a sensitive digestive system. What’s unique about this dog food is that it has a higher protein than most therapeutic diets. If your dog is underweight, a low protein diet can be harmful. But this particular product is ideal since it keeps the dog energized and the urinary tract healthy.

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5. Bench & Field Holistic Natural Formula Dry Dog Food

Rating: no reviews available

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 10 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 24%, fat (min.) 15%, fiber (max.) 4%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food texture/form: dry food
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Gluten-free

Made with all-natural ingredients, Bench & Field Holistic Natural Formula Dry Dog Food is a low-collagen option. The list of ingredients is full of healthy fruits and vegetables. You will have to dig deep to make sure that none of these include a mineral that isn’t suitable for your dog’s condition.

However, in general, this is a good treatment for bladder stones. It is easy to digest. The protein content is enough to keep the dog healthy yet not too much to keep the stones from getting dissolved. Finding a suitable dry dog food for bladder stones is somewhat challenging. But, with this option, your dog can enjoy kibbles even with bladder stones.

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6. FirstMate Australian Lamb Meal Formula Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 3258 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Potato, Lamb Meal, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat, Potassium Chloride
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 24%, fat (min.) 13%, fiber (max.) 7.5%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food texture/form: dry food
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Pea-free

You may think that bladder stones are not connected to the digestive system. But, the truth is, there is a direct connection. Everything that is absorbed from the digestive system goes into the urine. Any unwanted minerals can end up building up bladder stones. I believe that the safest option for dogs who are prone to bladder stones is limited ingredient diet (L.I.D).

This L.I.D is made of minimal ingredients, all of which are healthy and safe. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, and pea-free which aids easy digestion. Moreover, it is free of magnesium, phosphate, vitamin C, and vitamin D, all of which are unsafe for dogs with bladder stones.


7. Addiction Zen Holistic Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 3501 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Oats, Soya, Rice, Canola Oil, Peas
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 20%, fat (min.) 9%, fiber (max.) 7.5%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food texture/form: dry food
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Gluten-free

Now, there are many dogs out there who are allergic to meat and poultry. For such buddies, a vegetarian diet is the only option. It is usually very hard to find specialized vegetarian diet such as therapeutic diet. But, here’s the good news: I’ve done the hard work and found you a special vegetarian diet which is perfect for dogs with bladder stones and meat or gluten intolerance.

This is formula is plant-based. Yet, it is nutritionally loaded. What makes it so ideal for treating bladder stones is the sodium chloride content. This encourages the dog to drink more water and so, it leads to the dilution of the urine. On top of that, it is free of any protein that comes from meat, seafood or poultry which is exactly what you need to avoid to quickly get rid of bladder stones. Low protein is also mandatory for the treatment for cystine stones.


8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Bison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Caloric Content (per kg): 3460 kcal
  • Main Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, Bison, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Canola Oil
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 20%, fat (min.) 10%, fiber (max.) 4%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food texture/form: dry food
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Grain-free

This is yet another L.I.D product. The grain-free formula has no wheat, soy or corn which is perfect for dogs with digestive issues. Also, easy digestion is always a plus point for dogs who have bladder stones. It has just enough fiber to keep the dog’s insides clean without getting rid of too many fluids.

One thing I love about this dog food is the balanced amount of ingredients. There is just the right amount of necessary vitamins and minerals. It does not contain any mineral that could hinder the dissolution of bladder stones.


9. Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health-The Miracle Dog Food Pre-Mix

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Main Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Triticale, Organic Spelt, Organic Brown Rice
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 12%, fat (min.) 3%, fiber (max.) 5%, moisture (max.) 12%
  • Food texture/form: freeze-dried, mix
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Fresh whole foods
  • No by-products

It is the hardest to deal with dogs who are picky eaters. When their taste consciousness is topped off with a health issue, things get even more complicated. This dog food will give you a sigh of relief if you own a similar dog.

Made with whole foods, free of wheat, corn, soy, and any sort of by-products, this food will quickly become your dog’s favorite. The unique freeze-dried texture is suitable for dogs who prefer kibbles but also need some forced moisture. It’s free of ingredients such as meat and dairy that could cause urate, purine, oxalate or struvite stones. In fact, it is perfect for diluting the urine to get rid of bladder stones.


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Best Dog Food for Bladder Stones FAQs

As a concerned pet parent, you must have a lot of questions. Simply finding the right food for your effected dog is not enough. I know that you’re looking for more answers. So before you asked, I already answered some common queries that pop up in the mind of pet owners going through a similar situation.

Do bladder stones hurt dogs?

This mostly depends on the type of bladder stones your dog has. In some cases, these stones are painless. However, sometimes, they can lead to an infection or swelling inside the urinary tract. If the stones are in a position that causes blockage, then it is definitely very painful for the animal. This is why you shouldn’t just rely on signs of pain as a symptom of bladder stones.

What type of food causes bladder stones in dogs?

Bladder stones are actually crystals made of mineral deposits. These stones can be a result of either too acidic or too alkaline urine. Struvite stones are caused by foods that are high in magnesium and phosphorus. On the other hand, oxalate stones are a result of excess oxalate. Consumption of high calcium foods can cause oxalate stones. However, deficiency of calcium can also lead to the release of excessive oxalate in the body naturally which then forms oxalate stones too. As for urate stones, they are formed by purine which is found in meat, specifically in organs such as liver and heart.

Can a dog pass a bladder stone?

There are three treatments of bladder stones:

  1. Dissolution
  2. Non-surgical removal
  3. Surgical removal

Calcium oxalate stones do not usually dissolve so they are removed through other methods. As for other bladder stones, the first treatment is always an attempt to dissolve the stones so that the dog can pass it via urine. Smaller stones can be passed without dissolution too. The process that helps the dog to do so is called urohydropropulsion.

How can I get my dog to drink more water?

Sufficient water intake is mandatory to prevent and cure bladder stones. Dogs, in general, are not very good at keeping themselves hydrated. You can encourage your fur-friend to drink more water by giving regular reminders. Keep its water bowl clean, full, and in a place that is easily accessible. You can also add flavor to the water by mixing in some chicken broth if your dog likes that. Ice cubes are another way to offer some hydration. Add salt to your dog’s meals so that it gets more thirsty than usual. Moreover, always praise and offer a treat when your dog drinks water so that it quickly develops a habit of doing so.

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve read all the product reviews, you’ll be well aware of the fact that every suggested food serves a different purpose. Although all the options are great for dogs who have bladder stones, not all are suitable for your dog.


How do you finalize which one you should buy for your pet?

Read through this buyer’s guide to find out everything you need to know before making the final purchase!

Bladder Stone Diagnosis

You would have probably figured out by now that there are multiple different types of bladder stones. Therefore, the first step you need to take before moving on with your purchase of dog food is to figure out which type of bladder stones your dog has.

Now, there is no DIY or at-home diagnosis for this. You’ll have to visit a vet to find out more about this. But, once you have that figured out, it is time for you to start researching. There are 4 main types of bladder stones:

  1. Struvite
  2. Urate
  3. Calcium oxalate
  4. Cystine

Struvite stones are usually formed in alkaline urine. Urate, calcium oxalate, and cystine stones form in acidic urine. Moreover, struvite stones are a result of excess magnesium and phosphate in the urine. Urate stones are caused by purine. This comes from DNA or consumption of meat, poultry, and seafood. Cystine stones are also a result of excess protein. Calcium oxalate stones are the most complicated. If your dog eats too much calcium, the excess will turn to oxalate and form these stones. However, if there is a calcium deficiency, the body will produce excess oxalate on its own and again, it will lead to the formation of these stones.

You need to figure out which category your dog fits in before you move onto the next step.

Ingredients: Which Ones to Avoid and Which Ones to Go For

Once you’re clear about the type of bladder stones your dog has, it is time to start looking into the ingredients on your preferred dog food.

  • Moisture level: The first factor to consider is the moisture level. It is highly recommended to go for wet food to treat bladder stones. The more water your dog consumes, quicker the treatment will be. Now, I understand that not all dogs are a fan of wet food. In that case, you can try to balance the ratio of wet to dry food. Moreover, make sure to add extra salt to your dog’s meals to encourage it to drink more water.
  • Minerals: The next thing to look into is the mineral content. Start by going through the list of ingredients. It is common sense to understand that you need to avoid the minerals that are causing the stones and provide more of what will balance it out. For example, magnesium and phosphate should be avoided for stones caused by alkaline urine. However, these two minerals will be very helpful for stones caused by acidic urine. Similarly, a balanced intake of calcium is necessary. Moreover, avoid vitamin C and D in all cases. Also, stay away from ingredients such as brewer’s yeast, cranberry products, cider vinegar, and spinach unless a vet recommends them. Higher sodium chloride is always a plus since it dilutes the urine. Potassium citrate can help dissolve calcium oxalate, so if your dog has these stones, go for foods rich in this mineral.
  • Protein: Certain bladder stones are caused by high protein and amino acid content in the urine. Meat, seafood, and poultry is especially the cause of purine stones, also called urate stones. It should be avoided in most cases of bladder stones. Also, even if protein itself is not the cause of the stones, it may cause hindrance in their dissolution.
  • Fiber: The more fiber your dog consumes, the more moisture it will lose through feces. Go for lower fiber foods but don’t entirely skip it. It is mandatory for easy digestion of food. However, too much fiber can cause loss of fluids, which eventually increases the urine concentration. This is also why you should prefer easily digestible foods.
  • Collagen: Collagen-rich treats should be avoided. Although collagen is great for building muscles and protein in the body, it can slow down the process of flushing out bladder stones.

Professional Advice

The last step is to head to a veterinarian for a heads up. Getting professional advice is always beneficial. A vet will be able to suggest a food based on your dog’s medical history, breed, age, gender, and size. If you have found a perfect match for your dog based on your research, discuss its pros and cons with the vet.

Keep in mind that bladder stone treatments are never the same for all dogs. Therefore, a vet can make a better decision as to whether or not your choice of food is preferable or not. Although most therapeutic diets are suitable for the majority of bladder stones, do your personal research for your knowledge and satisfaction. However, make the final decision with the help of the vet.


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