The 7 Best Dog Foods For Urinary Health

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Just as we are, dogs suffering from urinary health problems often feel miserable.

Whether it’s bladder stones or a urinary tract infection (UTI), these issues can take a toll on your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. The longer they persist, the more miserable it can be, and if you’re like most dog lovers, you don’t want your baby to be in pain.

Contrary to popular belief, lack of water is not the only culprit; lack of quality diet can also contribute to urinary health issues. Some commonly included ingredients contribute to urinary problems as well.

Magnesium, phosphorous, and sodium are just a few examples of essential ingredients that can cause trouble in the urinary tract.

So, if you have a dog with symptoms of urinary problems, or a history of related illness, or a breed that is susceptible to urinary diseases – you want to be watchful of the ingredients in your dog’s food.

Best Dog Food for Urinary Health – My Trusted Top 5

1. Hill’s — U/D Non-Struvite Urinary Tract Dry Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: Adult, Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 398 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 8%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 17.5%, Moisture (max.) 3%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Corn Starch, 3. Pork Fat, 4. Egg Product, 5. Powdered Cellulose
  • L-Carnitine
  • Taurine

When it comes to prescription diets for specific health concerns, Hill’s has one of the most diverse and respected lines of targeted products. Hill’s U/D Non-struvite Urinary Care formula is one of the most trusted foods for dogs with bladder stones and UTIs. It is specifically formulated by veterinarians to ensure balanced nutrition without increasing the risk of non-struvite stones. There is a special focus on mineral balance, as a higher amount of certain minerals can lead to crystal and stone formation.

Suitable for adult and senior dogs, it contains L-carnitine, which supports healthy heart muscles and optimal heart function. Moreover, Hill’s U/D Non-struvite Urinary Care formula is beneficial for the immune system. It is a prescription product that required veterinary authorization.

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2. Blue Buffalo — Natural Veterinary Diet Weight Management + Urinary Care Canned Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 881 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 7.5%, Fat (min.) 2.5%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 78%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Carrots
  • L-carnitine
  • Vitamin E and C

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet WU Weight Management + Urinary Care Grain-Free formula is suitable for all breeds, especially ones prone to urinary issues. It is a balanced formula that can help with urinary infections and prevent the formation of bladder stones. Many dogs find this prescriptive recipe extremely tasty, so it’s a great option for picky eaters. And while it is primarily an adult dog food, controlled levels of minerals and a good dose of L-carnitine make it senior-friendly as well.

This urinary care formula is available in both wet and dry forms. I recommend the canned variety for dogs that do not drink enough water on their own. A higher amount of moisture is generally better for dogs with urinary problems. However, if you can make your dog drink enough water, then the dry kibble is equally good. As the name suggests, this one also required veterinary authorization.

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3. Purina — Canine UR Urinary Ox/St Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,542 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 21%, Fat (min.) 9%, Fiber (max.) 6.5%, Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whole Grain Corn, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Chicken By-Product Meal, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Animal Fat
  • Low calcium and phosphorus

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St is another highly recommended prescription formula for dogs with urinary tract issues. It is formulated to prevent the formulation of various types of stones and crystals, including sterile struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones, or idiopathic cystitis. The amount of calcium and phosphorus is lower than most dog foods out there.  Yet, a perfect balance of nutrition eliminates the risk of malnutrition, which is a concern with many prescription diets for dogs.

This selection is one of the best bets for dogs with a history of urinary tract infections and stones. It is available in dry as well as wet form, the latter being a better option for dogs who don’t drink a lot of water.  This product is only available by prescription.

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4. ROYAL CANIN — Canine Urinary SO  Small Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, extra small, and toy breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,640 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 18%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 3.6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Corn, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Corn Gluten Meal,

Small breed dogs are more prone to lower urinary tract problems. One way to prevent infections and stones in the urinary tract is to increase the amount of urine passed by your dog. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO is formulated to do that. Increased urination is a natural way of flushing out minerals that contribute to the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. So, this one is a great option for the prevention of infections, inflammations, and stones.

Formulated for small breeds that weigh around 22 pounds or less, it has a high-quality protein and mineral balance. What I like is that the kibble size is also appropriate for small and toy breeds. Overall, a solid recommendation for small dogs with pre-existing urinary conditions.  Don’t forget to get your veterinary authorization before you buy it. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO is also available in canned variety.

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5. Firstmate — Australian Lamb Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,258 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 13%, Fiber (max.) 7.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Burbank Potato, 3. Norkotah Potato, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Tomato Pomace
  • Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Hypo-allergenic

If you don’t want to go for a prescription diet, FirstMate’s Australian Lamb recipe is a great option to keep a check on your baby’s urinary health. It is a hypo-allergenic formula that is free of grains, gluten, and other ingredients that can disrupt digestion. It contains novel proteins and a handful of ingredients that offer a nutritious blend while minimizing the risk of urinary infections.

FirstMate Australian Lamb formula is suitable for all life stages, including seniors. What makes it even better for urinary health is superfoods such as cranberry, which is often cited as beneficial to urinary health. Plus, there is enough digestible fiber to ensure the natural absorption of minerals. You do not need a prescription or authorization for this product.

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Related:

FAQ

Now you know my top five best dog food for urinary health. Before moving on to what’s best for seniors and puppies, let’s find out the answers to the commonly asked questions regarding canine urinary health.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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Buyer’s Guide: Best Senior Dog Food for Urinary Health

The FAQ section covered a lot about the conditions and symptoms. Now, let’s move back to the diet part and how you can find the best dog food for your furry friend with urinary problems.

I’ll keep it simple by limiting it to what to look for and what not to buy:

How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Urinary Health

  • More Moisture 

Look for food with higher moisture content. Canned food is usually a better option because it has more moisture. Plus, the meat is closer to its unprocessed form, and the pH level more appropriate as compared to kibble. If you can’t afford wet food all the time, switch it with one meal a day or just sprinkle some of it on the kibble as a topper.

  • Suspect Ingredients 

Suspect ingredients can potentially cause or increase inflammation. They include grains, refined carbs, chemical preservatives, artificial additives, and fillers.

  • Minerals 

Some minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, are often the cause behind the formation of crystals in the bladder and urinary tract. It is better to avoid food with a high concentration of these minerals.

  • Ingredients to Include 

Look for ingredients that support urinary health. I always recommend dog food with cranberry, since it is a fantastic cleanser for the urinary system. Vitamin E and B are also good for the system. Other UT friendly ingredients include cod liver oil and chitosan.

Prescription vs. Non-Prescription

You must have noticed that most products on my list are prescription diet products. These are specially formulated for dogs suffering from UTI or bladder stones. These foods contain a lower amount of phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and harmful ingredients – but it is also low on proteins and sometimes other essentials.

So, it is not something you can feed your dog regularly.

Non-prescription diets, on the other hand, are more of a preventive. They are an excellent choice for small breed dogs susceptible to urinary health issues.

Best Puppy Food for Urinary Health

6. Wellness — CORE Grain-Free Puppy Recipe 

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 417 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 36%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free

Urinary tract diseases often develop over time and, therefore, are less common among puppies. However, since some breeds are more prone to urinary health issues, it is a great idea to go for preventive measures. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe is already one of our favorite puppy foods. And that is because it has the right balance of ingredients. Your pup gets all the essential nutrients, plus a controlled level of calcium or phosphorus. This means the risk of buildup and stone formation is reduced. Also, it is a grain-free, gluten-free option that prevents digestive and urinary tract inflammation as well.

Best Senior Dog Food for Urinary Health

7. Canidae — All Life Stages Multi-Protein Dry Dog Food

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

  • Lifestage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,600 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 14.5%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Lamb Meal, 4. Brown Rice, 5. White Rice
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Probiotics

CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula is my top recommendation for seniors for many reasons. While it is an all life stages formula, it works wonders for seniors who aren’t active anymore. It can take care of their urinary health while keeping the extra pounds off your pal. It is an extremely digestible dog food with lean proteins and quality fiber. Plus, you get Canidae’s own Health PLUS trio of antioxidants, probiotics, and fatty acids. It is a complete health solution that tastes delicious and doesn’t require a prescription.

Your dog relies on you to provide it with a healthy diet. As a pet parent, you need to keep your dog’s needs in mind when choosing its food, especially when your baby is susceptible to a specific health issue. Now you know the best dog food for urinary health, good luck finding the right one for your dog.