Best Dog Foods for Urinary Health

best dog foods for urinary health

Anyone who has ever had urinary tract infections would not wish to ever see their furry friend going through the suffering associated with the condition. According to the American Kennel Club, certain nutrients in a dog’s diet can increase the risk of UTIs. Similarly, including specific nutrients can reduce the risk–a sort of prevention is a cure. This article will look at the best dog foods for Urinary Health.

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What are the Common Causes of Urinary Tract Infections?

The most common cause of UTIs in dogs is bacteria, which enters upwards through the urethral opening. The bacteria can develop when feces or debris enter the area, or if your dog’s immune system is weak from lack of nutrients.

In most cases, E. coli is the bacterium that causes such infections, which could lead to several conditions, including incontinence. In more severe, but less common cases, causes include cancer, bladder disease, kidney disease and kidney stones, diabetes, bladder inflammation or infection, spinal cord abnormalities, and prostate disease.

What are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?

Dog owners should be alert and look out for red flags that warn of UTIs. The repeated presentation of typical UTI symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition – canine bladder cancer (TCC/UC). Symptoms of a dog’s urinary tract infections include:

  • Cloudy and, or, bloody foul-smelling urine
  • Whimpering or straining during urination
  • House-trained pooches having accidents in the house
  • Wanting to be let outside more frequently
  • Only Dribbling urine
  • Licking around the urinary opening
  • Fever
  • Restlessness or listlessness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Loss of energy and interest in activities

Which Dog Breeds Are Predisposed To Urinary Tract Infections?

Any dog breed can get a urinary tract infection, but some are more prone to this condition. Furthermore, female pooches are more likely to develop these infections because males have a longer urethra. Bacteria in males take longer to travel upwards.

Breeds that are predisposed to chronic UTIs secondary to bladder stones include:

  • Pugs
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Bichon Frisé
  • Shih Tzus
  • French Bulldogs
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Dalmatians
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Standard Schnauzers

Why is Water so Important in Your Dog’s Diet?

The most important dietary strategy to help prevent and treat bladder problems is to increase your dog’s daily water intake. When pets drink more water, they produce more diluted (less concentrated) urine. Diluted urine contains less concentrated minerals, mucus, and other cells to allow the formation of crystals, stones, mucus plugs and inflammation.

The more water your canine companion drinks, the more frequent it needs to pee. Frequent urination removes minerals and other substances from the bladder, therefore decreasing the chance of stone development. Your dog’s diet and hydration play a crucial role in maintaining its urinary health. Water keeps their urine pH balanced, limits the possibility of stones, and avoids urinary tract health problems and issues with the dog’s bladder. 

Tips to help increase your dog’s water intake:

Feeding only canned dog food is the best way to increase your pet’s daily water intake.

  • Increase the frequency of feeding. Dogs fed several times each day drink more than pets fed only one meal.
  • Add additional water or broth to your pooch’s food. If your doggy dude prefers dry food, pour broth or water over the kibble. It can be hugely beneficial.
  • Try ice cubes or ice chips as “treats”
  • Use unique water bowls, dripping faucets, or provide free-flowing water fountains to stimulate your pet’s interest in drinking.

What Foods Can Cause Crystals in Dog Urine?

It is always good to study the ingredient list on the dog food label before picking the brand that’s best for your dog. Foods with high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, protein, and calcium could cause stone formation. Veterinarians believe feeding your dog food with restricted amounts of these minerals can assist in the dissolution of some types of stones like struvite stones and calcium oxalate stones that have formed in his urinary tract. Therefore, note that your dog needs balanced amounts of minerals, protein, and calcium. So, excessive amounts of these nutrients can contribute to UTIs, but they should not be avoided altogether.

Avoid non-alkaline vegetables such as strawberries, carrots, celery, collards, and leeks. These vegetables will disrupt the proper urinary pH levels and may lead to additional calcium oxalate crystals.

What should you do if your dog shows signs of UTI?

Always keep in mind that each dog is unique. Although there is ”feed this, not that” advice, your best option is to discuss the matter with your vet. Professional guidance and advice on the right diet for your pup’s unique requirements, and give you instructions for transitioning to new food safely. Remember to never just give your pup a different food right away. Their stomachs are sensitive, and you could cause a major upset if you don’t make a gradual switch.

General Options to Discuss with Your Vet

We are not vets nor nutritionists, and the following points are not medical advice, but issues to raise with your DMV.

  • Increase Water Intake: As mentioned, dogs should always have access to fresh water. Furthermore, food with high moisture content can help increase water intake. For example, berries, cucumbers, and watermelon could help.
  • Avoid Food with Cheap Fillers: Some kibble manufacturers add fillers and unidentified product meal with hardly any nutritional value, for example, Corn, Wheat, Rice, Unspecified By-Products, Potato Protein, and Pea Protein. This does not mean you should go grain-free, whole grain corn is healthier than ground corn.
  • Low Protein Levels: Studies have demonstrated a link between high-protein intake and bladder stone formation. For best results, select food that won’t blast your pooch with loads of protein.
  • Avoid Certain Minerals: Phosphorus and magnesium are two culprits to be avoided. Moreover, steer clear of sodium-laden foods and calcium.
  • Look for Wholesome Ingredients: Select dog foods packed with power components like cranberry (a natural diuretic), vitamin E, vitamin B, cod liver oil, and chitosan. When possible, opt for whole proteins and avoid artificial flavorings and preservatives. 

Dog Food Care Recommends the following as the Best Dog Foods for Urinary Health

Below are both non-prescription dry and wet pet foods recommended for dogs with UTIs. We have not included any prescription diets, since we are not qualified to judge whether they do what the manufacturers claim.

Overall Best:

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 386 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein dog food with probiotics and yucca schidigera extract for large breeds of all life stages
  • Average Price: $81.98 per 20-lb bag = $4.10-lb

A large breed dog is usually less likely to have urinary health issues. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. And some big dogs, like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, can have kidney and liver issues that affect the urinary tract. 

Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first ingredients. The highly concentrated chicken meal makes up for the 75% water loss from the fresh chicken. This formula includes other high-quality proteins — turkey meal, salmon meal, deboned duck, and real lamb. These provide a healthy dose of nutrients like vitamin B12 for energy and taurine for heart health. 

Chicken fat includes essential nutrients like vitamin E and fatty acids. Furthermore, it offers glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint function. But, it also contributes to your dog’s skin and coat health.

This natural ingredients dog food is freeze-dried raw-coated for extra protein and vitamins. It also includes four probiotic strains for plenty of gut health help and to keep your dog’s digestion healthy. And yucca schidigera extract helps reduce uric acid, which can protect your dog’s kidneys and urinary tract. 

Dog Food care recommends Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed dry dog food to prevent problems and still give your pup a high-quality diet.

If your precious pooch is one of the small breeds prone to UTIs, Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Price Effective:

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain-Free Dog Food – Complete Meal or Dog Food Topper 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 6.5% Crude Fiber, 8.5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 446 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Crafted with real, whole-food ingredients including free-range chicken, green beans and apples. Gently dehydrated ingredients for maximum flavor and nutrient retention, and easy digestion.
  • Average Price: $97.99 per 10-lb bag, makes 40 = $2.45-lb
    The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food is an excellent quality diet, specifically formulated to support proper urinary function in dogs. This diet contains only one protein, free-range chicken. This powerhouse meat is easy to digest and is rich in amino acids to support strong and healthy muscles.
    A grain-free food, The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free, one of the best dog foods for urinary health, prioritizes the use of fruits and vegetables that are easy for dogs to process and utilize. Their high antioxidant content also promotes a strong immune system to help fight against diseases.
    This high-quality diet is free from corn, wheat, soy, added sugars, and added flavors like chicken flavor.

Best for Weight Management

Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Cod, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Lentils, Yellow Peas, Sweet Potato
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 7 – 9% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 368kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Crafted with real, whole-food ingredients including free-range chicken, green beans and apples. Gently dehydrated ingredients for maximum flavor and nutrient retention, and easy digestion.
  • Average Price: $78.58 per 26-lb bag = $3.02-lb

If your adult dog is overweight, she is at increased risk for developing several health conditions, including diseases of the urinary tract such as bladder stones and infections. Therefore, weight management is crucial. Staying fit and trim can be more challenging for some dogs. That’s why Nulo made the Nulo FreeStyle Adult Trim formula. This grain-free recipe of cod & lentils provides the protein and amino acids dogs need, but includes more fiber and less fat calories than the other recipes. And the addition of L-Carnitine supports the metabolism of fats. L-carnitine also helps prevent recurring stone formations. Great for all breeds and sizes that could use a little help becoming the dog they want to be.

Best for Puppies

Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Barley, Organic Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 408 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Non-GMO dry puppy food with DHA and probiotics for young dogs
  • Average Price:  $57.98 per 10-lb bag = $5.99-lb

Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food is suitable for all breeds and ages. It is formulated to keep help you maintain optimal health for your pooch, including kidneys, bladder and urinary tract. This organic dog food for puppies is made with responsibly raised, organic, free-range chicken as its main ingredient. It also contains DHA to help support your puppy’s brain development. This dry dog food is made in the USA with non-GMO ingredients, no artificial ingredients, and produce that is grown without synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.

Best Wet Food

Taste of the Wild High-Protein Real Meat Grain-Free Recipes Wet Canned Dog Food 

Feeding your canine companion canned food help keep moisture ingestion at a healthy level.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Whitefish, Fish Broth, Turkey Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Turkey
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat,1% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 364 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Nutrient-rich and highly digestible recipe made with prebiotic fiber and nutrients from sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.
  • Average Price: $27.58 per case 12 × 13.2-oz = $2.30-can

Rated among the best dog foods for urinary health, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Canned Dog Food hits all the high points dogs need from their diet to enjoy an active lifestyle. Wet food is a good choice for senior dogs that struggle to eat hard kibble. A diet that is based on a variety of whitefish and salmon, this food formulation is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids to provide support for coat and skin health.
Naturally grain-free, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream includes easily digestible fruits and vegetables in its formula for ease of processing. Each of these items is rich in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream contains no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Prebiotics occur organically in this diet through its inclusion of the superfoods sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.

Health Extension Chicken Grain-Free Canned Dog Food 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Guar Gum, Agar-Agar, Natural Flavor
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 11% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat,1% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 545 kcal per 13.2-oz can
  • Key Feature: Gluten-free, with no rendered animal fats or by-products, no added sugar, no carrageenan, and no corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Average Price: 31.08 per 12 × 12.5-oz = $2.59-can

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. The higher moisture content of canned food makes it a good option for dogs with urinary tract issues. Once any urinary tract problems pass, it makes a great occasional snack.

Prescription dog foods that are only available if prescribed by veterinarians, not reviewed here, include:

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO 14
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food, Veterinary Diet
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Weight Management + Urinary Care Dry Dog Food


Hopefully, we have helped you find the best dog food to help manage your dog’s urinary health.



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