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Dog Urinary Tract Issues And Dog Treats

Cheryl asks:

“I am looking for info on making treats for a dog with dog urinary tract issues. I have done some research and have found that blueberries, cranberries, and rice are good. Any other suggestions?”


Thank you for your question. We are glad you asked. It gives us a chance to make a very important point about urinary tract health in dogs.

A common dog health issue is bladder stones and urine crystals. Cats are also highly prone to these problems.

There are two main types of urine stones and crystals. Depending on which one your dog suffers from, will determine which type of food products would be best to feed him.

We have quite a few pages on this website dedicated to this issue. Click here for more about dog urine crystals and follow the links from that page.

In the meantime, here’s a brief rundown. Two types of urinary crystals that dogs develop are:

  1. Calcium oxalate stones
  2. Struvite stones

Calcium oxalate stones carry a worse prognosis. That is because once the stones are formed, it is hard to dissolve them. If they are large enough to cause urinary tract blockage, surgery may be indicated to remove them.

These kidney stones tend to form in acidic urine. Therefore, it is a good idea to feed your pet foods that will contribute to alkaline urine.

Certain fruits are known to be high in oxalates – blueberries are one such fruit.

Cranberries are considered to be a moderate oxalate producer and amounts should be limited.

White rice and wild rice are low in oxalates and can be eaten without worry.

If your dog is prone to struvite crystals, his urine is too alkaline. Struvites readily dissolve in acidic urine. Blueberries and cranberries will promote acidity which will serve to keep struvite formation down.

Struvites commonly form in the presence of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Medical studies have shown that women who drink cranberry juice regularly have a lower incidence of UTIs because the cranberry interferes with the infectious bacteria sticking to the lining of the urinary tract cell membranes. (Cranberry does not treat a UTI – its benefit is preventive.)

Rice is OK to give.

It is important to keep your pet well-hydrated. Struvites and other urinary stones have difficulty forming in dilute urine.

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