What to Feed your Dog with Bladder Stones
Bladder stones are as common in dogs as they are in humans. These stones look like little rocks, usually formed due to collection of certain minerals in the dog’s urinary bladder. They can be a couple of big stones, or a bunch of many smaller ones. Depending on the chemical make up of the stones, they can be of different types, including struvite, cystine, oxalate, calcium phosphate or ammonium urate. Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to develop particular types of stones than others. Like humans, dogs with bladder stones too have special dietary requirements. If your dog has been diagnosed with bladder stones, read this oneHOWTO article to know what to feed your dog with bladder stones.
Increase its water intake
Increasing your dog's water intake is the best way to dilute your dog’s urine and let the stones pass. If your dog’s urine is dilute, the urinary tract stones will not be able to crystallize and become discrete, even in the presence of oxalates. According to research, dog breeds that drink more water have fewer chances to develop bladder stones than others. You can increase your dog’s water intake by increasing its salt intake, giving it only canned, home cooked and frozen foods, and administering diuretic medicines that your veterinarian may prescribe. Make sure that your dog has easy access to fresh and clean water. There are several ways of measuring your dog’s urine dilution degree, such as refractometer and urine dipstick strips. Higher specific gravity of your dog’s urine means more dilution and fewer chances of having bladder stones.
Feed it more frequently
The pH level of your dog’s urine tends to fluctuate several times in a day. Usually, it is low in the night and starts rising after breakfast. Eating more frequently during the day will help in getting a urine pH profile for your pet, which is less acidic and thus less susceptible to form stones. Feed him shortly before going to bed. Remember, feeding it more frequently does not mean feeding it more. Do not increase the amount of food your dog eats. Distribute the existing amount into several smaller meals, otherwise the dog will soon become overweight. After eating, the dog’s urinary calcium content is supposed to increase, which will be prevented with frequent smaller meals throughout the day.
Increase salt consumption
One easy way to increase your pet’s water intake is to increase the amount of salt in its food. Doing this will increase the amount of calcium in its urine and prevent the formation of oxalate stones. Higher salt consumption will make its urine more dilute. But make sure to keep a balance, as too much of salt is harmful as well. Broiled roasted beef, skinless chicken and hamburger have high salt content which you can add in your dog’s diet. You can even double or triple the amount, and still stay safe. But once you do that, get your dog’s heart, kidney and blood pressured checked frequently to avoid overdoing it.
Special dietary precautions
If your dog has been diagnosed with bladder stones, avoid giving it dry dog chow from now on. A dog with bladder stones should only be fed wet water instead. Also do not feed it any plant products, as they are naturally high in oxalates. Turkey, chicken and red meat have low oxalate content, while organ meats like liver have higher. Do not feed it any yellow corn or soy products, as they are high in oxalates.
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