D.ogs can develop stones just like humans. Much of the therapy for struvite crystals in dogs is diet. Here we are talking about the best dog foods for dogs with crystals of urine and the best treats to give to a dog with crystals of struvite.
If your dog has urinary tract stones, this article explains in detail the basics of feeding dogs with struvite crystals and guidelines on best feeding practices.
What are struvite crystals in dogs?
Struvite stones, or urinary tract stones, are one of the different types of stones (urolithiasis) that can form in a dog’s bladder.
They are formed from struvite crystals that occur regularly. However, when these crystals cluster together and form large stones in the dog’s urinary tract, problems arise.
Bitches are more prone to this problem. It has been observed that only 15% of males suffer from urinary tract stones.
In most cases, struvite stones are caused by a urinary tract infection.
However, a small percentage of the less complicated cases had metabolic or sterile struvite stones that were not caused by infection.
These stones tend to dissolve faster, but they are treated the same as any other type of struvite crystal in dogs.
Struvite stones are formed in alkaline urine, and one of the things you need to do in the future to treat and prevent them is to find ways to make your dog’s urine more sour.
This is where switching to a dog diet with struvite crystals helps. This article does not cover the condition. So if you want to learn more about these types of urine crystals in dogs, check out the Merck Vet Manual guide here.
This is what a dog’s bladder stone looks like:
Feeding guidelines for dogs with urinary crystals
For the remainder of the article, I’ll be discussing dog feeding guidelines and diets with struvite crystals, and how you can improve your pet’s condition. Make sure to consult a veterinarian before making any such dietary adjustments.
Low protein, high sodium diet
One way to help dogs with struvite crystals is to eat a low-protein diet because protein is a heavy strain on dogs’ kidneys.
Note that feeding dogs low protein diets does not mean they will not develop urinary tract stones. However, some studies in cats have shown that eating a high protein diet can increase the risk of bladder stones.
While a low-protein diet is not supposed to prevent stone formation, in theory, it can accelerate their dissolution. The low-protein diet should be accompanied by antibiotic treatment.
Most low-protein dog foods are around 25 percent protein, so look for foods that contain at least twice the amount of protein, around 10-15 percent.
If you cook for your dog, try to stick to this percentage as well (more on this below).
For struvite crystals in dogs, it is recommended that they drink plenty of water
Struvite crystals are formed in alkaline urine. So his urine becomes thinner and more acidic as he drinks more water. One way to get your dog to drink more water is to increase their sodium intake.
However, don’t overdo it with water or sodium. Too much salt can be dangerous to dogs, and too much water can cause water poisoning. It is for this reason that it is important to consult a veterinarian to keep the dog’s condition under constant surveillance.
Additionally, some dogs, especially those with a history of kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure should avoid the high sodium diet.
The diet is not good in the long run. Use it only for a short time, until your dog’s struvite crystals have dissolved, then put him on a regular, balanced diet.
Minerals to Avoid for the Prevention of Urinary Crystals
Some minerals contribute to the formation of struvite crystals in dogs. Not using the minerals listed below is suitable for both the prevention and therapy of urinary tract stones.
Note that the minerals are essential to the overall health of the dog. Therefore, their restriction should only be temporary and closely monitored.
Phosphorus is found in various amounts in foods such as eggs, milk, and fish. Either track amounts and adjust diet as needed, or avoid these foods altogether.
Magnesium is found primarily in vegetables, especially spinach and broccoli. It would help if you avoided green beans and whole-grain products at least during your dog’s therapy.
Then add these things in moderation as they are good for your dog’s digestion and will help him stay healthy. Seafood is also rich in magnesium.
Ammonia occurs naturally in beef, as well as in other animal proteins. This means that a low-protein diet is already lowering your dog’s ammonia levels.
However, it would help if you also cut out all types of cheese and processed foods. Don’t also feed your dog human food.
Best dog food for dogs with struvite crystals
Remember, even after your dog gets rid of struvite bladder stones, you may need to monitor their diet to avoid recurrence and formation.
In addition to regularly checking the pH of his urine, you should also eat according to his needs.
If you are making homemade dog foods for struvite bladder stones or treats for dogs with urinary crystals, the following foods are best to help manage this condition.
Food to be included
Cranberries are good at preventing urinary tract infections, so they are good at preventing struvite crystals from forming in dogs.
They prevent bacteria from adhering to the tissue that lines the urinary tract and bladder. You can also use fresh and natural cranberry juice or cranberry capsules.
Probiotics are suitable for your dog as they increase the number of good bacteria in his or her digestive tract. You can use probiotic supplements or natural foods like yogurt.
Just add a few tablespoons of yogurt to your dog’s food. However, probiotic supplements have higher concentrations and can be more beneficial to the dog.
Carrots, Apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and other fruits and vegetables should be part of your dog’s diet. These foods are high in vitamin C, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Although dogs make their own vitamin C, it may not be enough to prevent bladder stones from forming.
Feed these foods in moderation as they are also known to alkalize your dog’s urine.
Use unrefined sea salt instead of refined table salt when you cook for your dog, as this salt contains more minerals and trace elements than fine salt.
Remember, a little salt is fine for your dog as it will make him drink more water and urinate frequently. however, too much salt can be dangerous for dogs.
Contain uva ursi in your dog’s diet. Uva ursi is an herb that is widely used for cystitis because of its powerful antibacterial properties.
Be careful when using this herb and carefully follow the directions on the label. Uva ursi should only be used for a short time, as they can irritate the kidneys if used regularly.
Traditionally bone broth is also a good thing to feed your dog to prevent bladder stones.
Just simmer all the bones, whether it’s chicken or beef, in water for a day and add some vegetables to improve the nutritional value, like carrots or potatoes.
Food to avoid
Limit the intake of Dairy products. It is okay to give your dog small amounts of milk or cheese, but if your dog is prone to struvite stone buildup, try to keep dairy products to a minimum.
Try sticking to low-fat cheeses like cottage cheese.
Avoid feeding your dog a high protein diet. You shouldn’t keep your dog on a low protein diet for long periods of time. Hence, getting the right balance is vital.
Feed your dog a low-protein diet containing around 10-15 percent of their daily protein intake if they have struvite bladder stones. You should keep his protein intake around 20 percent (not higher) even if his bladder stones are thinned.
Cereal food, like wheat, rice, or corn, should also be restricted if you haven’t already. Some of these foods, like rice, can be otherwise healthy and useful in your diet.
Homemade dog food for struvite crystals in dogs
Cooking for a dog who has or has had struvite bladder stones can be a bit of a challenge. While your dog’s diet cannot completely prevent struvite stones from forming, it can certainly play a significant role in their formation.
This simple homemade dog food recipe for struvite bladder stones is one of my favorites, but you can search for more online or create one yourself in the Top Dog Tips homemade dog food database.
Low protein dog biscuits
These cookies are great for your dog as they are low in protein, have some vegetables, and are full of nutrients.
- 2 1/2 cups rice flour (you can also use all-purpose white bleached flour)
- Six tablespoons of low-sodium and low-fat chicken stock
- 1/2 cup of cold water
- 1 cup of cooked winter squash, sweet potatoes, and zucchini, ground
Mix the chicken broth, flour, and vegetables in a mixing bowl and pour into a batter with cold water.
Dab this dough until it’s half an inch thick and cut it into any shape you want.
After cutting these biscuits, place them on a non-stick sheet and place them in a preheated oven for baking. Bake at 350 ° F for about 20 minutes.
Let the treats cool and serve them to your dog. You can also save them and use them later.
Designing a struvite crystal diet for dogs and properly feeding your sick pet can help manage this condition and prevent it from occurring in the future.
It is also important that your dog drinks plenty of water as you will need to get him to urinate more. Constant urination stops dogs from forming struvite crystals and helps your pet dilute them faster.
Struvite crystals in dogs, our final thoughts
Dogs, like humans, can develop urine crystals. A big part of dealing with struvite crystals in dogs is their diet.
For example, suppose your dog has urinary stones or you want to avoid the formation of urinary crystals. If so, we recommend that you follow these basic steps we shared about the best dog food for dogs with crystals of urine, as well as the best treats to give a dog with crystals of struvite.