Welcome to my comprehensive guide for a homemade, natural dog food recipe specifically designed to support your furry friend's urinary tract health. Providing your beloved pet with the right nutrition can significantly improve urinary health and prevent common conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs) or stones. We'll delve into the advantages of a tailored diet, crucial ingredients that promote urinary wellness, and the perfect steps to prepare this home-cooked feast. This article is the ultimate resource for pet parents seeking to enhance their dogs' urinary health naturally and effectively, filled with expert advice, practical tips, and scientifically-backed knowledge on canine urinary care (research referenced).
Follow the steps to create the perfect homemade diet for your dog
Step 1 – Read the general rules for support Urinary Health, and implement them!
Step 2 – Learn how to support your dog’s specific Urinary issue
Step 3 – Adjust the Urinary Support recipe (as shown in video below) or purchase the Urinary Support Plan for my health plan plus email support from me.
General Rules for canine urinary support
What is the urinary tract?
The urinary tract is a waste removal system. When your dog eats, the body takes nutrients from the food and it goes into the blood. Not everything taken into the blood is needed or in fact healthy, it’s waste. The kidneys and urinary system help the body to eliminate the waste.
All of the waste that’s carried in the bloodstream (after entering the blood through the digestive process) gets to the kidneys, where it is removed along with water and other waste.
However, if the diet is imbalance or the urinary tract is not functioning optimally, due to bacterial imbalance or a genetic predisposition, waste can accumulate and cause infection and/ or urinary crystals and stones.
Appropriately Balanced Fresh Food
Creating a balanced fresh food diet will reduce the risk of infection and stone formation, as imbalance reduces urinary tract function. A good way to think about it, is that bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms feed off the food you feed your dog, and if you provide too much of the wrong food, it feeds the bad bacteria more than the good.
Urine infections affect around 27% of dogs. These are infections that cause inflammation in the urinary tract and are mainly an overgrowth of bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungus overgrowth, and in extremely rare cases, viral infection. (1)
Removing inflammatory ingredients like gluten (pasta, bread, corn, wheat, rice, maize etc.) is imperative. Check the treats you feed your dog to ensure these ingredients aren’t being made available.
You must also remove any intolerances from your dog’s diet, these are proteins (meats) that they don’t digest as well. Signs of poor protein digestion include ear infections, itchiness, paw licking and regular lose stools.
Gut and Urine Microbiome Support
A diverse, balanced and healthy microbiome, both in the gut and the urine, comes from having a range of natural fresh foods in the diet (2).
The bacterial urinary microbiome in healthy state has a greater taxonomic richness, meaning having a balance gut microbiome is a clear indicator of health. (3)
Support comes from the balance fresh food, and also the use of probiotics like natural organic yoghurt, kefir, goats milk or sauerkraut. Use these at least 2-3 times per week.
Increase urine supersaturation (less concentrated urine)
Many urinary stones formation, like calcium oxalate, cystine and urate stones, are affected by the concentration of the urine. (4,5,6)
Increasing the moisture in your dog’s diet, by adding water to their meals (25ml per 100g) can help.
I recommend also feeding bone broth, 25ml per 10kg/ 20lbs of body weight up to FOUR times per week.
Specific Canine Urinary Support
Using the Urinary Support recipe on YouTube and the information provided on the specific issue, amend it to suit your dog’s needs.
Urinary Tract Infection Support for dogs
Generally UTI’s are caused by inappropriate diets (not the best ingredients, and too many carbs) causing an alkaline urine. A healthy dog produces slightly acidic urine between 6.0-6.5 pH. There is a correlation between bacterial overgrowth with more neutral urine, around pH 7. (7)
You want to increase the acidity, which will come from using my recipes naturally, but use apples and cranberries regularly to help this. Do not use carbs for the first 2 weeks.
The overuse of antibiotics can also cause more regular UTI’s, you need to minimise their use as much as possible. Legally I’m obliged to say consult your Vet, but try diet and every other option before using antibiotics. The more they are used, the more regularly your dog will get an infection. (8)
Homemade dog food for Calcium Oxalate Stones
Calcium homeostasis is a major cause of calcium oxalate stones. To provide a correct balance of calcium, you need ensure sufficient phosphorus and Vitamin D. (4)
Do not remove calcium from the diet. Use the recipe provided, and make liver and ideally fish too, are also given on a regular basis.
Remember to increase the water intake of your dog’s diet too (follow the general rules for Canine Urinary Tract Health).
Homemade dog food for Cystine Stones
There is little evidence to support dietary restriction of protein, however the restriction of methionine contain foods like broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, potato’s is recommended. Also the vegetables used should have a high in organic anion content (9)
Dietary management of cystine stones is designed around maintaining a urine pH 6.5 - 6.75. This is done by having a slightly more alkaline diet than is normally prescribed for a dog. This can be hard, and don’t lose too much sleep over this, as following the general rules for Canine Urinary tract health play a more effective role in managing the issue. Avoid apple, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes. Use squash if using carbs.
You need to restrict salt intake. No more snacking on leftovers that have human levels of salt.
The inclusion of Alpha Lipoic Acid (flaxseed oil as the oil you use) is a safe and well tolerated food supplement that has been remarkably effective in a mouse model of cystinuria. (10)
If stones are present, or you think your dog is beginning to struggle to pee, an initial high alkaline diet with the inclusion of potassium citrate is recommended to increase the speed in which the stones dissolve (11).
Many cases of urate stones come from Dalmatian dogs, as all pure-bred Dalmatians excrete excessive quantities of uric acid (and therefore have two abnormal copies of the gene).
Generally this only affects male Dalmatian, due to the width of their urinary tract veign slightly less wide. However, dogs with a history of stones must only consume low fat meats; lean beef, cod, venison and rabbit.
Much is made of low purine diets being affective, I have only seen one study funded by Royal Canin (Mars), so it should most certainly be taken with a pinch of salt (do not add to your dog’s diet).
To reduce purines effectively, organ meat should be liver or heart from beef, chicken or lamb. Organ meat should only make up 5% of the diet for sensitive dogs and 10% for healthy dogs (Ideally chicken liver or lamb liver or heart)
Using small amount (10-15%) of grated low purine vegetables is generally great for all breeds with a purine metabolism problem. (Avoid higher purine veggie, check here).
Additional Support for dogs with Urinary Tract Issues
- Rodríguez, F.M., Rubio, L.S., Nanne, I.G., Martín, F.S., Emiliani, E. and Feu, O.A., 2020. The relationship between calcium oxalate lithiasis and chronic proinflammatory intestinal dysbiosis pattern: a prospective study. Urolithiasis, 48(4), pp.321-328.
- Melgarejo, T., Oakley, B.B., Krumbeck, J.A., Tang, S., Krantz, A. and Linde, A., 2021. Assessment of bacterial and fungal populations in urine from clinically healthy dogs using next‐generation sequencing. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 35(3), pp.1416-1426.
- Hunprasit, V., 2017. Epidemiologic Evaluation of Risk Factors for Calcium Oxalate Urolith Formation and Recurrence in Dogs
- Stevenson, A.E., Blackburn, J.M., Markwell, P.J. and Robertson, W.G., 2004. Nutrient intake and urine composition in calcium oxalate stone-forming dogs: comparison with healthy dogs and impact of dietary modification. Veterinary therapeutics: research in applied veterinary medicine, 5(3), pp.218-231.
- Bartges, J.W. and Callens, A.J., 2015. Urolithiasis. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 45(4), pp.747-768.
- Robin R. Shields-Cutler, Jan R. Crowley, Chia S. Hung, Ann E. Stapleton, Courtney C. Aldrich, Jonas Marschall, Jeffrey P. Henderson. Human Urinary Composition Controls Siderocalin's Antibacterial Activity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2015; jbc.M115.645812 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.645812
- Werner, M., Suchodolski, J.S., Straubinger, R.K., Wolf, G., Steiner, J.M., Lidbury, J.A., Neuerer, F., Hartmann, K. and Unterer, S., 2020. Effect of amoxicillin‐clavulanic acid on clinical scores, intestinal microbiome, and amoxicillin‐resistant Escherichia coli in dogs with uncomplicated acute diarrhea. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 34(3), pp.1166-1176.
- Moussa M, Papatsoris AG, Abou Chakra M, Moussa Y. Update on cystine stones: current and future concepts in treatment. Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2020;9(2):71-78. doi:10.5582/irdr.2020.03006
- Wiener, S.V., Chi, T. and Stoller, M.L., 2018. Alpha lipoic acid as a novel therapeutic approach to cystinuria. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs, 6(4), pp.295-300.
- Lulich, J.P., Berent, A.C., Adams, L.G., Westropp, J.L., Bartges, J.W. and Osborne, C.A., 2016. ACVIM small animal consensus recommendations on the treatment and prevention of uroliths in dogs and cats. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 30(5), pp.1564-1574.