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10 Best Dog Food For Bladder Stones – Reviews, Buying Guide, Nutrition Tips

Written by: Peter Laskay
Reviewed by: Amber LaRock
Last updated on:

This is my detailed article about the best dog food for bladder stones in 2022.

I spent an entire day searching for the best products. I asked several of my veterinary acquaintances about the subject. Therefore, I can safely say that the list in my article is one of the best you can find if you want to treat your dog’s bladder stone. Royal Canin Urinary SO diets has been shown to be effective in the treatment of struvite and calcium oxalate stones. 

I have gathered a lot of useful information for you on the subject. I think you should read it. 

It is very important that your dog’s problem is also examined by an experienced veterinarian before making a final decision on the dog food of your choice.

10 best dog food for bladder stones

In my article, I will give detailed advice on feeding dogs with bladder stones. Now you can see a list where I have collected the best products on the market. Each meets the nutritional needs of canines with this condition. In addition, all dog food complies with the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. 

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Supports urinary health
  • Dissolve struvite stones and prevents calcium oxalate stones
  • Reduce the chance of crystal formation
  • Creates an unfavorable environment for bladder crystal formation
  • Helps stop struvite stones from recurring

Royal Canin does its best to develop food for dogs for specific problems as well. This product is good for treating and preventing struvite and calcium oxalate bladder stones.

Brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, and rice flour provide your dog with the energy he needs. The source of protein is chicken by-product meal. It is very well digestible and metabolizable. Provides the required amount of amino acids. In addition, it reduces or prevents the formation of Struvite and Oxalate stones.

This food also proves useful in dissolving existing struvite stones. Many dogs should follow this diet throughout their lives. For this reason, Royal Canin Urinary SO has a perfectly balanced mineral content. It covers the mineral needs of dogs but does not promote the formation of bladder stones. This food is also effective in preventing silica stones.

Royal Canin Urinary SO dog foods contain moderate amounts of high-quality protein. This is the best possible diet if you want to minimize the production of stone-forming metabolites in your dog.

The Royal Canin Urinary SO product line also includes other foods. They also serve other special needs.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Small Breed

This food includes the benefits of the Royal Canin Urinary SO diet.

However, the kibbles are smaller in size. So even smaller breeds can enjoy this healthy and delicious dog food.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Moderate Calorie

Being overweight poses serious health risks to dogs. In addition, the chances of bladder stone formation are higher.

This food has been developed for weight management in addition to treating bladder stones.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Aging 7+

Older dogs need other ingredients in addition to the usual ones. Examples are glucosamine and chondroitin.

These support the health of the joints. There are even antioxidants in this food for overall health.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food

Key features:

  • Supports urinary health
  • Dissolve struvite stones and prevents calcium oxalate stones
  • Reduce the chance of crystal formation
  • Creates an unfavorable environment for bladder crystal formation
  • Helps stop struvite stones from recurring

This dog food is practically the canned wet version of the previous Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO. It successfully dissolves struvite stones and prevents the formation of calcium oxalate stones. The manufacturer used the Relative Super Saturation (RSS) methodology to create the product. This reduces the ion concentration in the urine of canines. It also contains less magnesium than normal dog food. Because it is wet food, it is in many cases more effective at dissolving and removing stones and minerals.

Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care

Key features:

  • Reduces the risk of struvite and calcium oxalate stones
  • Precisely formulated levels of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus
  • Enriched with antioxidants, potassium citrate, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Balanced fat levels and low sodium content
  • Made in the US

Most bladder stones are formed due to alkaline urine. However, this is not always the case. Low pH levels may also contribute to some cases. Hills Prescription C/D Urinary Care is effective in these situations. The magnesium and phosphate content helps to balance the pH level of the urine. The calcium content of the product is properly regulated. It provides enough of this precious mineral for growth, but it won’t be enough to form calcium oxalate stones.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D

Key features:

  • Supports kidney health
  • D means delectable
  • Calorie-dense recipe
  • Contains antioxidants, fatty acids, and low phosphorus
  • Targeted protein levels

This food is not only worth considering because of bladder stones. The taste is also excellent, so it is highly recommended for picky eater dogs. It is dense in calories and soft gravy will whet every dog’s appetite. Fish oil promotes overall health as well as skin and coat. But it’s not just because of these that this food is on my list. Low phosphorus levels have a particularly good effect on dogs with certain bladder stones. Your canine can eat it on its own, but it is also used as a topper.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St

Key features:

  • Excellent taste
  • Created with the help of nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians
  • Reduces the risk of urinary stone formation in dogs
  • A significant amount of moisture
  • Helps dissolve existing struvite stones

If your dog has calcium oxalate or struvite stones, be sure to consider this food. It dilutes the urine, which reduces the build-up of minerals and the formation of stones. Because it is low in fiber and high in moisture, it is useful for any bladder stones. The manufacturer of the product also thought of dogs with sensitive stomachs. It contains limited ingredients and does not contain peas. The only thing you need to pay attention to is protein. If your dog needs a low protein intake, this is probably not the most appropriate food. Consult your veterinarian.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary UC Low Purine

Key features:

  • Suitable for adult dogs with urinary health issues
  • Controlled methionine and cysteine levels
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, linoleic acid, zinc, and biotin
  • Helps to regulate urinary

The first three ingredients are brewers rice, corn, and wheat. These provide energy for your dog. Of course, if he is sensitive to these, consult your veterinarian to find another option. The protein source is egg-product, which has a very high biological value. In addition, its amount and purine content is moderate. This produces less metabolite, which will result in fewer bladder stones in your dog. Otherwise, the diet helps treat cystine and urate stones as it maintains an alkaline pH in the urine.

Hill’s Prescription Diet u/d Urinary Care 

Key features:

  • High quality moderated level protein
  • Reduced calcium levels
  • Supports the immune system
  • Added taurine and L-carnitine
  • Helps balance urine pH levels

The first three ingredients are brewers’ rice, corn starch, and pork fat. These provide energy for the dogs. The egg product is a good source of protein because it has a low purine content and a high biological value. Powdered cellulose provides the fibers needed for healthy digestion. This diet keeps minerals and harmful metabolites low in the urine of dogs. In addition, it makes the pH of the urine alkaline, making it perfect for treating Urate and Cystine stones. It has also been shown to be useful in preventing Silica bladder stones.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St

Key features:

  • Excellent taste
  • Created with the help of nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians
  • Reduces the risk of urinary stone formation in dogs
  • A significant amount of moisture
  • Helps dissolve existing struvite stones

The carbohydrates and energy sources for this product are corn and rice brewers. The sources of protein are chicken by-product meals and dried eggs. This is good for both nutrition and taste. Otherwise, the amount of protein in the overalls is moderate, so fewer stone-forming metabolites will be produced in your dog. The ingredients make the urine acidic.

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U

Key features

  • Weight management and urinary care
  • Increased level of fiber
  • Controlled levels of minerals
  • Free of grains
  • Provides beneficial nutrition and excellent taste

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, and pea protein are very rich and well-digested protein sources. Carbohydrates are provided by pea starch and peas. The recipe makes the urine acidic and keeps the levels of ions that form struvite and oxalate crystals low. It also helps dissolve already formed struvite stones. The food also has bodyweight management skills. This is important because research has linked obesity and the formation of urate stones. This product has also been shown to be effective in preventing oxalate stones and dissolving struvite crystals.

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS

Key benefits:

  • Controlled levels of protein
  • Controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium
  • Features antioxidants, L-carnitine, and omega 3 fatty acids
  • Free of grains
  • Provides beneficial nutrition and excellent taste

This recipe is moderated protein and high in fat. This is a good choice for dogs who need to protect their kidneys. Otherwise, the main sources of protein are deboned chicken, and peas. Carbohydrate sources are potato starch, pea starch, and potatoes. In addition to the primary proteins, there is also an egg product in this food. The recipe keeps oxalate’s relative supersaturation low. This prevents the formation of new stones.

My picks

The list above is guaranteed to include the best dog food on the market for bladder stones. I recommend each with a calm heart but check with your veterinarian before making a choice. My favorites are Royal Canin S/O and Royal Canin UC. This brand has put a lot of energy into creating a proper urinary care diet for dogs. By the way, all my veterinarian acquaintances have recommended these products.

Click here to buy Royal Canin S/O

Click here to buy Royal Canin UC

Finding the best diet for your dog is not easy. You have to consider several aspects, e.g., activity, breed, age, health condition, etc. If you want to make the best decision possible, check out my comprehensive guide on how to choose the best dog food.

best dog food for bladder stones

What are bladder stones and what are the symptoms?

Bladder stones, as their name suggests, are stones that form in the bladder. They can vary in size. There are sand grain-sized, and gravel-sized too. Some dogs have bladder stones of various sizes. In terms of their material, these stones are made up of various minerals. They are most common in the bladder, but can also form in the gall-bladder and kidneys.

If your dog has bladder stones, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Urinary accidents
  • Straining to urinate
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urinating
  • Discolored urine
  • Frequent but small amounts of urine

How do you diagnose bladder stones in your dog?

In the early stages, many dogs do not show symptoms. Regular vet checks can help detect the problem in a timely manner.

For successful treatment, it is necessary to determine which bladder stone we are dealing with. Of course, this will go easily for your vet. There are four types of bladder stones:

  • Calcium oxalate: When dogs take in too much calcium, some of the excesses are not excreted. Instead, it is converted to oxalate. Stones are formed later from this oxalate. The thing is interesting because when there is a deficiency of calcium, the body produces oxalate too. This can also lead to bladder stones later on. Otherwise, calcium oxalate forms in acidic urine. The formation of oxalate crystals can be reduced by reducing the concentration of ions and metabolites in the urine.
  • Struvite: Struvite stones are formed in alkaline urine when there is a lot of excess magnesium and phosphate.
  • Urate: Urate stones are formed in acidic urine. The reason is usually purine, which is found in virtually every meat.
  • Cystine: Cystine stones are usually formed due to excess protein in acidic urine.

As you read this article, I think you also know that bladder stones can usually be treated with proper dog food. Once your veterinarian has determined the type of bladder stone, dietary steps can come.

What to look for in the best dog food for bladder stones?

Now let’s look at what ingredients to look out for:

  • Moisture: A lot of fluids have a very good effect on bladder stones. For this reason, the moisture level is the first factor you need to consider when choosing. Prefer wet dog food over dry kibble. If for some reason your dog doesn’t like wet food, mix it with dry food. Experiment with proportions. However, it is critical to provide enough fresh water for your dog. Also, ask your veterinarian for help.
  • Minerals: Look at the ingredients and the mineral content of the food. Materials that cause stones should be avoided. And it is good to know what kind of bladder stone your dog has. That way you will know what are the minerals that are beneficial to him. For example, magnesium and phosphate should be avoided in alkaline urine. However, they have a particularly beneficial effect on stones formed in acidic urine. Caution should be exercised with calcium. As I mentioned, both too much and too little calcium causes oxalate formation. Of course, your vet will be able to help you with this as well.
  • Other minerals: Sodium chloride basically has a good effect on bladder stones as it dilutes the urine. However, you have to pay close attention to this. Dogs are much more sensitive to salt than humans. Your dog will be easily dehydrated from a lot of salt. Potassium citrate helps dissolve calcium oxalate. So if you are dealing with this type of stone, you may want to look for this mineral in dog food.
  • Vitamins: Avoid vitamins C and D. These vitamins are able to control oxalate formation and calcium balance. According to research, it all usually goes in the wrong direction.
  • Other ingredients: There are some ingredients that you should avoid unless your veterinarian recommends them. These include brewer’s yeast, cranberry products, cider vinegar, collagen, and spinach.
  • Protein: Cystine stones are formed due to excess protein. Therefore, you should reduce the amount of protein consumed in the diet of dogs with cystine stones. Proteins (more specifically meat) also cause urate stones. There are cases where proteins may prevent stones from dissolving. So usually, proteins need to be moderated.
  • Fiber: The fibers are very healthy, but you need to pay attention to them if you have a dog with bladder stones. This is because fibers absorb moisture, which would help dogs with this condition anyway. This does not mean that you have to completely avoid fibers. They are very healthy and essential for proper digestion. But strive for moderated fiber content.

best dog food for bladder stones

Are there breeds that are more prone to bladder stones?

All dogs have a chance of developing bladder stones. It is not possible to know exactly why this condition develops in some dogs and not in others. Causes may include genetics, changes in urine pH, dietary changes, or various infections. However, researchers have found that bladder stones are more common in some dog breeds. 

These breeds are:

  • Beagles
  • Basset Hounds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bulldogs
  • Dachshunds
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Dalmatians
  • Pekingese
  • Welsh Corgis
  • Pugs

How to treat bladder stones in dogs?

If you notice any of the symptoms already mentioned in your dog, the first and most important thing is to consult a veterinarian. Bladder stones are not fatal but are extremely unpleasant for canines. That is why I suggest that it is better to ask for help as soon as possible.

Your veterinarian will start by reviewing your dog’s medical history and a physical examination. Feeling the abdomen usually lets you know if there are any stones. 

After all, your veterinarian may suggest a number of other complicated tests. Examples are the electrolyte tests, the thyroid body, or the X-rays of the urinary tract. If he confirms the diagnosis of bladder stones, you can start thinking about treatment together.

Here are some options for bladder stones treatment:

  • Surgery: Surgical removal is one of the most common and quickest treatments. During the surgery, the vet will cut and open the bladder and remove the stones. This method is not applicable to dogs with certain medical conditions. Examples of such conditions are bleeding disorders or sensitivity to anesthesia.
  • Removal without surgery: Using a technique called Uro hydro propulsion, the veterinarian inserts a catheter into the bladder. After that, he simply flushes out the stones. Of course, this is only possible with small bladder stones.
  • Diet: As I wrote earlier, dietary changes can avoid surgeries in many cases. However, be sure to perform a bladder stone analysis. Because only then can you put together the right diet. Improvement often takes weeks or months.
  • Ultrasonic dissolution: High-frequency ultrasound waves break up the bladder stones. After this, the smaller pieces of stone will be able to leave the bladder.

Most veterinarians recommend dietary dissolution. On the one hand, this is the most natural method, and on the other hand, it can prevent reforming. In all cases, talk to your veterinarian about dietary changes.

What Relative Super Saturation (RSS) in dogs’ diet?

This is a chemical concept that can be used to predict the size of crystals as they precipitate out of the solution. The slower the precipitation, the larger the crystals will be. Experts have found that by changing the composition of the diet properly, precipitation can be slowed down or even prevented. Struvite crystals, for example, can be easily dissolved at low RSS values. And how to achieve a low RSS value? We need to dilute the urine or reduce the concentration of minerals in the urine. In addition, we need to change the acidity or alkalinity of the urine.

best dog food for bladder stones

Frequently asked questions about best dog food for bladder stones

What if my dog ​​doesn’t drink enough water?

Consuming a lot of water is very important to prevent and treat bladder stones. Unfortunately, dogs tend to pay less attention to proper hydration. That’s why you have to pay attention to that. Always provide enough fresh water for your canine. The water bowl should be clean and easily accessible. If you add chicken broth to the water, it will taste much better. With praise and some treats, you can easily get your dog to develop proper drinking habits.

What foods cause bladder stones in dogs?

Bladder stones are formed from various minerals when urine is too acidic or too alkaline. Magnesium and phosphorus cause struvite stones. Too much or too little calcium causes oxalate stones. The purine found in various meats is responsible for the formation of urate stones. Therefore, adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.

How to prevent bladder stones in dogs?

The best way to prevent bladder stones is through diet management. It is important to increase fluid intake and reduce the amount of minerals that make up the stones.

Photo of author
Hey, my name is Peter, and I am the owner of this site. I have loved animals since I was a kid. I am constantly training myself; I recently obtained an accredited certificate in pet nutrition. But I am constantly learning about training, grooming for dogs and cats. I am currently a happy owner of two dogs, six cats, and two red-eared sliders. My goal is to provide my visitors with the most authentic information possible on any pet-related topic.
Amber LaRock
Reviewed By An Expert:

My name is Amber, and I am a licensed vet tech with 10 years of experience in the field. I spent the majority of my career working in emergency medicine but recently transitioned to creating accurate pet care information online. There is nothing more important to me than helping pet owners understand their furry friend’s health, and giving you the tools you need to offer your pet the best future possible!