Commercial prescription dog food formulas are commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat urinary problems such as struvite crystals and bladder stones. These foods typically contain ingredients that increase acidity in the urine to help dissolve stones and crystals and prevent their formation. Hills Prescription Diet is one prescription brand, but there are other alternatives available.
Other Prescription Dog Foods
Hills Prescription Diet isn’t the only game in town when it comes to prescription pet food. Iams, Royal Canin, Purina and Waltham all manufacture prescription dog food for the treatment of urinary problems.This provides you with some options so that you can shop around for the formula that best meets both your dog’s nutritional needs and your budgetary needs. Ask your vet about other available brands. If she doesn’t carry other brands in the office, you can order them online.
Natural Dog Food
Another alternative is to go holistic. If you’ve been feeding your dog a prescription formula for struvite crystals or stones, you should first have him checked to confirm that the stones are gone, according to veterinarian S.M. Sanderlin at OnlyNaturalPet.com. If so, it should be fine to switch to a good quality natural wellness formula. Look for ingredients such as cranberry extract that can help control urinary infections and pH. You can also supplement your dog’s food with cranberry extract in pill or treat form. Essential fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs, and probiotics can also help to improve your dog's condition and prevent recurrences of the problem.
Homemade Dog Food
To take full control of your dog’s nutrition, consider switching to homemade dog food. The ideal diet for a dog with urinary stones is high in complex carbohydrates such whole grains, fruits and vegetables, moderate in high-quality protein and low in fat and salt. Unnecessary fillers and phosphorous, commonly found in commercial dog food, should also be kept to a minimum, and can be completely eliminated in a home-cooked diet. Food for a dog at risk for urinary stones should also contain about 70 percent moisture. If your dog requires medication to reduce or eliminate the stones, another option is to alternate prescription dog food with homemade food a few times a week to ensure all of his nutritional needs are being met.
Talk With Your Vet
If your dog is battling a current condition, it’s best to listen to your vet. Prescription dog food might be your dog’s best option for returning to full urinary health. Any changes in your dog’s diet should be done with your vet’s input and supervision. If you are dead set against feeding prescription commercial food to your dog, a knowledgeable vet should be able to advise you about alternative treatments and help you devise a safe course of action. If you clash with your vet on this, it’s better to get a second opinion than to take your dog’s urinary health into your own hands.