If you're like most dog owners, the first thing you focus on when adding a new furry friend into your family is potty training. A housebroken dog can live harmoniously with your family and help keep your home relatively mess-free. Generally, dogs have no issue adapting to life indoors, learning the ropes pretty quickly.
So what does it mean when your dog suddenly starts having accidents again?
Unfortunately, frequent mishaps could be a sign of urinary health problems.
An estimated 14 percent of dogs develop urinary infections at some point in their life. If you ignore the problem, your precious pup can develop chronic kidney or bladder disease that cause debilitating pain for the rest of their life!
Needless to say, being proactive about urinary health is a must.
While you should always consult with your vet first, there are plenty of things you can do without a prescription. Your dog's diet has a significant impact on their urinary health.
What they consume dictates the pH balance of their urine and influences the performance of crucial detoxifying organs.
One of the best things you can do for your dog is to invest in dog food that caters to their urinary health.
Not sure where to start? We have you covered. Check out our top picks for the best non-prescription dog food for urinary health in 2022.
11 Best Dog Foods for Urinary Health Reviewed:
1. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Check out this product from Rachel Ray Nutrish. Who would have thought that a TV chef could make a healthy dog food option!
This kibble is a great choice for better urinary health because it contains wholesome ingredients and none of the unwanted artificial stuff.
It's chock-full of vitamins a,d antioxidants, too. They could help your dog's system fight off unwanted infections and urinary diseases. There's even a healthy dose of probiotics, omega fatty acids, and fiber. What more could your dog want?
From American Journey is this protein-rich formula. It has a protein content of about 32 percent. Most of that analysis comes from deboned salmon, rich in omega fatty acids. Pair that with the flaxseed oil, and your dog has all the healthy fats they need.
There's a great mix of plant-based ingredients as well. They provide a boost of antioxidants, healthy vitamins, and more. This formula also contains phytonutrients and plenty of great sources of fiber.
You won't find unnecessary fillers, artificial additives, and potentially dangerous ingredients that could negatively impact urinary health.
Next up is a fish-based formula from Addiction. The Salmon Bleu recipe utilizes salmon and ocean fish as its primary protein sources.
As you can imagine, they're full of anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. The regular supply can do wonders to maintain good urinary health. But that's not all.
This recipe also contains easy-to-absorb minerals, antioxidant-rich cranberries, and glucosamine for joint health.
Overall, it's a high-quality dog food product that covers all of your dog's bases while keeping their urinary tract in good shape.
You can't go wrong with Taste of the Wild dog food. It's a universally appealing product that provides balanced nutrition to dogs of all sizes. On top of all that, it has all the hallmarks of a kibble that focuses on good urinary health.
The protein sources are top-notch. Water buffalo, roasted bison, venison, and more contribute to the 32 percent protein content.
This is a grain-free formula that uses complex carbs instead of refined carbs. As a result, you can rest easy knowing that it won't agitate infections.
Finally, there's a blend of probiotics and a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
FirstMate is a lesser-known brand that provides simple formulas with novel ingredients. This product utilizes Australian lamb as its protein source.
Of course, it's free of growth hormones and antibiotics. The grain-free and gluten-free recipe focuses on meat, which is fantastic for dogs prone to urinary problems.
Another huge perk is the blend of antioxidants. In this recipe, you'll find blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries.
Together, these fruits boost the immune system, act as a source of fiber, and support the urinary tract.
Here's a unique option worth considering. From the Honest Kitchen is this dehydrated dog food. On its own, this recipe has a lot to offer. It uses natural, premium ingredients that provide a balanced diet. Everything is 100 percent human-grade, so you know your dog is getting the best!
There are no byproducts or unhealthy fillers. However, there is plenty of vitamin and antioxidant-rich foods.
The best part of this dog food is that you have to add broth or water. That means you're giving your dog a healthy boost of hydration, too.
Canidae is another premium dog food brand that provides nothing but the best for your dog. This Under the Sun formula utilizes lamb as the protein source.
It also contains a slew of farm-grown vegetables. Your dog can take advantage of foods like butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, peas, and more.
Those ingredients are great complex carbs that battle inflammation.
The recipe also has probiotics for overall gut health, antioxidants to support the urinary tract, and omega fatty acids. There's a lot to love about this dog food!
The biggest draw of Blue Buffalo foods is the iconic LifeSource Bits. These tiny morsels accompany most of the brand's products. Each bit contains a collection of vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants.
Ingredients like cranberries and blueberries work wonders to support urinary health.
Of course, Blue Buffalo also has a reputation for delivering high-protein foods. This formula is no exception. It contains deboned lamb and fish for muscle-building amino acids.
The entire recipe is free of filler and unnecessary additives, so you can rest easy knowing that your dog's getting a balanced diet without the unwanted urinary issues.
This limited-ingredient formula from Nutro is about keeping things simple. It's designed to help allergy sufferers and those with food sensitivities. However, dogs who have to deal with urinary problems can also take advantage of its simple ingredients list.
Venison is the primary protein source. There's also a healthy dose of vitamins, omega fatty acids, and other essentials that support urinary health.
This recipe is the epitome of simplicity, so you don't have to worry about unnecessary fillers or potentially dangerous additives.
Best Non Prescription Wet Dog Food for Urinary Health:
10. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Turkey Recipe Wet Canned Dog Food
Looking for a healthy canned dog food option? Check out this limited-ingredient product from Instinct. It's very simple, containing a single protein and a single vegetable. However, that's the beauty of it!
This canned food is easy to digest and process. Best of all, it contains as much as 76 percent moisture. It's a great way to keep your dog hydrated and increase their water intake without forcing them to drink more. All the while, the limited ingredients ensure that the food is easy on your dog's system.
Best Supplement for Urinary Health:
11. The Petz Kitchen Holistic Super Food Broth Urinary Tract Health Support Beef Flavor Concentrate Powder Dog Supplement
This broth supplement is all about promoting better urinary health. It comes in powder form. All you have to do is add water to create a flavor-rich broth. Not only is it tasty, but it also gives your dog a boost of hydration.
The formula contains phytochemicals that work to decongest the urinary tract. It may also help discourage infection, limit crystal formation in the urine, and more. It can also relax the muscles and keep the liver in good shape.
Types of Urinary Health Problems That Plague Dogs
Urinary problems are surprisingly common among dogs. Canines experience infections all the time. In most cases, these issues are temporary and require nothing more than a course of antibiotics from your vet.
However, others can indicate something more serious going on in your dog's body.
There are many potential causes for poor urinary health, and conditions can manifest themselves in several ways.
Urinary Tract Infections
Also known as a UTI, dogs face this issue the most. In most cases, UTIs result from bacteria entering the urethral opening. It could come from excessive licking, debris, or even feces.
In some instances, dogs will get UTIs because their immune system is weak from a lack of nutrients.
Either way, UTIs are not something you want your dog to go through. It can cause intense pain and burning, causing your pup to cry out whenever they attempt to do their business. Some will have issues urinating at all.
Make sure to take your dog to a vet if you suspect that they have a UTI. A UTI can quickly turn into a severe kidney infection if left untreated.
Bladder and kidney stones occur when minerals crystalize in the urinary tract. Your dog's system can develop many different kinds of stones.
The two most common are struvite crystals and calcium oxalate crystals.
The former results from urine that's too alkaline, while the latter forms because of urine that's too acidic.
Females and senior dogs are most likely to suffer from UTIs. However, they can plague any dog.
Smaller crystals can pass without much fanfare. But even then, take a trip to the vet! That's a major sign that your dog's urinary health is not that great.
Larger stones can be excruciating. If you know a human that's suffered from urinary stones, they'll likely tell you that it's the worst pain they've ever felt. Imagine what your dog is going through!
Large crystals can block the urinary tract completely, leading to a host of additional problems.
Beyond bladder or kidney stones, your dog could experience urinary calculi, ureteral stones, and urinary calculus disease.
Related: Best Diet for Dogs with Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones
Incontinence occurs when dogs are unable to control their bladder. You're most likely to see this with older canines as they start to lose control of the urethral sphincter. The muscles weaken, making it harder to hold things in.
Accidents can become frequent, so it's a good idea to modify your dog's potty schedule accordingly.
In extreme cases, dogs can encounter sudden kidney failure. Usually, this happens when they ingest a toxic substance like antifreeze or rat poison. It goes without saying, but a trip to the emergency visit is paramount here!
Kidney failure can lead to death very quickly. Before you realize what's happening, your dog might exhibit urinary health symptoms like incontinence, difficulty urinating, and more.
Common Symptoms to Look Out For
Urinary health problems encompass a wide range of conditions, so symptoms can vary dramatically.
The first thing to pay attention to is your dog's urination habits.
Healthy dogs are pretty predictable regarding how and when they pee. When your dog's urination schedule changes, it could be a cause for concern.
Poor urinary health can lead to fewer potty breaks, more frequent urination, difficulty peeing, and more.
Another factor to inspect is the appearance of the urine itself. With poor urinary health, you might see bloody urine, cloudy urine, or urine that has a very strong odor.
Finally, keep an eye on your dog's behavior.
Urinary problems often lead to a lack of interest. Your pup might become restless, finding it hard to sleep or relax. They may even cry out in pain when you touch them, indicating discomfort in the abdomen or lower back.
Many dogs will resort to excessive licking, too. That could increase their risk of infection. Furthermore, you may notice changes in their thirst levels and their water consumption.
All of these symptoms are crucial to monitor. Bring them to the vet if you suspect that urinary problems are causing your dog pain. It's better to lean on the side of caution than to continue your pup's suffering.
Urinary issues are pretty easy to diagnose with some tests, so don't hesitate to seek veterinary help.
Related: Why Does My Dog Pee on My Bed
Choosing Dog Food That Promotes Better Urinary Health
Your dog's diet has everything to do with their urinary health. While bacteria and outside factors do come into play, your pup's system is largely dependent on the food they consume.
Here are some essential things to look for when choosing a food that promotes better urinary health. As always, consult with your vet before making any major dietary changes.
High-Quality Animal Proteins
Animal meat is the most critical ingredient in your dog's food. There's no way around it!
High protein content is a must. Not only that, but you need to choose food that provides wholesome protein sources and none of the mystery meats.
Byproducts and questionable protein sources could contain synthetic hormones or chemicals that put your dog's system in a precarious place.
Choose premium ingredients like whole chicken, beef, fish, or any other identifiable meat.
Natural is always best. When perusing food products, stick with choices that utilize whole-food ingredients you can easily identify. Ditch the artificial additives and unnecessary extras.
You want your dog to consume food that's healthy, natural, and easy to process. Otherwise, their urinary health may suffer.
Healthy Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are an essential ingredient that supports skin and coat health. It's a form of healthy fat that provides energy and keeps your dog's various health systems in check.
For urinary health, omega fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory. With regular consumption, these fatty acids could keep infections and inflammation at bay.
Antioxidants and pH-Balancing Nutrients
Antioxidants and vitamins can do a lot to improve urinary health. They work to rebalance the pH level of urine, which may prevent crystal formation. One beloved source of antioxidants is cranberries.
Cranberries are a trusted ingredient for preventing UTIs and other issues. The fruit contains compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls, decreasing the likelihood that infections take hold.
The right mix of vitamins and antioxidants can go a long way in preventing painful urinary issues.
Low Starch and Simple Carbs
Simple carbs and starches can exacerbate urinary tract issues. Simple carbs feed inflammation, making the effects of infections worse. The same goes for starchy foods like potatoes and cheap grains.
On top of all that, simple carbs can increase your dog's chances of weight gain and diabetes. Stick to complex alternatives and look for foods with low starch content.
Related: Best Low Carb Dog Food
High Moisture Content
Keeping your dog well-hydrated is a must. You can do that by providing plenty of fresh water on hand.
Fountains and other moving water sources are a big plus, too.
But if your dog doesn't want to drink more water, consider getting foods with higher moisture content. While dry kibble is an easier choice, canned food and gravy make an excellent supplement for more hydration.
Fiber and Probiotics
Finally, look for products with a decent amount of fiber and probiotics. This factor focuses more on overall gut health and stool consistency. However, it creates a better gut environment.
When your dog's system processes foods more efficiently, the risks of urinary problems may decrease.
It's never easy to watch your dog suffer from UTIs and other urinary health conditions. Many dogs will suffer in silence, making these problems hard to spot.
While you should always visit a vet for immediate treatment, consider switching to one of these non-prescription dog foods. They focus on urinary health, helping your dog avoid debilitating issues in the future.