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8 Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

brown dog sniffing a dog foodBladder stones are not only painful and can leave your dog feeling miserable, but they can also lead to serious and dangerous health concerns. There are many options out there for food, and each food will do something different depending on the type of bladder stone your dog has, so it’s important to understand the aim of each diet before you commit to buying.

Bladder stones are preventable and manageable with some informed diet modifications that we will help you figure out. As this change in your dog’s diet is one that you will need to potentially navigate for the rest of their lives, we have put together a list of our top foods for bladder stones that will both do their job and taste yummy too!

Important Note: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Royal Canin Urinary Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Urinary Dry Dog Food
  • Veterinary exclusive
  • Prevents calcium oxalate stones
  • Dissolves and prevents recurrence of struvite stones
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Basics Wet Dog Food Blue Buffalo Basics Wet Dog Food
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • High nutritional value
  • Affordable
  • Third place
    Purina Veterinary Dry Dog Food Purina Veterinary Dry Dog Food
  • Tasty option
  • Therapeutic for kidneys
  • Specially formulated
  • Best for Puppies
    Hill's Prescription Multicare Dog Food Hill's Prescription Multicare Dog Food
  • Prevents struvite and calcium oxalate stones
  • Small kibble
  • Developed by professionals
  • The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food
  • Hassle-free
  • Certified by AAFCO
  • Suitable for all breeds, sizes, and ages
  • The 8 Best Dog Foods for Bladder Stones

    1. Royal Canin Urinary Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    Royal Canin Urinary Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice flour, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: Minimum 17.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 15.0%
    Calories: 3,741 kcal/kg, 333 kcal/cup

    Our pick for the best overall dog food for bladder stones is Royal Canin. It is a veterinary-exclusive dry dog food that will support your dog’s urinary health. It increases the amount of urine your dog produces, which dilutes the excess minerals that cause crystals and stones.

    It helps to prevent calcium oxalate stones, and this specialized nutrition, along with a reduced level of magnesium, not only helps dissolve struvite stones but will also prevent them from reoccurring. Not only this, but the Relative Super Saturation (RSS) methodology lowers the risk of crystal formation in the bladder by lowering the ion concentration in urine.

    The food is expensive but has an added benefit that it is suitable for all breeds and sizes of dogs, and your dog will be a big fan of its tasty chicken flavor.

    Pros
    • Veterinary exclusive
    • Prevents calcium oxalate stones
    • Dissolves and prevents recurrence of struvite stones
    • Tasty chicken flavor
    Cons
    • Pricey

    2. Blue Buffalo Basics Wet Dog Food – Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Basics Wet Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, flaxseed, pea protein, fish oil, pumpkin
    Protein content: Minimum 7.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 7.0%
    Calories: 1,370 kcal/kg, 484 kcal/can

    The best dog food for bladder stones for the money is Blue Buffalo Basics because it is made with all-natural ingredients and is high in nutritional value while supporting your dog’s food sensitivity. As this option does not contain any wheat, it is optimal for dogs who suffer from calcium oxalate stones.

    Wet dog food adds interest to dry food or can be enjoyed by itself as a meal or a treat. There is also the added benefit that it injects water into your dog’s diet, which is key in preventing stone formation. However, like many wet foods, it can cause some gas, so beware of those silent but deadly farts!

    Blue Buffalo wet dog food contains no chicken or poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, artificial flavors, or preservatives. As this is a grain-free food, and grains are beneficial to most dogs unless they suffer from an allergy, be sure to check with your vet if this exclusion is necessary for your dog.

    While this formula is not specifically made for kidney issues, it is an affordable option that will have the desired effect in helping your dog.

    Pros
    • Made with all-natural ingredients
    • High nutritional value
    • Affordable
    • High water content
    Cons
    • Not specifically made for kidney issues
    • Can cause gas

    3. Purina Veterinary Dry Dog Food

    Purina Veterinary Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Whole grain corn, Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: Minimum 21.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 9.0%
    Calories: 3,542 kcal/kg, 408 kcal/cup

    Purina Veterinary food is perfect for supporting a healthy diet and preventing the formation of stones. It is a great tasting option for your dog’s urinary health and is the result of a nutritionist, researcher, and veterinarian collaboration that has resulted in food that features high-quality and healthy antioxidants for a therapeutic diet for your dog.

    It will both dissolve existing struvite stones and prevent the formation of new struvite and calcium oxalate crystals from forming. This diet acidifies urine and has a reduced concentration of the ions and compounds that contribute to the formation of urinary stones.

    The large kibble can be a challenge for smaller dogs, however, when moistened with water it will be easier for them to eat.

    Pros
    • Tasty option
    • Therapeutic for kidneys
    • Specially formulated
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Large kibble, not good for small breeds

    4. Hill’s Prescription Multicare Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    Hill's Prescription Multicare Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Whole grain corn, chicken meal, pork fat, corn gluten meal, soybean mill run
    Protein content: Minimum 18.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 13.0% and Maximum 18.0%
    Calories: 375 kcal/cup

    As food plays such a key role in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing Hill’s Urinary Care was developed by nutritionists and veterinarians to help support your dog’s bladder and healthy urinary function. Together they have produced food with a precise balance of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to deliver essential nutrition without overloading your dog’s system.

    It achieves this by keeping your dog’s urine low in minerals and metabolites which are responsible for creating stones. It prevents struvite stones and offers enough calcium in its diet to prevent oxalate stones. It is also low in sodium which promotes a healthy immune system.

    As the kibble is smaller than some other brands, it is ideal for small breeds and puppies to enjoy.

    Pros
    • Prevents struvite and calcium oxalate stones
    • Small kibble
    • Developed by professionals
    • Low sodium
    Cons
    • Kibble size is better suited for small breed puppies, not large breeds

    5. The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food

    The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, organic oats
    Protein content: Minimum 24.5%
    Fat content: Minimum 14.0%
    Calories: 4,270 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/cup

    The Honest Kitchen offers a diet that controls the levels of minerals and offers good hydration, which is essential for dogs with bladder stones. Not only that, but it is flavor-filled and hassle-free for you! All you need to do is add warm water, and you’ve got a warm, tasty meal ready to go!

    Real food is used, including free-range chicken and organic oats. It is made to a high standard, certified by AAFCO, and without preservatives, fillers, and GMOs and it is nutritionally suitable for adult dogs and puppies of any breed and size, including adult mothers.

    Pros
    • Hassle-free
    • Certified by AAFCO
    • Suitable for all breeds, sizes, and ages
    • High water content
    Cons
    • Pricey, so might be out of budget for some dog owners

    6. Hill’s Prescription Urinary Care Dry Dog Food

    Hill's Prescription Urinary Care Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewers rice, corn starch, pork fat, egg product
    Protein content: Minimum 8.0% and Maximum 12.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 17.5%
    Calories: 398 kcal/cup

    Nutritionists and veterinarians have developed specially formulated food that provides nutrition to help support your dog’s bladder health, and added antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. The good quality, highly digestible protein, and low levels of calcium in this diet reduce the risk of bladder stones forming.

    The added taurine and high levels of L-carnitine also help to maintain a healthy heart muscle function, to keep him happy and active. The small kibble sizes mean it is suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds. The original flavor can smell like corn and has more of a bland taste than other options.

    Pros
    • Professionally formulated
    • Low levels of calcium
    • Small kibble sizes
    Cons
    • Bland taste

    7. Royal Canin Vet Diet Adult Urinary SO Dog Food

    Royal Canin Vet Diet Adult Urinary SO Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, chicken by-products, pork by-products
    Protein content: Minimum 5.6%
    Fat content: Minimum 5.9%
    Calories: 1,259 kcal/kg, 485 kcal/can

    This veterinary-exclusive wet dog food has been developed to nutritionally support your dog’s bladder and urinary tract health. It increases the amount of urine your dog produces, which creates an unfavorable environment for the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.

    RSS methodology lowers the ion concentration in your dog’s urine, which is a contributing factor to stones forming in the bladder. With its reduced level of magnesium, it helps to dissolve struvite stones and prevent them from forming in the future. The texture is in a pate-form, and it is one of the pricier wet dog food options.

    Pros
    • Prevents struvite and calcium oxalate stones
    • High water content
    • Lowers ion concentration
    Cons
    • Pricey, not good for people on a budget

    8. Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Dog Food

    Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Dog Food

    Main ingredients: USDA chickpeas, flax, carrots, celery, apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin, papaya, spinach
    Protein content: Minimum 21.0%
    Fat content: Minimum 9.0%
    Calories: 3,215 kcal/kg, 415 kcal/cup

    An excellent way to get extra supplements to improve bladder health into your dog’s diet is by feeding him Grandma Lucy’s pre-mix food which is easy to prepare and freeze-dried. You would pair this with your dog’s favorite protein, and it is packed with fruits and vegetables that will help prevent urate/purine bladder stones.

    It is all-natural and rich in natural omega fatty acids that also help maintain a healthy coat, skin, and joints. Because it is pre-mixed it also has the added bonus of saving you time. There are no by-products, preservatives, or GMOs. However, it is grain-free so remember to check with your veterinarian that it is a suitable option. Dogs also might not be overly fond of the texture, which can be mushy thanks to the chickpeas.

    Pros
    • Easy to prepare
    • Promotes bladder health
    • Ideal supplement
    • Time-saver
    Cons
    • Mushy texture

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Bladder Stones

    When considering what dog food would be best, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to recognize the signs of bladder stones.

    Signs of Bladder Stones

    Bladder stones start off small but can grow over time in number and/or size.

    If your dog has bladder stones, he will usually exhibit the following symptoms:
    • Licking around the urinary opening
    • Urinary accidents
    • Unable to urinate but multiple attempts to go
    • Frequent urination
    • Signs of pain when urinating
    • Discolored urine or blood in the urine
    • Loss of appetite

    These symptoms are not just indicative of bladder stones, they could also be a sign of infections or tumors, for example, but your veterinarian will be able to confirm with an X-ray or ultrasound.

    How Are Bladder Stones Formed?

    Bladder stones develop when minerals that are concentrated in the urine crystallize. Most are made from struvite and calcium oxalate stone, with urate or cystine stones occurring rarely.

    A veterinarian will typically prescribe antibiotics, for example, if the diagnosis is struvite stones, and recommend a therapeutic diet that will dissolve the stones and crystals to work alongside the drugs. This could end up being a long-term change for your dog’s diet, so you will want food that not only works but that your dog will enjoy.

    pug dog in a veterinary clinic
    Image by: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

    The Importance of Diet in Preventing and Managing Bladder Stones

    Diet plays a pivotal role in preventing and managing bladder stones in your dog, but how you do this depends on the types of stones your dog has. Specific diets are formed to influence specific factors, like the urine’s pH or the body’s electrolyte and mineral composition. Struvite stones, for example, require a pH that is more acidic to prevent a recurrence. Calcium oxalate prevention requires a diet that dilutes the urine to promote less acidity.

    Struvite Bladder Stones

    Struvite stones begin when your dog has a bladder infection, so preventing this will hinder this type of stone from forming. Keep your dog’s immune system strong with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your dog’s diet. Keep their water intake up and choose a food with low protein and decreased levels of phosphorus and magnesium as this will promote acidic urine.

    Calcium Oxalate Stones

    Diets that dilute the urine and contain moderate to low levels of animal protein are recommended. Canned food offers you a higher amount of water, diluting the urine. Try to avoid foods with wheat and organ meat in them as they have high oxalate content.

    Urate Stones

    Urate stones are not as common and are sometimes referred to as purine stones. They are formed in concentrated or highly acidic urine and are more susceptible in certain breeds because of their DNA. A diet that is lower in meat (as organ meats can form urate stones) and higher in vegetables, with soy protein, and no oats or barley, is ideal for preventing this type of stone.

    Cystine Bladder Stones

    These types of stones are rare, but when they do occur, they usually do so in male dogs. Choose a diet that promotes diluted urine, which canned or wet food can help with because cystine stones form in acidic urine. Like urate stones, choose a low protein balanced diet (limit the choices of animal meat.)

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    Conclusion

    Understanding the link between diet and the prevention and management of bladder stones will help you make an informed decision about the best food for your dog going forward.

    Our top choice is the Royal Canin Dry Food which is the best overall. While pricey, it increases your dog’s urine output and prevents both oxalate and struvite stones. The Blue Buffalo Basics Wet Dog Food is the best value for money for a dog that suffers from calcium oxalate stones as it contains no wheat and has a high water content. The Purina Veterinary is our premium choice as it is therapeutic for kidneys and specially formulated to offer optimal nutrition. Hill’s Dry Dog Food chicken flavor is best for puppies and prevents both struvite and calcium oxalate stones, and promotes a healthy immune system through a low sodium content. And fifth on our list is Honest Kitchen’s Wholegrain Dog Food which offers controlled levels of minerals and hydration, and is suitable for all breeds and sizes of dogs, including adult mothers.

    We hope this guide helps you navigate the different options available and you find the right food to keep your dog healthy, happy, and bladder stone-free!


    Featured Image Credit: Ayla Verschueren, Unsplash

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