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How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Kidney Stones
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 09/15/2017, edited: 09/17/2021
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Kidney stones can be something as simple as a condition your veterinarian watches to see if they deteriorate, or may be something quite serious causing your dog to be very ill. If your four-legged buddy has kidney stones that block the passage of urine out of their body, they could potentially face a life-threatening situation and must be treated immediately. Typically, with kidney stones, however, you will know there is a problem before your dog gets to that point. If you have ever had kidney stones, known someone who has had kidney stones, or have a pet who has kidney stones, you probably understand how scary this condition can be. Moreover, you would probably like to prevent it from happening in the future.
The best way to prevent stones from forming in your dog’s kidneys is with the foods you are putting into your dog's system. Keeping your dog's body healthy overall prevents diseases of all sorts. The food you offer your dog should be nutritional and of high quality. A high-quality dog food will consist of a lean protein as the first ingredient, natural, healthy fats, and a balance of carbohydrates. You can supplement your dog's diet with vitamins, herbs, and minerals found in foods to help prevent urinary tract infections or kidney stones. Probiotics help not only your dog's digestive tract and stomach but also deter bacteria from growing inside your dog's system.
Probiotics, along with other foods, can keep bacteria from growing in the urinary tract system, including your dog's kidneys. Cranberries can be added to your dog's meals or given in a tablet form hidden inside a treat. Cranberries are often associated with the avoidance of UTIs and people. Though cranberry will not help an existing infection, it will keep bacteria in the urinary tract system down to a minimum. Vitamin C is also a good supplement to add to your dog's meals because vitamin C is an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory. Diet is key to helping your dog's overall health which will, in turn, improve their kidney functions as well.
Plenty of Fresh Water
Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of fresh, cool water, accessible at all times. One of the best ways to prevent kidney stones is to have your dog's kidneys working well. In order to continue working consistently and constantly, your dog needs to have water to move toxins from kidney to bladder and out for elimination. You can talk to your veterinarian about a diuretic that is safe to give to your dog to keep urine passing. But the number one thing that will cause your dog to urinate is to be drinking consistently.
Fresh water is important because it will not contain bacteria or parasites that standing water might contain. Encourage your furry companion to drink after they have urinated to replenish their body of water loss. Offer your dog water after they have been outside for extended periods of time, as well as after times of exercise. Be sure your dog has access to fresh water after every meal as well, so foods are easily digested, and the body is working on flushing toxins through the kidneys and bladder. Drinking fresh water is fundamental to keeping your pup's kidneys working smoothly and clear of crystals built up over time.
Sometimes understanding how to prevent a condition from happening requires you to understand exactly how the body works and what causes the condition to occur. Dogs are built the same, but their bodies may function slightly differently by breed. Some breeds are susceptible to different kinds of kidney stones that other breeds do not often get. Educate yourself on your canine's lineage as well as the health conditions your four-legger could face simply by being that type of dog. As it relates to kidney stones, educate yourself through your veterinarian on which kind of kidney stone you may need to be concerned with.
Kidney stones are crystals that form in the urine in the kidneys. Often, depending on breed and condition, these stones could be made of different types of minerals. Also, understand the diet you give your dog to treat potential kidney stones may not be the diet you give your dog in the future to prevent the illness from reoccurring. If you suspect your dog has kidney stones, talk to your veterinarian right away to not only treat your dog but also to educate yourself on what to expect in the future and how to prevent your pooch from suffering kidney stones again.
Importance of Preventing Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can potentially cause serious health issues for your dog, and treating the stones and related complications can be quite expensive. Some dogs who suffer kidney stones and have a blockage will require emergency surgery. Emergency surgery, of course, will involve an emergency veterinary hospital and the costs that will occur as a result of that visit and potential surgery. Managing kidney stones that exist but are not of a size to cause an issue with blockage can also be quite expensive, with special veterinarian-prescribed dietary restrictions and foods.
Simple but Essential Prevention
Preventing kidney stones is quite a bit less expensive than treating stones. And prevention is relatively easy to do. Ensure your dog has a high-quality diet and access to fresh water every day. Know your dog as well as your dog's breed, and be aware of the health conditions they may be susceptible to. You may be able to supplement your dog's diet with treats they enjoy such as fresh cranberries in their food bowl or probiotics in the form of yogurt or even powder mixed into a nice frozen treat. Kidney stone prevention can be enjoyable for your dog and easy for you to do.