3 Tips to Support Your Pet’s Urinary Health

Like all the systems in the body, things can and do go a little awry with urinary health.  We’ve compiled 3 things to consider if your pet is facing challenges in this system.

What can go wrong with my pet’s urinary system?

Cats and dogs can be prone to developing urinary stones and infection.

These occur when the concentration of certain minerals in your pet’s urine becomes too high (alkaline). In healthy pets, the urine pH is generally in the 6.5 to 7.0 range. If the pH is acidic (pH below 6) or alkaline (pH above 7) it may allow bacteria to thrive and for crystals or stones to form. Stones in the bladder can cause inflammation, predispose to urinary tract infections and even cause an obstruction of the urinary tract.

There are different types of stone composed of different minerals and compounds.

What Can I Do For My Dog’s Bladder Stones?

Your pet can also suffer from bacterial infection in their urinary system, leading to discomfort in the lower urinary tract.

Urinary incontinence, anatomic abnormalities and tumours are amongst other conditions that may affect the urinary tract in cats and dogs too.

Female dogs and cats are more likely to suffer with UTI’s and stones often due to structure but also possible hormonal changes. This is also suggests that urinary issues may face those neutered dogs too.

Signs of UTI’s, stones or other UT issues  may include one or more of the following;

  • Chronic diarrhoea, loose stools or constipation
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Stooping as if to defecate
  • Incomplete urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Darker colour urine and offensive odour
  • Fresh blood spots in urine
  • Bloated, tender abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Crying out in pain (generally from stones)
  • Panting
  • Weight loss

Possible Causes of UTI’s and Stones

  • Poor commercial foods. We know fresher fed pets have a more biodiverse microbiota that creates metabolites that protect the mucosa and UT.
  • Food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Stress can cause digestive dysfunction, leading to inflammation of the entire body, including the UT.
  • Hormonal changes and neutering of a cat or dog can make for concurrent issues.
  • Endocrine issues and dysfunction tend to affect the UT. Looking at underlying issues is always helpful.
  • Dysbiosis leads to increased intestinal permeability, loss of immune tolerance, aberrant immune responses, and specific microbiome shifts. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), is commonly found and highly associated with concurrent UTI’s.
  • Parasitic infections can take hold when the GI is not functioning well and immune function becomes compromised. The urinary tract may become a weakened system because of this.
  • Poor immunity and gut immunity can cause over-reactivity and inflammation. This can arise from birth to not being weaned effectively and even include environmental exposures (or lack thereof).
  • Anatomical structural issues where the urethra is close to the anus, collecting bacteria leading to infection.
  • Genetics in rare occasions can predispose a cat or dog to urinary stones. Cystinuria is a rare inherited disease that results in the formation of stones made of an amino acid called cysteine. The known gene defects responsible for cystinuria affect the kidneys and cause the kidneys to improperly excrete too much cysteine into the urine.
  • Consistent use of antibiotics can wipe out the beneficial bacteria that protect the mucosa of the gut and UT.
  • Adverse drug reactions or over-medication and vaccination can create a hyperactive immune state and inflammation which are implicated in UT issues and infection.

Things to consider in supporting UT Health:

1) Feed A Fresh Food Diet

A fresh diet rich in easily digestible proteins, beneficial fats and vegetables (fibre) can help support gut microbiota, a healthy body and a healthy UT. Home prepared, cooked or raw is the very best in this instance.

The balance of calcium and phosphorus in a dicalcium phosphate form or even better from bones or bone meal is essential.  Reducing oxalic vegetables and keeping an eye on high magnesium content is helpful,  but a fresher diet can often negate the impact and therefore proliferation of stones and infections.

Processed foods and sugars can cause systemic inflammation triggering UT inflammation.  Sugar is also the food of choice for many of the less than desirable bacteria.

Certain foods can often elicit an unwanted immune response, so understanding what might be causing your pet to react is essential.

Elimination Diets For Dogs

2) Consider Supplements

Ashwaganda is a beautiful adaptogenic herb, which does what it says on the tin.  It helps the body adapt.  This is worth considering if there is any element of stress influencing your dog’s UT health.

Slippery elm: a beautiful insoluble fibre that tends to help regardless of the cause. It has mucilage properties where it creates a film, soothes, protects and helps to heal the entire gastric system including there productive and UT system.

Deglycyrrhised liquorice: this botanical and functional herb is a demulcent (or mucilaginous, the same as slippery elm). It enhances oesophageal and digestive mucosal protection and in powder or liquid form, can help soothe the oesophageal, digestive and UT lining. DGL has been shown to create extra mucus, acting as a barrier to acid in the stomach, oesophagus, and UT. This barrier may allow damaged tissue to heal.

Probiotics: the gut microbiota allows for a healthy ecology and functioning of the gut.  It helps support immunity, aids the digestion of food, may outcompete pathogenic bacteria and yeast and has shown promise in reducing inflammation.  For a happy gut, we need a diverse gut, and this means that certain beneficial bacteria reign.  It is proven in humans that a healthy microbiota creates the necessary metabolites within the UT that protect against pathogenic bacteria too, so optimising gut health, with consideration given to probiotic usage may be of benefit.

Cranberry and D Mannose: bacterial adhesion has been found to be significantly reduced after culture with urine samples obtained at 30 and 60 days, compared with results for urine samples obtained before extract administration from 12 dogs in a study for UTI’s. Oral administration of cranberry extract prevented development of a UTI and prevented E coli adherence to MDCK cells.  This may indicate it has benefits for preventing UTIs in dogs.

3) Fill Up on Fats!

In the form of a protective antioxidant fish oil, fish meat or vegan phytoplankton, omega-3 has been shown to support the UT system.  Research has mainly been based around felines but from experience, it’s one of the most important protocols for healthy UT support.

Essential Fats For My Dog

Urinary health can be a challenge for many pets, with owners often reporting issue reoccurence. If you would like any support with your pet’s health, then please check out our services to see how we can help.

Thanks for reading,

MPN Team ‍

Keep up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter for recipes, DIY products, health solutions and more.

You have been successfully Subscribed! Ops! Something went wrong, please try again.

Customer Reviews

Related articles