Have you been to the vet lately only to find your sweet dog has a urinary or bladder infection? Have you been assured that to cure this nasty business you must allow your pet to be operated on to remove a stone and afterward, a special dog food diet is a must to avoid reoccurrence of the problem? Have you then discovered your dog is on this diet forever to avoid more stones?
The operation is necessary, especially if stones have developed. No other method of removing them in pets is currently available. However, about that special diet…
The diet usually consists of a hard kibble as the basis with a soft food available, if doggie is picky. The bags and cans come with a C/D, U/D, S/D designation and cost a small fortune that many simply cannot afford.
The struvite crystals (stones) may be reduced by feeding your pet a low-protein diet, but why not go for the prevention and not have to bother with the cure? The crystals usually form because there is another infection somewhere. That does not mean that when the crystals are found, your dog should be on a special diet for the rest of its life.
Since these special diets are usually severely protein-restricted, phosphate-restricted, magnesium-restricted, highly acidifying and supplemented with salt to increase water consumption, they can be detrimental to your pet’s health if used for months on end. Ask your vet just how long your dog should be on the diet. If he says always, get another vet. Puppies should never be put on these foods.
A diet of chicken, white rice, potatoes, carrots for nourishment and a bit of olive oil to keep your four-legged friend’s coat healthy can get rid of a multitude of sins and prevent others. Hard food, no matter what the designation on the bag, can actually be detrimental to the struvite crystal prone pup. The special pet foods from the vet can cost almost $3 per can while an 8.5 pound bag of dry food can run almost $25; a 17.6 pound bag averages $43 and if you need a 35 pound bag for a big dog, how about $76+.
For the chicken mixture above, buy a large bag of chicken legs and thighs, a large bag of carrots, a medium bag of rice and a couple of pounds of potatoes. Cook all ingredients, plus a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven until tender.
At that point either pick the chicken off the bones and divide the meat, rice, and veggies equally into snack size baggies, if your dog is relatively small and use larger bags for bigger dogs. Freeze the bags, taking one out and thawing as needed. Or pick the meat off the bones, put everything together in a blender, blend until thoroughly mixed. If there is too much liquid, return it to the Dutch oven and cook until liquid is reduced. As before, put a meal or a day’s worth of meals in a freezer bags and freeze them. This diet tends to provide most of what any dog needs for nourishment. However, with a dog that tends toward the bladder or urinary stones, cranberry supplements or bit of juice also helps. The end result is a large number of healthy, hearty meals at a pittance of what the specialty dog foods provide.
Before you change your pet’s diet, discuss this with your veterinarian.
For more information, go to: Whole Dog Journal @ http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_4/features/Detecting-Urinary-Stones-Dogs_16215-1.html or Go Pets America @ http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/bladder-stones.aspx.
Our guest blogger, Maggie Digiovanni, is co-writer and editor of www.frugalfloridaseniors.com, a website designed for SW Florida and those who just love our state! You can read Maggie’s “Widowed” series on that blog, along with her hilarious “Dating Seniors” column. She shares her life with her daughter and 2 adorable Shih Tzu’s, one of whom has suffered frequent UTI’s. She now uses the homemade diet described above to discourage stones from forming.