How to Feed Dogs with UTI’s Or Bladder Infections

Maggie Digiovanni

Maggie Digiovanni, Guest Blogger


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 @ or Go Pets America @
Our guest blogger, Maggie Digiovanni, is co-writer and editor of, 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.

7 thoughts on “How to Feed Dogs with UTI’s Or Bladder Infections

  1. Judy

    been intently reading web-sites re: UTI’s my 13 y/o Shih-Tzu is getting. She weighs 18 #. I’m starting to “get” home made meals should have chicken, veggies…but non give proportions. I’m still clueless how much chicken, amt of veggies and total amt to serve her at each meal… Any help appreciated.

    1. Carol North Post author

      Judy, given your dog’s issue with UTI’s, I would not attempt any diet without input from your veterinarian. They sell foods intended especially for dogs with chronic UTI’s but they aren’t always what I call good food. I’m not trained in veterinary medicine so I would not attempt to advise you. A normal homemade diet for a senior dog might not be exactly what one with UTI issues should eat. Best of luck to you. Carol

  2. Barbara Neumann

    My Great Dane has had two surgeries in 4 months to remove struvite stones. I am looking for a homemade diet to help prevent formation of new stones. The vet prescribed Hills S/D, but my dog won’t eat it.

    Do you happen to have a recipe that fits the bill?

    I have already purchased Dinovite & LickoChops (in large supply) and have made the beef, rice & egg recipe on the Dinovite website. Do you think the Dinovite recipe is the best for my dog

    1. Carol North

      Barbara, I think you need to level with your vet and ask for advice. He or she should be able to advise you about the contents of the best homemade diet. Frankly, I don’t blame your dog for refusing the Science Diet food, but you do need professional advice for putting together a homemade diet that addresses the stone issue. And for that reason, I won’t comment on any brand of food for a struvite stone issue. If your vet won’t help you, call around and find one who will. Most veterinarians sell the Hill’s Science Diet products because very few companies produce the specific medicinal foods to address certain medical conditions. That doesn’t mean that all the ingredients in that food are healthy. I know this isn’t the answer you hoped for but a vet should be able to guide you with the ingredients for the diet you want.

  3. Elaine M Hoffman

    Hi, Would this diet help my 13 year old Westie (Lillypup)? She has been dx with diluted urine and all my Vet wants to do is test test test. $$$$$$. Lilly does not like the food prescribed to her in dry or soft form. She likes real food. I was told not to give her too much protein, that she needs crude protein. Would a product like Dino-vite work for her? She acts like a puppy and is very energetic. Stubborn as all terriers are and sweet as well. Please help, I value your opinion. Sincerely, Lilly’s Mom Elaine

    1. Carol North

      Elaine, I have to tell you the same as I did Barbara in the comment above: You need your veterinarian’s input on this. If your dog won’t eat the food he or she prescribes, then you have to find an alternative. But because of the health issues involved, you can’t do this alone. The prescription diets are made by Science Diet and Royal Canin. I don’t know if there are other companies producing these special foods now but the two I named are the best known. If one doesn’t work for your dog, ask your vet to prescribe another. If for any reason, your vet is uncooperative, find another. You can’t force your dog to eat the food and he can’t go without. Let us know what you find.


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