Diet Tips for Dogs With Kidney Stones

Written by: Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian, DVM

What can I give my dog for kidney stones?


Hello, I have a dog who gets crystals and stones in his kidneys. The vet has put her on a prescription food, but I was told the kidney problems are due to the ash levels. Are there any non prescription foods that I can buy for my dog that would be safe? What can I give my dog for kidney stones?


Yes, you have alternatives to feeding a prescription diet to your dog.

Dog Food for Kidney Stones

First, if you are still feeding a prescription diet for struvite crystals and kidney stones, you might want to confirm they are gone with a urinalysis, x-rays, and/or ultrasound of the kidneys and urinary bladder. If so, then it should be alright to change the diet; prescription diets do not prevent the formation of struvites since they are associated with urinary tract infections. Therefore, it is important to have your dog’s urine cultured to identify any infection and to find the correct antibiotic and treat for the appropriate amount of time if indicated.

"A high quality holistic diet is the key to good health."

A high quality holistic diet is the key to good health. If your dog's overall health and immunity is good, I recommend a raw diet, either frozen or freeze-dried. If you're feeding freeze-dried, adding extra moisture can help make sure your dog is staying hydrated. If both of those are unavailable, I recommend a dehydrated diet next, followed by wet dog food. If your dog will only eat a dry kibble, I recommend trying to add water to the bowl at meal time to encourage hydration.

As with any diet (or treat) make sure you're looking for the highest quality ingredients available. This means meat or a named meat meal as the first ingredient. The more animal protein ingredients high on the ingredient list, the better. Avoid by-products, artificial ingredients, and fillers.

Supplements & Remedies

Cranberry extract and certain herbs, like couch grass and marshmallow root, can be very helpful in controlling infections and urinary pH. Also, make sure to give essential fatty acids, especially EPA/DHA, and a good source of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) to support healthy urinary tract membranes.

If your dog has an infection and must go on antibiotics, make sure to supplement with a high quality probiotic to help restore gut balance and immune health.

Finally, always consult with your vet and have your dog’s urine tested regularly to monitor for crystals and pH.

Additional Resources