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Urinary tract health for pets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire

    Urinary tract health for pets

    Please Don't Ignore These Signs – See Your Vet Now
    Urinary Tract Health for Pets
    Urinary tract health is a very common reason for vet visits.
    What are some of the signals that warrant a visit, or at least a call to your vet – sooner rather than later?

    Your cat is urinating in places other than her litter box
    Your dog is suddenly urinating around the house
    Your cat is making more frequent trips to the litter box
    There's visible blood in your pet's urine or litter box, or urine is dark or cloudy
    Your pet is unable to pass urine, or passes very little
    Your pet is straining to urinate or crying out in pain
    Your pet is constantly licking his urinary openings
    Your pet has suddenly lost bladder control and is dribbling urine
    Your pet is vomiting, appears lethargic, and doesn't want to eat
    Your pet is drinking more water than usual
    These are all signs that may indicate a potentially serious issue with your pet's urinary tract or bladder. It's important to get your pet, along with a urine sample, to your vet as soon as possible.

    Don't second-guess or wait… Please know that your pet's life could be at risk.

    Could Your Pet Use Some Extra Support for Her Bladder or Urinary Tract Health?
    Cat and Dogs Urinary Support
    Any cat or dog can benefit from extra urinary tract support, but certain pets may benefit more than others.
    Assuming none of the above signals apply to your cat or dog, your pet can benefit from extra urinary tract health support.

    This is especially true for:

    Certain cat breeds, including Persians, Himalayans, Russian Blue Siamese, Birman, and the Egyptian Mau
    Cats living indoors (although I'm not suggesting you convert your kitty to an outdoor lifestyle)
    Pets in stressful living conditions
    Overweight pets
    Male cats
    Pets living a sedentary lifestyle
    Spayed or neutered pets
    Older female dogs
    That's not all… There are two other factors I believe may indicate your pet needs extra support for her less-than-optimal urinary tract or bladder health.

    And they both have to do with the pH of your pet's urine – and his or her diet.

    Many pet owners don't realize the connection between urine pH and bladder health. So let's talk briefly about how you can help maintain optimal urinary and bladder health in your pet, simply by paying attention to diet.

    A Little-Known Dietary Factor That Can Contribute to Your Pet's Urinary Health
    First, to understand your pet's urine pH, let's take a quick look at the pH scale.

    As you can see in the diagram below, 7 is the center or neutral point in the acid-alkaline scale.

    Acid-Alkaline Scale for Pets
    Greater than 7 is increasingly alkaline; a score less than 7 is increasingly acidic.

    Cats and dogs, being natural carnivores, are designed to have a slightly acidic urine pH, optimally between 6 and 6.5 on the pH scale. This is the ideal pH for your pet's urinary and bladder health.

    Not surprisingly, diet affects the pH of your pet's urine.

    Because dogs' and cats' bodies are designed for eating meat, when they eat a species-appropriate diet containing meat and very few carbs, their urine naturally falls between 6 and 6.5 – the slightly acidic range that's ideal for urinary tract health.

    However, when cats and dogs eat a "grain-free" (usually potato-based) or grain-based diet – and that's what most commercial dog and cat foods provide – urine pH can change and rise into the alkaline range.

    Even a slight shift in pH can affect urinary and bladder health.

    And there's one more issue with commercial dog and cat foods that's linked to your pet's urinary tract and bladder health – the moisture content of the food…

    Cats Especially Depend on Their Food to Meet Daily Water Requirements
    Cats in the Wild
    Cats in the wild get the moisture they need from eating prey.
    Compared to other animals, cats don't have a strong thirst drive. Cats are designed to get just about all the water they need from their food.

    A healthy cat won't lap up water like dogs or other animals. They're often more interested in just watching or playing with it…

    Cats in the wild hunt and eat prey, which contains about 75 percent water. Canned cat food usually contains at least that amount of moisture.

    Dry food contains only about a tenth of that amount – far from what's best for your cat.

    Less water in his food means your cat must drink more water – a lot of water – to make up the difference. And, by nature, he's not likely to do so.

    Water is needed to produce urine, and since your cat's lower urinary tract – especially the bladder and kidneys – require constant flushing with lots of urine for optimal health, getting enough water is crucial.

    The Link Between Diet and Urinary Tract Health
    Dry Food Diet for Cats
    There may be healthier diets than dry food for your cat.
    A study published in 1999 by a pet food company discovered the urinary tract health of cats fed canned food was considerably better than that of cats fed a dry food diet.

    You might be wondering… Why do some veterinarians recommend feeding dry high-carb diets?

    Sadly, this study and others conducted over the last dozen years showing similar results haven't been enough to influence the feeding recommendations of many traditional veterinarians. It's baffling, at best, to me…

    In light of these findings, I do suggest you take a serious look at other feeding options if you're still feeding your pet, especially your cat, a dry food diet.

    Of course, my top recommended diet is species-appropriate raw food, but any increase in the amount of moisture in your pet's food is a step in the right direction.

    Everyday Steps You Can Take to Help Your Pet Enjoy Optimal Urinary and Bladder Health
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    "'Real Food' is the most informative, educational, practical and helpful book I have ever read on homemade diets for our animal companions…"

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    If you're a dog parent, here are steps you can take to help your pup maintain optimal urinary and bladder health:

    Keep your dog well-groomed and bathed.
    By keeping your dog's genital area clean, you'll also be helping to support her bladder and urinary tract health.

    Trim away long hair from around your dog's genitals to help keep the area clean.

    Allow your dog to urinate frequently.
    Give her breaks as often as possible so urine doesn't sit in her bladder for long periods. If it is not convenient to allow her outside every 3 hours or so, consider installing a pet door.

    Just as with cats, plentiful water intake and frequent urination are nature's way of cleansing the bladder and urinary tract.

    And here are some tips that apply to both cats and dogs…

    Don't allow your pet to drink potentially hazardous water.
    If your pet is currently eating a commercial dry food, consider transitioning him to a moist or raw diet.
    Keep in mind that carbohydrates, especially grains, are alkalizing to your pet's urine and may cause a shift in pH.

    As I mentioned earlier, as you transition him to a more acidic diet – as close as possible to a species-appropriate diet that is naturally low in carbs – the more ideal for your pet's urinary health.

    If you are feeding your cat canned food, try adding a small amount of warm water for extra moisture.

    Pick up uneaten portions of moist or raw meals immediately so your pet won't consume spoiled or contaminated food.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I have to add this to all that good information: If your cat or dog is not too picky, look for cranberries on the ingredient list. They promote urinary health (I don't know how) even when the pet has a UTI.

    Also, to make sure you can track changes in urine or litterbox behavior, keep the cat inside.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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