Dear Daisy Dog
What can we feed our male Dalmatian -– other than expensive dry food -– to prevent formation of the bladder stones that are so common in this breed?
The good news is that most Dalmatians do not form bladder stones. So if your Dal hasn’t developed stones, you don’t need to feed him a special diet.
On the other hand, if your veterinarian diagnosed urate stones, the most common type of bladder stone found in Dalmatians, your best bet is to feed Hill’s u/d prescription canned and/or dry food. No effective substitute has been found.
While u/d is more expensive than store foods, studies show it prevents urate stone recurrence -– an expensive problem, because treatment often involves surgery to remove the stones.
A Dal that forms urate stones must eat a low-protein diet, particularly one low in purine, which is found in meat. You might be tempted to try a commercial canine vegetarian diet, but none has been shown to prevent urate stones.
Water intake is important too, because dogs that drink plenty of water dilute their urine, making it less likely that urate crystals will coalesce into bladder stones.
To increase your Dal’s water intake, feed canned u/d mixed with water, provide several water bowls and freshen them twice daily, drop ice cubes into the water and offer a pet fountain.