Dogs & cats with urinary problems

Dogs and cats with urinary problems can suffer from a variety of issues that are difficult to navigate, requiring time, patience, and careful monitoring. 

The urinary system plays a vital role in your pet’s health and wellbeing, working to detoxify the body, get rid of unwanted waste, and keep the body well hydrated. 

No pet parent wants to see their canine or feline suffer. While genetics predispose some cats and dogs to urinary issues, feeding the best diet can have a significant impact on the health of your pet’s urinary system, acting as a powerful preventative measure against future problems. 

Panting dog

What causes specific urinary issues to develop?

Urinary tract infections in dogs and cats: these are not uncommon, especially in cats. They can have multiple causes, but diet, as well as medication, play a part in preventing the occurrence of future problems.

Crystals and stones in dogs and cats:  these develop when concentrated urine creates an environment in which specific minerals present in the urine crystalise. If the urine pH becomes alkaline or acidic, this can cause dog or cat urine crystals to form.

Blockages in dogs and cats: in some cases, crystals accumulate together and form small or large stones, which can partially or completely block the urinary tract. In this situation, there is a need for urgent emergency care.

Symptoms of dogs and cats with urinary problems

Abnormal or inappropriate urination can be behavioural. However, it’s often caused by stress, an underlying illness, or a combination of the two, so contact your vet if you notice your pet displaying any of the following symptoms:

•  Difficulty or pain when urinating  •  ‘Tray-hopping’ – frequently wanting to urinate, but producing little or no urine  •  Inability to urinate  •  Diarrhoea, constipation, or loose stools  •  Incontinence  •  Fatigue  •  Weight loss  •  Inappetence – lack of appetite  •  Dark urine with a strong odour  •  Fresh spotting of blood in urine  •  Panting  •  Crying to signal pain

Hug Food 2

The preventative power of a whole food diet

Dogs and cats with urinary problems may be given prescription urinary food by their vet. These prescription meals contain chemicals that act as urine acidifiers or alkalisers, which manipulate the pH of the urine and help to block the formation of dog and cat urine crystals. 

Many owners of dogs and cats with urinary problems are keen to avoid prescription meals. Feeding a moist whole food diet is a highly effective means of preventing urinary issues, as it can help to encourage natural flushing through frequent urination and stop minerals from accruing.

 Additionally, it can decrease the concentration of minerals in the urine, preventing as well as reversing crystal formation. 

Whole foods diets are naturally low in sodium and magnesium, as well as being high in moisture; these qualities can contribute to the cultivation of a healthy environment within the bladder. Better still, if your pet is already suffering from urinary issues, whole foods with omega-3 can help reduce inflammation and ease their discomfort. 

Getting healthy with Hug

When transitioning dogs or cats with urinary problems to Hug food, please do so with your vet’s guidance, ensuring your pet’s health is closely observed. Once your pet is on a whole food diet, visiting the vet for regular urine sample check-ups will help minimise the likelihood of urinary issues presenting themselves again.

Food for itchy dogs

Need help choosing?

Our natural whole food diets are designed to deliver the right nutrients and minerals to dogs and cats, so they’re cared for from head to tail – in fact, that’s our mission.

If Hug’s raw or cooked meals aren’t for you, we also offer a brilliant cold pressed range for dogs. We only include premium bioavailable ingredients that are both natural and eco-friendly, using nourishing pea and rice porridge in place of the usual suspects like maize.

For guidance on the best recipes for specific health concerns, please get in touch – that’s what we’re here for.

Explore our nutritious range


Small Animal Clinical Nutrition5th Edition by Michael S. Hand, Craig D. Thatcher, Rebecca L. Remillard, Phillip Roudebush, Bruce J. Novotny June 2010