Natural Remedies for Bladder Stones in Dogs

Dietary Changes
Posted by Tori (Huntington Beach, CA) on 03/29/2015

My vet basically told me that my dog had to stay on Hill's Prescription (UTI) food or Royal Canin for the rest of her life. Both of these brands (the only dry dog food for UTI) are cost prohibitive at $60-$85 a BAG for 30lbs....$120 or more per month for DRY dog food! Hill's food is considered inferior and Royal Canin is only a little bit better. There was at least one study that I read out of UC Davis that indicated that the reduced amounts of protein in these foods is not good for dogs on a permanent basis. The purpose of the food is to help break up stones, not to stop bladder infections. The infection is a separate that correct? The crystals only become a problem when there is a bladder infection?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 03/30/2015

Hey Toni!

I agree with your vet; your dog needs a special diet for life. Now, there is no saying it must be Prescription Hills or Royal Canin - but it does need to be designed to help dissolve and prevent crystals; consider daily supplementation with D manose powder to help prevent UTIs.

The Prescription Hills and other prescription diets that are so expensive actually do a good job at what they are formulated to do: while the OTC Hills diets are essentially crap, the prescription lines do a good job of keeping a pet with certain disorders alive. NO diet is fool proof - I have a friend with a pug with stones who has been feeding prescription Hills since day one who is now on the canned diet to dissolve stones: the reality is, if your pet is genetically predisposed to a disease condition there is no magic diet. All you can do is monitor your pet carefully, try to prevent the formation of stones or crystals and monitor your pet carefully to provide vet care or surgery if it comes to that point.

You mention crystals - did you get a diagnosis of struvite crystals for your dog? Adding ACV to your dog's diet may help to dissolve and prevent the formation of these crystals.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 01/22/2014

Hey Louhandy!

This is Ted's advice on dosing sea salt:

Use a quality sea salt - the aquarium stores tend to sell the best.

A crisis dose is 1 teaspoon of sea salt into a litre of pure, non-chlorinated water, for 1-2 days [play it by ear; you *should* see a rather immediate resolution to the symptoms in that time frame, but if not go for 3 days and consider adding cranberry juice to the water if you are not already dosing the cranberry in conjunction with this therapy]

A maintenance dose after the crisis resolves is 1/4 teaspoon sea salt into 1 liter of water

Ted also adds: "As to the apple cider vinegar for UTI, I do not think it to be as effective as a sea salt remedy. However if ACV is used then it is likely to be mixed with a pinch of baking soda."

As for the powdered cranberry dosage, some contributors have used 2 capsules [Cranactin brand] diluted in 1 oz water for a cat, while others have used 1 capsule for a 65 pound dog. This is something you will have to compare brands and potencies and work out for your dog, but it makes sense to me to start out with 2 capsules with food am and pm during a crisis and then scale back to 1 capsule am and pm for maintenance.

As for the yogurt and ACV - many mix the two together and feed with the am and pm meals. 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of raw, unpasturized, unfiltered, "with the mother" ACV into wet food or yogurt. If you are looking for probiotics from the yogurt, it may be easier to simply buy the probiotics in powder form and add to the diet, as some dogs don't do well with dairy.

The ACV can be used as a maintenance dose with the food; if you dose a probiotic as well its a good idea to switch brands every couple of weeks to rotate the species of probiotic for proper balance in the gut.

Now, balancing out your dog's PH is critical in addressing crytals in the urine [aka Crystalluria] but crystalluria represents a risk factor for kidney stones so you should continue to work with your vet to monitor if the crystals resolve or continue to be present, and to be on the lookout for potential complications of urinary obstruction or kidney stones.

Read all about it here:

Ester C
Posted by Jan (Sugar Land Tx) on 11/04/2015

Would you tell me what brand of Ester C did you purchase? My Duke takes Gabapentin 100 MG twice daily; I will have to search the Internet to try and find outhe if there would be drug interactions. Any idea if maybe the ACT would be okay to give him?

Ester C
Posted by Nanatracey (Ma) on 02/10/2018

Can y'all please tell me why a dog would take gabapentin? my 12 yr old JR Shortbread has a recurring stone and we got the "special food" which he does not like-forget about 'leave the food out til he eats it'! He's already stuck in place for 2+ minutes trying to push this thing out. I'm taking notes on all the comments-thanks! ACV though, he smells it a mile away lol

i have tramadol for him but he smells that too.

Ester C
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/12/2018

Hey NanaTracey,

Gabapentin is used for pain relief from chronic pain.

Ester C
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/12/2018

Hey NanaTracey,

Gabapentin is used for pain relief from chronic pain.

Posted by Joanna (Ottawa, Ontario) on 11/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I know that cranberry juice is belived to be most effective as form of UTI prevention. However; I would like to know if pets taking cranberry juice are more prone to develop crystal and stones such us oxalate stones? My cocker spaniel takes cranberry juice daily 1 cap. a day, she has not been sick since last year. The last time she had UTI the vet said that she has high level of crystals, could she get them form cranberry juice?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Deborah (Sacramento, Ca) on 02/20/2016

Wow, Apple cider vinegar!!! ?? That's amazing. I have been giving my daushund baking soda for her reoccuring bladder stone, have you heard of that?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Teri (Ca) on 02/26/2016

I have a female German Shepherd that is peeing blood. Dr. put her on antibiotics which doesn't seem to be working. I was wondering about trying Apple Cider Vinegar but not sure how much and how to give to her. Can anyone help? Thank you.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Geoff (Lancaster, Sc) on 08/10/2016

How much do you give? Is it so much per body weight?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Linda (Colorado) on 03/22/2018

Isn't acv alkaline? When my lil shitzu gets this, they tell me push fluids and acidic things.

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