Did you know your pet can suffer from kidney stones? Kidney problems also afflict dogs, some breeds more so than others. The main culprit in these kidney stones is an organic compound called purine. This is a nitrogenous compound found in all protein foods including meats, seafood, legumes and even spinach.
Not that all foods containing purine are bad. Purine is like cholesterol. It is only harmful in high levels. Foods with high levels of purine are problematic because this compound leads to high levels of uric acid when these foods are digested. Uric acid is not very soluble. It hardens into kidney stones that cause a lot of discomfort in both people and dogs.
High Risk Purine Pet Foods
Most of the foods you might know as good for your dog contain high levels of purine. If you love feeding your dog brains, kidneys, heart and other offal, beware that these are rich in purine. Unfortunately, most food pet brands in the market rely heavily on offal and off-cut meats. You should also know some popular seafood is high in purine, including clams, salmon, herrings, sardines, oysters, and mackerels.
What is Left to feed Your Dog?
If all popular options are high in purine, what is left to feed the dog? You still have plenty of choice. Poultry, dairy products, eggs, peanut butter, fruits and vegetables are all low in purine. If you have some reservations feeding your dog prime chicken breast, you can feed him premium low purine dog food. This pet food has been purposely formulated with different low purine ingredients to provide a nutritious, wholesome package for your pet.
One of the most interesting ingredients in low purine pet food is insect protein. The black soldier fly is purposely bred for providing this protein. It is harvested at the larvae stage, which contains the highest protein mass.
Low purine foods are also supplemented with healthy carbs such as peas and potatoes. Fruits such as mangoes and bananas provide the required vitamins and minerals. This type of diet is good for dogs with problematic digestion and allergies.
Dalmatians Are at a Higher Risk
Scientists have not been able to explain very well why Dalmatians are more predisposed to forming kidney stones. One thing they know is that Dalmatians cannot convert uric acid into the allantoin. They must excrete the uric acid in their urine. The problem is that uric acid is not very soluble in urine, which elevates this problem.
Your pet could be suffering from kidney stones if you note some of these signs:
- Frequent urges to urinate, but nothing much comes out
- Cloudy, gritty or blood-stained urine
- Straining when passing urine. If the strain is too much and nothing is coming out, it is time to see the vet as an emergency
Kidney stones are removed surgically if life threatening. The vet can also prescribe drugs to solve the stones in the bladder.
Other dog breeds are also at risk of developing kidney stones. English bulldogs are second most affected by this problem. Others include Scottish and Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, and Newfoundland breeds.
More Benefits of a Low Purine Diet
Putting your pet on a low purine diet has more benefits than preventing kidney stones. You will keep your dog away from high cholesterol foods and the attendant weight gain. The dog gets a more wholesome nutrition package with balanced proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals.
Do not put your dog unknowingly into the painful problem that is kidney stone. Let your pet discover the goodness of a low purine diet, and live a healthier, happier life.