Which dogs are at risk of urinary problems?
Although all dogs have the potential to develop urinary problems, some breeds and types are predisposed to these problems. Smaller breeds can be more at risk, often because they drink less water and urinate less frequently. Dalmatians and English Bulldogs also have a unique issue which affects protein processing in their body, putting strain on their urinary system. Alongside this, if your dog is overweight, it's more likely to develop calcium oxalate stones.
How can my dog's diet support their urinary health?
Your dog's diet plays a useful role in maintaining a healthy urinary environment; however, if they have a block or infection, this must be treated medically through surgery or antibiotics.
A well-balanced food which supports your dog's urinary health works by encouraging the right pH in their urine and preventing certain mineral deposits from crystallizing. It also includes less of the minerals that can build up in your dog's system (such as magnesium and sodium) thereby creating "under-saturated" urine—an environment in which stones are less likely to spontaneously form.
Importantly, providing your dog with plenty of water encourages them to urinate, therefore flushing out their system regularly and diluting the concentration of minerals in their urine. You can add water to their dry diet, feed them canned food which contains a high water percentage, and make sure they have access to clean, fresh water at all times.
If you notice your dog's behavior when it comes to urinating has changed, make sure to visit your vet who will be able to conduct a full examination and help you choose the right diet to support your dog's urinary health.