High protein kibble and acidic urine?
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Thread: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

  1. #1
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    High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    My vet has been telling me that high protein kibble can cause the urine to be quite acidic when I phoned to ask about Nia's potty parts itching problem. We were good for 3 days when we thought she was allergic to a certain bedcover but today she started licking and thrusting on the floor...so I guess that's not it.

    Is that true?

    Is that also why our lawn has tons and tons of dead spots? Nia always pees in like one or 2 places an there is only dirt there now, no grass.

    Also are there any big problems associated with acidic urine?

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    Senior Member StarfishSaving's Avatar
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    From what I understand, a meat based diet brings down the pH whereas a more plant based diet will raise it. So yes, I think that's true.

    And yes, the acid in urine can kill grass. It doesn't necessarily mean her urinary pH is too low, because the urine is acidic naturally. Urine that is too alkaline promotes bacteria growth and bladder stones. I suppose that there is a point when the urinary pH gets so low it can be harmful to the dog, because at a certain point there are different types of stones that can be formed, but there are no major health issues that I am aware of that come from having a slightly/moderately above average acid content in the urine.

    Edit: If you are concerned, you can have a UA done. Make sure the sample is fresh, not taken directly after eating, and understand that the results aren't necessarily going to tell you everything because the pH of urine can change throughout the day. Still, it's a start!
    Last edited by StarfishSaving; 01-28-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Dogs can do fine on a low protein diet if it is carefully formulated to have enough of all the essential amino acids available. It is quite possible some dogs will do fine on a high protein diet, but others will produce a urine acidic enough to be irritating. If your vet thinks a lower protein diet would be better for her, try it.

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    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Ada was having constant UTIs on EVO, so per the vet's recommendation we switched to Acana - still grainfree but lower protein - and the problems have gone away. Except in Ada's case it wasn't the pH that was bothering her - it was the excess calcium in her urine.

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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Quote Originally Posted by sizzledog View Post
    Ada was having constant UTIs on EVO, so per the vet's recommendation we switched to Acana - still grainfree but lower protein - and the problems have gone away. Except in Ada's case it wasn't the pH that was bothering her - it was the excess calcium in her urine.
    Thank you. I'm contemplating switching Nia to Acana as well after I finish this bag. I really like Champions and I would like to stick to one of their foods if possible.

    Nia's not having any UTI problems but something is definitely bothering her. I believe Acana has a little less protein and a little more carbs, maybe she'd do a little better on that.

    Hmm...I thought having UTIs meant that the urine was too basic?? Was Ada's urine killing grass at all?

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    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
    Thank you. I'm contemplating switching Nia to Acana as well after I finish this bag. I really like Champions and I would like to stick to one of their foods if possible.

    Nia's not having any UTI problems but something is definitely bothering her. I believe Acana has a little less protein and a little more carbs, maybe she'd do a little better on that.

    Hmm...I thought having UTIs meant that the urine was too basic?? Was Ada's urine killing grass at all?
    We really like the Acana, all the dogs are doing very well on it.

    As for the grass, I have no clue. We have no grass right now... winter in Iowa means this:

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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    The true reason is because of the high amount of nitrogen found in dog urine. In a lawn were no fertilizer has been applied, dog urine will increase plant growth and green-up the grass. The problem sometimes comes when your lawn has high nitrogen levels from fertilizer and the dog urinates. This would be an "overdose" of N and cause the turf to burn. It's a common misconception that "acid" in dog urine kills grass. The truth is that dog urine can have a pH of 6.0-8.0(slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) which is no where near acidic enough to kill grass. True Dog urine spots will many times be brown in the middle and growing vigorously around the brown spot. If this isn't the case then you need to start looking for turf diseases such as;! brown patch, dollar spot, or possibly turf insects.

    Since I worked in a lab and my daughter now works for a vet we do blood and urine on our dogs and cat every 6 months or so. They have all been raw fed for several years now. The pH and every other urine result is always within normal ranges. There blood work is also always normal. Not normal for just a raw fed dog, but completely normal for any dog.
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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Quote Originally Posted by briteday View Post
    The true reason is because of the high amount of nitrogen found in dog urine. In a lawn were no fertilizer has been applied, dog urine will increase plant growth and green-up the grass. The problem sometimes comes when your lawn has high nitrogen levels from fertilizer and the dog urinates. This would be an "overdose" of N and cause the turf to burn. It's a common misconception that "acid" in dog urine kills grass. The truth is that dog urine can have a pH of 6.0-8.0(slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) which is no where near acidic enough to kill grass. True Dog urine spots will many times be brown in the middle and growing vigorously around the brown spot. If this isn't the case then you need to start looking for turf diseases such as;! brown patch, dollar spot, or possibly turf insects.

    Since I worked in a lab and my daughter now works for a vet we do blood and urine on our dogs and cat every 6 months or so. They have all been raw fed for several years now. The pH and every other urine result is always within normal ranges. There blood work is also always normal. Not normal for just a raw fed dog, but completely normal for any dog.
    Thanks for the explanation. I don't really care about the grass either way, I'm just wondering what's irritating Nia. Her potty parts irritation problem started when she started EVO. It was gone when I stopped EVO and went back to Orijen, she's been eating Orijen for a few months now (after I switched back) and now her irritation problem is coming back. Last time she had that problem on EVO the vet said it was food related.

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    Re: High protein kibble and acidic urine?

    Quote Originally Posted by briteday View Post
    It's a common misconception that "acid" in dog urine kills grass. The truth is that dog urine can have a pH of 6.0-8.0(slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) which is no where near acidic enough to kill grass.
    I have been told female dog urine will kill grass. However the last two new dogs that have been in my house and backyard have both been male dogs from the pound.
    Neither of my female dogs kill the grass. Before the male dogs showed up I never had any dead spots. I have one of the male dogs living and staying here now (he is a permanent member now). He has been leaving spots in the grass since I got him. I got him towards the end of last summer. The grass is in hibernation now so it's all looking somewhat dead when it's not covered in snow.

    Obviously it's not female dogs that kill grass. Could there be some issues with what they eat or something else? 2 home dogs no dead grass. 2 pound dogs had dead grass in the same way from both of them.

    I'll have to wait until this spring and summer to see if he stops killing the grass now that he has been on the same diet as the other 2 for some time now.

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