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This is my first post. My 19 year old dachsund has had a urinary tract infection and while it's gone now, the vet said he should be on a prescription food: 10lbs for $28. Is there a way I can formulate my own dog food? Besides budget considerations, I have a black lab who would finish his food and go on to the expensive stuff, there's really no way to keep them apart. The doxie is in good health otherwise and is still going strong.

We are also going to go with filtered water for the dogs, because the vet says that the water in our area causes kidney stones. Any other suggestions?
 

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I have just experienced the same thing. I have 3 dogs. My Cavalier, Stella, just had a UTI. The vet wanted me to feed Waltham SO14 presc. food. Well...I did buy a bag wanting to fix things for her and do the best for her. But, when I opened the bag, it looked and smelled like "corn nuts"! I just couldn't bring myself to feed it to her. So...I began researching. But let me give you a little history...Before the UTI, all 3 were getting Eagle Pack Holistic Select dry/can. They were doing great, but I wanted to use a grain-free at the time. Then I decided to try Orijen Senior. Orijen is a great food and they were doing fantastic on it! Or so I thought. They were eating it only dry and I thought "wow!" I finally can just feed a dry food they all love!
I should've known, tho'. Stella is not a very good water drinker! So, just the dry food and with her not drinking very much, she developed a UTI. I will admit, I was a little concerned about the elevated protein for her as well. So....after thinking and researching, I decided to put them back on Eagle Pack Holistic Select Anchovy dry mixed with their chicken can and a little water. EPHS Anchovy is good for urinary health. Lower ash, phosphorus and magnesium. I also checked into Flint River Ranch. I like the looks of it, too. It is made for urinary problems as well. I did order some samples of the FRR and the dogs love them. Right now I am using them as treats. I might order some FRR in the future for rotation. The EPHS Duck is good too, I think. I talked to a representative at EPHS and ended up doing what I am doing now. Go to their website www.eaglepack.com and look at the pet health section. Also, check into FRR. One good website for them is www.aplus-flint-river-ranch.com. Good luck, I hope this helps some. I did notice you were talking about making your own food. I like to feed commercial foods, if possible. So, this might not be an answer for you after all, but please keep it in mind. :)
 

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UTI has nothing to do with the actual food. WATER, as StellaLucyDesi wrote is the key. My old dog never drank enough water either, she now is living with kidney disease. Happily living as she is getting home cooked food but still is pretty sick. Keep well hydrated maybe consider cranberry supplement and all should be fine.

Here is a little help. I try to force 1.5 times my dog's requirement down daily. Had to start feeding her 3 times a day to do it too, her tummy kept rejecting about 1/4 the meal on 2 feedings a day, I caught on quick. I like the idea of mixing some canned into the kibble to make a nice gravy.
http://http://www.mycockerspaniel.com/h2o.htm
 

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Yes, water is key! I forgot to mention I bought a cranberry supplement called Solid Gold Berry Balance to have on hand. I also bought some PH test strips. I test her urine PH every day (sometimes more than once). I ordered these things from Solid Gold. Since I have been adding can food and water to her food, and she took the round of antibiotics from the vet, she has maintained a PH of 6-7. I do feel, tho', that food can play a part. I think some foods are higher in phosphorus and magnesium and ash content and probably aren't the best to feed for dogs prone to urinary health issues. I'm sure raw or homecooked is best, but neither is right for me. Orijen is a fantastic food and I don't blame it for causing her UTI (I blame her lack of drinking while eating just dry food). I probably could feed it again and just add can/water to it, but I do have to order it online whereas I can get EPHS right at my back door. So, I have made my decision (for now). The other 2 eat the same thing. BTW, they do get fed twice a day and water is available at all times. I don't have the "not drinking as much" problem with the other 2. I do test the other dogs' PH's as well. So far all are maintaining right around 6-7. I think that is pretty good. Good luck to you in your search for a solution that might help your dog! :)

One more note: Here are some suggested foods for you. However some are lower in protein and fat than I like. I would definitely add can food/water to these.

Innova Senior (regular, not Senior Plus)
California Natural (Herring & Sweet Potatoe)
Flint River Ranch (Lamb, Trout)
Solid Gold Holistic Blendz
Eagle Pack Holistic Select
and I'm sure Wellness, Natural Balance and Merrick all have lower phosphorus/ash/magnesium foods as well (just contact their customer service reps.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It seemed to my DH that the gal in the vet's office was keen to sell him a bag of dog food. When DH asked about changing the water or giving supplements she said, no it's all about the food. We're going to start by giving both dogs filtered water and we thought we'd try a cranberry supplement pill, which supposedly lowers pH. We use regular Kibbles n' Bits dog food. Are there any dog foods that are commercially available like Science Diet that would also help?
 

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The food the girl in the vet's office was trying to sell you was probably Science Diet or Waltham (Royal Canin) or Purina. It does have a purpose. It is designed to break up the crystals that come with the UTI and to keep the urine diluted. It may not be bad to use short-term, but I wouldn't want to feed it long-term (if I could help it). I decided, tho', that I would feed a better food that might help with the same thing. At least lower the phosphorus/ash/magnesium content. I'm no vet or technician, but I think Stella is doing ok with what I'm doing. Your situation may be different IDK.
I also use filtered water. As far as the cranberry supplement, great! The list of foods I gave you are all commercially available, just not at grocery stores. You have to get them at Pet Stores or order them online. I know sometimes that is hard. I'm not aware of any foods at grocery stores that might help, but someone else might know. You can also do research on your own. The lower the PH/ash/magnesium content of the food, the better, I think. And remember, the lower all this is the lower the protein/fat content usually. So I would add can food/water to the dry food. Call up customer service depts. of companies you're interested in and see if they'll help you out with this info. Also, go to the drugstore or a health store and see if they have PH test strips (your vet might have them). Test your dogs urine every so often to see if the PH is remaining at a good level. I believe neutral is 7. Good luck, I hope this helped some!
 

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Okay, tonight I went out and got a small bag of Healthy Bones dog treats w/turkey, oatmeal and cranberry, a trial bag of Spot's Stew Wholesome Chicken recipe w/ egg, vegetables, high protien, no gluten, wheat or corn, no rendered meats or byproducts. I also got a can of Eagle Pack Holistic Select Duck and Chicken formula. Charlie seems to like the dog treats and the Spot's Stew, I was going ot try the canned food tomorrow morning. Did I do okay?
 

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I think you are definitely on the right track! Halo Spot's Stew and EPHS can have much better ingredients than Kibbles N Bits. Just remember to give lots of water and try to use a cranberry supplement. Also, check with your vet if your dog needs to go back. Good luck!
 

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Our pet store has ph test strips for aquariums. Would those work for testing ph in the urine levels? Should I start testing the ph now and see if it goes down? I fed Charlie the Spot's Stew again this am and Rascal (black lab) looked really depressed that Charlie was getting the special food and he was getting the old standby. I've given both of them the cranberry dog treats and they seem to like them. I hate to be dictated by price when it comes to what dog food I buy, but it is going to be a consideration.

I noticed this morning that Charlie's poop was softer as well. It's usually pretty firm, almost to the point of being hard. I've bought a Brita water pitcher so I can give these guys filtered water. I have two bowls of water in the kitchen and a cup in the corner of my bathroom. Charllie will get up in the middle of the night (he sleeps between my DH and I) and get himself a drink. He's too small to drink from the toilet, so I've put the cup there so he won't have to crane his neck real bad to get a drink.
 

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Poop is soft because of the food change. Whenever changing dog's food it is best to do so gradually as we tend to feed them exactly the same thing for months if not years on end. Things may well get worse before they get better. Spot's Stew is terrific but very expensive. Look up at the stickies in the dog food forum for other ideas. If you need cheap Costco's dog food may be a good compromise.

Aquarium test strips may not go high enough. When the infection is gone the urine should be where it belongs. I bet the drug store has urine test strips. Make sure they are for pH and go from 5-9.

Glad they like the cranberry treats but there may not be enough in there. Sold Gold, sold at Petco, has a product for dogs with cranberry. I tried human cranberry supplement in capsules but haven't kept it up, sure smelled good mixed into her warm wet food though,
 

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I have just experienced the same thing.
I also checked into Flint River Ranch. I like the looks of it, too. It is made for urinary problems as well. I did order some samples of the FRR and the dogs love them. :)
I was so interested to hear this. I believe my poodle is showing signs of what could be her third UTI in a year. It occurred to me that she never had a UTI until I took her off of FRR. I had stopped ordering it because of the difficulty of receiving packages where I live. I may go back to it now. I had never heard it was made for urinary problems.
 
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