5 Best Dog Foods for pH Balance in 2020 — Reviews & Top Picks

Dog with VetChoosing the best food for our beloved dogs can sometimes feel like mission impossible. Whether you go for grain-free, limited-ingredient, freeze-dried, or canned, the options are endless. If your dog had had urinary tract infections, or UTIs, in the past, then the choice of food is even more important.

Certain dog foods can exacerbate the conditions needed for a UTI to form, by containing high levels of minerals that can form crystals and stones in your dog’s urine. To prevent this, choosing a dog food that’s designed to promote the optimum pH balance of your dog’s urine is key. But where do you start?

Finding the best dog food to promote a healthy pH balance can be a challenge, but our detailed reviews are designed to help you figure out which one will be the best choice for your dog.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO
  • Contains 5.6% protein
  • Contains 73.5% moisture
  • Help dilute excess minerals
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR
  • Contains 7.5% protein
  • Contains 78% moisture
  • Chicken as the first ingredient
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient
  • Contains 27% protein
  • Contains 8% moisture
  • Includes probiotics
  • Hill's Prescription Diet Urinary Care Hill's Prescription Diet Urinary Care
  • Contains 12% protein
  • Low sodium and calcium
  • Promotes healthy urinary pH levels
  • Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet + Urinary Care Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet + Urinary Care
  • Contains 7.5% protein
  • Contains 78% protein
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • The 5 Best Dog Foods for pH Balance — Reviews 2020

    1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food — Best Overall

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO

    Our choice for the best dog food overall to help your pup maintain a healthy pH balance is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food. This has been specifically developed to provide balanced nutrition for dogs that have had urinary tract and bladder problems. It does this by containing a high percentage of moisture to help dilute your dog’s urine, which in turn, helps dilute the minerals that cause crystals and stones to form.

    It also uses Relative Super Saturation technology to reduce the concentration of ions in your dog’s urine, making it less likely that crystals will form. This food does require vet authorization, but this is simple to arrange, and if you choose to buy online from Chewy, they can fulfill your order if you send them your vet’s contact details.

    Pros
    • Contains 5.6% protein
    • Contains 73.5% moisture
    • Help dilute excess minerals
    • Specifically formulated for dogs with urine issues
    • Contains real chicken liver
    Cons
    • Requires vet authorization
    • Contains meat by-products

    2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Dog Food — Best Value

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR

    If you’re looking for the best dog food for pH balance for the money, then we recommend the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Dog Food. The high moisture content is designed to help increase the amount of water that your pup gets in their diet, helping to reduce the likelihood of urinary stones forming.

    This formula is also formulated to help dissolve any existing struvite stones, as well as stop new stones or crystals from forming. You will need a veterinary authorization to purchase this canned dog food, but that’s as simple as adding your vet’s contact details to your order if you shop with Chewy, and they’ll take care of everything else!

    Pros
    • Contains 7.5% protein
    • Contains 78% moisture
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Great value for money
    Cons
    • Contains meat by-products
    • Requires vet authorization

    3. Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Dog Food — Premium Choice

    CC Limited Ingredient

    As our Premium Choice, we selected the Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Dog Food. This dry dog food provides complete and balanced nutrition for dogs of all ages. It also uses a limited-ingredient list, which is a big plus if your pup suffers from allergies and you need to keep a close eye on the foods they eat.

    This contains alfalfa, which is designed to raise the pH of your dog’s system into an alkaline range. It also includes a carefully curated blend of other ingredients, including flaxseeds and coconut oil. It is quite high in calories, at 599 kcal/cup, so it may not be the best choice for a dog that needs to lose weight!

    Pros
    • Contains 27% protein
    • Contains 8% moisture
    • Includes probiotics
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • At 599 kcal/cup, it’s not suitable for dogs on a diet

    4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Care Original Dry Dog Food

    Hill's Prescription Diet Urinary Care

    The Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Care Original Dry Dog Food contains high levels of protein for active dogs but has lower levels of calcium and sodium than many other dog foods. It’s these excess minerals that can crystallize in your dog’s urine, causing urinary tract and bladder problems.

    As well as encouraging a healthy pH level for your pup’s urine, this dry food contains antioxidants to help their immune system function at its best. If your dog is a smaller breed, they may struggle with the size of this kibble, as it’s quite large. The only meat source that we can see on the ingredients list is pork fat. We’d prefer to see a protein source, like real meat, used as one of the first ingredients instead.

    Pros
    • Contains 12% protein
    • Low sodium and calcium
    • Promotes healthy urinary pH levels
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Kibble size too large for smaller dogs
    • Pork fat is the only meat source
    • Requires vet authorization

    5. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet + Urinary Care Grain-Free Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet + Urinary Care

    The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet + Urinary Care Grain Free Dog Food certainly ticks multiple boxes! If your dog needs a calorie-controlled diet, but you also need to take care of their urinary health, then this is a good choice. It’s also grain-free but includes healthy fiber from a blend of fruits and vegetables, which will help your dog feel fuller for longer.

    The mineral levels within this wet food are carefully controlled, making sure that your dog’s urinary health is supported at all times. It also has a high moisture content of 78%, thanks to the addition of chicken broth. This moisture helps keep your dog hydrated and dilutes their urine to reduce the chances of crystals forming.

    Pros
    • Contains 7.5% protein
    • Contains 78% protein
    • Real chicken as the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Not suitable for puppies
    • Expensive
    • Vet authorization required
    • Some dogs don’t like the flavor

    Buyer’s Guide

    If your dog has suffered from a UTI in the past, then you’ll want to make sure to select a food that will help them get back to full health and minimize the chances of them developing a UTI again.

    Luckily, there are plenty of options on the market to help you do just that. But what should you look for when choosing the best brand for your dog?

    What is a urinary tract infection?

    The usual cause of a UTI is acidic urine, which can be caused by an imbalance of certain minerals in your dog’s diet. Dog’s bodies naturally have a pH level of around 7.0 to 7.4. This is pH neutral toward mildly alkaline. As a reminder, the pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being strong acid and 14 being strong alkaline. 7 is considered neutral.

    Some dog foods contain high percentages of mineral salts that create acidic urine. These minerals then gather together to form crystals or stones. Small stones can be uncomfortable for your dog to pass out with their urine, but larger ones can cause a complete obstruction.

    How does an alkaline diet help?

    Dog foods designed to reset your pup’s body and urine pH to a more alkaline level are beneficial in more ways than just resetting the pH of their urine. Here are their main benefits:

    • An alkaline pH helps your dog’s body absorb more oxygen into their bloodstream. This can then be used in cells all across their body to keep them functioning at their best.
    • These increased oxygen levels lead to slower aging and increased muscle efficiency.
    • An alkaline diet can help prevent the onset of chronic illnesses
    • It closely matches the pH of what a dog would eat in the wild.

    How are foods for pH balance different than regular dog food?

    Dog foods that help promote a more alkaline pH will include a blend of ingredients designed to achieve this goal. These include alfalfa, potatoes, organ meat, beans, and more.

    Unfortunately, some prescription diets designed to raise your dog’s pH levels don’t contain the best quality ingredients, sometimes using things like pork fat instead of real meat. But the trade-off is that they have been specifically formulated to treat certain conditions, like a UTI.

    Wet or canned foods will usually contain a higher moisture percentage than average. This is to help dilute your dog’s urine. You can also add water or broth to your dog’s kibble to achieve the same thing.

    Speak to your veterinarian

    Not every dog needs a diet designed to increase the pH of their urine into a more alkaline range. In fact, some dogs require exactly the opposite! If your dog has struvite stones or kidney problems, then an alkaline diet won’t be the right choice for them.

    Before you consider placing your dog on a food that’s designed to balance their pH, make sure you consult your veterinarian. They may recommend a totally different diet than the one you were expecting. Four out of the five foods in our reviews list require veterinary authorization to purchase.

    Dog in Pain

    How to Purchase Veterinary Authorized Foods Online

    If after speaking to your vet, they decide to prescribe your dog a specialized diet, you can still buy this online! If you’re buying through Chewy, for example, they’ll simply ask you for your vet’s contact details as you’re purchasing your order. They’ll then confirm all the details with your vet before shipping. Super easy!

    If you have a copy of the authorization, you can email this to Chewy. You can also buy prescription dog foods from other online pet stores, but it’s best to check their requirements before you make your purchase. You can read more in our review of the best online places to buy food and supplies for your dog. 

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    Conclusion

    As the best overall dog food for pH balance, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food has been specifically formulated to help control the formation of crystals in your dog’s bladder. It’s available on prescription and is the perfect solution if you need a maintenance diet for your dog with UTI issues.

    As the best value option, the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Dog Food has real chicken as the first ingredient, which contains a high moisture content to help keep your dog’s urine as diluted as possible. It helps reduce the likelihood of new stones forming, as well as the size of any existing stones or crystals.

    Helping support your dog that’s prone to urinary infections through the correct diet is vital to help guarantee their ongoing health. Once you have a prescription from your vet, ordering and feeding any of the foods we’ve recommended is just as straightforward as doing so with their regular food. But you can rest easy knowing that the new food will help keep your pup active and happy.