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The Importance of Hydration to Avoid Urinary Stones and Crystals in Pets

As I got into my car today, I immediately reached for the air conditioning control. It’s May. Early May. It’s not even August yet, and already I am gearing up for the South Carolina heat.

Each summer here at Nature’s Select, we receive a few calls regarding dogs developing crystals or stones. A pet who has had no issues during winter or spring suddenly develops crystals or stones in the summer. Customers have asked, “Did you recipe change?” The answer is “No, but the temperature has.”

Crystals and stones can develop when urine is either too acidic or alkaline. The crystal or stones form and can cause discomfort and pain to your best buddy. A trip to the vet may be in order, to determine the level of intervention needed, as some pets may need to be on antibiotics to address infection caused by inflammation of the bladder lining.

So, in preparation for summer, here are some tips to keep your pets hydrated, and keep urine flowing, to help prevent a build-up of urine the system that can lead to crystals or stones.


Cool outside water bowls, like this one, allow pets fresh water as needed.
  1. Start with a clean bowl. Wash your pet’s food and water bowls regularly to discourage algae and other buildup that could influence the taste of the water.
  2. Have fresh water available at all times. This may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure your pets have access to fresh water can be simply all it takes. 
  3. Try filtered water, over tap. 
  4. Try ice cubes. Some pets really enjoy a few ice cubes floating in their bowl.   
  5. Create pup popsicles made out of Kong toys for outdoor play.
  6. Add a bit of water to the pet’s food. 
  7. Add a high-quality canned food to supplement moisture in their diet, like our Nature's Select Formula
  8. Add a small bit (just enough for the pups to smell it/taste it) of organic, low-sodium chicken broth to either the pup’s food, or water. (Many prescription diets formulated for stones/crystals add sodium to the foods to encourage thirst.)
  9. Feed your pets a highly nutritious, holistically-balanced food that lacks chemical ingredients and animal by-products like Nature’s Select.
  10. Supplement with cranberry extract like this one.

Do you have more pet-health tips for crystal/stone prevention? I’d love to hear them! Comment below.