Why not to feed other foods when your pet is on a Stone prevention diet
Diets made to dissolve or prevent kidney and bladder stones are different from regular food in several ways. They are designed to provide a precise amount of minerals because the crystals or stones that form in the body are made up of minerals. They also have precise amounts of specific proteins to produce urine with a specific pH. Some types of crystals form more in acidic urine, and others in an alkaline, or higher, pH urine. Some diets, especially Royal Canin’s SO food, have extra sodium to produce urine with a low specific gravity (meaning the urine is more watery, which helps to dissolve crystals). It is all these factors combined together that make the food effective.
For triple phosphate stones, also called struvite or magnesium phosphate: Most foods you would give as treats will interfere with urine pH or solubility. Meat as food or treats has lots of phosphorus and little calcium, so it changes the mineral balance that the pet is supposed to have in its diet. Meat lowers urine pH. It is also low in sodium so it will dilute the effect of the extra salt in the food. Between all of these things, feeding your pet bits of chicken, steak, or any other meat product is not a good idea. Canned grocery store pet food is also very bad, with lots of meat protein in it.
Dog biscuits and cat treats such as Pounce have lots of sodium and adding that sodium to what is already in the special diet can cause salt overload, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The same is true for salty snacks that dogs might get occasionally or eat off the floor – a single potato chip contains a lot of sodium, especially for a small dog.
For calcium oxalate crystals or stones: Some types of treats are OK in small amounts. There is good information available online for people with this type of kidney stone. We have whittled this down to food items that you can use as treat rewards or to hide medication in. You will need to be very careful. It is much harder to prevent calcium oxalate stones from recurring than for other types. The more you deviate from the therapeutic diet we have prescribed, the sooner your pet is likely to form more stones.
- Feed a moderate amount of protein. High protein intakes will cause the kidneys to excrete more calcium; therefore, this may cause more stones to form in the kidney. Limit beef, pork, eggs, cheese, and fish. OK to eat in very small amounts: Lunch meat, ham, bacon, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, chicken, cheddar cheese, canned fish, and shellfish.
- Avoid high salt intake. High sodium intake increases calcium in the urine, which increases the chances of developing stones.
- Limit foods with high oxalate content. Spinach, many berries, wheat bran, nuts, beets, and rhubarb cannot be fed. Most of these are not commonly fed to pets, but you would be surprised at what pet owners occasionally give their dogs!
- Veggies that are OK to eat: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, peas, peppers, potatoes, zucchini. Veggies that are not OK to eat: carrots, celery, green beans.
- Fruits that are OK to eat: Apples, bananas, pears.
- Carbs that are OK to eat: Egg noodles, rye bread, cooked and dry cereals without nuts or bran, crackers with unsalted tops, white or wild rice. Carbs that are not OK to eat: White bread, cornbread or cornmeal, white English muffins, saltine or soda crackers, brown rice, vanilla wafers, spaghetti and other noodles, firm tofu, bagels, oatmeal, amaranth, barley, white corn flour, fried potatoes, grits, soybean products, sweet potatoes, wheat germ and bran, buckwheat flour, bran cereals, graham crackers, pretzels, whole wheat bread.
For urate crystals or stones: Urate stones are more rare than struvite or calcium oxalate. Dalmatian dogs have a genetic defect that causes them to develop urate stones. Most other dogs that get them have a liver disorder. The liver processes proteins, and when it’s not working properly, protein products called purines accumulate and form stones in the urine. Diets for urate stones are very low in protein, and the protein that’s used is designed to minimize purines. Meat is the most important thing you cannot feed your urate stone-prone dog.
In conclusion, once your pet is on a prescription diet, that’s usually all he or she should eat except for any treats and snacks that we have approved as being safe for your particular pet. Prescription diets often work poorly when given along with other food, and some don’t work at all.