Dogs with urinary tract problems


I have a 2 year old Border Terrier with a urinary tract problems that is being treated with antibiotics.

The vet has recommended a Hills I/D wet food to reduce the P/H in his urine by providing a low protein diet. I have reluctantly agreed to put him on it for a couple of weeks, but after some arguments with the vet have refused to leave him on Hills when his P/H has returned to normal.

He normally has a diet of a mixture of AATU and Nature Harvest Grain Free. Can anyone recommend a low protein food for the future?

Hello Roger. I am a bit puzzled that a low protein diet has been advised long term in such a young dog. Ordinarily, urinary tract infections are common and quite treatable as long as the correct antibiotic is given. Has he had a number of infections and if so, has the vet not been able to identify the cause?

Regarding finding a low protein diet, it is best to ask the vet what level (percentage) he is wanting your dog to have. Once you know this it is a fairly straightforward task to use that information in the Dog Food Directory here. If you look at the filters on the left hand side of the page you can select the options according to choice. The protein and fat sliders are at the bottom and you just have adjust them accordingly. Remember that the given percentage of protein is slightly different to the dry weight and it is the latter that you need to look at. All the foods on this website have had this calculated and you can see them in the dials on each product page.

If your dog is OK with grains/cereals you will find a lot more choice in the low protein range but there is less choice in grain free. Please post back if you have any problems with the filters and we will try to help.

Hello Roger,
I also wonder why your vet thought it best to stay on this food even when things are getting back to normal. If the vet has not given an explanation as to why he thinks this is necessary, I would go back and ask for some clarification.

I hope you can find something suitable using the filter as Dottie has suggested.

If there is a bacterial infection this is likely to be the cause of high urine pH (alkaline), hence the antibiotics returning it to normal. Once pH is normal again get some pH test strips then you can monitor for yourself.

Of course diet can modify urine pH. A high-protein diet or consuming cranberries will make the urine more acidic (ie a low pH) A vegetarian diet, or the ingestion of citrus fruits will tend to make the urine more alkaline (high pH as you are seeing)

As I have pointed out in this forum several times, protein % is only part of the equation, since a grain free food has a much reduced feeding amount, the actual grammes per day of protein will be the same, or maybe even less than with many grain based foods, and the proteins in a high meat content are easily digestible meat proteins, not plant proteins, and therefore better digested with less waste toxins needing to be eliminated in the urine.

1 Like


Thanks for all your replies.

Just an update, took my dog off Hills Prescription Diet as it was causing him very runny poo’s. I had to drain liquid out of the tin before I fed it to him. Put him on Symply Wet Food which is 12% protein and his poo’s went back to normal. Vet would not commit to what constituted a low protein diet.

He is still on antibiotics but keeping fingers crossed his latest urine test will come back improved. Receptionist at Vets told my wife he would probably need to go onto Hills C/D for the rest of his life to prevent reoccurrence, this has filled me with horror as I am very suspicious of the ingredients in all Hills foods.

Have cut both dogs previously to 50g (from 80g) of AATU a day + half a pack of Symply Chicken and Brown Rice as they were starting to put on a bit of weight.

He does tend to eat leaves when he is on walks (he has always done it!) + raspberries and blackberries when he can.

1 Like

Thank you very much for getting back to us on this. I have to say that although I have heard of Symply I did not know that they did a wet food. Having just checked on the Directory I see that it is not yet listed so perhaps it is a new(ish) product. When mixing foods it can be a bit tricky to get the quantities right but it sounds as if you are onto it and monitoring their weight so that’s good. I’m still puzzled about why the vet is feeling that Hill’s prescription diet might be necessary but no doubt he or she has their reasons. I do hope that this current regime works and that your dog remains clear of UTIs once he has finished this current course of antibiotics. Please let us know how you get on.


My young Border Terrier is now back to normal and his urine is free from crystals and has normal P/H.

Having spoken to the vet she did say that their was no need to stay on Hills. She did say she had spoken to Hills rep when I expressed concerns and was told their food is wholesome but they do not put on definite ingredients as the recipe and constituents is subject to change (my interpretation - what is cheapest!).

The Symply wet food looks very good, clear ingredients and very consistent with obvious loads of vegetables. Was initially wary of brown rice but it does appear to suit my dogs and they eat it so quick I have had to buy special bowls to slow them down.

Thanks for your help



Glad to hear things are back to normal now.

Your interpretation is about right I’m afraid, swap and change ingredients based on whats available/cheap at the time. Not good if you’re trying to control the diet and ingredients for health reasons