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10 Best Dog Foods For pH Balance in Dogs

When you think of the things that have the biggest impact on your dog’s health, you probably think of major organs like the heart and lungs. You may also think about your dog’s activity level and his body weight. But what about his pH?

Many dog owners have no idea what pH is or why it matters, let alone what their dog’s pH level actually is. In reality, pH level is one of the most important balance systems in your dog’s body and it plays a key role in determining his total body health and wellness. When your dog’s pH rises too high or drops too low, it can have a negative impact on his health. Fortunately, changing your dog’s pH level is as simple as switching to a different dog food.

In this article, we’ll explore the subject of pH level in dogs to help you understand what pH balance is and why it matters. We’ll also talk about the best dog food to lower pH levels in the form of an alkaline diet. You’ll also see our top picks for the best dog food for pH balance.

What is pH Balance and Why Does It Matter?

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If you think back to high school chemistry class, you may remember the term “pH” but you might not remember what it means. The term stands for “potential of hydrogen, which is the concentration of hydrogen ions within a solution. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14 with 7.0 being a neutral value. Values below 7.0 are considered acidic while values above 7.0 are considered alkaline.

Your dog’s body is designed to operate at a slightly alkaline pH level between 7.0 and 7.4. When your dog’s pH level falls too low, it increases the risk for certain diseases. Why? Because your cells and tissues require a steady stream of oxygen to remain healthy, but an acidic environment prevents that oxygen from reaching your tissues. On top of ensuring that your tissues get the oxygen they need, an alkaline diet can reduce the risk for kidney disease, liver problems, type 2 diabetes, and more.

The pH balance in your dog’s body has an impact on many aspects of his health and wellness, but there is one that is particularly relevant – urinary health, more specifically, bladder and kidney stones.

Bladder stones are formations of minerals that accumulate in the bladder and kidney stones form in the kidneys. The former is more common than the latter, but both can cause issues. In dogs, bladder stones often form when the urine becomes too high (often the result of a urinary tract infection) and contains high concentrations of mineral salts and other compounds that aggregate into stones. Though very small stones may pass on their own with only mild discomfort, large stones can form an obstruction which may become life-threatening. Bladder stones also increase a dog’s risk for bladder infection.

Now that you know a little more about what pH is and why it matters, you’re ready to start learning how to change your dog’s pH. By avoiding foods that cause high pH in dog urine and switching your dog to one of several low pH dog food brands, you can improve and maintain your dog’s urinary health.

What Are the Benefits of an Alkaline Diet for Dogs?

You may be familiar with the alkaline diet in a human context. It is a diet designed to alter your internal pH value and, in doing so, positively impact various aspects of your health. Different parts of the human body have different pH values, but the idea behind the diet is that by replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods you can boost your health and prevent serious diseases like cancer.

The same is true for your dog! Balancing your dog’s pH will improve numerous aspects of his health.

The very first alkaline diet for dogs was developed by Canine Caviar. Jeff Baker, CEO/President of Canine Caviar, says that “having an alkaline based diet helps put more oxygen into the blood to allow the DNA’s self-recovery mechanism to function more efficiently and effectively.” In other words, by feeding your dog foods that are above 7.0 on the pH scale, you can sway the pH level of his urine, blood, lymph, and cerebral spinal fluid in a more alkaline direction to improve health and prevent disease. This is because the most essential organs in the body require alkalinity to function at their optimal level – this includes the heart, brain, liver, and the intestines.

Here are some of the benefits associated with an alkaline diet for dogs:

  • It mimics your dog’s natural evolutionary diet – wolves ingested the organs and stomach contents in addition to muscle meat on their prey (stomach and intestines are highly alkaline).
  • An alkaline environment in the body enables the blood to absorb more oxygen which is then transported to the tissues and organs.
  • More oxygen in the blood means less damage form anaerobic activity – this means less muscle fatigue and slower aging.
  • It helps prevent the development and progression of chronic illnesses that can develop into serious and life-threatening disease.

Feeding your dog an alkaline diet does more than just help him maintain the proper pH balance – it also makes sure that his body is functioning at its optimal level. When your dog’s body becomes too acidic, his major organs will start to suffer which can lead to a whole host of health issues. An acidic pH also increases your dog’s risk for degenerative disease because it prevents oxygen from entering the blood.

One of the easiest ways to boost your dog’s pH back into alkalinity is to feed him an alkaline diet. Read on to learn what to look for in a dog food for pH balance.

What to Look for in a Good Dog Food for pH Balance

When it comes to the best dog food for pH balance, you’ll find that there are a number of veterinary diets out there designed to support urinary health. Before buying one of these, however, you should take a look at the label. Prescription diets are very expensive and, in many cases, contain low-quality ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy as well as by-products and unnamed proteins. If your dog is experiencing a severe health problem and your veterinarian recommends a prescription diet for short-term treatment, consider that advice but do your own research as well to see if there is a higher quality option available, ideally without a prescription.

If your dog doesn’t have any specific health problems but you’re looking to balance his pH levels, here are some things to look for:

  • High-quality, natural ingredients. The higher the quality of your dog’s diet, the easier it will be for his body to digest and to absorb the nutrients. When your dog gets the nutrients he needs in a highly digestible form, his whole body performs better.
  • Moderate protein levels. Protein is the most important nutrient in a dog’s diet but be careful how much you feed your dog. Excessive protein can turn your dog’s pH too acidic which is exactly what you want to avoid. Look for moderate protein from high-quality animal sources.
  • Higher levels of moisture. If your dog’s urine is too acidic, increasing the moisture content of his diet could help dilute it. Switching your dog to a high-quality wet food or adding broth or water to his kibble can increase his moisture intake.
  • No artificial additives. Artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives have no place in a high-quality diet for dogs. Low-quality grains, by-products, and fillers provide no nutritional value and could have a negative impact on your dog’s health, so they should be avoided.

By now you should understand the link between your dog’s diet and his pH levels. You have also learned the significance of your dog’s pH level and how changes to that balance can impact his health. Read on to see our top picks for the best dog food to lower pH levels.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for pH Balance

When shopping for dog food, it is important to keep your dog’s basic nutritional requirements in mind. This means high-quality, natural ingredients in a healthy and balanced formula. Your dog needs a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat to meet his minimum requirements, and his food should be free form artificial additives. Other than that, keep in mind the list from the previous section as you start shopping for the best dog food for pH balance.

If you’re curious about an alkaline diet for your dog, the only brand you can get it from is Canine Caviar. Other brands offer urinary health formulas, but they are typically designed to lower pH for the dissolution or prevention of bladder stones. Canine Caviar dog food is based on an alkaline diet that will raise your dog’s pH to the proper level for optimal health. We’ve chosen three different formulas to review in this section along with the only urinary health veterinary diet we can heartily recommend.

Here’s our top pick for the best dog food for pH balance

Canine Caviar LID Free Spirit Holistic Entrée All Life Stages Food

Overall Best Dog Food for pH Balance: This Canine Caviar LID Free Spirit Holistic Entrée All Life Stages Dry Food is a complete and balanced formula designed for all life stages including growing puppies, moderate active adult dogs, and even nursing dogs. It features a holistic, natural recipe made with high-quality ingredients to maximize your dog’s health and promote an alkaline pH. The first ingredient is chicken meal, a concentrated source of animal protein, and it is followed by pearl millet, a healthy whole grain. This recipe contains alfalfa for its alkalinizing benefits as well as other digestible carbohydrates like flaxseed to provide dietary fiber. It contains a single source of animal protein that provides 27% crude protein with moderate fat from healthy sources like chicken fat and coconut oil. All in all, this recipe is a little high in calories, so you’ll need to pay attention to the feeding instructions, but it is a high-quality product you can trust.

  • Pros: Formulated to balance pH in all life stages, chicken meal as a concentrated source of protein, digestible carbohydrates, supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics for digestion
  • Cons: Higher in calories than average kibble, significantly more expensive than typical kibble

Canine Caviar LID Puppy Holistic Entrée Grain-Free Dry Food

Best Puppy Food for pH Balance: If you want your puppy to grow up as healthy as possible, starting him on an alkaline diet for pH balance while he’s still young is a great option. Canine Caviar provides one puppy recipe in addition to their all life stages formulas and it is nutrient-dense and loaded with healthy ingredients. Designed for small- and medium-breed puppies, this Canine Caviar LID Puppy Holistic Entrée Grain-Free Dry Food is packed with essential nutrients with a single source of animal protein and digestible carbohydrate. It is supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion and is nutritionally optimized to support your puppy’s healthy growth and development. All in all, it is a great option for any puppy with the added benefit of supporting healthy pH balance.

  • Pros: Formulated for small- and medium-breed puppies, single source of protein and carbohydrate, highly digestible, prebiotics and probiotics, nutritionally optimized for development/growth
  • Cons: Significantly more expensive than traditional puppy food

Canine Caviar LID Special Needs Holistic Entrée Dry Food

Best Senior Dog Food for pH Balance: As your dog gets older, his basic nutritional requirements won’t change but there are some things that shift a little bit. He still needs plenty of protein, for example, to support his healthy body weight, but his needs for calories reduce as his activity does. This Canine Caviar LID Special Needs Holistic Entrée Dry Food is a great choice for senior dogs and for dogs who could stand to lose a little weight. It is a healthy and balanced diet made with a limited number of ingredients but at a lower calorie count than usual. For this reason it is also ideal for large- and giant-breed puppies. This formula contains a single source of protein and carbohydrate for digestibility with prebiotics and probiotics for digestive support. Like all Canine Caviar recipes, it is also designed to support healthy pH balance.

  • Pros: Reduced calories for senior/overweight dogs, single protein and carbohydrate, nutrient-dense formula, prebiotics and probiotics for digestion, complete and nutritionally balanced
  • Cons: More expensive than the average dog food, protein is not the first ingredient

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Weight Management + Urinary Care Grain-Free Canned Food

Best Dog Food for pH Balance and Sensitive Stomach: If your dog suffers from food allergies or a sensitive stomach, you’ll need to be extra careful about choosing the right dog food. It needs to be made from wholesome, natural ingredients to ensure that it is easy to digest but shouldn’t have too many ingredients that might trigger a negative reaction. If your dog also has issues with pH balance, you may want to consider a veterinary formula to get the problem under control. Our recommendation for the best veterinary formula to address pH issues that is also safe for dogs with sensitive stomachs is this Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Weight Management + Urinary Care Grain-Free Canned Food. This formula is much higher in quality than the average prescription diet and it is uniquely formulated for urinary care. It contains fresh chicken as the main ingredient with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables as well as peas and potatoes. It is higher in fiber than average to promote satiety with controlled levels of certain minerals like magnesium and sodium to keep your dog’s urinary tract healthy. It is only available with a prescription, but you can easily find it online or in stores.

  • Pros: Formulated for urinary health, high-quality natural ingredients, supports healthy weight management, controlled levels of magnesium and sodium, real chicken first ingredient
  • Cons: Requires a prescription to purchase, fairly expensive compared to traditional kibble

6 More Top-Rated Dog Foods and Supplements for pH Balance

If the dog foods reviewed in the section above don’t seem like the right fit for your dog’s need, there are still some other options you can consider. Most of the options above are designed to increase/alkalinize your dog’s pH level, but that isn’t always what you need. If your dog struggles with bladder stones or kidney stones, he may need a diet that acidifies his pH. In some cases, your dog may not need an entirely new diet but just a supplement.

In this section, you’ll find our top picks for veterinary diets to resolve bladder and kidney stones as well as some pH-balancing treats and supplements. Check them out!

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Canned Food

Kidney stones can be just as unpleasant for dogs as bladder stones and they are linked to many of the same internal problems. If you’re looking for a dog food that will help balance your dog’s pH to prevent kidney stones and other renal problems, consider this Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet KS Kidney Support Grain-Free Canned Food. Formulated with controlled levels of protein as well as phosphorus and sodium, this recipe is designed to support kidney health and prevent kidney stones. It is enhanced with antioxidants for whole body health, L-carnitine for cardiovascular support, and omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well. It is made without grains, so you don’t have to worry about triggering a negative reaction, and it is a holistic, natural formula appropriate for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It does require a veterinary authorization to purchase, but it is a high-quality product.

  • Pros: Wholesome natural ingredients, formulated for kidney support, controlled levels of protein and phosphorus, enhanced with antioxidants and omega-3s, rich in L-carnitine for heart health
  • Cons: Requires a veterinary prescription to purchase, significantly more expensive than regular kibble

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Canned Dog Food

If your dog is already suffering from urinary stones, you need a prescription diet that will help dissolve them. This Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary Ox/St Canned Dog Food is designed just for that purpose. It is formulated to promote urinary tract health by making the environment unfavorable for developing struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. Plus, being rich in moisture, it helps dilute your dog’s urine to reduce the saturation of struvite crystals and calcium oxalate crystals. This recipe features high protein and low carbohydrate levels with fresh chicken as the first ingredient. You’ll find rice as the main carbohydrate and one that is easy on your dog’s stomach. This recipe is also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

  • Pros: Real chicken first ingredient, formulated to dissolve and prevent urinary stones, easy to digest formula, high in protein low in carbohydrate, complete and balanced
  • Cons: Requires a veterinary prescription to purchase, much more expensive than regular kibble

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food

Another option if your dog suffers from urinary stones is this Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Dog Food. This recipe does require a veterinary prescription, but it is formulated to prevent the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. It is rich in moisture which helps dilute the dog’s urine, reducing the potential for excess minerals to form crystals and stones. It also promotes a urinary environment that is unfavorable for struvite and calcium oxalate crystal formation. If your dog already has bladder stones, this dog food will help dissolve them over time. In terms of ingredients, this recipe is fairly similar to other veterinary formulas. It contains fresh chicken as the main ingredient (after water) and does contain several animal by-products as well as corn ingredients. It is fortified to ensure complete and balanced nutrition and does contain some chelated minerals.

  • Pros: Formulated for urinary health, dissolves existing stones and prevents formation, dilutes urine to prevent stone formation, fresh chicken main ingredient
  • Cons: Requires a veterinary prescription to purchase, significantly more expensive than regular kibble

Wysong Biotic pH Dog Food Supplement

If your dog struggles with struvite stones or high pH, this Wysong Biotic pH Dog Food Supplement might be just what you need. This supplement is uniquely formulated for dogs to help generate and maintain an acidic urine pH to prevent struvite and triple phosphate crystal formation. It works by restoring the nutrients that regulate metabolism to lower your dog’s urine pH which, in addition to dissolving existing stones, will help prevent the formation of new stones. This supplement comes in an easy-to-feed powder – simply sprinkle it over his dry food or stir it into wet food.

  • Pros: Formulated to reduce urine pH, helps dissolve existing struvite stones, helps prevent crystal formation, easy-to-administer powder formula
  • Cons: Somewhat expensive, some dogs dislike the flavor, contains wheat ingredients

Canine Caviar Omega 3:6:9 Skin & Coat Herring & Split Pea Alkaline LID Dog Treats

If you’ve decided to switch your dog to an alkaline diet, you’ll need to switch his treats as well. It makes no sense to feed your dog something that will raise his pH to the appropriate level for two meals a day but then feed him treats that will lower his pH back down into the acidic range. Support your dog’s alkaline diet with these Canine Caviar Omega 3:6:9 Skin & Coat Herring & Split Pea Alkaline LID Dog Treats. Made by the original creator of the alkaline diet for dogs, Canine Caviar, these treats are made with a limited number of main ingredients to reduce the risk for triggering a negative reaction. They feature premium-quality salmon and wild herring oil to meet your dog’s needs for omega fatty acids, helping support his skin and coat health. They are the perfect treat to help defend against seasonal allergies and to help rehydrate and condition dry, itchy skin. These treats also contain ingredients that promote healthy cognitive function and neurological health as well as strong immunity and a healthy heart. Plus, they are low in calories and free from fillers and artificial additives.

  • Pros: Designed to complement an alkaline diet, limited number of main ingredients, rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, promotes strong immunity and heart health, no artificial additives
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs

Solid Gold Supplements Berry Balance Urinary Tract Health Soft Chews

If your dog suffers from frequent urinary tract infections, it could have something to do with the pH of his urine. Dogs that have chronically high pH are more prone to urinary tract infections, but UTIs can also cause your dog’s pH to change. Fortunately, it is simple to start lowering your dog’s pH to prevent urinary tract infections with these Solid Gold Supplements Berry Balance Urinary Tract Health Soft Chews. These chews support healthy bladder function and urinary tract health because they feature key ingredients like cranberry and blueberry extracts. They work to promote healthy urine pH while also bolstering the urinary tract’s natural defenses. These supplements have a soft texture and delicious flavor, so your dog will think he is eating treats instead of something that’s good for him.

  • Pros: Supports healthy bladder function, promotes healthy urine pH to prevent urinary tract infections, contains cranberry and blueberry extracts, soft texture and delicious flavor
  • Cons: Some dogs may require multiple chews per dose, can be pricy to feed every day

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I lower my dog’s pH level? If you’re wondering how to lower pH naturally, the first step is to find out why his pH is too high. In most cases, high pH is caused by a urinary tract infection. It can also be related to kidney stones. When your dog’s pH is too high, it can increase his risk of developing bladder stones or struvite stones while chronically low pH is often related to the formation of oxalate crystals. To lower your dog’s pH, you can increase your dog’s moisture intake to help dilute his urine.
  2. What causes a dog’s pH level to be high? When your dog’s urine becomes too alkaline, it can increase his risk for certain health problems. First and foremost, urinary tract infection is a common consequence of high urine pH, but it can also be the cause of an increase in pH. Your dog’s pH balance is also likely to shift after he eats, depending on his diet. If you’re feeding your dog an alkaline diet, his pH might rise after he eats. It is also possible that a low-quality diet that is too low in protein and too high in sugar or carbs could contribute to high pH.
  3. How do you raise the pH of a dog’s urine? Dog nutrition experts agree that protein is the most important nutrient for dogs. As such, most dog foods contain a considerable amount of animal protein. Unfortunately, high levels of protein can lead to a natural decrease in urine to make it more acidic. If you find that your dog’s urine is too acidic and he’s experiencing issues with bladder stones, try increasing the moisture content of his diet by switching to wet food or having your dog drink more water. If your dog’s issues persist, you may want to switch to a prescription diet designed to dissolve and prevent bladder stones.
  4. What is an alkaline diet for dogs? An alkaline diet consists primarily of natural foods that increase dietary alkaline levels in your dog’s blood or urine. These foods may include alfalfa, apples, bananas, beans, celery, cruciferous vegetables, cucurbit vegetables, and potatoes. Including bones, organ meat, and muscle meat in your dog’s diet can also increase the alkalinity of his pH. Unfortunately, most commercial dog foods are low pH. Dog food brands that actually produce and sell alkaline diets are limited, but they do exist.
  5. How much protein is recommended for dogs? Dogs require a minimum of 18% protein in their diet as adults and a minimum of 22% as puppies. When it comes to maintaining the proper pH level in your dog’s body, however, you may need to make some adjustments. Excessive protein can make your dog’s pH too low, so aim for something more moderate in protein content – between 20% and 25% is probably best.

If your dog’s pH level is too low, it could be impacting his health without you realizing it. An acidic environment prevents the blood from absorbing oxygen which means that your dog’s cells, tissues, and organs aren’t getting the oxygen they need to thrive. The longer your dog’s body is deprived of oxygen, the more his organs will start to suffer, and he’ll be at an increased risk for serious diseases. An alkaline diet for dogs is a great way to increase pH to a healthy level.

Keep in mind that alkaline diets are not recommended for dogs with struvite stones because their bodies are already too alkaline. Dogs with some kidney problems may also have trouble with an alkaline diet, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian before making any significant dietary changes.

Now that you know what you need to know about the best dog food for pH balance, you’re ready to start shopping! Take what you’ve learned here to start shopping around or simply choose one of our top picks above. Best of luck to you and your dog!

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