Unless our dogs exhibit problems or our vet mentions the words “pH balance” to us, most dog owners seldom have a reason to think about their furry friend’s pH balance. When their pH levels are too high or too low, skin and health problems can occur. Fortunately, avoiding a pH imbalance is relatively easy because the best way to help your dog achieve an optimal pH balance is to feed dog kibble created with pH balance in mind.
10 best foods for pH balance:
- Blue Buffalo Natural Vet Diet
- Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient
- Hill’s Prescription Urinary Care
- Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
- Purina Pro Plan Vet Diets
- Royal Canin Vet Diet
- The Farmer’s Dog
- The Honest Kitchen Embark
- Timberwolf Organics Wild and Natural
- Volhard Natural Diet Foundation 2
This article will give you a deeper look at:
- What is meant by pH balance.
- A brief science lesson in alkalinity.
- What causes a pH imbalance.
- How to know if your dog has a pH imbalance.
- What can happen if a pH balance problem is left untreated.
- How to help your dog achieve a pH balance with recommended foods and supplements.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Best Foods for pH Balance
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies here. All the research conducted points back to dog food as either the cause or potential treatment for pH balance issues.
Inefficient dog food, or worse, human food, contributes to pH level issues, and exceptional dog food helps to treat the problems.
So we’ve investigated some of the best dog foods for pH imbalance and came up with the following brands.
Blue Buffalo has been a trusted name in pet households for almost 20 years.
They carry a variety of specialized pet food for all stages of life, and this blend is specifically for pH balance and urinary tract care. It is a good option and might be prescribed by your vet if a pH imbalance has already caused kidney disease or keeps one from appearing.
Please note that while you can purchase many blends of Blue Buffalo food without a prescription, you will need to discuss this option with your veterinarian before ordering.
Blue Buffalo will contact your veterinarian for approval before completing the order.
We like this dog kibble because it is made with one protein and one complex carbohydrate. It is also gluten, wheat, egg, and soy-free and has no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
It comes in seven different flavors that are sure to please the pickiest eaters and is readily available without veterinary supervision. However, before changing your dog’s food, it is always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian first.
Hill’s Science Diet has provided high-quality nutrition to dogs since 1907.
They are now marketed as “Hill’s,” but it is the same, trusted dog food. We like this product because it provides controlled minerals that help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Like our first option, this dog food must be ordered under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Nom Nom is a dog food product that is not yet available on Amazon.com, but we have provided a direct link to the company for your convenience.
We like this brand because they use only restaurant-quality proteins and vegetables, and everything they use comes from US growers and suppliers. Reviews on the company website indicate many happy pets enjoy better health because of this food.
We like this food because Purina is a trusted name in dog kibble and it is designed to help pets who are prone to developing stones. Like other options on this list, Purina Pro Plan requires vet approval before Purina can ship it to you.
Sometimes dogs with health issues related to a pH imbalance lose their appetite. Being unable to eat nutritious food can compound the problem, so Royal Canine developed a brand that helps dogs regain their appetite.
This brand also helps reduce the formation of stones.
Royal Canin has many varieties of food, but this one needs veterinarian approval before they can ship it to you.
This brand is not available on Amazon, but it is beginning to be sold in pet food stores. We have also provided a link to the company’s website for your convenience.
We like this food because it looks and smells like human food and is made with fresh ingredients. They have an online subscription service and often offer coupon codes to new customers.
Like Volhard, listed below, The Honest Kitchen offers dehydrated food, but the protein is already added to this brand. We like it because it does not contain preservatives, by-products, or fillers, and it is free of corn, wheat, and soy.
We like this dog kibble because it has an herbal option. It is made with high levels of animal proteins and nutritional fats with specific herbs that promote energy and good health. While dogs can survive with less expensive and less healthy options, they will be far healthier with a nutrient-dense diet.
Volhard is a dehydrated dog food that comes in four flavors and sizes and is designed so that you can add your own protein.
We like that this food is dehydrated because it is another way to increase your dog’s water intake, as your dog will need to drink water after eating. We were unable to find an Amazon link for this product but have provided a direct link to the company website if you’re interested in trying this kibble.
Supplements As Another Option
Your brand may not be on our list, and it is essential to realize that our inventory is not exhaustive. However, if your dog happily eats it and shows no symptoms of a pH imbalance or any other food-related issue, then that is acceptable.
Still, if you are concerned about your furry friend’s overall health-related to his pH balance, have your veterinarian do a blood test, and if necessary, talk to him about adding some of the following supplements to the food your dog already enjoys.
All options are available on Amazon.com.
- Nutramax Laboratories Crananidin – This supplement is helpful in flushing bacteria from the urinary tract. It is a chewable tablet and comes in a convenient 21 or 75 count package.
- Solid Gold Supplements for Urinary Tract Health – This supplement is a soft chew to help your dog maintain a healthy urine ph. It has cranberries and blueberries to help ward off inflammation and flush out buildup in the urinary tract.
- Wysong Biotic pH – This powder supplement helps prevent kidney stones from forming, and it may help dissolve stones your dog may already have.
- PetHonesty GrassGreen – We like this dog chew supplement because it is a blend of enzymes and probiotics, and there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Its main ingredients are cranberry and apple cider vinegar.
- CranBladder UTI Strength Soft Chews – This product helps your dog maintain normal ph levels in his urine so they may help him avoid future stones and urinary tract infections. We like this product because there is no added sugar or preservatives.
What Is pH Balance?
If you are like many pet owners, you are so busy spending time with your dog that you haven’t thought about his (or her) pH balance, and you may not even know what your vet means when using those terms.
Simply put, pH balance is the balance between alkalinity and acidity in your dog’s body.
You are probably not alone if you have never considered your dog’s pH balance before, but because you are reading now, there may be some things you can learn that will help you get your dog’s pH levels balanced.
Although crucial to its well-being, your dog’s body has a remarkable way of maintaining a perfect balance between alkalinity and acidity as long as we do not interfere by giving him foods that were not meant for them.
Sometimes though, even the most diligent pet owners receive news from their vet that their dog’s behavioral or health problems result from an improper pH balance, which sends them on a research mission to find causes and treatments.
Fortunately, you have come to the right place.
To begin, this imbalance sometimes occurs due to genetics, and there is nothing you could have done to prevent the symptoms or possible diseases that the improper pH balance might be causing.
However, you can help your dog achieve a better balance by listening to your vet and using foods and supplements that support your furry friend’s body to achieve a balanced pH level.
Aside from genetics, your dog’s food and environment can cause a pH imbalance, so it is crucial to catch this problem as early as possible by watching for changes in your dog. By being aware of the importance of pH balance and having regular veterinary checkups, you and your pet may avoid hearing the vet diagnose kidney disease or other health issues caused by a pH imbalance.
A Brief Science Lesson in Alkalinity
All organisms require a balance between acidity and alkalinity, which is called the pH balance. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14, and like humans, what dogs eat contributes to their pH balance.
Also, like the human body, a dog’s body is made of mostly water, and each major organ requires a different pH level so that it can operate at optimal levels.
Unfortunately, we cannot see this balance except through blood and urine tests. Further, we often do not know our dogs need a pH level test until symptoms occur, which is why food choices must be intentional.
Though complicated, the most important thing to remember is that a balance is necessary.
It’s not difficult to achieve this balance, particularly now that significant, reputable dog food manufacturers are paying attention to how their foods can help our dogs achieve a perfect pH balance.
What Causes a pH Imbalance?
The most common cause of a pH imbalance is a diet that is too rich in acidic nutrients or too rich in alkaline nutrients. For example, turkey, chicken, and even cold water fish are all on the acidic end of the pH balance chart, but all are good proteins for our dogs.
Likewise, fruits like pears and melons that are good for our dogs are high in alkalinity, so it is easy to see how pH levels can become unbalanced.
Dogs have a way of getting into human foods without you knowing about it, or they might eat too much of their own food. So as you can see, it can be easy for your dog’s pH levels to become unbalanced.
Although most know it is dangerous for many reasons aside from pH balance, people also like to share human food with their dogs. This practice creates an opportunity for the dog’s pH levels to become unbalanced, in addition to the other issues that allow dogs to eat human foods creates.
This imbalance can also occur at the skin level through either food or bathing products. Many people believe that if a product like baby wipes is gentle enough for a baby, it must be gentle enough for pets, but this idea is not the case.
Human Skin Products
When we talk about pH balance, most owners know that when the dog’s skin has a pH imbalance, it gets irritated and becomes susceptible to infections, which happens most frequently when people bathe their dogs at home using human shampoos or give them a quick wipe down using baby wipes.
These actions are a recipe for creating a pH imbalance because human products are most often too acidic for your dog’s skin. Although many people think using baby shampoo is the answer, even this human product is too acidic for your dog’s skin.
When your dog needs to be cleaned, it is best to use a product formulated for dogs such as these that we found on Amazon.com.
Because a new skin irritation typically follows the bath, owners usually make adjustments quickly, treat the itch, and the dog has no further issues.
However, it is crucial to remember that skin issues can also result from insufficient nutrition, so if the skin irritation continues, the best option is to see a vet for blood or urine tests to rule out a pH imbalance.
Just like with many human skin products, most dog owners are unaware that human foods and drinks are unsuitable for their furry friends. One of many reasons is that they have acid and alkalinity rates that work against our furry friends.
Although we can’t see what is happening inside their bodies as quickly as when the skin has a pH imbalance, infections and diseases might develop without your knowledge. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to your dog’s symptoms and get him checked by a vet when appropriate.
Although this balance of acidity and alkalinity seems too complicated for the average dog owner to consider without veterinary guidance, it is one of the most critical balances in your dog’s body.
Therefore, it makes sense for us to learn how to set our dogs up for a perfect pH balance to avoid unpleasant and often life-threatening outcomes.
How Will I Know if My Dog Has a pH Imbalance?
According to the writers at CanineCaviar.com, dogs should maintain a pH balance of 7.0 to 7.4.
When these levels get imbalanced, your dog’s body is in danger of developing both uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening diseases, but how will you know there is a pH level issue?
Most often, when there is a pH imbalance, you will notice behavioral changes in your dog, such as being irritable or having appetite changes. They might drink less water, but try to urinate more.
He may have digestive or skin issues, or you may even see blood in his urine.
Sara Griffiths, a writer for Animal Wellness, agrees that a pH imbalance exposes itself in various ways. Unfortunately, these same symptoms also appear with other infections and diseases, so she stresses that it is vital to have your pet looked at by your veterinarian if the following symptoms occur:
- Itchy skin and anus
- Yeast infections
- Bad breath
Again, each of these symptoms can occur with other health issues.
However, since a pH imbalance impacts your dog’s blood, digestive, and urinary tract systems, it is best to seek veterinary advice when the symptoms begin so that you can get the proper treatment.
What Can Happen if a pH Balance Problem Is Not Corrected?
The goal is to balance pH levels between acidity and alkaline because there are health dangers either way.
If you go too far towards the alkaline side, you risk him developing inflammatory issues like arthritis. But if the pH is too acidic, you are looking at urinary and digestive diseases along with the possibility of your furry friend developing diabetes.
The following are some of the health issues that your dog may develop if he is unable to maintain a proper pH Balance:
- Acidosis is often caused by kidney failure, which usually happens when your dog’s pH level is lower than it should be. The kidneys may develop stones or other issues that cause them to malfunction.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are typically another red flag that a pH imbalance is occurring. The bladder and kidneys are trying to rid the body of toxins, but an unbalanced pH level can allow bacteria to grow, which causes the infections.
- Ketoacidosis happens when your dog has diabetes that is either undiagnosed or left untreated. While a pH imbalance does not always cause diabetes, an imbalance can be the first sign of diabetes, which means ketoacidosis can be avoided by early detection of diabetes.
- Leaky Gut Syndrome and other food intolerances often happen as the dog’s body tries to compensate for the pH imbalance.
- An improper pH balance can cause harmful bacteria to grow, which can cause swelling that makes it hard for your dog to urinate. If this imbalance is left untreated, permanent damage can occur.
- Yeast Infections. Although these infections are more bothersome than life-threatening, the vets at Small Door Veterinary say that repeated yeast infections can be “an indication of a more serious issue.” So even if your dog’s pH imbalance appears to be only skin-related, it is essential to have him checked out by a vet.
Jennifer Carter, writer for Volhard Dog Nutrition in the blog Fresh. Healthy. Balanced suggests that feeding your dog a highly nutritious dog food from birth can potentially ward off infections and diseases caused by an improper pH balance.
How to Provide a Healthy pH Balance For Your Dog
Proper pH balance is as crucial to your dog’s health as it is to yours, and one of the best ways to help him maintain a balanced level is through the food, snacks, and supplements you provide.
While the concept can be complicated, helping your dog maintain balanced pH levels can be achieved through a partnership with your vet and keeping human foods and products reserved for the humans in your life. Neither your dog’s skin nor his internal systems can handle many human products.
Recognizing the signs of a potential pH imbalance and getting early intervention can help you have many more healthy years with your beloved pet. This statement is especially true if you commit to feeding him a high-quality, nutrient-rich, pH-balanced food like one of the ones we have recommended.
- Canine Caviar: What is pH Balance?
- Animal Wellness: Could Your Dog or Cat Have a pH Imbalance?
- Fresh. Health. Balanced.: Alkaline Diets: What Does That Mean and Why Does pH Matter so Much to Your Pet’s Health?
- Small Door Veterinary: Yeast Infections in Dogs
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