Purines are natural substances present in the food which your dog should avoid. Find out more about the low purine foods which are good for your dog in this post.
Purines are nitrogenous bases found naturally in food. There are three kinds of purines. They are oxypurines (containing oxygen, hypoxanthine, xantine, uric acid, etc.), aminopurine (an isomer of adeninie) and methylpurine.
What are Low Purine Foods?
Purine containing food is essential in the diet as it breaks down into uric acid in the body. This uric acid is then passed out of the body in the form of urine. Because of conditions like kidney failure and other kidney related problems, the uric acid can build up excessively in the body, leading to diseases like gout and urinary problems. Therefore, for those who need to watch out for uric acid content in their body, low purine food is recommended. This applies to dogs as well.
When purine is eaten by humans and animals, it is converted into allantonin (one of its by-product). However, some dogs cannot break down the uric acid which is derived from purine into allantonin and require low purine foods so as to reduce the formation of uric acid which can lead to kidney stones in their body. Not only kidney, stones can be formed even in urethra or urinary bladder which can cause irritation to the dogs. In rare cases, it might even stop the flow of urine completely, causing a lot of pain and even death.
Some of the symptoms that indicate stone formation in dogs are blood in the urine, difficulty in urination, infrequent urination and finding small crystals in the urine. Therefore, precaution has to be taken when deciding their diet because purine rich food can be hazardous to their health.
Purine rich foods are mostly those foods which are high in protein content. Protein yielding meats like kidney, brain and heart contain a good amount of purine. Seafood like oysters, mackerels, salmons, sardines, clams and herrings are some examples of purine rich food. Anchovies, pork meat, sweetbreads should be avoided if your dog is on a low purine food diet. Vegetables are quite low in purine content and are a good option for your dog. Tofu can be a main ingredient in low purine diet as it has high protein and low purine content.
Low Purine Dog Food
The sudden shift from high protein foods to low purine foods can hamper dogs’ food habits as well as their digestive health. Hence, it is necessary to gradually bring about the changes in the dogs’ diet. Pet food choices require careful consideration as they need diet according to their breeds and sizes.
Here are some must have’s when preparing low purine diet for dogs.
▶▶ Your dog also needs carbohydrates and protein in its diet. Hence, you can have tofu as a supplement for protein and carbohydrates. However, some dogs are allergic to soy products. That’s why its best to find about your dog’s allergic reactions before feeding him any new food products.
▶▶ Chicken parts (except liver, kidney and brains) have less content of purine than any other meat. By feeding this to your dog, you provide a balanced diet to it.
▶▶ Eggs and peanut butter can also be used as low purine foods.
● Fruits and vegetables are a very good source of nutrients and have low purine content as well. However, avoid spinach, cauliflower, lentils, etc. at any cost.
▶▶ There is a misconception that low protein diets are also low in purine content. However, that’s not the case. By giving your dog less protein food in its diet, you might be exposing him to health problems like itchiness, weight loss, dull coat, etc. Your dog can benefit greatly on a protein rich diet which has minimal or no purine like chicken and whitefish.
▶▶ Cheese and pasta are also free of purine and can be good substitutes especially when you have run out of other low purine food.
▶▶ Fruits (except citrus fruits), oats and oatmeal can be served to dogs.
There are some breeds of dogs which are more prone to have excessive uric acid in their body. Dalmatians especially males, are one such breed which have to be strictly on low purine foods. If you have a dalmatian at home, then make sure that you follow the dietary list mentioned above. Raw meat and bones are also considered as low purine foods for dalmatians and other dogs as well. Raw food diet contains those essential nutrients and minerals which are destroyed by cooking, hence it will benefit your beloved dog.
Just food is not enough to protect your dog from stone formation in its body. You need to provide him with adequate exercise which will help in regulating its urinary habits. So make sure that you take your dog for walks in parks and have plenty of playtime with it. Encourage your dog to urinate frequently so as to prevent the accumulation of urine in the bladder. This will decrease the chances of stone formation in its body.
Your dog needs sufficient amount of water too. You can encourage him to drink more by adding flavor to the water preferably a chicken one. Your ‘best friend’ can lead a long and healthy life in spite of its uric acid problems. So all you have to do is to prepare a food chart and by following it, I am sure that you will find no reason to worry.