A urinary tract infection in dogs can be devastating. You know how uncomfortable a UTI is, right? Making frequent trips to the bathroom, pain while urinating, and worse foul-smelling and blood-tinged urine.
Some dogs just have recurrent UTIs, and this may make you feel helpless.
In this article, I’ll show you:
- Possible causes of UTIs in dogs
- Ways of preventing UTI in dogs
- How to recognize that your dog has urinary tract infection
- Most effective home remedies for UTI in Dogs (that work), and
- When is the right time to consult a veterinarian?
With this knowledge, you can take action against early symptoms with a raft of effective natural relief for urinary tract infections in your dog.
What is a dog UTI?
A UTI in dogs is an infection within the urinary tract. It can affect the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or the urethra.
What causes UTIs in dogs?
The principal-agent that causes UTIs in dogs is bacteria, – Escherichia coli. Bacteria account for 14 percent of all urinary tract infections in dogs.
The E. coli usually migrate from other body parts into the urethra and settle in the bladder, causing an inflammation (cystitis). E. coli is a normal part of the skin and the digestive system. However, when it gets into the urinary tract, it colonizes it, leading to an infection.
Apart from E. coli, other bacteria and fungi can cause UTI in dogs too.
Some dogs are at higher risk of getting UTIs than others. Higher chances occur in the following categories of dogs:
- Female dogs
- Dogs with underlying medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease and Cushing’s disease
- Dogs that urinate less often – such dogs are prone to bacterial infection because the bacteria have enough time to multiply and migrate
- Diet of the dog influences the pH of the urine, which in turn affects the occurrence of infection. A diet that makes the pH alkaline increases the risk of UTI.
- Tumors and injuries
- Urinary crystals
Signs and symptoms: How to recognize that your dog has urinary tract infection
Apparent symptoms include:
- Your dog pees frequently or can’t hold urine
- Produces a small amount of pee frequently
- Noticeable dripping after each pee
- Darker and smelly urine
At advanced stages, you will notice:
- Your dog seems to force pee out of its body/straining
- Apparent pain during urinating
- Your dog licks/grooms the genitals frequently
- Noticeable blood in the urine
- Apparent incontinences
- Your dog loses enthusiasm
- Frequent accidents in the house
- Your dog stays outside more frequently
How to protect your dog from getting urinary tract infections
Natural remedies for UTI can help prevent UTI from occurring in dogs. You can apply measures like:
- Providing fresh, clean water, and ensuring that your dog drinks the water
- Groom your dog well especially around the genitalia
- Encourage your dog to use the potty more often. If urine stays longer in the bladder, it will cause multiplication and spread of bad bacteria.
- Eliminating bladder irritants
These measures can make your dog stay clear of UTIs.
16 Most effective home remedies for UTI in Dogs (that work)
Unsweetened cranberry is highly recommended for treating UTI in humans. Similarly, you can give the juice to your dogs.
But can dog drink cranberry juice? You should persuade your dog to take a little cranberry juice twice a day. However, avoid providing sweetened juices, as it will contribute to weight gain.
Typically, cranberry offers suitable pH and prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.
Feed your dog cranberries or mash them to make juice. Still, you can buy cranberry supplements.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar lowers the PH of your dog’s urine, a factor that rids the system of harmful bacteria. So when you administer cider vinegar to your dog, it will neutralize harmful bacteria within the bladder.
Add two tablespoons in water and give to older dogs and one tablespoon for smaller dogs. Alternatively, you can add to the dog’s food. Administer twice a day for 1 to 2weeks. But that depends on the level of severity.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C supplement acidifies the urine of your dog; thus, it prevents the growth of bacteria that causes UTI in dogs. Acidity minimizes the chances of bacteria adhering to the walls of the bladder.
Crush a vitamin C tablets and add them to your dog’s food.
However, use this vitamin in moderation because it causes the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. And before you buy, it asks your vet for the right dosage.
4. Give your dog lots of water
This is the most natural home remedy for UTI in dogs. The good news is this method is effective.
When your dog takes lots of water, it dilutes the urine. Thus, the dog will relieve itself many times. The act of peeing many times is similar to cleansing the bladder because it carries with it the harmful bacteria.
Remember, a dog that takes enough water has strong immunity, which is effective against infections.
There are several ways of providing water to your dogs, including:
- Providing many bowls of freshwater
- Providing ice cubes
- Mixing water with kibble to produce porridge
- Add some bone or beef broth to water
5. Soak your dog in a hot bath
Soaking your dog in warm water relaxes muscles and increases blood flow. In turn, this alleviates pain from the UTI.
So prepare a warm water bath for your dog. Just ensure that the water is not too hot, and it shouldn’t be too deep. Immerse your dog for a 10-minute session.
While in water, clean your dog using a mild soap. Clean the genital area thoroughly, leaving no chance for bacteria to breed.
Finally, rinse every part of your dog thoroughly using warm water – ensure there aren’t traces of saps, especially in genitals.
Repeat this procedure for a few days, and the UTI will be gone.
6. Citrus juice
Three teaspoons of citrus juice per day for one week can clear UTI from your dog’s system. However, the citrus juice must be natural and shouldn’t be concentrated. Besides, it shouldn’t have sugar. Sugar can escalate the infection.
Add half a cup of citrus in a full cup of water, and give it your dog directly. Or, add the juice to the broth and give to your dog thrice a day.
7. Couch Grass
Couch grass is also called quack grass, and it one of the most effective herbs for treating UTI in dogs.
Couch grass has anti-inflammatory properties, mild antimicrobial potential, and it soothes pain. Besides, the grass has a diuretic effect on the body, which means it encourages waster elimination.
Prepare couch grass for your dog by simmering a teaspoonful of dried couch grass in a glass of water for 20 minutes.
Cool then strain to get the extract
You can add the solution to your dog’s food or using a dropper, administer half teaspoonful per 20 pounds.
8. Parsley Leaf
Parsley leaf is a vibrant leaf that will rid your dog of UTI. Besides being nutritious and tasty, parsley has diuretic effects. That means it helps to rid the body of wastes.
You can blend the leaves and add the juice in water, or you can directly give it to the dog at a rate of 1 teaspoon per 20-pound body weight.
According to experts, give it by mouth when your dog is hungry.
9. Cranberry-methionine blend
The cranberry – methionine combination is perhaps the most effective home remedy for UTI in dogs as it works as effectively as an antibiotic.
You can administer these compounds separately according to your dog’s weight. Methionine lowers the pH of your dog’s urine, making it acidic – between 6 and 6.5. If it’s above, this range increases the dosage of methionine.
Methionine dosage is as follows:
- Small and medium dogs -100 mg twice daily
- Larger dogs – 200 mg twice daily
Cranberry for UTI dosage:
- Small dogs – 100 mg
- Medium dogs – 200 mg
- Large dogs – 300 mg
- Giant breeds – 400 mg
You should give the cranberry three times a day.
10. Uva Ursi leaf
Uva Ursi leaf is an effective home remedy for UTI in dogs because it reduces inflammation stemming from the infection.
Besides, the natural astringents attack and kill the bacteria, causing infection and can stop bleeding associated with bladders.
Add a teaspoon of Uva Ursi leaf in your dog’s food or water.
11. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root stimulates the immunity to alert against bacteria that cause urinary tract infection. Still, the herb itself attacks the bacteria responsible for UTIs, while reducing irritation to the different parts of the urinary systems.
You can use powder or roots.
Add boiling water on the leaves in a cup and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and give the water to your dog. Do this for five days.
For the powder: add a teaspoon in a jar of water and let it stand overnight, and then Administer to your dog.
12. Juniper berry
Juniper berries increase the activities of the kidney, in turn making the process of filtration of impurities faster. When you administer this herb to your dog, urine production will be high, which eliminates toxins and bacteria.
Steep one teaspoon of crushed berry in 150 mL boiling water for 10 minutes, then administer to your dog or add in dog’s food.
Blueberry juice prevents bacteria from attaching to the wall of the urinary tract. As a result, the bacteria is swept away with urine. If your dog has recurrent UTI, these berries are very effective in eliminating such infections.
Dogs can eat raw blueberries. Mash the berries and add them to your dog’s food. However, talk to your vet first.
14. Urinary acidifiers
You can buy urine acidifies from your local vet. These inorganic substances lower the pH of the urine, a feature that kills bacteria responsible for UTI.
15. Dietary changes
Always feed your dog on a balanced diet. This way, the dog will have a strong immunity to fight diseases.
Dietary changes are essential in cases where the food you are giving to the dog aggravates or causing the infection. Foods like tomatoes, asparagus, dairy products, spinach, and raw carrots aggravate UTI.
Instead, offer friendly raw fruits and vegetables.
16. Give your dog a natural supplement and probiotics
Supplements are vital in maintaining the proper functioning of the bladder. Besides, the supplements keep the pH levels healthy within the urinary tract.
On the other hand, probiotics modulate the immune system and aid digestion. Additionally, probiotics prevent the growth as well as activities of harmful bacteria such as E. coli. Thus, preventing infections.
You can buy specific probiotics from your local vet, pet shop, or online. Alternatively, you can give them safe fermented foods such as yogurt.
When to see a veterinarian
Once you notice the first sign, take your dog to the vet so that a urine analysis is done. This can help determine the severity of the condition so that you know how to deal with the problems.
Sometimes symptoms for bacterial urinary tract infection, kidney disease/infection, and crystals or stones in the bladder may be the same. So a diagnosis helps to identify the real type of infection.
Mostly, we notice symptoms when the infection is at advanced stages. Dogs can talk, and they can hide such disease.
A vet can be able to prescribe the right medication (antibiotics) for such advanced infection. Ensure that your dog completes the dose. Otherwise, the infection may recur.
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