Home Remedies to Prevent Urinary Infections in Dogs
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Urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs, are fairly common in dogs. A UTI commonly occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and into the bladder. If not treated promptly, UTIs can cause a lot of discomfort and pain in your dog. In time, they can develop into a serious health issue, like cancer or dangerous kidney infections. Most of the time, urinary tract infections require treatment with antibiotics. However, there are many things you can do to reduce your dog's chances of getting a UTI in the first place.
In this AnimalWised article, we explain what are urinary tract infections in dogs, what are their most common symptoms and how to prevent UTIs in dogs using home remedies.
Urinary tract infections in dogs
A dog’s urinary system, just like in humans, is what processes and removes waste from the body. Urinary infections can affect different parts of the dog's urinary tract, but bladder infection is the most common. This type of infection is known as cystitis and occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and reach the bladder. Once there, the bacteria grow and reproduce, thus causing the infection. If not spotted and treated quickly, these urinary tract issues can turn fatal.
To learn more about the different types of UTIs in dogs, don't miss out this article on urinary track infections in dogs.
Signs your dog may be suffering from a urinary tract infection
When it comes to UTIs, the faster you notice the symptoms, the better. Urinary tract infections tend to get worse with time, causing an increasing sensation of pain and discomfort in your dog. This is why it is so important to pay special attention to any of the following symptoms:
- Passing urine more frequently than usual and in small amounts
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain when urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- Bad smell of urine
- Drinking more water than usual
- Excessive licking of the area before or after urination
- General restlessness
Keep in mind that some dogs might be more prone to develop urinary tract infections than others. Older female dogs and dogs with diabetes are more at risk. Dogs that are currently suffering from bladder stones are more likely to have urinary infections in the future.
Treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs
As we have explained, urine infections are associated with the presence of bacteria. When these pathogens appear, the treatment usually requires antibiotics. The main problem with antibiotics is that they don't act exclusively on the bacteria causing the UTI, they also affect your dog's healthy bacteria. This is why antibiotics must only be prescribed by the vet, hence the need for a consultation.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to act fast. It is a very painful disease and the bacteria could reach the kidneys and aggravate the issue. In addition, these types of infections are a risk factor for the formation of kidney stones in dogs, which can totally or partially obstruct the urinary system.
Antibiotic treatments in these cases are typically long, lasting around three weeks. Ideally, you should test a urine sample to find out exactly which kind of bacteria is causing the infection. Even though the most common organism to cause UTIs in dogs is Escherichia coliand, it is not the only one. This is why a bacterial culture test is the most effective way to determine which is the best-suited antibiotic to treat the infection. It is also advisable to repeat the test at the end of the treatment to ensure it has been successful.
Home remedies to prevent urinary tract infection in dogs
As we have mentioned before, once the first symptoms of a urinary tract infection appear, you must take your dog to the veterinarian so they can perform a test and prescribe the appropriate antibiotics. However, there are many home remedies you can use to prevent these infections from happening in the first place.
If your dog has suffered from kidney stones in the past, currently has diabetes, or if it is suffering from recurrent urine infections that require antibiotic treatment, you should pay special attention to these preventive tips. Keep in mind that providing your dog with antibiotics too frequently may result in antibiotic resistance, which means its effects decrease over time.
These are the best home remedies you can easily include in your dog's diet to prevent UTIs in the future:
- Blueberries: this fruit is considered to be very beneficial for the urinary system thanks to its antibacterial properties. You can safely give blueberries to dogs in moderation by mixing them with their food, or offering it to them in a juice.
- Broccoli: broccoli is an antioxidant-rich food that helps to boost your dog’s immune system. Therefore, your dog will be better able to fend off any kind of infection. Broccoli also helps reduce inflammation, which is one of the major causes of UTIs.
- Echinacea: just as with broccoli, echinacea supports the immune system function and reduces inflammation. You can give it to your dog as a supplement.
- Vitamin C: vitamin C increases the acidity of the urine, which has an antibacterial effect. It also helps with the proper functioning of your dog's immune system. Kiwis or oranges are great sources of vitamin C. Just like blueberries, you can safely offer them to your dog in small pieces as a treat, by mixing them with its regular food or through a juice.
- Apple cider vinegar: it is highly recommended for improving the functioning of the urinary tract because of its ability to detoxify. You can include it in your dog's diet by simply adding a small spoonful of apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl every morning.
- Asparagus: they are low in calories and a great source of nutrients and fiber. Fiber has proven to feed the beneficial bacteria populations in your dog's body, which helps crowd out any harmful bacteria.
- Cranberries: contain A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), which interfere with the bacteria's ability to adhere to the bladder wall and therefore reducing the likelihood of developing an infection.
Now, we present you with some extra considerations you should contemplate to ensure the appropriate functioning of your dog's urinary system:
- Avoid unhealthy carbohydrates: usually found in polished rice and flour, these carbohydrates can increase inflammation in your dog’s body, which also increases the risk of UTIs. Starch should also be avoided because it is a food source for harmful bacteria and yeasts.
- Make sure your dog has enough water: correct hydration is essential to achieve a good functioning of the urinary system. That is why we have to make sure that our dog drinks plenty of water every day. Clean, fresh water should always be available. If your dog does not drink much water on its own, you can also add it to their dehydrated food or canned food to increase their water intake.
- Make sure your dog has enough opportunities to urinate: regular voiding of the bladder helps to prevent inflammation in the urinary tract.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Home Remedies to Prevent Urinary Infections in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Home Remedies category.
- Carlson, L. D., & Giffin, J. M. (2002). Practical manual of canine veterinary medicine. Madrid. Editorial el Drac.