Home Remedies for Dogs with Urinary Tract Infections

Updated on February 18, 2016

Mild Cases May Be Treated at Home

When a dog develops a urinary tract infection, it develops some pitiful symptoms that can make him miserable. Typical symptoms include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Blood in urine
  • Increased drinking
  • Increased urination
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Licking genitals

Both male and female dogs can be equally affected. Diagnosis is confirmed by a urinalysis. Urine must be collected in a sterile container and should not be older than four hours old and preferably refrigerated. Treatment commonly consists of a course of antibiotics.

When the symptoms are caught early enough, there are some home remedies that may help the dog overcome the infection before it may require the aid of antibiotics. Keep in mind that these will work only in UTI's at their very first stages and when very mild.

Home remedies may not work all the time and a veterinarian should be consulted if the dog does not respond to home treatments or he/she seems to be uncomfortable and lethargic.

Home Remedies

Straining to urinate, bloody urine and urinating often are signs of UTI.
Straining to urinate, bloody urine and urinating often are signs of UTI.

If your dog is starting to show the first signs of a urinary tract infection in the evening, you may try these to help them get through the night, but your dog should see a vet first thing in the morning. Make sure that you bring along your dog's urine sample and that it's less than four hours old.

  • Water. Water will effectively help flush out the harmful bacteria. Make sure there is always access to fresh, clean water and encourage him to drink as much as possible. If you need to encourage, it may help to make a "soup" with water and your dog's kibble, or offer some baby food (make sure there's no onion or garlic in the ingredients!) and dilute it with water. Some dogs may like to eat ice cubes, which are another great way to get some extras fluids. Make sure there's not too much gulping at once, or he may get an upset stomach.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps acidify the urine and prevent the recurrence of infection. However, caution is needed since some stones can be caused by acidic urine according to Robert Pane with South Kendall Animal Clinic (see video).
  • Cranberry Juice. While some vets do not believe this works, some think it may be helpful. Cranberry juice may work in lowering the PH of the urine and preventing bacteria from attaching to the bladder's wall. However, just as with vitamin C, it may cause the urine to become acidic, which may be a problem if the dog happens to have oxalate crystals. The best option would be to consult with a vet before using cranberry extract.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a very helpful remedy in humans. Dogs may benefit from it as well, and the principle again remains in its acidic content. Acetic acid will effectively neutralize the harmful bacteria causing the infection. One tablespoon to two tablespoons (depending on size of dog) can be added to some plain yogurt or the apple cider vinegar may be added to food or water.
  • Note: Uristat, phenazopyridine HCI is not safe for dogs! Please do not try to use human medications on dogs as they can be toxic or cause unwanted side effects.

Urinary tract infections may not be an immediate emergency, but owners should keep a watchful eye on symptoms and report signs of worsening to their veterinarians promptly. Symptoms of bladder stones may mimic those of a urinary tract infection, so it is highly advisable to consult with a veterinarian about the appropriate course of action.

The above article is not to be used as a diagnostic tool nor as a replacement for veterinary advice. If your dog is acting sick, please report to your veterinarian for proper advice.

Vet-Approved Home Treatment

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        susy 

        7 months ago

        My dog threw up after having apple cider vinegar. Any ideas why ?

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        8 months ago from USA

        Cystex is formulated for human use therefore there is no information on this product's suitability for dogs. There are therefore no appropriate dosages nor studies on its efficacy. I would not give it.

      • profile image

        Mary Brown 

        8 months ago

        can I give my dog cystex. Straight forward answers only please.

      • profile image

        Janice 

        21 months ago

        How much apple cider vinegar would be appropriate for a 5.6lb Pomeranian. He has had the antibiotics and still has blood so I would like to try some home remedies before an expensive ultrasound.

      • profile image

        Alice 

        2 years ago

        If your dog has one that's already going on is there any home remedies I can use to keep her happy until I can get her in and she's a big breed too.

      • profile image

        Hodaya 

        2 years ago

        Apple cider vinegar

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        2 years ago from USA

        I wouldn't mess with baking soda. Large amounts of baking soda can cause electrolyte abnormalities, congestive heart failure or muscle spasms. Even though large amounts are harmful no websites states what constitutes "large amounts."

      • profile image

        Shannon 

        2 years ago

        How does baking soda come in the picture when it comes to a canine urinary tract infection

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        4 years ago from USA

        Yes, they will take a urine sample and determine which type of antibiotics work best.

      • profile image

        Lily 

        4 years ago

        Most of the time vet will order same kind of antibiotics given to humans for bladder infection

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        4 years ago from USA

        I wouldn't mess with medications crafted for human bladder infections. http://www.justanswer.com/pet-dog/558pl-otc-cure-f...

      • profile image

        simon penny 

        4 years ago

        can i give my dog small bit of my sodium citrate for bladder infection??

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        4 years ago from USA

        This can be tricky. Usually, you'll just take the dog out and catch some with a sterile cup when the dog starts urinating. They only need a small amount. If you can't take him to the vet when his bladder is full (in other words don't take him out to potty prior) they'll try to collect some using a cup or they may directly collect some with a needle directly inserted into the bladder (

        Cystocentesis)

      • profile image

        Mike 

        4 years ago

        How do I catch my dog's urine so it can be checked to see if he has a UTI?

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        4 years ago from USA

        At that age and with a possible urine tract infection, I would recommend a vet visit. Did you know that banfield is offering a free vet visit for first time clients? read here: https://hubpages.com/animals/How-to-Get-a-Free-Vet...

      • profile image

        linda kalogeras 

        4 years ago

        my bichon is 15 she is blind and deaf I noticed recently some pinkish blood in her urine is there anyone that can help I cant afford a vet and its killing me that she is getting old and sick please help

      • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

        5 years ago from USA

        Your best bet would be to first see the vet to make sure this isn't something else. Note: these are home remedies found on websites and aren't a substitute for vet advice. Details about yogurt and apple cider vinegar are found on this website:

        http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/bladder-infection-...

      • profile image

        Anita needs your help! 

        5 years ago

        How often should I give my dog the yogurt and apple cider vinegar?

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