Home Remedies for Dogs with Urinary Tract Infections
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.
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
For Further Reading
- Causes of Blood in Dog Urine
It is not uncommon for dog owners to get alarmed upon seeing traces of blood in their dog's urine. They often rush their dogs to the vet fearing the worse. More often than not, however, the cause may be minor.
- Leftover Human Antibiotics for Dogs
More and more pet owners are trying to treat their dogs using left over antibiotics or online antibiotics. Learn if this practice is safe and its risks.