Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
UTIs in Dogs
Both male and female dogs can be equally affected by UTIs. Diagnosis is confirmed by a urinalysis. Urine must be collected in a sterile container and should not be older than four hours old, preferably refrigerated. Treatment commonly consists of a course of antibiotics.
Can Mild Cases Be Treated at Home?
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 UTIs 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.
Symptoms of UTIs in Dogs
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
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 may work to lower the PH of urine and prevent 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. Dog-approved treats are perfectly acceptable.
- 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 the size of dog) can be added to some plain yogurt or the apple cider vinegar may be added to food or water.
Watch Out for Symptoms
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.
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.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
K. Barnes on January 11, 2019:
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The vet keeps finding blood in my dogs urine, his had antibiotics, full stomach scan, sample from his bladder sent to lab and blood test there all clear, his fine in himself shiney coat what else can I try please?
susy on March 19, 2018:
My dog threw up after having apple cider vinegar. Any ideas why ?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 07, 2018:
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.
Mary Brown on January 31, 2018:
can I give my dog cystex. Straight forward answers only please.
Janice on January 19, 2017:
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.
Alice on September 09, 2016:
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.
Hodaya on June 05, 2016:
Apple cider vinegar
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 21, 2016:
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."
Shannon on May 14, 2016:
How does baking soda come in the picture when it comes to a canine urinary tract infection
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 27, 2014:
Yes, they will take a urine sample and determine which type of antibiotics work best.
Lily on April 26, 2014:
Most of the time vet will order same kind of antibiotics given to humans for bladder infection
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 01, 2014:
I wouldn't mess with medications crafted for human bladder infections. http://www.justanswer.com/pet-dog/558pl-otc-cure-f...
simon penny on February 01, 2014:
can i give my dog small bit of my sodium citrate for bladder infection??
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 31, 2014:
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 (
Mike on January 30, 2014:
How do I catch my dog's urine so it can be checked to see if he has a UTI?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 01, 2013:
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...
linda kalogeras on October 31, 2013:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 10, 2013:
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:
Anita needs your help! on September 10, 2013:
How often should I give my dog the yogurt and apple cider vinegar?