Dog UTI Treatment: Method & Procedure

dog uti treatment

What Is UTIs in Dogs?

Urinary tract infections, commonly known as UTIs, often affect dogs, indicating the presence of harmful bacteria in the creature’s typically clean urinary tract. When bacteria from the external environment enter the bladder, dogs or other animals may develop a UTI, leading to an infection. Among the several types of bacteria, E. coli is primarily responsible for causing UTIs in dogs.

It normally happens in the urinary bladder (bacterial cystitis), but it may occur anywhere from the urethra to the kidneys. The infections are called recurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) when they happen twice in 6 months or thrice a year.

Bacteria That Causes It

E. coli bacteria is the culprit bacteria that cause UTIs in dogs. In the below picture, a microscopic view can be seen.

E. coli bacteria: micsroscopic view

How Does a Dog Catch UTI?

close up on veterinarian taking care of dog

As discussed above, UTI is caused by the external environment, which can be the dog’s skin around the vulva, rectum, or others.

The dog doesn’t do a good job of wiping the front and back.

Causes Of UTI In Dogs

Low pH causes struvite stones, whereas high pH causes calcium oxalate stones. Another type of stone, Urate kidney stones, is also common and caused by genetic disorders.

We can summarize the following risk factors that cause UTIs in dogs.

  • Kidney or bladder stones or bladder infection
  • Kidney disease or even kidney failure
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Intervertebral disc disorder
  • Cancer
  • Immunussuprresive drugs
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease)
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence

Common Symptoms of UTI in Dogs

close up doctor helping dog

The clinical symptoms of canine UTI are as follows:

  • Strain to urinate
  • Whining during urination
  • Frequent urination with a small amount
  • Licking the genitals excessively
  • Ruine smelling bad
  • Blood in the dog’s urine
close up of male's hand holding container with sample

Home Remedies For UTI in Dogs

greyhound dog eating food at home

Although it’s always recommended to consult your vet before starting any home remedy. But still, if for some reason or the other wish to treat your dog at home, natural remedies, including the fact that his underlying health condition is not worse, following are some of the home remedies you may try at home.


 Cranberry Relief and Echinacea

Potassium Citrate + Cranberry supplement of any brand or, Dog Cranberry Juice Extra is recommended for UTI.

Marshmallow root is another therapy that can be used for urinary tract infections in dogs (some vets even call it urinary tract inflammation, too), where the urine also contains blood. The diuretic effects of Marshmallow root help flush out excessive fluids.

In fact, Marshmallow root has multiple benefits. It’s a Diuretic, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, and Expectorant.

Healthy Diet or Add-ons

Try including blueberries and cranberries in his diet. If raw is unavailable, try to get dog’s food that includes extracts of these berries.

Apple cider vinegar is another thing you can add to the dog’s water bowl. For small dogs, add 1 Tbsp, and 2 Tbsp for large dogs (like Labrador Retrievers)

It provides relief from a burning sensation. Lemon juice in his food can also be added to balance the dog’s urine pH levels.

When To Worry About Your Dog’s Urinary Tract Disease?

close up doctor wearing gloves

Suppose your pet is unable to urinate. The easiest thing to do here is to check the pee pads or Kleenex placed on the place of urination, and if your dog is struggling to urinate and no fluid is coming out, that’s an emergency.

In another case, if your dog isn’t eating, drinking, or vomiting, that’s also an emergency. The biggest reason might be the bladder stone.

Read also: How long can a dog survive without eating?

How Does Dog’s UTI Get Treated?

close up hands touching dog

The procedure to check a dog for UTI is common among all veterinarians.

The first thing to do is to collect the urine sample for the infected animal to look for bacteria or abnormal blood cells, which in most cases has to be gotten from the urinary bladder directly with the help of a catheter or by a process named Cystocentesis.

The dog doesn’t do a good job whenever a sample is needed. Even if we can get it, it’s not clean as per the dog’s vet; being passed through the hair and other tissues doesn’t make it sterile.

For example, our collected sample might be misleading in certain aspects.

The dog’s vet may not know if the white blood cells or bacteria are actually coming from the bladder.

lab doctor performing medical exam of urine

So ultrasound examination only confirms the presence of urinary crystals, tumors, overdistention, and like problems.

In such cases, the urinary bladder must be located with the help of an ultrasound or by experience, and then put a needle in it and sterilely collect the sample.

Vet’s UTI Treatment: Rx UTI Options For Dogs

 close up on veterinarian taking care of dog

90% of the cases have bacterial urinary tract infections, in which the vets advise antibiotic treatment. Here you’ll understand much better why the vet accepts only sterile samples. Because each bacteria needs different medication to be killed.

After a few days, when the urine culture finalizes, and the initial antibiotic doesn’t work, your vet may change the antibiotic. Severe pain relief medication may accompany antibiotics.

Your dog will be put on a dog food diet along with the medication.

Your dog’s medical history is crucial for the vet to determine the right antibiotic and dog’s diet.

In short, for UTI treatment, the vet needs to examine the dog’s medical history before prescribing medication. ‘One size fits all’ doesn’t work.

In other words, the cause can be a bladder stone, bladder infection, inflammation, bacterial infection, or a bladder tumor in severe cases.

Do You Know?

Bacteria are common to be observed in dog urine samples without UTI even. So UTI symptoms must be there before any antibiotic can be given

How Can We Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs

shot of scottish terrier puppy on white  wall

As one of the pet owners or pet parents, even if your dog hasn’t been through this ordeal, you must know how to prevent it before it happens. Like if it’s dog bladder support or dog UTI supplements or what.

Well, there are certain things you can do to prevent UTIs in dogs.

The first preventative measure is that if your dog has never had a UTI, it’s difficult to recommend what supplement he must take.

But if it’s a female dog that’s spayed and has a small vulva and has skin fold around the vulva and frequently gets them. So females are more prone to UTI than males because males have long urethra making bacteria travel longer towards up.

If it’s a male dog with a prostate problem, that can influence his bladder health.

Doc Roy’s Potassium Citrate + Cranberry is a treatment normally given to such dogs, which can help adjust the dog’s pH levels to prevent stone formation.

On the safer side, the best thing to do is always to make him drink a lot of water, give him frequent potty breaks, and exercise regularly.

The Bottom Line

UTIs in dogs are common and can be witnessed in certain UTI symptoms like frequent or painful urination. The treatment starts with antibiotics after taking a urine sample and confirmation of the bacteria. The reason for the UTI is the entrance of bacteria into the urethra transferred from feces or debris or if a weakened immune system sticks the dog.

Has your dog ever had UTI? If yes, share your experience regarding how you treated him in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions

How can I treat my dog with a UTI at home?

Blueberries and cranberries are highly recommended to ease UTI bacterial infections at home. Apple cider vinegar is another item that can be added to his bowl.

What can I give my dog for a urinary tract infection?

It’s always recommended to consult your vet to avoid further complications, which may give him antibiotics to kill harmful bacteria. But don’t try it yourself, as many healthy bacteria may get killed in this regard.

Can a UTI in a dog resolve itself?

No, the chances are remote in dogs that the UTI resolves itself. Antibiotics have to be given to treat it. If left untreated, it may turn out to be a fatal disease for the dog, like gland inflammation, blood poisoning, kidney infection, lower urinary tract dysfunction, other urinary tract problems, etc.

How long will a UTI last in a dog?

It takes about 7 to 14 days to completely receive from UTI. Initial comfort can be observed in the first week.

How To Treat Dog UTI At Home (Home Remedies)?

Regarding natural treatments at home, there are certain methods by which you make your dog feel relieved and comfortable. You may give Potassium Citrate + Dog Cranberry pills/ chew tablets for dogs, which are easily available in the market.

Signs Of UTI In Older Female Dogs

The symbols are almost the same in both genders. The dog’s symptoms include frequent urination, dripping, whining during urination, and blood in the urine.

Dog UTI Treatment: Natural Home Remedies

Natural remedies include Potassium Citrate + Cranberry chew tablets/ granules/supplements.

Dog UTI Treatment Antibiotics

Amoxicillin, Clavamox, trimethoprim sulfa, and enrofloxacin are the most common antibiotics used to treat.

Dog UTI Treatment Over The Counter

Cranberry and Vitamin C supplements can lower the urine pH and relieve the dog’s pain.

What To Feed A Dog With UTI

Vitamin B supplements are the best companions in addition to raw fruits, vegetables, and yogurts. Avoid giving him tomatoes, spinach, and dairy products

Female Canines Chronic UTIs Treatment

The treatment for both male dogs and older female dog breeds is the same. Give them Cranberry juice or supplements and get them checked by a vet.

What Is The Best Antibiotic For UTIs in Dogs?

It’s up to the vet which antibiotic should be given. But some over-the-counter medicines can be used, including Amoxicillin, Clavomox, etc

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