Dogs are prone to various lower urinary tract problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural home remedies to effectively treat your furry friend’s UTI. Before we dive into these remedies, it’s crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of a dog UTI so that you can take prompt action.
What are the Common Signs of Dog UTI?
It can be challenging to determine whether your dog is in pain because they may not exhibit any signs at all. However, if you notice bloody, cloudy, or strong-smelling urine, it could be a sign of a UTI. Other symptoms include straining or crying during urination, accidents in the house, frequent urination, increased water consumption, or excessive licking around their back end after urinating. In such cases, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to rule out a UTI. Keep in mind that urinary tract inflammation can also mimic the symptoms of an infection.
Expert Tip: If you notice any changes in your dog’s urinary habits, it’s important to have them checked by a veterinarian.
Certain factors can contribute to dog UTI signs, including bladder inflammation or infection, stress, stones, crystals or sludge in the bladder or urethra, incontinence, trauma, prostate disease, congenital abnormalities, and even certain cancers.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections?
The pH of a dog’s urine should ideally range from 6.0 to 7.0, slightly acidic due to their carnivorous nature. However, an imbalanced pH can lead to the formation of crystals and bladder stones. Diets high in carbohydrates and vegetables, like ultra-processed kibble, can cause this imbalance. On the other hand, diets low in protein and high in starches can result in a low pH, leading to calcium oxalate crystals and stones.
Pro Tip: Achieving the ideal urine pH can largely depend on providing your dog with a species-appropriate diet that is rich in protein and low in starches.
Female dogs, especially older ones, are more prone to UTIs due to their wider urethras, making it easier for bacteria to ascend the urethra to the bladder. Female puppies with an inverted vulva are also at a higher risk of infection. It’s recommended to let puppies go through a heat cycle before spaying, as the hormonal changes during this time can help resolve the inverted vulva issue.
Remember: If your dog has a conformational issue, working with a holistic veterinarian can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the urinary tract to prevent infections.
Concurrent conditions like diabetes or the use of immunosuppressive drugs can increase the likelihood of dog UTI infections.
How is a Dog UTI Infection Diagnosed?
If you suspect your dog has a UTI based on the symptoms mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to take them to a veterinarian for a check-up. A physical examination will rule out any congenital problems or other factors that may contribute to an infection.
Pro Tip: A urinalysis is the first step in diagnosing a dog UTI infection.
A urinalysis can provide valuable information about your dog’s urine, such as specific gravity, pH, ketones, bilirubin, glucose, blood, and protein. If the urinalysis suggests an infection, a urine culture should be conducted to identify the type of bacteria present and determine the appropriate antibiotic treatment.
Expert Advice: Never use antibiotics without a proper urinalysis and culture.
Antibiotics should only be used when necessary, as their misuse can have negative effects on your dog’s gut health and contribute to antibiotic resistance. Additional tests such as ultrasound, bloodwork, or radiographs may be recommended to rule out bladder stones and other abnormalities.
Natural Home Remedies for Dog UTI
Now that you have a better understanding of dog UTIs and how they are diagnosed, let’s explore some natural remedies to help your dog recover and prevent future UTIs.
Pro Tip: Remember to consult with your veterinarian before starting any home remedies.
D-Mannose and Cranberries
D-mannose is a non-metabolizable sugar found in cranberry juice that helps prevent bacteria from causing UTIs. It specifically targets E.coli, a common bacteria responsible for dog bacterial UTIs. Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants, making them beneficial for overall health.
Expert Recommendation: For a stronger and faster effect, consider giving your dog D-mannose as a supplement and using cranberries as a food supplement. However, be cautious of the sugar content in cranberry juice and opt for concentrated D-mannose supplements instead.
NAG is a derivative of glucose found in the outer shell of crustaceans. It targets mucous membranes like the bladder, helping protect against urinary crystals and reduce inflammation. Many urinary supplements contain NAG to strengthen the bladder lining.
Corn silk, the silky part of the corn plant, acts as a natural diuretic, eliminating excess water from the body. This can aid in clearing bacterial infections. Additionally, corn silk contains natural polysaccharides that help alleviate pain and inflammation associated with UTIs.
Pro Tip: You can use supplements containing corn silk or make a tea by steeping 2 tsp of corn silk in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, add 1/8 – 1/2 cup of the tea (without the corn silk) to your dog’s food daily to relieve pain and inflammation.
Marshmallow root is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for soothing inflamed mucous membranes in the bladder. Supplements or infusions of marshmallow root can be added to your dog’s diet.
Goldenrod is highly regarded for its antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent natural remedy for dog UTIs. It also possesses diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. Consider crushing fresh goldenrod leaves and boiling them in water. Once cooled, pour the concoction into your dog’s food. Alternatively, organic goldenrod tea can be used.
Pro Tip: For an added bonus, combine goldenrod with Juniper Berry essential oil, which has diuretic properties and increases circulation to the lower urinary tract.
These natural home remedies, including D-mannose, cranberries, NAG, corn silk, marshmallow root, and goldenrod, can effectively support bladder health in dogs.
Preventing Recurring Dog UTI Infections
Apart from using natural remedies, there are other simple steps you can take to prevent recurring dog UTI infections:
- Provide plenty of filtered freshwater to keep the urine diluted.
- Feed fresh, minimally processed food to ensure optimal nutrition.
- Monitor your dog’s urine pH and make necessary diet and supplement adjustments.
- Ensure regular potty breaks to empty the bladder.
Expert Tip: Maintaining good hygiene and following a holistic approach to your dog’s well-being can go a long way in preventing UTIs.
To learn more about these remedies and find suitable supplements, visit Katten TrimSalon, where you can find expert advice and high-quality products for your pet’s health.
Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace professional veterinary advice. Always consult with a qualified veterinarian before administering any treatments or remedies to your dog.