Your dog has blood in her urine … but is it possible to manage dog uti treatment at home? It can be in some cases. Here are our top home remedies for UTI in dogs.
What Are UTIs In Dogs?
You might think a UTI means your dog has a urinary tract infection … caused by a urinary pathogen or bacterial infection. But your dog’s urinary tract disease might not be what it seems. Bladder issues often stem from inflammation – with no bacteria causing them at all. In fact, many holistic vets say that UTI stands for urinary tract inflammation (not infection). This is important to help you treat bladder problems in your dog.
What Are The Signs Of UTIs In Dogs?
Urinary tract disease can include kidney, ureters, urethra and bladder infection.
While we’re using a female dog example below … remember that male dogs can get UTIs too! Typical symptoms of UTIs in dogs of either gender include:
- Frequent urination or urging.
- Bloody urine. Sometimes you may see a little blood at the very end. Other times there might be a blood clot. Sometimes it’s hardly noticeable. Get your dog to pee on a paper towel to see if there’s blood present.
- Licking before or after she urinates.
- Inappropriate urination or accidents in the house.
- General restlessness.
- Needing to go out during the night.
- Trying to pee again right after she’s peed. You may see her try a few times and appear to squat or strain a few different ways. This is due to difficult flow of urine.
- Signs of painful urination.
When untreated, UTIs can lead to bigger problems, including stones, dysfunction, infertility, kidney infection, and even kidney failure.
Is It A Urinary Tract Infection Or Something Worse?
If your dog is showing signs of a UTI, it’s a good idea to take a urine sample to your vet for analysis. That’s because UTIs can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as …
- Bladder or urethra stones
- Kidney stones or other kidney problems
These problems are much less likely … but are easier to treat if you catch them early.
RELATED: Learn about bladder stones and treatment options in dogs ...
Home Remedies For UTIs In Dogs
There are many natural remedies for UTIs in dogs … so it’s best to avoid antibiotics, even though most vets will prescribe them as the main treatment option.
A Note About Antibiotics For Bladder Infections
Antibiotics are standard treatment for UTIs. The problem with this is that antibiotics don’t just kill the bacteria causing the UTI … they also destroy the healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut. Remember that many holistic vets say that urinary tract problems in dogs are actually inflammation, not an infection. So using antibiotics will damage your dog’s microbiome … without effectively treating the real cause of your dog’s UTI. That’s why UTIs become chronic recurrent infections in many dogs. Urinary concentration of antibiotics is also a factor. The drugs are less effective if they don’t achieve high antimicrobial concentrations. In fact, a 2014 review of antibiotics for UTIs at University of Copehagen concluded: “there is little published evidence relating to antibiotic treatment of UTIs in dogs and cats. Well-designed clinical trials focusing on the duration of treatment are warranted to create evidence-based treatment protocols.”
Antibiotic resistance is also a concern. The more your dog takes antibiotics, the less effective they are. So save them for when they’re truly necessary and avoid antimicrobial resistance that’s becoming a problem for all of us!
Home Remedies for UTI In Dogs
It can be easy to manage dog UTI treatment at home. Try these remedies but if symptoms persist, then you may want to arrange a visit with your holistic vet.
One of the most common bacteria causing urinary tract infections in dogs is E coli. Studies show that D-mannose stops E coli from attaching to the urinary tract. So D-mannose is a great remedy to use if your dog does have an infection. Studies also show that D-mannose can improve UTI symptoms. It’s been shown to work as well or better than some antibiotics. Flavonoids in cranberry may also activate your dog’s own innate immune system to battle bacterial infections. You can buy supplements with cranberry, which has natural D-mannose, or just a D-mannose supplement. Nancy Scanlan DVM CVA likes to use cranberry along with the amino acid methionine for treating UTIs. The combination is an effective antimicrobial treatment.
Cranberries are a well-known natural remedy for UTIs in humans, and they can work for your dog too. You may wonder if you can give cranberry juice … but most juices have a lot of sugar, so they’re best avoided. But cranberries or supplements with cranberries are one of the best remedies for UTIs.
Small to medium dogs: 100 mg twice daily. Larger dogs: 200 mg twice daily. Dr Scanlan also recommends testing your dog’s urine with litmus paper strips. Make sure it’s slightly acidic (6 to 6.5). If it’s above this range, increase the methionine to 3 times daily. Note: Apple cider vinegar will also lower your dog’s urine pH. Add raw, organic apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food or water. Give 1 tsp for small dogs, 2 tsp for medium dogs, and 1 Tbsp for large dogs.
How To Give Your Dog Cranberry For UTIs
You can buy a cranberry supplement made for dogs and follow the label instructions. If you buy a supplement made for humans … assume the recommended dose is for a 150 lb human and adjust for your dog’s weight.
How To Give Your Dog D-Mannose For UTIs
Follow the same principles as for cranberries. Adjust human supplements for your dog’s weight as described earlier. Or follow the label dosing if it’s a pet product. You can safely give 1g of D-mannose per 20 lbs bodyweight. Mix D-mannose with food or add it to your dog’s water.
How To Give Cranberry Plus D-Mannose Supplements
Again, adjust the human dose for your dog’s weight. Or follow the dosing instructions on the label if you buy a pet product.
4. Couch Grass
Couch grass is a common weed in North America and is sometimes called quack grass. According to Herbs for Pets by Gregory L Tilford and Mary L Wulff … it’s a go-to for urinary tract problems.
Couch grass is an anti-inflammatory, mild antimicrobial and pain soother. It’s also a diuretic, which means it can help encourage waste elimination.
How To Give Your Dog Couch Grass For UTIs
Simmer a heaping teaspoon of the chopped dried root in 8 oz of water for 20 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid. Use a dropper or teaspoon to place in your dog’s mouth (1/2 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight twice daily). You can also add it to your dog’s water.
5. Parsley Leaf
Parsley leaf is another diuretic that can help with UTIs. This is because of its antiseptic properties … plus it’s easy to give your dog.
How To Give Your Dog Parsley For UTIs
Tilford and Wulff recommend you juice parsley leaf in a vegetable juicer. Feed the juice at 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs body weight. It’s best to give it by mouth and on an empty stomach. You can add it to your dog’s water if she won’t let you give it by mouth.
6. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow is one of the most versatile herbs for dogs. It’s a demulcent that soothes and protects irritated and inflamed tissue, so it’s an ideal remedy for urinary tract infections in dogs. It helps reduce inflammation and creates a barrier between the lining of the urinary tract and harmful bacteria.
How To Give Your Dog Marshmallow For UTIs
Sprinkle marshmallow root powder on your dog’s food, giving ½ tsp for each lb of food
Horsetail is antimicrobial, so it can help fight off infection. It’s also helpful if your dog has a urinary tract infection with minor bleeding. Horsetail is best used with a soothing herb like marshmallow root.
How To Give Your Dog Horsetail For UTIs
Tilford and Wulff recommend a decoction. Add a large handful of dried herb, ½ tsp of sugar, and water to just cover the herb into a pot. Simmer on low heat until the water is dark green (about 20 minutes). Cool and strain the liquid. Add 1 tbsp for every 20 lbs of body weight to your dog’s food. Caution: Don’t use horsetail long-term as it may cause irritation.
Overall, you have great natural options for your dog’s UTI. Be confident you can help your dog naturally at home if she develops any UTI symptoms.
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