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What is the Best Way to Treat a UTI in Dogs?
There are several dog UTI treatment options. Some urinary tract infections in dogs and cats can be managed at home by pet parents, and others require veterinary attention.
Here are some common home remedies and traditional approaches for dog UTI treatment.
- Antibiotics. The most effective way to treat UTIs is with antibiotic treatment. A DVM can prescribe a course of antibiotics that help the immune system fight bacterial infection, the most common underlying cause of UTI symptoms.
- Dietary Changes. Introducing more foods like vegetables, yogurt, antioxidants, and vitamin B supplements can help to relieve UTI symptoms. This treatment option uses the vitamins and nutrients from whole foods sources to fight a bladder infection naturally. Things like cranberries and fruits are common at-home remedies for UTIs that contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is often recommended to avoid foods like asparagus, spinach, raw carrots, tomatoes, and dairy products because these foods have been known to aggravate or exacerbate signs of a UTI.
- Increase Water Intake. Increasing a dog’s water intake will increase its hydration level. This will encourage them to urinate more often and help to flush out the bacteria that cause bladder infections. More hydration also helps to prevent bladder stones and kidney stones.
- Intravenous Treatments. If the infection is severe enough, an IV treatment may be necessary. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to inflammation of the prostate, kidney or bladder stones, and lower urinary tract dysfunction.
What is the Best Food for Dog UTI Treatment?
Natural and nutrient-dense foods are best for dogs with UTIs. Here are some foods that can help with the dog UTI treatment.
- Cranberries. Cranberries and cranberry juice are the most often recommended at-home treatment for UTIs. Although the common belief is that they are powerful treatments against UTIs, there have been no studies to confirm this in dogs. For this reason, vets will often recommend cranberries be used as a supplement to a UTI treatment rather than be relied on as the treatment.
- Fruits. Fruits are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants that help to support the immune system. These foods provide naturally sourced nutrients that are easy to digest and readily available to support your pet’s health and help to treat and prevent urinary tract disease.
- UTI-Specific Dog Food. Dog foods formulated to treat a dog’s UTI or incontinence often contain antioxidants and immune system supporting vitamins that help to fight the underlying causes of UTIs.
How Can I Treat a UTI at Home for My Dog?
Here are some at-home dog UTI treatment options:
Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics for Dogs. This dog UTI treatment is made with prebiotics and probiotics for gut health. A dog’s health begins in the digestive system Honest Paws ensures there are healthy bacteria for a healthy gut biome to promote better and faster recovery. The probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, while the prebiotics stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria. The formula uses antioxidant-rich foods to promote immune system function and inulin, their natural prebiotic, to promote the growth of 6 strains of healthy bacteria that help to strengthen the immune system and promote good digestion.
Zesty Paws Bladder Bites UTI + Bladder Support. The Cran-Max formula of these chews is made with concentrated cranberries and patented Bio-Shield technology that has been clinically proven to promote bladder and urinary health. They use marshmallow root and astragalus to help flush toxin buildups from the kidneys and bladder. These chewable dog UTI treatment supplements feature organic licorice root and nettle seed to detox the kidneys and defend the urinary tract lining as well as provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Amazing Nutritionals UTI in Dogs Pet Antioxidant. These cranberry-based dog UTI treatment chews are made with flavors dogs enjoy, so even picky eaters will likely enjoy them. They are made with no by-products or allergens and are made in the USA to be 100% safe for dogs. It contains no corn, wheat, or soy and is made in small batches in a GMP-certified factory with ingredients that are tested by 3rd party testers to ensure purity and quality.
Native Pet Dog UTI Treatment Over The Counter. This all-natural over-the-counter dog UTI treatment is made with cranberries for their powerful antioxidant support. These chews work by optimizing the level of Proanthocyanidins (PACs) in the bladder, which blocks UTI-causing bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall and causing infection. They are an excellent option for treating a UTI and preventing one with regular use.
PetHonesty Dog UTI Soft Chew Supplements. By maintaining an average pH level in the urine, this dog UTI treatment option helps to reduce the likelihood of crystal formation that is common in dogs with recurring UTIs. These bite-sized chews are made with naturally derived ingredients like cranberry, D-mannose, and marshmallow root. These ingredients help to normalize bladder muscle function and support kidney health while helping to boost the immune system to fight the infection.
How do You Know if the Dog UTI Treatment is Working?
Knowing if the dog UTI treatment is working is relatively easy. They will display fewer and weaker symptoms like less whimpering while urinating, less frequent bathroom trips, and more transparent urine.
When treating with medication, symptoms should start to subside within 48 hours, and when treating at home, it is often expected to see improvement within one week.
Within these time frames, your dog will experience less discomfort and better urination, so keep an eye on how severe your dog’s symptoms are and note any improvements shown after dog UTI treatment has begun.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog’s UTI to Clear Up?
There are several things that contribute to the duration dog UTI treatment:
- Severity. This may go without saying, but a more severe UTI will take longer to go away. A more severe case of a urinary tract infection will not only take longer to clear up but can also lead to extremely negative side effects. Abnormalities in the urinary tract, cystitis, and, in extreme cases, kidney disease and Cushing’s disease.
- Dog’s Age. The age of the dog can play a role in how quickly the UTI can clear up. An older dog with a weaker immune system may take longer to recover from a UTI, especially if the case is more severe and requires antibiotic intervention.
- Breed. Some breeds are more prone to more severe or recurrent UTIs. Dog breeds like Shih-Tzus and Yorkies are more prone to developing UTIs because they are lower to the ground. Escherichia coli (E. coli), the type of bacteria that causes UTIs, can more easily enter the dog’s urethra and bladder this way.
- Treatment. This probably has the biggest impact on how quickly a UTI in a dog will go away. If intravenous or antibiotic treatments are used, then it is often expected the symptoms will subside in about 48 hours, with full recovery generally expected in 3-6 weeks. At-home remedies will likely take longer to produce results.
- Dog’s Gender. The sex of a dog plays a role too. Male dogs are less likely to get UTIs because their urethra is longer. This means the bacteria that cause UTIs must travel further in the dog’s body to reach the bladder. On the other hand, female dogs are more prone to UTIs.
Can Dog UTI Go Away on Its Own?
It is not likely for a dog’s UTI to go away on its own.
It is always recommended that if your dog exhibits signs of a UTI such as straining to urinate, increased frequency in urination, licking of the genital area, and fever, then you should seek veterinary care.
Urinary tract infections are not only unlikely to go away on their own. Without a dog UTI treatment, they can worsen or even lead to complications.
What Happens if a Dog’s UTI Goes Untreated?
If a dog’s UTI goes untreated, it is likely to develop more serious complications that can end up being life-altering or threatening. If left alone, a UTI can develop into kidney stones, bladder stones, and lower urinary tract dysfunction that can lead to recurrent UTIs.
If allowed to become severe, it can lead to things like Cushing’s disease, a condition caused by steroid treatment for inflammation associated with a urinary tract infection. This disease can damage the kidneys and cause the adrenal glands to overproduce cortisol, a stress hormone.
Although it is possible, it is unlikely for a UTI to completely go away without medicinal intervention. Whenever a dog exhibits symptoms of a urinary tract infection, it is always best to visit a doctor of veterinary medicine right away.
Urinary tract infections are painful, uncomfortable, and sometimes outright dangerous for dogs, and getting it taken care of promptly can save you some expensive vet bills in the future and spare your dog some potentially harmful side effects of an untreated UTI.