Home Remedies for Dog’s Urinary Tract Infection

By isak, June 6, 2009

How can I tell if my pet has UTI? One of the first warning signs of cat or dog urinary tract infection might be some straining, pain or discomfort when urinating, but any change in urinary habits could signal UTI.

Watch out for incontinence or increased frequency of urination, the ability to pass only a very small or an abnormally large amount of urine, and urination in inappropriate places. Cats often stop using the litter box altogether to urinate. Other symptoms may include the passing of urine which is cloudy or strong in odor, an increased thirst, and visible inflammation or irritation. Symptoms which may indicate UTI (but could also be signs of other illness) include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever and back pain.

What can I do about it? Urinary tract infection in dogs can be a recurring phenomenon and it might tire you to constantly take your dog to the vet. Consequently, you may wonder if a dog’s urinary tract infection can be treated with a homemade formula. Fortunately, a dog’s UTI can be treated from the comfort of home. Make sure, though, that the dog’s condition is not severe. If it is, it is highly advised that instead of giving the animal homemade treatment, you take it to the vet for proper diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment.

Urinary tract infection does not pose a life-threatening risk to dogs. Thus, you may address the problem yourself in your home. There are several homemade remedies that are effective in treating a dog’s UTI. Some of these remedies are listed below.

1. Frequent bathing. Bathing your pet frequently can help prevent the recurrence or spread of bacteria that are causing complications. Bathing the dog frequently can help flush out bacteria that may invade its urinary system through the opening of the urethra.

2. Citrus juices. If your dog is suffering from UTI, you can give it citrus juices such as orange juice, lime juice, and cranberry juice. These can help boost the acid level of the dog’s urine.

3. Apple cider vinegar. This has properties which can neutralize the bacteria present in the dog’s urine, reducing the discomfort caused by the disease to the pet. You can give the animal apple cider vinegar by mixing it in water. You would like to try 1 tsp. for a small dog and 1 tbs. for a medium-large dog. If you add it to your dog’s drinking water, you should also offer plain water, just in case your dog doesn’t want to drink the water with the ACV in it. You don’t want to risk his/her drinking less water and possibly becoming dehydrated.

4. Clean water. Give your dog ample amount of clean water everyday. This can help wash out the bacteria that have accumulated in the canine’s urine. In the process, the infection may be lessened.

Aside from the remedies listed above, you may also give your dog herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies. These remedies have been shown to have wonderful effects in dogs suffering from UTI and other urinary problems. These remedies cannot only help cure the UTI in your dog; these likewise prevent the recurrence of the disease. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are also safe because they do not have side effects that may add to the discomfort and pain felt by the pet.

If you are going to use herbal and homeopathic remedies in treating a dog’s urinary tract infection, especially look for products which have uva ursi, staphysagris, berberis vulgaris, golden rod, juniper berry, and cantharis as ingredients. These ingredients have properties which can help soothe the dog’s bladder, relieve the inflammation, and ultimately strengthen the bladder. Prolonged use of these remedies can help keep ypur dog in top shape by preventing the recurrence of infections.

Urinary tract infection is truly a rising problem in today’s society. However, you can help keep your dog safe from infections by giving it home remedies. It is still very essential, though, that you take your pet to the vet regularly for check-up. By doing so, occurrence of infections can be detected and dealt with earlier.

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Melissa Simmonds is a dog health enthusiast. She has done much research in the hope of finding ways of treating a dog’s urinary tract infection She has learned from her research that a dog’s UTI can be treated with homemade remedies.

Article Source: Melissa_Simmonds

MORE INFO

Cranberry Extract is high in Vitamin C and prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall. Women who drink a pint of juice a day had 63% reduction in recurrence of urinary tract infections. And YES YOU CAN GIVE IT TO YOUR PETS!!!! One 3000 mg capsule is equivalent to 24 ounces of cranberry juice.

Dosing schedule: 1/8 capsule for cats & small dogs, ¼ capsule for medium dogs, ½ capsule for large dogs and 1 capsule for giant breed dogs. Give THREE times a day.

From the Antietam Valley Animal Hospital‘s newsletter

Guidelines for Use: Cranberry has no known interactions with antibiotics or other medications. But by acidifying the urine, cranberry may lessen the effect of another herb sometimes used for UTIs called uva ursi (also known as bearberry). Try one or the other.

215 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    So everyone knows, My 11 yr. old Pug had UTI symptoms again on Thanksgiving when Vet was closed so I tried 1tbl. Apple Cider Vinegar in her water bowl, and she drank it with no hesitation. She acted like she had dry mouth so I put down bowl of fresh plain water and she drank, & then fine. Blood stopped next morning.
    5 days later she has blood again, blood last night & none this AM, so I just took out the dried cranberries and put some in a bowl, and she just ate them with no hesitation, then ate rest of her regular food.
    I am going to let vet help her in 3 days, pay day. I would say the antibiotic would completely stop it, I am just temporarily helping it. Last UTI was last year, she squats during urination where she touches ground, so I started wiping her hiney with baby wipe after she urinates.

  2. Wendi says:

    I’m familiar with uti’s with my 4yo dog. She’s goten them frequently (pond pup) she does see a veT and the bill gets pretty steap! She’s a hairy dog and the hair around her privates is getting tangled and hard to remove…. does coconut oil work? She’s not a very clean dog so I bathe her once a weak. Just hoping maybe that will in courage her to help me keep it clean and debris free! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see your response on here, can you email me? wendi.l.clement@gmail! Thank you! Your posts have been VERY beneficial to me and my pack!!!!

    • isak says:

      Coconut oil to detangle the matted hair? I think your best bet is to trim it away using blunt nosed scissors and cutting from the body outward to the end of the mat. My dogs like coconut oil, so they would lick it. This could just make a tangled mat worse, I think. She certainly sounds like quite a tom boy! 🙂

  3. Lucie T says:

    Hi Isaac,
    Last week i have seen few small blood drops on the floor, didnt think much about it as my husband is a handyman lol:-) however, tonight I saw another tiny drops and found out its our Doc Holiday (almost 10y/o lab mix, @75pounds) He seems to be fine otherwise.
    Im concerned, cause i know its not normal, but we just had vet regular check up last month and everything was fine. We did not do the blood test this time. I dont know if it can be related but he has had 2 hot spots before our vet check. (Has been trated with antibiotics and his dermatitis has resolved.)
    Thank you!

    • isak says:

      Well, it would be just like a husband to blame the dog. 🙂

      Any idea where the blood is coming from exactly? Do you suspect a urinary tract infection? Or could it be from another part of his body? Urinary tract infections are often related to diet. The pH level of their urine becomes too alkaline and allows infection to take hold.

      Probiotics and cranberry capsules can help, however it will also help if you run pH tests on your dog’s urine to measure your progress. They sell pH strips for this. Most healthy dogs have a neutral to slightly acid urinary pH between 6 and 7.0. You don’t want to get his urine too acidic either because that opens him to different problems. You want to keep him in the right range.

      What antibiotics was he on? I wonder if they were partially helping if this is a UTI.

  4. Tamara Skaggs says:

    Our 6 year old sigh tzu has been diagnosed with struvite stones. She was put on antibiotics and changed to s/o dog food. She always has water available to her and she drinks a lot. Her infections go away with treatment but then will come back. Occasionally we cannot feed the s/o dog food because my husband lost his job and that food is very expensive. I teach high school and am constantly busy with our 2sons…not a lot of free time in another words.

    I am going to try cranberry pills to help but I cannot keep buying antibiotics and would like to get off the s/o food eventually. Any suggestions for long term?

    • isak says:

      You might try buying pH Test Strips and monitoring the pH of your pup’s urine. Most healthy dogs have a neutral to slightly acid urinary pH between 6 and 7.0. By monitoring it, you can see when he might be developing a problem and do some dietary changes. Also, given how small your dog is, you might consider home-cooking her meals. Here is a sample meal:

      Canine Urine Acidifying Recipe

      2/3 cup lowfat cottage cheese
      1 large hard-boiled egg
      2 cups long grain, cooked brown rice
      2 teaspoons chicken fat or canola oil
      1/2 ounce brewer’s yeast
      1/4 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitute)
      1 teaspoon of cranberry powder supplement

      This diet provides approx. 780 kcal (enough to fulfill the daily amount required for a 25-pound dog), 42.9 g protein, 22 g fat, 92 g sodium (a high sodium diet to encourage water consumption and increased urinations).

      Here are a few variations:

      You can substitute 4 ounces of tuna (in water without sodium) or 1/4 pound of lean ground beef (or ground chicken or lamb) for the cottage cheese.

      You can also substitute 2 to 3 cups of potato, cooked with skin, or 2 cups of cooked macaroni for the rice.

      For variety, you can throw in some fresh, raw or slightly steamed vegetables, such as carrots or broccoli (approximately 1/2 to 1 cup per recipe). These vegetables provide approximately 25 kcal per 1/2 cup.

      In addition to the cranberry supplement you’re adding to the diet, feed your dog a calcium supplement, a multivitamin/mineral, and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement on a daily basis. You can get these from your veterinarian.

      Other measures to take to prevent struvite bladder stones:

      • Don’t force your dog to hold her urine. Be sure she is allowed to go at least every 6 to 8 hours.
      • Provide plenty of clean drinking water to keep the urine flowing.

  5. Jeff says:

    My 11 year old pit bull has bladder stones… ive taken him to the vet several times, starting with antibiotics and x rays etc, but I have already maxed out my credit in doing so, and cannot afford the surgery to remove the stones… he had one lodged into urethra, and I thought i was going to have to put him down… the vet put him under, and ‘pushed’ the stone back into his bladder with a catheter. This was the last of what I can safely afford…

    Its been 4 days since the last visit, and his urination stream is very very weak, followed by a few drops of thick blood.. and still a significant amount of straining. Seems to be in slight pain when urinating, however acts semi normal once back in the house (doesn’t seem lethargic, still quite alert) the blood content seems to go away and then come back; but is never more than a few drops each time… he isn’t trying to drink his own water at all, but is super hungry; I have him on the (vet suggested) royal canine urinary SO wet food; and I sneak in ample amounts of water when feeding to keep him drinking….

    im worried he is partially blocked; and I cannot afford much more from the Vet… doesn’t help that ive been a blubbering mess for the last few days because its been hard for me to face the fact that I probably have to put him down because of this if he cant recover naturally… as I don’t want him to suffer….

    at this point, im Praying that the wet food diet is dissolving the stones, and that the drops of thick blood from time-to-time may be the passing of small stones???

    given the details above, would it be advisable to give him a bit of the ACV or Cranberry pills to help ‘lube’ and relieve him a bit??? or, being on antibiotics currently, would this be bad to do?

    ive also read on other sites that unflavored Pedialyte (baby Gatorade?) could help ‘lube’ his urinary tract and push out bad stuff… but I have no idea how true that is…

    Any advice is appreciated. im afraid that I cannot afford to save my dog… and im struggling with how far to let this go before making that final judgment call…

    • isak says:

      There are two types of urinary crystals: Struvite, Oxalate. You didn’t mention which your pup has, but Struvites are the more common. In simplest terms, both are generally related to diet, so if you can get the diet right, you can reduce the problem.

      Probiotics and cranberry capsules do help, however it will also help if you run pH tests regularly on your dog’s urine to measure your progress. There is some great info available on this page. Most healthy dogs have a neutral to slightly acid urinary pH between 6 and 7.0. Cranberry is acidic and is believed to prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder. The unflavored solutions of Pedialyte have an average pH of 4.90 (a pH range of 4.17 to 5.60). Raw ACV is the only vinegar that is alkaline-forming to the body. All other vinegars (white, balsamic, red wine, etc) are acid-forming. This is why purchasing pH test strips and monitoring your pup’s urinary pH will be helpful in charting your progress.

      I haven’t heard about using Pedialyte to pass stones, but it does reduce alkalinity, so maybe that’s where the thought comes from? I don’t know.

      If he is feeling discomfort when he urinates, your dog may hesitate to “try” because of the pain. Your vet might prescribe some meds to alleviate this that you can administer as needed.

      Perhaps he is drinking less because of the liquid you are adding to his food which I think is a great idea.

      You might also consider some of the home-cooking/raw diet options, too. Again, crystals are generally diet-based, so don’t give up just yet. Changing his diet to change his chemistry takes a bit of time. Good luck.

  6. Christy says:

    My 6 month old puppy keeps getting uti with ecoli present. Should I treat her with vinegar or give her the amoxicillin I have for myself in hand? I’m fed up with the vets office at this point.

    • isak says:

      You can give her some amoxicillin, but ultimately you want to find the source of the ecoli else the problem will come back. Is she getting into something she shouldn’t? Is it related to her food?

  7. Dina brown says:

    Hi i got only the cranberry juice is that the same as the tablets

    • isak says:

      The concern with the juice is the sugar content. Sugar can feed the problem. If you want to use juice, try to get the one with the least sugar in it. Of course, once you do that, it becomes pretty bitter so you will have to add it to their water (or food) gradually. Sometimes capsules are easier because of this. Good luck.

  8. Shirley says:

    We took our lab to the vet yesterday and she did exray also wants a urine sample but today there is no blood just clear pee.So wondering if we could use cranberry juice and if so how much and how often.

    • isak says:

      Cranberry contains a property that seems to prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder. Free floating bacteria will be flushed out of the bladder the next time a dog urinates. So rather than curing a URI, it works best as a preventative.

      Juice-wise, look for a juice that does not have sugar in it as the extra sugar can feed bacteria. The American Animal Hospital Association has suggested one to two ounces of cranberry juice to their animals’ food every day.

      You might also look at cranberry supplements like:
      • Solid Gold Berry Balance is a natural cranberry and blueberry extract with marshmallow and vitamin C to help support a healthy urinary tract. For dogs and cats prone to struvite crystals and bladder infections, this product helps balance the urinary tract pH and dissolve struvite crystals.
      • NaturVet Cranberry Relief Powder for Dogs and Cats contains cranberry extract, Echinacea purpurea, Oregon grape root, and calcium ascorbate to help minimize bacterial colonization of the bladder mucosa.
      • Cranberry Concentrate capsules (Cran Caps) are available from www.naturalrearing.com

      You can also tried dried cranberries. Your dog may like them as a treat.

  9. Ellen Woodrow says:

    My dog shows signs of what might be UTI, but after paying the vet over $300 to test her urine, I can’t keep doing that. I’m still waiting for the results, but they want to do more testing for “other things”.
    I’m going to try giving her cranberries – I think she will eat fresh ones or dried if she sees me eat them. She always wants to eat whatever I’m eating.
    I was thinking of giving her sit-down baths rather than bathing her with the detachable shower I usually use. Is there something I can put in the water that will soothe her urethra?
    Thank you so much for your help in this matter.

    • isak says:

      What are the signs you are seeing? Did your vet prescribe any meds after the first visit? Why did the vet feel more tests are needed? How old is your dog?

      Cranberries contain a substance that is believed to prevent bacteria from sticking on the walls of the bladder. So the bacteria is flushed out in their urine. Cranberries don’t prevent bacteria from growing in the urinary tract — they just make it harder for the bacteria to take hold. It is more beneficial as a preventative than as a treatment of cystitis.

      Because of the acidity of cranberries, you should monitor the pH of your dog’s urine (you can buy test strips) to determine the correct dosage for your dog. Some people do have better luck feeding the berries — or mixing them into food — than putting the juice in their water.

      However, it is still important to find the source of the infection and treat that.

      As for the bath, anything you use to comfort her urethra can be licked off, so that’s a difficult call. If it is dry and irritated, you might try a very small amount of neosporin ointment. It’s kind of greasy, so perhaps she won’t be able to lick it all off.

  10. Virinchi says:

    My pug(1 year old)is having acute uti. Though he is on antibiotics, he is ain’t able to urinate freely and trying really hard every 15mins to pee. He had catheter inserted for 4 days and still his problem continues. Iam really worried about his bladder getting full and tight.

    • isak says:

      It sounds like he may be blocked. That can be a life-threatening situation. It is important that you take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

      The most common cause of not urinating is that something is blocking the urethra, preventing the bladder from emptying (the urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the genitals for the removal of fluids from the body). In this situation, urine is still being produced and filling the bladder but can’t make its way out. Some reasons for urinary obstruction include:

      Bladder stones – Hard or calcified deposits of minerals that form in the urinary bladder

      Bladder or uretheral mass – A lump or tumor found on or around the bladder or along the urethra

      Mucus plug – Made up of mucus, protein and crystals that can block the urethra of a male cat

      Not being able to urinate can cause the urine to back up into the kidneys, which can then lead to kidney failure very quickly. Kidney failure allows toxins to build up in the bloodstream which can cause heart problems and other organs to fail. This occurs most often in male cats but can happen to female cats and dogs of both genders, too.

      Veterinary Treatment includes:

      • Applying gentle pressure and manipulating the penis, in male cats, to relieve the obstruction. Female cats rare get a urethral obstruction. When they do, it is usually caused by bladder stones that lodge in the urethra just as it leaves the bladder.
      • Removing urine from the bladder by inserting a urinary catheter into the bladder (you said the vet tried this option)
      • Using intravenous (IV) fluids to flush the bladder and the bloodstream
      • Administering antibiotics to treat any underlying infection

      So by all means, if you haven’t already gone since you left your message, please take your dog back to the vet asap.

      Source

  11. Noël says:

    I mixed orange juice with cranberry juice and my puppy had no problems drinking so I’d say try the juice before buying capsules. She loves the juices and they definitely helped with her uti.

    Thanks!

  12. Emily says:

    How much cranberry juice should I give my pet of 15 pounds? Thanks

    • isak says:

      Dogs will typically not drink cranberry juice, so giving tablets or capsules is a good option option. Also they are super concentrated. Give one 200-mg capsule per 10 pounds of dog each day.

      As far as juice goes, most cranberry juices are watered down and filled with sugar, so make sure the juice you are using is pure 100% juice(no sugar added!). While you might have luck, you’ll probably have a rather hard time getting your dog to drink 100%, straight-up, no-water-or-sugar-added cranberry juice. It’s very bitter. If you go this route, add it to their food or water at an amount they will tolerate, then increase it over time. Or you can mix it with something like plain yogurt and squirt it down their throat at an amount of about 1 tablespoon 2x per day.

  13. Kim says:

    I have a question, I have a 12 week old puppy she is 26 pounds. She is having UTI symptoms and I have Cranberry capsules however they are only 500 mg. How many would I give her? I take them and the powder inside is very bitter. I have been giving her dried cranberries in her meals and she gobbles them up.

    • isak says:

      If you want to use the capsules, perhaps you can bury the powder inside food — like canned dog food or even a bit of sour cream. It’s great that she gobbles up the dried cranberries.

  14. Theresa Sales says:

    Hello!
    I found your article to be especially helpful. I am wondering what the ratio is of Apple Cider Vinegar to water. For my chickens, i use 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
    Thanks for the help so far,
    Theresa

    • isak says:

      It’s more about the quantity of ACV than the mix. You would like to try 1 tsp. for a small dog and 1 tbs. for a medium-large dog. So mix it with enough water that your dog will drink it. You can start with less and build up to the desired amount as your dog gets accustomed to the flavor.

      If you add it to your dog’s drinking water, you should also offer plain water, just in case your dog doesn’t want to drink the water with the ACV in it. You don’t want to risk his/her drinking less water and possibly becoming dehydrated.

  15. Teena says:

    Dear Isak,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me and your advice regarding the fish oil.

    We have taken Megy off the loxicom and decided to give her the pardale alone as you suggested however it is a nightmare trying to get Megy to take the pardale as she finds it very unpalatable and so we wondered if perhaps there was a more palatable pain killer for treating pain whilst maintaining the efficacy of pardale, please?

    We have already tried first thing this morning the cat food as you suggest and she ate a little which was encouraging. We also tried the pardale in this also but no luck as she has become so cute to the fact we are trying to disguise it and she hates it…! We are cooking the menu from recipe one as I write and looking forward very much to seeing her eat something that we now know will be beneficial for her and we will keep you posted.

    We cannot thank you enough for the generosity of your time, help and advice. Thank you Teena

    • isak says:

      You would need to check with your vet to see if there is an alternative to pardale. Have you tried wrapping it in cheese — those individual slices you use to make grilled cheese sandwiches? The cheese is kind of sticky and can make it so dogs can’t spit out the pill. Glad to hear the cat food worked, even a little. I hope the home cooking was a hit, too!

  16. Teena says:

    Dear Isak,

    Thank you so much for your kind and very prompt reply. We did take Megy to a specialist referral and it was there that the diagnosis was made from the ultra scan & xray. We were told it was a transient cell carcinoma and that it was very advanced. We did consider the biopsy of course for a definite diagnosis but were told that it was highly inlikely to yield any additional information. My instinct was to have the facts however when you are faced with professionals who think that because your treasured pet is 15 years old, that you should do the decent thing, give your pet a cuddle and say goodbye…., and this unfortunately is the prevailing attitude of practitioners in this country, it is so difficult to take a stand when you are looked upon as a crazy freak so bucking the trend….! Even the fact that we asked for a scan made us feel guilty that we were going beyond the cultural norm and putting Megy through unnecessary procedures…!

    Sorry for ranting but we are limited in our options for a second opinion…! We do however intend taking her off the loxicom and sticking with the pardale as you suggest. Megy is 14.5 kg and we have been told 3 pardales per day is the maximum we can give. Can you suggest an alternative which maybe more palatable please?

    Thank you very much for the recipes for kidney failure and we will try this immediately. In recipe one there is the addition of fish oil, is this ok to use when Megy has pancreatitis?

    Many thanks again for your great help, prompt and detailed reply. You are very kind.

    Teena

    • isak says:

      It doesn’t matter what practitioners think. It’s what you feel and what you need so that you understand all your options. It does seem that sometimes people diminish the value of a life when that life speaks a different language, but our life is the only thing in this world that is genuinely ours. It certainly deserves respect and care.

      Fish body oil, such as salmon oil or EPA oil (not cod liver oil), may seem counterintuitive at first, because of its high fat content, but it can actually help lower blood lipid levels (both triglycerides and cholesterol). Studies have also found it to be beneficial in treating acute pancreatitis, while its effects on chronic pancreatitis are unknown. When supplementing with fish body oil, also supplement with vitamin E.

      What are you looking for an alternative to? The lexicom?

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