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 (NO grapefruit). These can help boost the acid level of the dog’s urine.

Grapefruit has the potential to actually be toxic to your dog, even the essential oils.. The peel, pith and seeds are the most dangerous as they contain chemical compounds known as psoralens which can cause lethargy, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, photo-sensitivity, drooling, trembling and a sensitivity to light. Toxicity can be fatal.

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.

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


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.


  1. Thomas skinner says:

    My big girl has a history of urine infections, she is 90 pounds and i would like to start giving here cranberry pills but don’t know how many caps. to give her. hoping you would be kindness enough to help me out… Can’t afford to keep going to the vet, but love my big girl dearly, loves her with all my heart. both of them I have two..looking forward to your wise words of wisdom. thanks Ms. S

    • isak says:

      90 lbs? Just a wee one, eh? And there are 2 of them? That’s a lot of dog love.

      The dosage depends on the product that you use. There are chewables like Cranberry Bladder Bites and powders that you sprinkle on the food like NaturVet Cranberry Relief Urinary Support as well as pills & tablets in various strengths. All created for dogs and cats. So the best suggestion I have is to follow the dosage on the label for the product you decide on.

  2. Jesse says:

    Mt 5 month old female pit bull has urine like breathe an I’m worried she may have a kidney infection. Can I give her my antibiotics for previous kidney issues but in much smaller dosages?

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry, I think there is a typo in your question. I don’t understand what you mean by “has urine like breathe.” What are the antibiotics that you have?

  3. Margaret Morrison says:

    My 4 month old staffy pup has a uti he is Peeing a?ot àny not making it outside in time. He was sort o crying a couple of times when Peeing, but both always. I have seen on the internet dogs can be given trimithapin so I’ve gave him one 50ml tablet in the morning and the same at night. But I’m worried in case it’s not correct. I will buy him cranberry pills tomorrow. What dosage is he mènt to get of the trimithapin? I can’t afford to go to the vet just now as I’m disabled and my husband had to recently stop work to care for me. Please help I love my wee Bailey baby so much.

    • isak says:

      Is he drinking more water than normal? I ask because you said he is peeing a lot. Is he actually peeing a lot or attempting to pee often? The reason I ask is because I wonder: does he have a UTI or is he experiencing a blockage. There’s an important difference as a blockage can cause a backup that will affect other organs.

      Are you seeing any blood in his urine?

      Vets may prescribe a combination of Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole for a UTI — two antibiotics that work in combination for fight bacteria — generally at a dosage of 12 mg/lb. They will generally include a pain reliever, too. If you have ever had a bladder infection, you know they are painful. That is probably why he is crying — from pain.

      In this case, I would recommend that you have your vet check him out. He’s so young that you want to be sure about what’s going on.

  4. Quadena R Rhodes says:

    I have a minature Schnauzer that has a UTI and i got the Uva Ursi but in a capsule of 450mg. I had a hard time finding the tablet but he weighs 20pds so how or what do i do to give him the capsule? Will it hurt to give him the whole capsule like once a day or what?

    • isak says:

      I can’t find the dosage for the tablet. So, when we don’t know, we usually tend to extrapolate from the human dose. There should be a dosage chart on the bottle that will help you determine how much for 20 lbs. It can be toxic if given in too high a dose. I suggest you use it for 4-5 days in a row when it seems like an infection is brewing, but I would not use it long term. It can cause a reduction in potassium levels if used long term.

  5. lin says:

    My 11# Yorkie (age 8) has a uti each year. This year Im stressed financially and I bought Nux Vomica 30c pills. The directions online vary. One says put 3 pills in her mouth BUT not how OFTEN

    other says put 3 pills in 1/2 water times a day but not for how long. Also heard of Arnica Montana, but how much when.. She wont d3rink cranberry juice

    She swallowed one pill an hour ago

    • isak says:

      My understanding is that Nux Vomica works for removing toxins in her system. There’s more info here. Their dosage recommendation is: Give one dose every 30 minutes or more frequently if symptoms are severe. Reduce dosage to one time a day. Stop when you see improvement and do not repeat again until symptoms recur.

      Arnica is usually used for dogs with muscle aches, strains and other associated injuries. It has also been used on dogs with emotional stress and can even aid in the rehabilitation process after dogs have experienced brain or spinal cord injuries. Arnica is not intended for prolonged use as it can, over-time cause adverse side effects. It can also irritate the digestive system. Not a good candidate for a uti.

  6. kat says:

    Just dry food. Vet recommended nothing else. What do you suggest?

    • isak says:

      The two brands you suggested make a canned version (I think they both do). You might get some canned food from them, too, and just put a bit on top of the dry kibble.

  7. kat says:

    She licks her butt but does not scoot. She has had her anal glands empty and there was not much in them. I am trying to decide on what food to switch her to, there is first mate or Dr. Gary best breed. I saw those on chewy.com.

    • isak says:

      I love Chewy. There’s something nice about having the food delivered! 🙂

      I’m not familiar with those foods, so thanks for the heads up. Both sound like good choices. Personally, I’m partial to limited ingredient foods which First Mate seems to be.

      Do you feed her just dry food or do you dress it with a bit of canned on top or even moisten her dry food? I generally recommend adding moisture either with some canned food added in and/or moistening the kibble.

  8. kat says:

    Thank you so much for the advice. I am using the purina urinary dry dog food (it is what the vet says she needs) I had her on just a grain free before the bladder infections got bad and he frowned on it. I will google and see what food I can find.I will continue the yogurt and methigel…thank you. The vet has her on fish oil pills as well. I have bought so many things to try and help her, she constantly licks her bottom which tell me she is having a flare up.
    Thank you again for the advice!

    • isak says:

      Does she also scoot her butt or just lick? Scooting can indicate an issue with anal sacs — which is generally related to diet.

      Is she licking her butt or her vagina? How are her stools?

  9. Kat says:

    I have a year old mix lab/pit. She started with urinary tract infections at 14 weeks old. She has had 4 since. The vet put her on purina urinary tract dog food, and multiple rounds of antibiotics and no table food or treats. Every time we go back for check up she still has traits of infection. I give her fish oil, yogurt and cranberry pill every day plus just started giving her methigel and solid gold berry. Any other advice would be much appreciated.

    • isak says:

      Have you tried using test strips to determine the pH level of her urine? The pH level indicates the acidity of the urine. In healthy pets, the urine pH is typically in the 6.5 to 7.0 range. If the pH is acidic (pH below 6) or alkaline (pH above 7) it may allow bacteria to thrive and crystals or stones to form. However, don’t be alarmed if your pet’s urine pH is not 6.5. Throughout the day there are normal pH variations in the urine, especially associated with eating certain foods and medications. So, one single slightly higher or lower urine pH reading is not alarming if the rest of the tests are within the normal range.

      With this knowledge, you can adjust her diet and supplements. Though cranberry can discourage bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, it can also affect pH much as food does. Perhaps try the yogurt and methigel alone for a few weeks and see what effect that has on her pH. Then you can slowly add back in some of the supplements if need be. At least with the test strips, you can see what your changes are doing.

      You might also check into a grain-free urinary dog food. One of the Purina urinary foods uses corn as its first ingredient. I don’t know if that is the one you are using or not, but some dogs are sensitive to grains which are a very typical ingredient in dog food.

  10. TRINA DAvis says:

    I have really enjoyed reading all of the post and replies ,seams they were all helpful in some way or another. I however am wondering if there ia a way to tell between UTI OR POSSIBLE KIDNEY DISEASE.

  11. Tracy says:

    Iv a six months old pup that’s keeps peeing and it’s out of the normal for and keeps peeing every ware witch is not like him as if he’s no control overis peeing.

    • isak says:

      Is he drinking lots of water also? Can you see the pee? Does it look just clear or yellowish? Has he been out in the heat?
      Maybe you can take him out more often — every couple hours, then start doing this a little less often. Maybe he has forgotten his training.

  12. Marci says:

    I am alarmed by your comments about grapefruit and its toxicity to dogs. Are you referring to Grapefruit Seed Extract as well? There are many websites that indicate GSE is beneficial and safe for use in dogs. I have used it on my dogs and now I am concerned.

    • isak says:

      There are likely many people who feed their dogs grapefruit without incident, and maybe in the processing of Grapefruit Seed Extract, the toxic compound psoralen has been modified. You will know if grapefruit is a problem for your dogs if you notice the signs of toxicity: vomiting, diarrhea, behavioral changes, such as depression, or photo sensitivity. In general, it’s not a good idea to give your dog grapefruit. There are other options like blueberries.

    • isak says:

      There are likely many people who feed their dogs grapefruit without incident, and maybe in the processing of Grapefruit Seed Extract, the toxic compound psoralen has been modified. You will know if grapefruit is a problem for your dogs if you notice the signs of toxicity: vomiting, diarrhea, behavioral changes, such as depression, or photo sensitivity. In general, it’s not a good idea to give your dog grapefruit. There are other options like blueberries.

  13. Otis ratliffe says:

    I have a 11 year old Maltese mix, diagnosed with crystals or stones in his bladder is there anything I can buy to dissolve those crystals that are in his bladder or does he have to go through the surgery in order for them to be removed. Im giving him cranberry juice but also a little acv to help him urinate. There was blood in his urine I’m wondering is there any other Alternatives besides surgery, the vet said it would be about $3,000 in order to remove the crystals any suggestions to help my little boy.

    • isak says:

      It would depend on why the vet is recommending the surgery. Depending on the patient and the location and size of the stone, there are some other less invasive procedures that might be appropriate. These include a technique called laser lithotripsy that breaks down stones into smaller pieces that can then be voided out, and a procedure called voiding urohydropropulsion, which is a technique that involves manually expressing stones out through the urethra while the patient is sedated. More info here.

      Because different stones require entirely different treatment — and often completely opposite treatment — it’s critical to identify the type of stone accurately.

      If he has struvite crystals then you may be able to control it with food. You can also add supplements like Berry Balance to help or cranberry pills. Many dog owners control struvite crystals with either a raw diet, or a kibble diet. (I’ll talk about struvite because they are the most common type, and calcium oxalate crystals cannot easily be controlled by diet except to avoid foods high in oxalate). Struvites form in alkaline urine, so to prevent them you need to keep the pH of the urine more on the acidic side. You should choose a high quality kibble accordingly. Or even better, a high quality canned food. A pH of 7 is neutral. Everything above 7 is alkaline, and everything below 7 is acidic.

      Some people also use Ester C (vitamin C), apple cider vinegar, and “tinkle tonic” to help. Often people buy pH strips so they can test the urine and make sure it is staying on the acidic side. Also, lots of fluids is important daily to keep the system flushed and moving. But check your water, too. Does it have too many minerals? Some people also use a solution of water and apple cider vinegar to cleanse the pee area on the pup as often crystals often come with infections, like UTIs and bladder infections.

      Let us know how things go… and good luck.

  14. Wendy Mclemore says:

    I have a pitbul and she has a kidney infection with some blood in her urine and i would like to know how much cranberry juice or dried cranberries or cranberry sauce to give her she is 4 years old and weighs 75 pounds and how much apple cider vingar to give her and how often on all thank you

    • isak says:

      Because she has blood present in her urine, you need to be watchful. If it doesn’t improve in a day’s time, she should be seen by your vet. If she is going a little, then stopping, then starting again, this is a sign that she is in pain. She stops because it hurts. This would warrant a trip to the vet, too.

      Apple cider vinegar: You can give her apple cider vinegar by mixing it with water. For a 75-lb dog, mix 1 tablespoon in her water bowl. You should also offer a small bowl of plain water just in case she doesn’t want to drink the water with the ACV in it. You don’t want to risk her drinking less water and possibly becoming dehydrated.

      Cranberry: Because cranberries are a bit tart, an easier way to go is to use cranberry extract capsules. One 3000 mg capsule is equivalent to 24 ounces of cranberry juice. For 75 lbs, give your dog ½ capsule three times a day.

      Good luck.

  15. Mareena Mendez says:

    Hi, I noticed two days ago now that my 1 and a half year old male pitbull is having trouble urinating. He takes forvever to urinate and very little comes out at a time. He squats down low and looks uncomfortable doing so. My dog is potty trained but has urinated in the house multiple times inside the house for the last two days. He still has a good appetite and still drinks plenty of water. He isn’t crying or having much of a reaction besides the constant need to urinate. His bladder doesn’t looked irritated. I’m nervous to give him a bath because I do not know if the shampoo will irritate his bladder. I did however, mix some cranberry juice(no sugar added) to his wet food and he did eat it. He didn’t like the cranberry alone. But drank it while mixed in with his food. I’ve never dealt with this before and I’m worried about my dog. How long does it take to see some improvement with his maybe UTI after drinking the cranberry juice? What else can I do to get rid of this possiblE UTI?

    • isak says:

      Males can have more difficulties eliminating waste (peeing) than females because of the design of their “plumbing.” It narrows the further from the body it gets so if there is any kind of blockage — like crystals, they will not be able to fully eliminate all the liquid in their bladder. As a result, they will pee multiple times and only a little at a time. In this case, cranberry will not help.

      Cranberry creates an environment that makes it more difficult for bacteria to thrive. However, your boy may have crystals and cranberry will not help. So you should have your vet check him out. If you can’t get him to your vet, ask them if you can bring in a urine sample. This may be cheaper as a vet tech may be able to perform the test.

      Collect a urine sample in the morning in a clean container and take it in to your vet for evaluation. The sooner you get it to the vet, the better. Morning samples are best as they are the most concentrated and reflect what is going on with the bladder. Your vet can prescribe the appropriate antibiotic. And they may recommend a change in his diet.

      It’s important that you address this asap as urine can back up in his system and cause further, more serious problems. It can also be painful.

  16. Ruby Cooper says:

    Can I give my dog AZO she is mix dog weights about 20 lb I know she has. Uti

    • isak says:

      AZO is not recommended for dogs. You could try a cranberry extract chewable for dogs (usually at petsmart or pet stores). Encourage her to drink more to flush her bladder. You can do this by adding water to her food or purchasing her food in canned formula to increase flushing of the bladder. For pain, you can give her a coated aspirin — a typical dose rate would be is 5 mg per pound of your dog’s body weight twice daily. But this should not be done for long term.

      If you can’t get her in to your vet, see if you can take them a urine sample. This may be cheaper as a vet tech may be able to perform the test. Collect a urine sample in the morning in a clean container and take it in to your vet for evaluation. Morning samples are best as they are the most concentrated and reflect what is going on with the bladder. Your vet can prescribe the appropriate antibiotic.

  17. Hema Muralidaran says:


    Can cranberry capsules be given to 12 week old puppies? I adopted a Boxmas and she was urinating all over the place yesterday and had blood in her urine today. I took her to the vet and he prescribed antibiotics. Is it okay to give a puppy cranberry capsule?

    • isak says:

      You can but because of her small size, dosing can be difficult so you risk altering the pH of her urine to be too acidic. This can create new problems. It’s probably best at this point to go the antibiotic route to eliminate the bacterial infection causing the UTI.

  18. Shaz says:

    What dosage of cranberry capsule for my 13kg dog prone to cystitis. ?……………she. eats 5 dried cranberries or blueberries in morning with her dried food.
    Would u recommend wiping her with baby wipes after urinating?

    Many thanks

    • isak says:

      It’s based on the capsule. One 3000 mg capsule is equivalent to 24 ounces of cranberry juice. So you would give her 1/8 capsule 3 times a day. But you do need to be careful with how much you’re giving her. You don’t want her urine to be too acidic, or that’ll just cause other problems, such as oxalyte crystals. You can buy testing strips that you touch to her urine stream to monitor.

      I don’t think using baby wipes will hurt. You can certainly try them. You might also add some moist food to her diet as the increased moisture should make her urinate a bit more and flush out her kidneys more often so bacteria will not have time to form and grow.

  19. Francesca Bevivino says:

    I have a 90lbs pit suffering frequent urination, breaking house training and I can’t afford a vet bill; what is better dry cranberries or pills and how much and how often should I give it to her?

    • isak says:

      You may have better luck with the pills as some dogs don’t like the taste of dry cranberries.

      The dosage:
      • Cats and small dogs: 100 mg, three times per day
      • Medium sized dogs: 200 mg, three times per day
      • Large dogs: 300 mg, three times per day
      • Giant breed dogs: 400 mg, three times per day

      But you do need to be careful with how much you’re giving her. You don’t want her urine to be too acidic, or that’ll just cause other problems, such as oxalyte crystals.

      Generally, the vet will prescribe an amoxicillin-based antibiotic like clavamox. You can purchase amoxicillin from a pet store where fish products are served. It is labelled for fish tank usage and is called Fish-Mox, but it is the same amoxicillin that the doctor prescribes. Animals that are allergic to penicillin should not, under any circumstance, take Amoxicillin. The usual dose of amoxicillin in dogs and cats is 5-10mg/pound every 12-24 hours.

  20. John Quodomine says:

    Where it says citrus juices can be used is a little unclear. From a quick Google search it appears that grapefruit, while included under “citrus”, is actually toxic and should not be given to dogs. So although it doesn’t suggest grapefruit it might be good to warn against using it if you generalize and say “citrus juices.”

  21. 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.

  22. 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! 🙂

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.


  31. 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.


  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. Theresa Sales says:

    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,

    • 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.


    • 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?

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *