Urinary tract infections in dogs … called UTIs … are very common. But what are they really? Let’s understand how we can help them naturally.
What Are UTIs In Dogs? We often assume a UTI means your pup has a urinary tract infection … caused by a urinary pathogen or some type of bacterial infection. The disease might not be what it seems. Many bladder issues most times come 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 to understand and treat bladder problems in your canine.
What Are The Signs Of UTIs In Canines
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 both genders 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.
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.
What Treatment Options Are For UTIs In Canines?
There are many natural remedies for UTIs in canines … so it’s best to avoid antibiotics, even though most vets will prescribe them as the main treatment option as this keeps them in business.
Antibiotics For UTIs In Dogs
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!
5 Home Remedies For
Urinary Tract Infections In Dog
Amazing tips from dogs naturally
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
Many people believe cranberries change the pH of your dog’s urine to control the types of bacteria that can survive in the urinary tract. But it’s actually a sugar in cranberries, called D-mannose, that helps with UTIs.
How D-Mannose Helps UTIS In Dogs 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.
So don’t forget 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. To learn more about natural options for your pet, give us a call to set up your wellness consult today!