Cocker Spaniel prevent urinary tract infection

How To Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs

Knowing how to prevent a urinary tract infection in dogs can save you and your pet a lot of stress. Most dogs who are diagnosed with a simple and uncomplicated urinary tract infection recover without incident, which is good news.

Sadly, about 25 percent of pets that develop a urinary tract infection will get a recurrence at some point during their lifetime.

My first Cocker Spaniel battled urinary tract infections for several years. I kept a dog journal of all her veterinary visits and medical issues. Looking back, she had over 10 UTIs before we finally got them under control. 

I’ll share what worked for us and other pet parents to help prevent urinary tract infections in dogs. Always talk to your dog’s veterinarian if you plan to introduce any “natural” supplements to your dog’s diet. A dog’s urine pH can be severely altered by supplements or diet, but more about that shortly.       

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also a Chewy affiliate.

How Do Dogs Get a Urinary Tract Infection?

Bacteria is the number one cause of UTIs in dogs. Think about how most dogs pee: they squat, especially female dogs. The bacteria come into contact with the dog’s private parts and enters upward through the urethral opening. 

Bacteria forms when feces or debris enters the area. Dogs who have a weakened immune system or eat a poor diet may also be more prone to UTIs. 

Urine in a dog’s bladder should be sterile. When bacteria make their way into a dog’s urethra and bladder, they grow and reproduce. The result is a UTI. 

Not all UTIs are created equal. They may be caused by bacteria, crystals in the urine, bacteria, diabetes, and even certain medications.

Other dogs may develop bladder stones with a urinary tract infection, which is why a veterinarian must see your dog if a UTI is suspected. 

What Are the Signs of a UTI?

UTIs manifest in many ways. Your dog may strain to pee without any or very little output. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know the pressure and pain associated with trying to void without success. 

Your dog may whine, cry out, whimper, or ask to go outside repeatedly. She may lick at her genital area from time to time. You might even see droplets of blood in the urine. Oftentimes, the blood is microscopic and not visible to the naked eye.

Housebroken dogs who suddenly start peeing in the house should be evaluated. The dog cannot “hold it” if pressure or pain are involved from stones or bacteria. Sometimes, dogs will pee in the house if they feel stressed. 

Dogs may also drink more, seem excessively tired, and their urine may have a strong odor. Our Cocker Spaniel experienced “dribbling” where the urine would drip out of her in the house.

How to Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs

Never second guess or assume your dog has a UTI. It is imperative that you know the cause because kidney stones, physical malformations, or medication side effects are separate issues. 

Here’s what has worked for us once we learned the cause of our dog’s urinary tract infections:

Perform Urine Checks At Home Regularly

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, a urine test strip will be dipped into your dog’s urine as a first check. You can do the same thing at home in between appointments. We highly recommend you do this, as it has been a lifesaver for us.

I buy urinary test strips for my dog online. When used properly, the strips can detect if your pooch has a urinary tract infection. Not all test strips are created equal, so check reviews and be sure to throw them out when expired.

Collect the dog’s urine with a free catch in the morning when it is most concentrated, dip the stick in, wait for the time recommendations (2 minutes for most), and then compare against the colors on the bottle. (strips expire and are about $35 for 100 but so worth it – about the same cost as one urinalysis at the vet, so very cost-effective).

You do not want the dog’s urine stream to come into contact with the ground or any debris or dirt. I use a clean, never washed disposable plastic container with a lid and place the urine in the fridge until I see the vet…the sooner the better that day so an accurate sample is given to the vet. Never get your fingers near it.

In healthy pets, the urine pH is typically in the 6.5 to 7.0 range. Medicines, age, co-existing health conditions, and even stress can change the level of pH. In addition, the most concentrated form of urine is the “free catch” first thing in the morning.

Chewy also carries a 10-in-1 veterinary-grade urine testing strip kit for dogs.

Pro Tip: Catch your dog’s urine using a soup ladle, the PawCheck P-Scoop, or a plastic container when you take your pooch outside. Don’t use soapy water to clean the ladle or container so it doesn’t interfere with the reading. (I use hot water and dry with a paper towel before storing the container).

prevent urinary tract infection in dogs

Consider Cranberry Capsules

When my first Cocker Spaniel developed chronic urinary tract infections in her middle years, treatment was generally monitoring her urine and watching for symptoms.

After talking with some friends in the veterinary field and doing a bit of research, I discovered cranberry capsules. Cranberry in general helps to promote a healthy urinary tract by preventing bacteria from adhering to the mucosal lining of the urinary bladder.

In other words, the bacteria are there but the cranberry prevents them from sticking to the bladder wall. There are precautions to take and the administration and/or addition of any medication or vitamin/supplement should be discussed with a veterinarian first.

Avoid capsules or supplements that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. Xylitol and birch sugar can kill a dog. Cranberry is a berry and has a certain amount of natural sugars in it. Cranberry in general will change the pH of the urine and you don’t want a dog with too high of a pH or too low: Stones can result.

Some pet parents prefer to give their dogs a cranberry supplement in a chewable form. We like Zesty Paws’ Cranberry Bladder Bites.

Make Sure Your Dog Drinks Enough Water

Drinking water is essential and crucial to a dog’s overall well-being. I hear from pet parents all the time who tell me their dog doesn’t drink enough and how can they get their dog to drink?

In general, a healthy dog drinks about 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Frequent drinking (polydipsia) is a sign of other health issues, like diabetes, so always monitor your dog’s water intake. Knowing the amount of water your dog should drink helps you determine if your dog is drinking too little or too much. Flushing the kidneys and urinary tract is one way to keep crystals from forming and to keep dogs healthy.

Dogs love cool, clean, fresh water. This is totally possible using the Drinkwell Water Fountain.

Here’s How to Get Your Dog To Drink More Water

Consider Vitamin C

For a period of time, before we discovered cranberry capsules, we added vitamin C to our dog’s diet. Though dogs are capable of making their own vitamin C, this water-soluble antioxidant may help in fighting off urinary tract infections when given in extra doses.

In her book, Four Paws, Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dog, Cheryl Schwartz, DVM, says the forms of Vitamin C best absorbed by the intestinal tract are calcium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate, as they are also both less likely to cause diarrhea.

Re-evaluate Your Dog’s Diet

Feed your dog natural, high-quality pet food, free of by-products and fillers which is appropriate to their nutritional requirements. We feed a moist pet food (Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health) and ensure our dog drinks an adequate amount of water daily.

Dog food can actually cause kidney stones, which is why keeping an eye on the pH level of your dog’s urine is so important.

Here’s what we feed our dogs.

Take Your Dog To Potty More Often

Urine is not meant to sit in a bladder for inordinate periods of time. We took our Cocker Spaniel out every two to three hours until bedtime. The more your dog has the opportunity to eliminate, the better. 

Keep Your Dog Well-Groomed

Dogs who are not properly groomed or whose hair or tail is unkempt may experience more UTIs. The reason is simple: the hair collects moisture, urine, and bacteria and the cycle begins. 

Male dogs are less likely to develop UTIs, but it happens. Intact males may develop prostate issues which can lead to UTIs. 

Learn to groom your Cocker Spaniel at home like we did, even if that means just certain body parts in between professional grooming sessions.

dog looking at urine on floor

Consider Medications to Change Your Dog’s Urine pH

By making it more difficult for your bacteria to grow, your dog may avoid UTIs for the long haul. The urine should not be too acidic nor too alkaline, as in either case stones can form. This is why urinary test strips at home can be a lifesaver.

Consider Canine Probiotics or Supplements

Sometimes all it takes is the right probiotic or supplement to get your dog’s urinary tract back on track. Some of the favorites that we use are:

Dr. Harvey’s Kidney Health Support Supplement: Just sprinkle it into food.

Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites: Supports gut health, gut flora, and immune function with six probiotics.

FortiFlora Pro Plan Veterinary Supplement: I’ve used this as directed by our veterinarian to support my dog’s intestinal microflora.

Nutramax Proviable-DC Digestive Health Supplement: A staple in our household as directed by our veterinarian to use as needed. Supports GI health in times of stress from diet, travel, etc.

Nutramax Crananidin Urinary Tract Health Supplement: Chewable and helps stop bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

Are Bladder Infections the Same As Urinary Tract Infections?

Bladder infections are a type of UTI in dogs, but not all urinary tract infections are bladder infections. The National Institutes of Health, bladder infections are the most common type of UTI. Your veterinarian may call it cystitis, meaning inflammation of the urinary bladder.

The most common cause of cystitis in dogs is bacteria. However, dogs may be experiencing bladder stones, a tumor, benign polyps in the bladder, congenital issues, neurologic problems, and diverticula. Cystitis is a general term that applies to any inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder.

Stress or any sort of upset in a dog’s life can instigate UTIs. If a dog is exposed to trauma at home, a chaotic household is left alone for long periods of time, or has other stressors, her immune system may become depressed. 

What Tests Should My Veterinarian Perform?

In the event you suspect your dog has a UTI, your veterinarian should perform a few tests. The most basic test is a urinalysis or UA. The best time of day to collect urine is in the morning in a sterile container, as it is most concentrated then.

Your vet may want to perform cystocentesis in some cases. The veterinarian will insert a sterile needle into your dog’s full bladder. Urine is withdrawn into the sterile syringe. 

The urine will be analyzed to look at color and turbidity (if it is cloudy), to see how concentrated it is, to measure pH, and examine the cells and if any material is present. 

A urine culture, or urine culture and sensitivity test, is often performed and sent off to an outside lab. Not all bacteria are created equal. What causes one dog’s UTI may not be the same reason in another dog. Your dog’s urine culture will grow in a laboratory to see which bacteria is the culprit. 

Your vet may also perform an abdominal x-ray or ultrasound if stones are suspected. 

What If My Dog’s UTI Won’t Go Away With Treatment?

Recurrent detection of bacteria in a dog’s urine can be troublesome. Dogs who suffer from bacterial UTIs at least three times a year or twice in six months are considered to have recurrent infections. 

According to DVM360, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be “as effective to treat a UTI in veterinary patients based on human studies.”

However, some veterinarians will not use NSAIDs for canine UTIs other than to abate symptoms while waiting for culture and sensitivity results.

Recurrent UTIs can be a sign of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). Early detection is key. Dogs may also experience recurrent UTIs due to:

  1. Relapse because the original infection never cleared up or the antibiotic prescribed wasn’t effective for the strain or wasn’t taken for a long enough period of time.
  2. Irritated urethra: Dogs may experience dermatitis from urine that collects in the folds of the genital area. Because bacteria thrive and grow in a moist, dark environment, a UTI may occur over and over.
  3. Urinary retention happens in dogs the same way as in people. If a dog isn’t able to fully empty her bladder during urination, UTIs may result. This can be caused by muscle weakness, urethral or bladder rupture, or even some sort of injury. 
  4. Underlying illness can affect a dog in many ways. If your dog suffers from diabetes, UTI symptoms appear before or after the diagnosis. Dogs with Cushing’s Disease tend to get recurrent urinary problems.

Urinary tract infections in dogs are either acute (sudden onset) or chronic (ongoing). Understanding why your dog is getting UTis is the key to preventing them. 

How to prevent a dog urinary tract infection

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64 Comments

  1. I had a real bad one as a tiny puppy, but that was from the cold outside, and my bare belly. I just had one this spring too, it was a bad one and took a while to get rid of along with pills that cost $11 a piece! Not sure where that one came from, but hoping not to have anymore of them. The vet said being short and walking all over like we do, it is easy for bacteria to get in and sometimes it just happens.

    1. Very interesting, Emma. Yes, those low to the ground dogs can get any number of things due to their shorter statures. Glad it got cleared up for you.

  2. This article is really note worthy. I never considered monitoring my pet’s urine with the dip sticks. This is great. I just ordered them online and as soon as they arrive, I am going to monitor weekly. I have an upcoming vet appointment and am going to discuss the cranberry capsules. As soon as I get the approval of my vet, I am going to order those, too. Thanks for the tips, Carol. You’re a wealth of information for pet parents.

    1. Some caveats come to mind. Sodium ascorbate increases levels of sodium in your pooch. Calcium ascorbate increases calcium levels. For those who are raw feeders, that could cause problems if calcium levels get too high. Calcium and phosphorus need to be in about a 2:1 ratio, and imbalance can cause health issues. It is arguable whether or not cranberry actually does prevent or destroy urinary tract bacteria. If you use it, make sure you use a brand containing no sugar. A good brand is Sundown Cranberry Fruit, which is recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet. Much also depends on what type of bacteria the dog has in its urine. D-Mannos is an excellent, reasonably safe way to help destroy e coli, but does little to nothing for other types of bacteria. It should be used 2 or 3 days past the day you think the infection is cleared, then stop. It tends to act as a diuretic, and you don’t want to dehydrate your dog. It is really, really important to know what kind of bacteria you need to treat. It is necessary to get a urine culture, not just or urine analysis. Urine analyses do not tell what kind of bacteria are causing infection. Some vets now also test for microbials. If your vet doesn’t recommend a urine culture and just throws any old antibiotics at you, you should probably consider another vet. UTIs are very harmful, and very costly to fight, especially if your dog has recurring infections. Infections are considered recurring if two or more UTIs within six months, or three within a year. Many dogs become incontinent, which contributes to infections. It helps to shave or at least trim the hair surrounding the vulva area, because hair is an excellent harbor for breeding bacteria. Keep the area clean as best as possible. Do not use soaps or shampoos or other cleansers. Just use clean warm water, and saturate the area a bit several times. Soaps and cleansers will not prevent bacteria, and any that have perfume or chemicals could actually cause infections, and may irritate the sensitive vulva lining. When you do a pH test of urine, this alone will not tell you if your dog has a UTI. It will only tell you its pH level, which fluctuates continually throughout the day. If you dog is predominantly above a pH of 7,0 his urine is alkaline, and if below 7.0, it is acidic. If your dog is prone to recurring UTIs, it might be best to keep the pH level between 5.5 to 6.0. Lastly, I recommend using Chinese herbal remedies as an alternative to continual rounds of antibiotics. Bacteria can become immune to the same antibiotics after repeated use, and then you are out of an option. Use antibiotics to clear the infection, be sure to retest with a urine culture to be certain you got all of it, then try to find safe herbal remedies for maintenance to help prevent future infections, or at least have fewer of them. For acute UTIs, consider Si Miao Wan, used for centuries by women in China. It is safe if used per the directions. It is a diuretic, so only use for a week or so. If there is no improvement, then it isn’t working and you should probably try antibiotics. The teapills are good, as they each contain smaller quantities of herbs, and therefore are easier to get lower doses for medium and small dogs. With any herb, start first with a very small amount for a day or two to ensure there are no adverse reactions. Try to use the least amount necessary to fight the infection. This might take a couple infections to find out your particular dog’s safe level. If you are fortunate enough to have a vet who is actually a real holist, you can get more help with dosing and duration of treatment. Do your homework carefully, as it is easy to think herbs can’t hurt, but believe me, some herbs can kill. If you aren’t sure, consult with a professional. For those pets that develop stones, San Jin Wan may be used, and may also be used for UTIs. This is also a diuretic, and so caution should be used.

      1. Lisa, Can you please tell me where it is documented that D Mannorse extended use can act like a diuretic. I have a dog that is being treated for TCC (cancer of bladder) and is getting this daily.

    2. just remember , all ‘DRs’ make money off of the Medications they sell – And like human meds they only treat the symptoms and not the cause

    1. Thanks a lot, Sharon. It would be more difficult, I would imagine, for dogs with paralysis and seeing any symptoms ahead of time. I hope this info helps.

    2. Yes I am battling this one…. 🙁 Found this wondering if I could test at home, Will certainly be looking into it, Thanks. I’ve seen D-mannose powder recommended too? Apparently the same effect as cranberry.

  3. Excellent information, thank you! Such easy ways to help prevent UTI’s. My dog had her first (diagnosed) UTI recently and was prescribed meds. Preventing UTI’s in the first place is much preferred!

    1. It is dreadful and I was so upset when we were battling chronic ones until we got wiser and knocked them out for good. I wish the same for your dog, Leah. Seems like the females are more prone than males. Is your affected dog a female?

  4. Luckily, Shiner has never had any issues with them but I know they can be a real pain in the butt. Those strips look identical to the ones we used for a urinalysis in the vet clinic. Super easy to use!

  5. Awesome article and I love knowing about the home testing kit! Haley had an infection once that showed up after visiting a friend’s dog that also had an infection. They say they aren’t contagious so to speak, but I still wonder if that was a factor. Thanks for the great information, Carol!

  6. D-mannose works extremely well in preventing UTIs in humans and dogs. You can buy it on Amazon (we use NOW brand); it is the same sugar that makes cranberry effective but it is far more concentrated. If you check the product reviews you will find tips on how to use it. Since it is just a sugar, it is harmless; it even tastes good. E coli bacteria find it very attractive and attach to it and are excreted; it actually draws the bacteria out of hiding in the urinary tract. Here is a clinical trial: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23633128

    It only prevents UTIs that are caused by E. coli, but that is 90 percent of UTIs. It may be helpful in clearing a UTI along with antibiotics. Some people use d-mannose alone to actually cure UTIs, but that is not a proven use and I wouldn’t risk it on my dog.

    1. my dog is diabetic so he probably can’t take this product because of the sugar? He has had urinary track infection for the past 2 months. going to the vet again tonight. He seems confused and doesn’t really know where he is. He shows signs of uti even before he is finished with meds. and they want him to be off 2 weeks before they retest.

      1. Hi, my baby girl, a solid little 75lb……….is now 3. She had constant UTI’s her first 2 1/2 yrs. NONE in the last 6 months or longer. Poor thing; she kept them constantly and I was used to having a boy dog for 15 1/2 yrs. Figured out it was the excess skin, recessed vulva scenario, and peeing close to the ground etc. Was always on antibiotics; vet was suggesting surgery for the extra skin. When she was a puppy, I had read it was important for a female to have one heat cycle before getting them “fixed”, or they’d keep a constant UTI, plus they grow larger if a large size dog and sometimes stretches skin out in that area. BUT, I started reading and reading…………..FINALLY, I learned that the Apple Cider Vinegar would balance out the ph and acid levels BOTH, and it ALSO gets rid and prevents UTI’s. But most important, I learned that if I just use a doggie hygiene wipe or something similar to wipe around her vulva/private parts area a few times, that it keeps the bacteria OUT of it and prevents the UTI’s. Alot of the time I use the watered down Povidone Iodine, to tea color, and wipe that area, as well as usually her anal area………especially before bedtime to prevent bacteria. Got the UTI’s covered, now been working on the remedies for the anal gland issues…..as she has many allergies and sensitivities……even to like the bully sticks etc. (or something used on them).
        One of the above articles is right re: high protein dog food or when they consume alot of protein and little water…….and causing the crystals…..and ph off balance. She was put on “special” food that had alot of “yuck” in it and byproducts etc…….but I took her off the food, off the high protein food, bought the strips as mentioned above also. Used the strips, and the apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon in water can work, every few days, but I dilute Hershey’s and use a syringe quickly/oral. She doesn’t mind too much. It balances out the PH either way, too acidic or too alkaline. Also, after checking our tap water……it was like 5.5 acidic, so got the girl on bottled water ever since in addition to occasional apple cider vinegar. Might consider probiotics occasionally, as that keeps them balanced better too. Me personally, always grain free and have to keep her away from potatoes, and ingredients that add to yeast which she has had a few in the past. If itching, or dry or itchy, I dilute the povidone iodine and sponge her off twice in a week………this works good on dogs with yeast or hot spots or any kind of irritations etc. MUST dilute to color of tea……………and doesn’t hurt them if they “lightly” lick it here and there when applying. (as I’ve read and doesn’t bother my girl). Also if she gets a little itchy from dry skin, or gets a little yeasty…….I melt organic virgin coconut oil, solid, and melt in the micro………then apply it all over her……or melts rubbing in your hands. Itching stops. I prefer to try something natural to rid of problems if possible, or diet changes etc. She went to the vet today, and after lots of praying and lots of carrots added to her food….Anal glands were EMPTY! I was so glad for her. Our babies can be high maintenance I know………..but so worth it for the love they give, and to care for a gift God gave us. Didn’t mean to get chatty…….just wanting to share my long path of experience with my Hershey girl, so it might save someone else time and money, and be a remedy for someone and their baby.

  7. I have a Cocker that is paralyzed from the waist down. He is such an energetic pup I don’t think he has even noticed. However, he does have to wear a diaper due to the fact that he is constantly dribbling all over the house. We try to expel his bladder but it doesn’t always empty completely. So he gets bladder infections frequently. I’ve been looking into cranberry, but I have a concern about stones. He has had stones once, but I think it might have been the food he was on at the time. We give him homemade food now. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Tawnya,

      What are you feeding him, exactly? I’m thinking of going that route, myself, but have no idea where to start. I’d appreciate any info you care to pass along.

      Sherry

  8. Very interesting article. Our 4 yr old Cavalier has had several UTI’s over the last 2 yrs. Our vet seems to think that it’s due to a recessed vulva and recommended surgery. I’m definitely going to try this first cause we really hate having to put her though surgery. Worth a shot.

    1. Please keep us posted. I know that our last Cocker had this issue and her vet at the time wanted to perform surgery as well.

    2. Dawn, I would be interested in hearing how your dog is doing. My puppy has a recessed vulva and the vet has recommended letting her go through one heat cycle to see if it will change. She has had 2 UTI’s already.

      1. I have a 5 month old labradoodle and my vet has recommended the same. She has also had 2 UTIs already and it was recommended having at least 1 heat to help the vulva “pop” out.

  9. Our 12-year old Cavie has recurring UTI’s for which she is prescribed antibiotics (Clavomox, etc.). I’ve just begun administering 200mg of vitamin C twice daily with pumpkin (the pumpkin to, hopefully, prevent any diarreah she may incur from consuming the vitamin C). I’m also giving her “UTI-Free” by PetAlive (administered per instructions on the bottle). UTI-Free is a bit of a pain to give to her because it comes in the form of tiny granules.

    I’m praying that these actions will help her. She’s an old girl and my husband and I really want her final years to be as healthy and happy as possible.

    I’ll keep you posted on the results. Wish us luck! 🙂

    1. Did you know that you can buy empty gelatin capsules? At a health food store. They also have a little funnel doodad to help you load the capsules. And a foam mat thing to hold the capsules upright while you are filling them. At our house we use kosher, beef hot-dogs, 98% fat free, to hide pills in and they actually taste good… the hot-dogs

      I hope your little girl is doing better than my little one. I would like to know if the UTI – Free has worked for you.

      1. Yes, the empty capsules are awesome. We used those for our Brandy Noel, our first Cocker. Many wags and tummy rubs.

  10. I’m back again… This is Christine regarding my Cavie, Lillie’s UTI… Well, it turned out that the vitamin C made her vomit and now I need to get that portion of the rug replaced because the stain will not come out. That’s the bad news. BUT the great news is that I bought “UTI-Free” by “Pet Alive” and it WORKED!!! After just a few days my Lillie is no longer peeing blood! She’s peeing clear urine and not just in tiny amounts. I’m so happy because she’s had recurring UTI’s for many years and now I can give her UTI-Free and not have to take her into the vet for yet more antibiotics (I was always worried that she would become immune to them). Besides, going to the vet always wigs her out so it’s much better (not to mention so much less expensive) to treat her painlessly in the comfort of home.

    The cost of UTI-Free is ~ $27.00 through Amazon.

    The only thing I don’t really like about UTI-Free is that it comes in tiny granules and the instructions are to give one or two pinches two-three times per day. Anyway, it’s kinda hard to pinch those tiny beads. That’s my only complaint but it’s a very minor inconvenience measured against the vast benefits! 🙂

    I hope this info is helpful for those pet parents out there who have a dog (also, UTI-Free works for cats) who have recurring UTI’s.

  11. How do you get a dog to drink plenty though??? I have a young bitch in a diaper, she was paralysed by a spinal infection about six months ago, I have taught her to walk again and she can get about, but not bend her legs yet. She is so averse to drinking water it’s ridiculous. What’s that all about? She gets raw goat milk, and a mix of live yoghurt and water, she was getting chicken stock too, but she’s now on Raw and chicken is off the menu, she was loosing weight and we are trying to build her up. I had to take her to emergency vet today, she was absolutely fine first thing this morning, but by 2pm she was peeing blood. Horrendous. It’s not the first UTI but so far it looks the worst, She was given the cranberry capsules last time and I could NOT get them down her in any form. I just tried again with some yoghurt/water/broken capsule and she looks at me like I am trying to kill her. She needs to drink so badly, but when she is sick she won’t drink at all 🙁 I syringed some mix down her, and she is now sulking!

    If anyone has any suggestions why she wont drink water like a normal dog, I’d love to hear it?

  12. My beagle has a uti caused by e-coli. Should I do anything to clean the yard where she has urinated to prevent re-infection? Let me know. Thanks.

  13. My dog suffered from uti for 5 years. Antibiotics were proving to be ineffective plus side effects were scary. I read about apple cider vinegar. For 4 months she is taking alongwith water and her uti just vanished. I desperately wanted to share this information with other pet parents who are going thru a harrowing time. Give it a try and if the dogs show even slight improvement, stick to it. Don’t always go by what your vet says. Trust ur instincts which is very powerful.

    1. Oh my gosh, I want to try this. My poor dog is only four years old and her bladder was full of stones from recurrent uti. I never realized she had these until she started having accidents everywhere. She still has the bacteria in her urine even after antibiotics, and the vet is wanting me to have her urine cultured 3x! Before he starts a new antibiotic, after she’s taken the antibiotic for two weeks, and after she is off antibiotics. It costs over $100 each time. Can you tell me how much apple cider vinegar do you add to the water? Did you have problems with your dog knowing there is something in the water?

  14. My 3 yr 75 lb baby girl……..had gotten a bad UTI and calcium oxylate crystals (too acidic). I started reading and reading for hours online to research. I think it may partially have been something with the high end food too and where it was processed etc.
    In researching I found that if a food is also high in protein and if doesn’t drink alot, this can contribute. Best solution I found to get her to drink more was Canned Tuna fish in “water” not oil. Squeeze the juice out and was a winner. Also, a finger dab of “cream of chicken” soup in a bowl helped alot too. I also got a syringe from the feed store (no needle) and put 1 teaspoon of ACVinegar and water, and gave that to her twice…, one a day. I also had gotten the Siemens Test strips and monitored her pee every morning when concentrated. I ALSO TESTED our tap water and found it was very acidic ! That is something I think people should check. I started keeping the Nestle Pure bottled water available ( Some people get a filter for their dog’s water). She cleared up and did not have to get and stay on that Prescription food that has all the corn and byproducts in it. YUCK!
    Along with alot of praying on my baby girl……..I researched dog foods too and LOTS of consumeraffairs.com reviews. I found one with less protein and less ingredients. Sometimes if an allergy or a kind of reaction to food is present, may take a week or so for it to get out of their system. My baby girl is also itching less and almost hardly at all! BEST home remedy………for us…………is I keep a bottle of the Povidone Iodine on hand always. NOT regular Iodine, has to be Povidone, to not harm them, and is okay if they lick it, but MUST dilute it to the color of tea. I wipe her private area like twice a day to keep away bacteria. If she is itchy or got into something or gets a yeast infection, I wipe her down all over and pat dry. A few times with this works great. I had to dip her paws with it in a bowl and pat dry. It is very inexpensive. Just thought I’d mention that, though not w/ the UTI info. I buy Extra Virgin Organic coconut oil and melt it and wipe her down with it every now and then as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory…….and she loves a little w/ her breakfast. Always buy grain free, as that helps on the UTIs I think, as well as the yeast infections etc. My baby girl has just started playing and coming to life yesterday after months of half energy. She is more alert mentally and happier. I thank God. Hope this info helps someone out there. I always appreciate people sharing their stories and info. Take Care!

    1. WOW that is super fantastic, Hershey’s Mom, that you found a system to prevent issues with the urinary tract. We appreciate you sharing here!

    2. Hi Hersheys Mom
      i like to apply your practical and inexpensive ways to avoid uti on dogs, i think this will be helpful to my 2 yo female french bulldog who has a recurring uti since last yr 2018.

  15. I have a great dane pup. We read up on all the do’s and don’ts for GD’s but we’re not prepared for the horrible UTI our baby couldn’t seem to shake. She has one more day of her second antibiotic. I’m going to try the apple cider vinegar in her water and pray it prevents her from needing more antibiotics. If it doesn’t, I’ll get the strip and try the other remedies suggested on here. I thank God in Heaven for finding this blog!

    1. Awww that does our heart good, Dee. If we can help with anything else let us know. Keep us posted, Dee.

  16. Thanks Carol. Keaton was diagnosed with UTI a couple of weeks ago. I noticed he’d stand out in the yard forever to pee but I only noticed a drop or two of pee on the ground. He’s on meds and just about done….I do have a question though. They also found stones in his bladder. Do you have any info on that. He’s on prescription food to dissolve the stones but if that doesn’t work we may have to do surgery as the vet seems to think a stone could eventually get logged in his urethra. Any info would greatly be appreciated.

    1. Hi Louri – Awww I am sorry Keaton is going through that with stones. Dogs, like people, get bladder stones for a variety of reasons. Once these stones have been resolved – and btw, find out what kind of stones he has – then you want to get his pH where stones really cannot form. Have it around 6 is perfect. The strips in this article can help. Check it weekly with a free catch in the morning and then another time at night. You want that urine to not be acidic or alkaline, but balanced.

      Here is a good article on stones. There are even home cooked diets for dogs who get bladder stones. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2114&aid=400

      Have you considered Dr. Harvey’s veg to bowl where you simply add an oil and a protein?

    2. My dog had a high ph and struvite stones. He had the struvite stone removed, and I needed to acidify his urine so that crystals and stones would not form. That was 21/2 years ago, and touch wood, up until this last month we have had no further problems. I have used DL Methionine tables. He has been taking them since his stones were removed to acidify his urine. His ph is usually about 6.5, whereas before using this, it was anywhere up to 8.0 – high. Unfortunately he has this month had blood in his urine, and has had a course of antibiotics for 7 days, and immediately he stopped, blood appeared on the urine stix. He had a second course of 10 days. again fine while taking the antibiotics but blood showing on urine stix immediately he stopped. We are now using the cranberry and D Mannose to see if we can fix this, as well as the Dl Methionine. Hopefully this will knock it on the head. The DL Methionine or you can use L Methione tablets have been a godsend, as it meant we did not have to go on the prescription diet. He has had several urinanylasis done at the vets over that 2 1/2 years and there have been no crystals, and no crystals means no stones. Hope that helps someone.

      1. UPDATE: It is now the end of March, and he has been on the DL Methionine and D-Mannose and Cranberry tablets, and apart from one or two small shows of blood on the urine stix, he is fine, and for the last 3/4 weeks no signs of blood, his PH is anywhere from 6.0 to 6.5, and 0 blood on the stix. Will keep this regime going for a few more days, and then will reduce the D-Mannose to see where we are from here. Will update if any further problems.

        1. Update. It is now beginning of June 2018, and having continued with the DL Methionine and D-Mannose he is still fine, no blood on the stix. His ph is still 6.0 – 6.5 so I believe this regime is working for him. He is peeing fine, and doesnt seem to have any signs of problems at all.

  17. Hi, our female almost 14yr old girl was diagnosed with diabetes this last March which was caught because she was also having her first UTI infection. Seemed to respond well to the antibiotics but we came down with a second about a month later…..then a third after that….cultured and was put on 750mg of amoxicillin 2x a day for 3 months……until she got another one about 14 days ago…cultured and it was a tougher bacteria….pulled off of amoxicillin and put onto a different med, but still has frequent urination. Her blood glucose numbers are still running too high which keeps feeding her uti’s. But all these infections I think are adding into the high numbers also. We are up to 28 units of novalin n insulin and have been using cranrx and crananidin tablets. Should I stop cranberry (it might be making her numbers be high????) and will apple cider vinager have too much natural sugar to give to a diabetic dog???
    I have been in tears today…..I have tried so many things to help my baby girl and I feel like I’m failing her. Cinnamon. Blood glucose gold, cranberry??????
    We need to get her numbers down and control her uti’s! Help!!!

    1. Hi there Hooxei’s mom: First, I would seek the services of a holistic vet to work in tandem with your regular vet. The urine ph strips are pivotal and so are frequent urinary screenings at the vet. You are not failing her. You are doing everything you can. Have you sought the services of a holistic vet?

  18. After going thru the comments I started giving ACV to my dog who has been suffering from UTI for 4 yrs and miracle happened. She has stopped showing all symptoms ( frequent urination and sometimes even bleeding) and very healthy now. God bless the ppl who suggested ACV.

    Is there any way to get rid of the smell of stinky urine which is a mild issue but stiil looking forward to hear from you all.
    Regards
    Sneha

  19. Oh, sorry……….lol, I just saw where I wrote in February………..oh well, may have added extra info to help someone.
    Take care, Hershey’s Mom……….so glad the ACV helped someone I read! It works to rid the crystals too. Also, get pup to eat not sky high protein food, yet drink more “bottled” water….can get the low sodium beef broth, or the chicken stock………put a few drops in a bowl of water and tell your baby, “they get soup today”! They start drinking it up………for every few days or here and there.

  20. My Seiji had a UTI last year and I’m worried he’s getting another one. Seiji is a 74-pound rescued Treeing Walker Coonhound mix who is approximately 10 years old. He’s been with me a little over 8 years and we only had an estimate of his age when I adopted him. Anyway, our vet wants any urine samples to them within two hours of gathering it, so I have to make sure I get one when they are open and I can go right there. I will be running a sample there today or tomorrow, but am going to get the test strips and some cranberry chews for him, too. Thanks for the article. He’s the first dog I’ve had who has had UTI issues. We’ve had dogs with kidney issues, but Seiji’s tests show no issues with his kidneys.

  21. I just ordered the Urinalysis strips you link to in the article ,but my husband had concerns that they seem to be for humans I’m assuming they would measure the same things in urine, whether it’s human or canine. Do you have any additional information on the strips? My Seiji had a UTI a couple of months ago and has started getting me up really early to go out for the past week or so and has had accidents in the house the past two days. Before I run a sample of his urine to the vet (and pay the $35 for them to test it), it would be nice to know if there is even anything to be worried about. The strips will be in tomorrow so I can test him then. He is scheduled to go to the vet for his annual check-up in a little over three weeks, so hopefully I won’t have to worry about taking him to the vet before that. Thanks for the information. Oh, and I also ordered some of the cranberry chews for dogs – hoping they help keep him normal.

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