January 17, 2018

A Look at the Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of UTI in Dogs

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A Look at the Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of UTI in DogsWhen it comes to maintaining your dog’s overall health, it is not only important to keep your pet healthy and well fed but to be on the lookout for different diseases and ailments that may impact your beloved pet such as UTI in dogs.

In fact, one of the most common problems to impact dogs is Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). The more you know about UTIs as a dog owner, the better, so you can spot the signs of this issue in your pet, and get your dog the help he needs to get healthy again.

What Causes UTI in Dogs? Urine, Bacteria, and More

The most common cause of UTIs in dogs and cats is bacteria. 

When bacteria gets in through the urethral opening it can move up through the urethra. Typically, the bacteria that causes this type of cancer is E.coli, Staphylococcus or Proteus spp., and it comes from feces or other debris that enters into the urethra.

If your dog’s immune system is weak for one reason or another, it can increase their chances of getting a UTI.

X-ray of a dog bladder with a stone which causes urinary tract infection in dogs

In some more rare cases, kidney stones/bladder stones, bladder disease, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, bladder infection or bladder inflammation can also cause a UTI in dogs. These bacterial infections are more common in female dogs than males, but they can happen in both genders. It is also more typical in older adult dogs, age seven or older.

Painful Going Potty? Spot the Early Signs of UTI in Dogs

The earlier you can spot the sign of a UTI in dogs, the better.

One of the most common, noticeable, and clinical signs of this type of infection is a pain when urinating. If your dog whines, whimpers or winces when urinating or if they are struggling to get urine out because of pain, they may have a UTI and need to go to the veterinarian for a urine culture.

It may seem like a subtle issue, but as a pet owner, you will notice when your dog is experiencing this type of discomfort.

Here is a Full List of UTI Symptoms in Dogs:

Pain during urination is the most common symptom of UTIs in dogs. However, there are other signs and symptoms that may indicate there is a problem with your pooch. This includes:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy looking urine
  • Abnormal accidents in the home
  • Needing to use the bathroom more often
  • Dribbling urine without as much control
  • Fever
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Licking around urethra opening

If you notice some or all of these symptoms, it is time to go to your vet for more information and possibly have a urine sample taken.

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs: What it Means for Their Bladder

Urinary Tract Infections in dogs go deeper than just the urethra, they can actually impact your dog’s bladder as well.

If bacteria infections colonize in the urethra, which they tend to do, this infection can start moving up towards the bladder. This type of infection in dogs is even more irritating than a UTI as it causes the pups to feel like they need to urinate without actually being able to.

You may notice your dog squatting or straining a lot and not producing any urine and your dog may be in a great deal of pain. Their urine may be bloody, and these infections can even produce bladder stones in the future.

Why it’s Important to Be on the Lookout for the UTI Symptoms in Dogs

Dog licking itself has canine urinary tract infection

So, why is it so important to be on the lookout for UTI symptoms in dogs?

The first and most important reason is that UTIs are painful. Even if it doesn’t seem like your dog is in agony, UTIs are extremely uncomfortable. They can lead to other infections in the bladder or kidneys.

Leaving UTI untreated can have serious consequences.

If a UTI is left untreated, the infection can spread throughout your dog’s body.

In some more serious situations, it can cause your dog to become septic and even die. This is why it is so important that your dog is able to get the help he needs whenever he has a UTI.

Treatments for Urinary Tract Infections

Once your dog has been diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection, your vet will likely recommend a treatment plan to help your canine companion get back to feeling like himself.

The most common course of treatment will likely be antibiotics. Typically, after the first round of antibiotics, your vet will order a follow-up urine culture to look for any more bacteria in the urine.

5 Home Remedies for UTI in Dogs

There are several home remedies that you can use to help treat UTIs in dogs besides only antibiotics. While your vet may likely recommend medications, these home remedies can also help your pooch get over their infection.

Here are five of the most common home remedies to try:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar- This common household vinegar is actually a natural antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent. Just put 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in your dog’s water twice a day for up to 10 days to help with their UTIs.

2. Fluid Intake- The more fluids your dog can drink the better, this will help flush the bacteria from their system, so make sure your dog always has fresh water.

3. Vitamin C Tablets- Vitamin C not only helps boost your dog’s immune system, to help them fight infection. Vitamin C also helps your dog’s urine become acidic which promotes healing and will help flush out bacteria. You can grind them up and put them in your dog’s food, or give them to your dog in peanut butter.

4. Give Your Dog Cranberries or Blueberries- These fruits will help lower the Ph levels in your dog’s bladder and prevent the bacteria from spreading in his system. Blueberry and/or cranberry juice also helps with flushing out the bacteria from your dog’s urethra.

5. Citrus Juice- Giving your dog fresh, citrus juice can help restore their pH levels and fight off bacteria. Fresh lemon, lime, orange and cranberry juices are a great place to start if you want to help flush out your pet’s system.

Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian for a Proper Diagnosis First!

Before you start using any home remedies, or any over-the-counter pet medications, you need to go in and talk to your vet first. Proper diagnosis is essential when it comes to a UTI. It is easy to misdiagnose this issue and you want to make sure there isn’t something else more serious going on with your pet.

How to Prevent UTI in Dogs

Knowing how to treat UTIs when they happen is important, but it is even more essential that you know how to prevent UTIs from happening in the first place as it can save you a trip to the vet and save your dog a great deal of pain. Here are some of the most common ways to prevent UTIs.

  • Keep your dog well groomed, especially around the rear.
  • Make sure your dog is staying hydrated. The more hydrated the less likely they are to get a UTI.
  • Give your dog’s regular baths and help them stay clean.
  • Take your dog out often. Dogs who have to hold their urine for 8-10 hours are more likely to get UTIs.

These small tips can go a long way in helping prevent UTIs in dogs, especially in older, female dogs who are more prone to this condition.

Bye Bye UTI: Going potty should not be painful for any pup!

As a pet owner, you want to do anything you can to keep your pet happy and healthy. No dog should ever have to deal with pain while trying to go potty. This is why it is so important to know the best way to diagnose, treat and prevent UTIs so your canine companion never has to deal with this type of pain.

All product and Company names are Trademarks™ or Registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase CertaPet.com may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.