Let’s face it: Urinary tract infections aren’t fun for humans or pups. The condition is often painful, causing humans and dogs to feel helpless. As a caring and responsible dog owner, it’s probably hard to see your pup suffer from urinary tract infections.
The good news is that many over-the-counter treatments can clear up urinary tract infections in pups. Here is everything that you need to know about over-the-counter treatments for UTI in dogs.
Dog UTI: What Exactly Is It?
Often referred to as a UTI, a urinary tract infection in pups is an extremely painful condition.
When bacteria travel to the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra, your pup will probably suffer from UTIs. In most cases, E. coli is the bacterium that will make its way up the urinary tract. If your pup has an overgrowth of fungus in the urinary tract, a UTI is also likely.
How Do Dogs Get UTIs?
According to much research, over 25 percent of pups will suffer from urinary tract infections in their lifetime. There are many different causes of tract infections in dogs, with the primary one being bacterial infections. UTIs in dogs can also be caused by the following
- Kidney failure or kidney disease
- Bladder stones
- Consumption of steroids
- Tumors in the urinary tract
- Poor immune system
- Urinary tract abnormalities
- Spinal cord disease
What Pups Are At Risk Of UTIs?
Regardless of the age or breed, most dogs are at risk of UTIs, but certain pups are more likely to suffer from this condition. As pups age, they will be at an even bigger risk of UTIs.
Female dogs are also more likely to suffer from UTIs than male dogs. Why? Since female pups have a wider and shorter urethra, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can easily travel up the urinary tract.
What Are The Warning Signs That Your Pup Might Have A Urinary Tract Infection?
- Constant, painful urination
- Poor bladder control
- A lot of licking after urination
- Extreme thirst
- Urination accidents
- Bloody, dark, or cloudy urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Difficulty urinating
If your pup is displaying any of these symptoms, you should visit a vet immediately. UTIs require prompt over-the-counter treatment.
How Can You Determine If Your Dog Has A UTI Without Going To A Vet?
A UTI test is the best way to determine whether or not your pup has UTI without stepping foot in a veterinarian clinic. Through a urine sample, vets can confirm a dog’s UTI.
Aside from detecting tract infections in dogs, a UTI test can save you a lot of time, especially if your four-legged friend gets UTIs frequently. If the test detects that your dog does have a UTI, you’ll want to ask your vet for effective over-the-counter treatment as soon as possible. The condition will only worsen with time.
How Will Your Vet Diagnose Tract Infections In Dogs?
In order to properly diagnose a UTI, a vet will examine your dog’s urine and kidneys by performing a urinalysis. For a deeper analysis, a urine culture might be needed.
A vet may also perform an ultrasound and take x-rays to examine a pup’s urinary tract and bladder.
What’s The Best Way To Treat Urinary Tract Infections In Pups?
When it comes to treating this condition, a UTI treatment over the counter is always a great option.
First things first, if you suspect that your pup has a urinary tract infection UTI, you should visit the vet immediately. As a friendly note, waiting too long to bring your pup to the vet can significantly exacerbate the symptoms.
The good news is that a vet will be able to diagnose your dog with a UTI and recommend several effective over-the-counter treatments right away.
The Top Over The Counter Treatments
100 percent pure cranberry juice can be an effective natural remedy for treating UTIs in your dog. The treatment has been shown to keep the wall of your pup’s bladder free from destructive bacteria. Just make sure that it’s unsweetened cranberry juice.
In addition, citrus juice is also one of the best home remedies for treating this condition. For the best results, offer your pup 1 to 3 teaspoons of all-natural citrus juice. Avoid giving your dog citrus juice with lots of sugar because it could make the UTI much worse.
Apple cider vinegar can also be an extremely effective UTI home remedy because it can regulate the pH of your pup’s body. If you have a small dog, place one teaspoon of this remedy in its water bowl. For big dogs, the dosage is one to two tablespoons.
Fruits such as fresh blueberries and cranberries can help your pup recover from a UTI. Mix one of these fruits into your pup’s food. Don’t give your pup more than two teaspoons of blueberries or cranberries per serving. Most vets will recommend giving your pup one of these fruits twice a day for up to 10 days.
Tip: Avoid giving your pup dried cranberries or blueberries.
A hot bath is also highly recommended by many vets to relieve your pup’s muscle soreness and genital irritation. Give your dog a hot bath for about 10 minutes. During the hot soak, wash your pup with a gentle soap or dog shampoo. Don’t forget to wash the genital area. Once the 10 minutes are up, rinse your pup with warm water.
Supplements & Vitamins
Cranberry pills can eliminate a UTI in humans, and this treatment could be great for dogs too. A vet may encourage you to administer cranberry pills to your dog, in which case it’s good to be know how to get a dog to take a pill.
A vet may suggest dog probiotic and prebiotic supplements. The primary purpose of these supplements is to promote optimal ‘good bacteria in the gut.
Vitamin C is also a common urinary tract treatment for pups. This vitamin can be mixed into your pet’s dog food.
Just to be on the safe side, avoid giving your dog supplements without a vet’s approval.
In order to prevent reoccurring UTIs, you probably need to change your pup’s lifestyle. A vet may suggest a diet that can prevent bladder stones from forming, which ultimately reduces the likelihood of UTIs in pups.
You should also encourage your dog to drink plenty of water by placing many water bowls throughout the house. By offering more water, you’ll be able to regulate your pup’s urine flow.
Why Does Your Pup Keep Getting UTIs?
There are a number of reasons why pups may be prone to getting UTIs again and again.
For pups who are suffering from underlying health conditions, reoccurring UTIs is definitely likely. Such medical conditions include a poor immune system, diabetes, and urinary stones.
Female pups with a lot of skin folds around the genital area may also be at an increased risk of UTIs because the folds can harbor harmful bacteria.
Lastly, if your dog has suffered from a lot of UTIs, the infection may not have responded to treatment. This instance is known as a relapse UTI.
How Long Does It Take For Your Dog To Recover With Over The Counter Medications?
Depending on the over-the-counter medication and the severity of the infection, your pup could recover from a UTI in 7 to 10 days. If the UTI is extremely severe, it could take two weeks or more for your pup to fully recover.
How To Support Your Pup During The Recovery?
During the recovery period, it’s extremely important that your pup is comfortable. The recovery time can vary from pup to pup, but it is typically longer for severe infections.
Here are some tips to ensuring that your pup has the best recovery.
- Encourage your pup to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Offer wet dog food as it promotes optimal water intake
- Give your pup over the counter medication as directed by a vet
- Take your pup outside often to urinate
- Monitor your pup’s symptoms and behavior
Contact a vet if you haven’t noticed any improvements in two days.
What Are Some Great Ways To Prevent UTI In Dogs?
UTI in dogs can be prevented with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.
Check out these great ways to reduce your pup’s risk of getting a UTI:
- Provide many water bowls around the house and outside
- Consider installing a dog water fountain outdoors
- Take your pup for daily walks
- Give your pup probiotic/prebiotic supplements and vitamin C
- Make sure that your dog eats healthy dog food
- Offer your pup several potty breaks throughout the day
- Bathe and groom your pup frequently, paying close attention to the genital area
- Don’t forget to visit a vet regularly
As always, you should consult with a vet before trying any of these preventative measures.
What can I give my dog for a urinary tract infection?
Before giving your pup something for a UTI, you should go to a vet sooner rather than later. If you wait too long to visit a vet, your pup could experience tremendous pain.
A vet will probably recommend several over-the-counter medications for treating UTIs in pups. A few effective over-the-counter treatment options are apple cider vinegar, citrus juice, cranberry juice, cranberry pills, Vitamin C, probiotic/prebiotic supplements, cranberries, and blueberries.
In addition, a long, warm bath is a great treatment option for UTIs in dogs. Make sure that your pup also drinks plenty of water to flush out the infection.
How can I treat my dog’s UTI at home?
Instead of visiting a vet, you can use a dog UTI test to detect if your pup is suffering from this condition.
If the test is positive, consult with your vet for the best over-the-counter medications.
How can I treat a UTI without going to the doctor?
When your pup has a UTI, your first instinct may be to visit the vet for treatment. More often than not, a vet will prescribe antibiotics for the infection.
Over-the-counter medications are a great way to treat a UTI in pups without going to the vet. Just make sure that you talk with a vet to determine the best over-the-counter medications for your pup.
Can you give a dog AZO for a UTI?
AZO is a well-known over-the-counter medication for treating UTIs in humans.
However, AZO is extremely dangerous for pups, so a vet will urge you to never give your dog AZO for a UTI.
Since this over-the-counter medication is usually formulated with an active ingredient known as phenazopyridine, the drug could severely damage your pup’s red blood cells, liver, and muscles. It is simply not worth the many harmful side effects.
If you already gave your dog AZO, you should visit a vet as soon as possible because pups who consume this over-the-counter medication will probably need immediate treatment.