Tuesday, 10/25/2022

Urinary infections in dogs are prevalent, and just like in humans, they can be unpleasant and painful due to the burning sensation when urinating. Fortunately, once diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian, these infections will clear up quickly, and your canine companion will return to normal in no time.

If you’re curious about the symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs and the treatment options available, keep reading because we’ve compiled this handy guide with everything you need to know.

What Are Dog Urinary Tract Infections?

A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria in the urinary tract invade and multiply. Any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, can become infected.

Lower UTIs are more common than upper UTIs. Lower UTIs affect the bladder and prostate in male dogs. Upper UTIs affect the kidneys and ureters (the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder).

Acute or chronic UTIs in dogs are distinguished. Acute UTIs are uncommon but easily treated with antibiotics and pain relievers. Chronic UTIs are three or more UTI episodes in a year or two or more UTI episodes in six months.

Urinary tract infection is the second most common type of infection in dogs. Because female dogs have shorter urethra than male dogs, it occurs more frequently. A UTI’s most common symptom is frequent urination.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs?

The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the urethra. The bacteria can come from contaminated food or water or contact with other animals. Bacteria can grow when feces or debris enter the area, or your dog’s immune system is weakened due to a lack of nutrients.

The most widespread bacterium that causes such infections is E. coli. Some of the more severe but less common causes are cancer, bladder disease, kidney disease and stones, diabetes, bladder inflammation or infection, spinal cord abnormalities, and prostate disease.

Symptoms of UTI in Dogs

UTI symptoms in dogs are caused by inflammation and pain caused by bacteria invading the bladder wall.

UTI symptoms in dogs may include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Urinating small amounts
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Licking the genital area
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

With this infographic, here are the details for What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection in a Dog

What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection In A Dog

UTIs in dogs are unpleasant for everyone involved. They hurt your dog and may lead to house-trained dogs having accidents inside the house. Knowing the causes of a UTI will help you take your dog to the doctor as soon as possible to get it treated.

#1. Bacteria that enter through the urethral opening and go upward into the urinary system are the most common cause of UTIs in dogs. This bacteria frequently originates from waste, such as feces.

#2. The shorter urethras of female dogs make it simpler for germs to enter the urinary tract, making UTIs more prevalent in them.

#3. The most frequent bacteria that cause UTIs in dogs are E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Proteus species.

#4. UTIs are more common in dogs with immune systems impaired by immunological disorders or inadequate nutrition.

#5. Cancer, bladder inflammation or disease, kidney disease or stones, diabetes, spinal cord abnormalities, and prostate disease are additional, less frequent causes of UTIs in dogs.

#6. In some cases where there are no underlying conditions that could be causing your pet’s UTI, it may just be due to stress or anxiety.

#7. Obese pets and older animals are more prone to UTIs. Untreated UTIs can develop into severe, excruciating conditions that can obstruct the urethra.

#8. Dogs with diabetes may have difficulty controlling their urine production and may be more prone to develop urinary tract infections when they are sick.

#9. Dogs with UTIs may experience difficulty urinating, bloody urine, and pain or discomfort when urinating. 

#10. If left untreated, a UTI can result in major health issues, such as kidney damage and infection.

How To Treat UTI In Dogs

UTIs in our canine companions is painful, just like UTIs in humans, and delaying treatment for too long can exacerbate symptoms. The infection is capable of spreading to the kidneys and the prostate.

If you suspect your dog has a UTI, seek advice from your veterinarian. You may need to schedule an exam and testing appointment. If your veterinarian requests a urine sample, make sure to ask first. Some situations necessitate sterile urine collection in the clinic, so keep your dog from peeing right before the vet appointment.

Your veterinarian may begin with a urinalysis, which is a test that looks for bacteria, abnormal blood cells, and crystals, the latter of which could indicate that your dog has bladder stones. A urine culture, which requires a sterile sample of urine to test for bacterial growth, may also be recommended by your veterinarian. A urine culture and sensitivity test can help determine which bacteria are growing in your dog’s urine and how those bacteria respond to different antibiotics.

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat UTIs in dogs. Still, the exact type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on your dog’s symptoms and severity, as well as current veterinary medicine guidelines.

How To Cure a Urinary Tract Infection In A Dog Naturally

1. Herbal Treatments

There are several safe herbs that you can give to a dog who has a urinary tract infection. Many anti-inflammatory herbs can be found at your local health food store. Juniper berries aid in the filtering of impurities in the kidneys, causing your dog to urinate more while also ridding the body of toxins that may be causing UTI.

Urva Ursi (bearberry) is a natural astringent that can help with minor bleeding and inflammation. A diuretic, parsley leaf can also increase urine production, assisting your dog’s body in ridding itself of toxins that cause pain and inflammation. Marshmallow root is a herb that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Please be aware that herbal remedies can be toxic if used incorrectly, and it is critical to consult your veterinarian before using them as they may not be suitable for your pet.

2. Dietary Modifications/Additions

Cranberries and blueberries are two fruits that can help support your dog’s urinary tract. Many high-quality dog foods already contain these ingredients.

Small amounts of apple cider vinegar can be added to your dog’s water bowl to help prevent infection. You can also balance your dog’s pH levels by adding fresh lemon juice to their water bowl.

Feeding your dog a healthy diet high in moisture will help clean out their urinary tract while keeping their immune system healthy. To ensure that your dog frequently urinates, always provide plenty of fresh drinking water.

3. Supplements

Your veterinarian may be able to recommend supplements for your dog’s diet. Your local pet store may sell products to help prevent urinary tract infections in your dog. These are typically natural supplements that contain cranberry, echinacea, or herbs to treat inflammation in your dog’s urinary tract.

4. Rest Period

If your dog displays early symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you can start natural treatment immediately. Ensure your dog gets proper rest and drinks plenty of water while being treated for a UTI. Please keep your dog comfortable and calm to aid in its recovery.

Comparison Table

Symptoms of Upper Urinary Tract and Lower Urinary Tract

Upper Urinary TractLower Urinary Tract
FeverBurning sensation during urination
ChillsFrequent urination
NauseaCloudy urine
VomitingPain in the pelvis
Pain in the abdomenLower back pain
Pain in the backUrgent urination

UTI Prevention In Dogs

There is no cure for UTIs in dogs, but there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk, which is as follows.

Assure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water.

Allow them to relieve themselves frequently, so they are not forced to hold urine for an extended period.

They must keep their private areas clean. If you own a long-haired dog, keep the feathers around their back end trimmed short to keep the fur from becoming soiled and thus reducing the risk of infection.

The critical thing to remember is that if you suspect your dog has a urine infection, you should take them to the veterinarian right away. UTIs in dogs can be painful and uncomfortable, so treating them as soon as possible is critical so your pet can return to being the happy and healthy dog you know and love.

Can UTIs Be Avoided?

While there is no cure for UTIs, giving your dog more water can reduce the likelihood of this infection. Change the bowl when you see globs of drool or food floating around, and make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean water. Allow your dog to go outside more frequently if possible; don’t let him sit for hours. This can also help to avoid an accident in your home! You can also give your dog probiotic supplements to support healthy bacteria growth. Finally, ensure the area around your dog’s urinary opening is free of debris, scratches, etc. Antibacterial wipes are available at most pet stores and can be used to clean this area.

UTI Symptoms Recur Frequently. Is it possible that it’s something else?

Repeated occurrences of typical UTI symptoms may indicate a more severe condition – canine bladder cancer (TCC/UC). Often, a positive diagnosis of TCC/UC is discovered after several rounds of antibiotics have failed to relieve symptoms. The dog is then examined for the presence of a tumor, usually done with urine cytology, abdominal ultrasound, and cystoscopy. These procedures are costly, invasive, and time-consuming, allowing the mass to grow and spread within the bladder and potentially beyond.

Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs Diagnosis

When you decide to bring your dog to the clinic, the veterinary team will be prepared to diagnose the cause of your pet’s discomfort quickly.

A physical examination will be performed, which will almost certainly include palpation of the abdomen to check for pain or renal abnormalities. A biochemical profile (to look for underlying disease) and a complete blood count are two examples of diagnostic tests (to verify the increase in white blood cells).

A urinalysis will most likely be recommended to detect the presence of proteins, pus, and blood and determine the urine’s PH level. The urine can then be cultured to grow and confirm the bacteria causing the UTI. (The presence of bacteria is a reasonably conclusive way to diagnose a UTI.)

The veterinary specialist may also perform an ultrasound or radiograph to look for stones or lesions.


Urinary tract infections in dogs can be a serious problem. It is common, especially in female dogs. Fortunately, there are several different treatments to choose from, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and urinary antiseptics. Your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment for your dog based on its symptoms and other conditions they may have. 

Disclaimer: The content on the site is for educational purposes only, and it does not provide medical advice. The shared information must not be treated as a substitute for or alternative for medical practitioner advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Regarding any concerns about your pet’s health, seeking veterinary guidance is of utmost necessity. Each pet has specific health, fitness & nutrition needs. Do not disregard, avoid or delay pet health-related advice from veterinarians based on reading the information provided on this site.


1. How long does a dog’s urinary tract infection last?

Answer: A dog’s urinary tract infection can last a few days to a few weeks. If the infection is severe, it can last for months.

2. How can a dog get UTI pain relief right away?

Answer: There is no way to get fast relief from UTI pain. If your dog is in pain, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.

3. How long does UTI pain last?

Answer: The pain of a UTI can last for a few days.

4. Can urinary tract infections kill dogs?

Answer: No, but they can make your dog very sick and cause death if left untreated.

5. Can stress cause urinary tract infections in dogs?

Answer: Stress is not thought to be a common cause of UTIs in dogs. Severe stress may cause UTIs in dogs by suppressing the immune system or causing urinary retention, but this has not been proven scientifically.



Alex Schechter

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