If you’ve suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know how uncomfortable and painful it is. So you can definitely relate to what your dog may be going through if diagnosed with a UTI or bladder infection. These infections are common in dogs and a serious health issue that needs to be dealt with.
When a dog develops a bladder infection, certain symptoms may occur, which include straining to urinate, increased thirst, increased urination, blood in the urine, hiding or refusing food, inappropriate urination and licking the genitals.
Both male and female dogs can be equally affected by bladder infections. Apart from bacteria, fungi, parasites or crystals, a bladder infection could be related to stress or their diet. Other causes could be an injury or tumor.
As soon as symptoms of a UTI arise in your dog, see your vetfor a proper diagnosis. There are also many natural remedies that can reduce the severity of symptoms and help treat the cause of the infection.
Keep in mind that home remedies will work only against mild UTIs in the early stage.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for bladder infections in dogs.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very helpful remedy for humans as well as dogs suffering from a bladder infection. The acetic acid in it helps neutralize the harmful bacteria causing the infection.
Also, it has other nutrients that boost your dog’s immunity to fight off any kind of infection.
Just like for humans, use raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar for dogs.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (depending on the dog’s size) to some plain yogurt or water. For breeds weighing upto 14 pounds, use just 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Give it to your canine friend twice daily for a few days.
Cranberries contain a compound that helps lower the pH level of the urine and prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder’s wall and tissues in the urinary tract.
Hence, cranberries can help treat an infection. However, they are more effective as a preventive measure than a curative remedy.
- You can give cranberry capsules to your dog twice a day, by hiding them in peanut butter or cream cheese. Always consult a vet for the proper dosage, depending upon your pet’s body weight and size.
- Another option is to add cranberry juice to your dog’s food or drinking water. Always choose a natural, pure juice that is not sweetened.
3. Extra Water to Drink
When suffering from a bladder infection, your pet may be more thirsty than usual. Always keep a steady supply of fresh water available, so your dog can drink small quantities frequently.
More water intake means more urination, which in turn will flush harmful toxins as well as bacteria within the urinary tract out of the body. Water intake will also help keep the urinary tract healthy.
If your pet is not a fan of plain water, add some chicken stock to it. Some pets like to eat ice cubes, which are another great way to increase their water intake.
4. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a powerful antibiotic that also has antiviral and antifungal properties. It can help treat and prevent a variety of conditions in dogs, including UTIs.
The submicroscopic silver particles suspended in the liquid base penetrate cells and kill pathogens.
A general guideline for oral dosing is:
- 1 teaspoon 4 times a day for a small dog.
- 2 teaspoons 4 times a day for medium dogs.
- 3 teaspoons 4 times a day for large dogs.
You can add it to your dog’s food or water, or you can give it to them with a syringe.
5. Corn Silk
Another good remedy is corn silk.
It is rich in soothing polysaccharides to help ease pain and inflammation, thus making it an ideal treatment for a bladder infection. It also increases your dog’s urine output, which is necessary for fighting the infection.
Moreover, it contains proteins, vitamins, fiber and minerals for overall good health.
- Put the silk from 1 ear of corn in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for roughly 15 minutes. The dose depends upon your dog’s weight. For every 20 pounds, give ¼ cup of the corn silk-infused water twice daily.
- Alternatively, get corn silk tincture or powder and give it to your pet as advised by your vet.
Adding probiotics to your dog’s diet is another great remedy for a bladder infection.
Probiotics enhance the multiplication of ‘good bacteria’ in the gastrointestinal tract. The short-chain fatty acids produced by probiotics also discourage the growth of bad bacteria. This in turn helps fight the microbes that cause infections in the urinary tract.
To give probiotics to your pet, plain yogurt is the best option.
- Feed 1 to 2 teaspoons once daily to a small dog.
- Feed 1 to 2 tablespoons once daily to a medium-sized dog.
- Feed 2 to 4 tablespoons once daily to a large dog.
D-mannose is a tasteless sugar that can help treat your dog’s UTI. The bad bacteria bind to the D-mannose instead of the lining of the bladder and urinary tract, and gets safely eliminated from the body via urine.
Even being a sugar, it does not affect blood sugar or pH levels and is safe for dogs that have diabetes.
D-mannose powder can be given once or twice a day.
- For large dogs, the dosage is 1 teaspoon twice daily.
- For medium-sized dogs, the dosage is ½ teaspoon twice daily.
- For small dogs, the dosage is ¼ teaspoon twice daily.
8. Change in Diet
Dry commercial foods that your dog loves to eat can be the main culprit in producing alkaline urine and increasing the risk of bladder infections.
Hence, to prevent and treat urinary problems in dogs, you may need to change their diet. Opt for a high quality canned food diet, a homemade diet or a raw diet that’s properly balanced and contains necessary nutrients to build immunity and fight infection.
You can also give your pet B vitamins and antioxidants in supplement form, after consulting a vet. Your veterinarian can also advise you on pet foods that will support your dog’s overall health and immunity.
No matter what pet food you choose, always keep it properly stored to prevent the formation or spread of bacteria that may lead to infections.
Suffering from a bladder infection can take a toll on your pet’s energy level. Hence, it is important to allow your dog to rest as much as possible. Proper rest will help the body heal faster.
Do not take your pet for long walks for at least seven days. However, you can encourage your pet to walk around the house from time to time for short durations.
In the meantime, make sure your dog is allowed frequent toilet breaks, as urination is essential for flushing the bacteria out of the body.
10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is helpful for pets suffering from a UTI. It helps acidify the urine and prevent the infection from recurring.
This vitamin also boosts the immune system, which helps fight off the infection.
- Crush a 500 mg vitamin C tablet.
- Sprinkle the powder over your dog’s food.
- Do it once per day for up to 7 days.
- Keep your pet groomed, and their sleeping and feeding areas clean.
- When healthy, always take your pet for walks. It is one of the best exercises for dogs.
- Make sure your dog gets regular potty breaks, so they don’t have to hold their urine.
- Help your pet keep their rear end clean and clip long hair out of the way.
- Promote healthy bacteria growth.