Ealisa is a freelance writer pursuing her bachelor’s in psychology and minor
in sociology. She also keeps pet rats.
UTIs are just as painful and unpleasant for dogs as they are for humans. Learn
how to recognize UTI symptoms and prevent infection in the first place.
Due to their intelligence, personality, loyalty, and overall lovability, dogs
have come to be part of families across the world. However, like other members
of the family, dogs can become ill and need treatment. A urinary tract
infection is one of the most common reasons a dog may be feeling under the
Approximately 14% of dogs will experience a UTI during their lifetime, with
an increased risk noted in spayed females.
Why Do Dogs Get UTIs?
Bacteria are the number one cause of urinary tract infections. Your dog can
ingest bacteria by eating unclean or spoiled food or water. Bacteria can also
enter through the urethra to the bladder. Females are much more likely to get
a urinary tract infection than males are because their urethra is much
shorter, making it easier for bacteria to make their way to the bladder.
What Are the Symptoms of UTIs in Canines?
Symptoms will usually depend on the stage that the infection is. The following
are the most common symptoms of canine UTIs.
The first symptom that most owners will notice is their dog is using the
bathroom more or less often than normal. This is usually also the first
symptom that is ignored. Many owners may notice it, but simply think it is due
to something less serious, such as the dog drinking more or less water than
However, it is important to remember that even if thirst seems to be the cause
of abnormal urination, drinking more water can also be a symptom of a urinary
tract infection. Dehydration is common in dogs with urinary tract infections
because of their body’s reaction to fighting renal problems.
Note: If your dog is an indoor dog that you take out to use the bathroom
during the day, it is easier to notice a change in your dog’s urination
patterns. However, even if your dog stays outdoors, you may notice them
continually squatting to use the bathroom, but being unable to.
Bloody or Foul-Smelling Urine
You may also notice blood in your dog’s urine or a foul smell of the urine.
Your dog may also seem less interested in activities they used to enjoy, such
as walks or playing, and seem lethargic or tired.
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What to Do If Your Dog Has a UTI
If you suspect your dog has a urinary tract infection, do not delay in taking
them to the veterinarian. There are many articles that state urinary tract
infections can be cured with at-home remedies without any treatment from a
veterinarian. However, by not seeing a veterinarian, you are leaving your dog
vulnerable to the possibility that the untreated infection will infect other
organs. This can cause permanent damage or even eventual death.
Your veterinarian will run multiple tests to check for urinary tract
infection. A urinalysis will most likely be the first test that will be done.
To make it easier on your veterinarian, try to obtain a urine sample before
you take your dog to the veterinarian. This can be easily done by using a
ladle and taking your dog out to use the bathroom before you leave for the
veterinarian. The sample should be no older than a few hours old when it
reaches the veterinarians’ office.
X-rays may also be taken in order to diagnose your dog. As a treatment, your
veterinarian will most likely prescribe antibiotics to fight off the
infection. The type or strength of the antibiotic will depend on the stage
that the urinary tract infection is in.
How to Prevent Canine UTIs
Prevention is important when it comes to keeping your dog healthy and free
from urinary tract infections. By taking your dog outside frequently to use
the bathroom, you avoid bacteria sitting in the bladder for long periods of
time. This can cause the bacteria to infect other organs.
You can also help prevent urinary tract infections in your dog by only
offering them fresh food or water. Giving your dog citrus juices such as
orange or fruit juice can also help fight bacteria and keep your dog healthy
from urinary tract infections.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
© 2011 Ealisa Adams
Ashley Gray from Colorado on July 28, 2011:
I think my dog has a UTI right now! He is 7 years old and has suddenly started
peeing in the house all the time…. not fun. Useful info!
Jane Reese on May 21, 2011:
My own little puppy had a UTI not to long ago. Wish I would have tried to
prevent it from the start. It sure was expensive to clear up!