You can cry, scream and roll up in your bed when your pee burns like fire, while your poor pooch cannot even express its discomfort – that doesn’t lessen their pain in any way.
Similar to humans, dogs suffer from bladder infections, making their urine burn and abdomen hurt.
A bladder infection occurs when bacterias are able to reach the dog’s bladder and rapidly multiply, resulting in inflammation of the bladder. While its natural defenses try to fight off the infection, the whole process becomes extremely distressing for your four-legged friend.
- Causes and Symptoms of Bladder Infections in Dogs
- Treating Bladder Infections in Dogs
- Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar and Yogurt
- Method 2: Cranberry
- Method 3: D-Mannose
- Method 4: Corn Silk
- Method 5: Keep Them Hydrated
- Tips to treat bladder infection in dogs at home
Causes and Symptoms of Bladder Infections in Dogs
Bladder infections in dogs are caused by the E. coli or staph bacteria. The bacteria are present in the stool, and once in a while, they get an opportunity to travel to the bladder via the urethra. Bladder infections are more common in female dogs, as they have a shorter urethra, allowing the bacteria to reach the bladder more easily.
Conditions like diarrhea (and excessive licking during diarrhea), diabetes, bladder stones or crystals, tumors, a hormone imbalance or structural defects can make your dog more prone to bladder infections.
While it can be difficult to quickly spot a bladder infection in pets, do watch out for the following signs.
- Frequent urination and/or passing a small amount of urine.
- Bloody or cloudy urine.
- Straining when trying to urinate.
- Peeing in multiple and inappropriate places inside the house.
- Constantly licking the urinary opening.
- Foul- or strong-smelling urine.
- Lethargy and loss of appetite.
- A sudden increase in water intake.
Treating Bladder Infections in Dogs
If your dog is showing the above symptoms, your vet may ask for a urine culture to identify the bacteria in the bladder. Once it’s been identified, antibiotics can be used to treat bladder infection in dogs.
However, giving your pet heavy antibiotics is not always the best course. There are a number of natural ways to easily expel the invading bacteria without any side effects.
Keeping your pet well hydrated will improve its overall bladder health. Make sure you only feed them with clean, filtered water.
Read on to learn the best home remedies to bring relief to your dog suffering from a bladder infection.
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar and Yogurt
Apple cider vinegar by far is the best home remedy for dealing with bladder infections in humans as well as their canine companions. Though there is a need for scientific researches to be done on this topic, apple cider vinegar has proved to be effective in bringing some relief in many cases. Raw apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother” has healthy bacteria that can successfully kill E. coli or staph bacteria and rebalance the flora in your doggo’s body. Diluted apple cider vinegar can also be sprayed on your dog's body to treat mange infection.
You can add it to your dog’s drinking water, or mix it in some plain yogurt and feed it to your dog. Yogurt also is a probiotic that will further help eliminate the bad bacteria quickly.
Things you’ll need:
- Plain yogurt
- Raw apple cider vinegar
Single-Step Treatment: Mix apple cider vinegar with yogurt & feed it to your dog
Mix apple cider vinegar and plain yogurt in equal quantities based upon the size of your dog. Mix it well and feed it to your dog. Alternatively, you can add the appropriate quantity of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water.
- Large dogs: 2 tablespoons of each
- Medium dogs: 1 tablespoon of each
- Small dogs: 1 teaspoon of each
Repeat twice daily for 2 to 3 days to deal with bladder infection in dogs.
Method 2: Cranberry
Cranberry is found to be providing some relief to dogs suffering from a bladder infection. (1) Giving cranberry juice to your puppy could also help relieve the pain and burning within hours. It not only helps treat bladder infection in dogs but also prevents its recurrence. Cranberry works as an anti-adhesive, preventing the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder and multiplying.
You can give your dog unsweetened cranberry juice if your dog likes the taste! Otherwise, you can use cranberry supplements.
Single-Step Treatment: Give cranberry supplements to your dog
Depending on the size of your dog, mix the appropriate amount of the supplement in your dog’s food. You can also mix it in some peanut butter or cream cheese, making it easier and exciting for your pooch to consume it.
- Large dogs: 2 or 3 tablets
- Medium dogs: 1 or 2 tablets
- Small dogs: ½ tablets
Give the appropriate amount of the cranberry supplement twice daily to help you dog suffering from a bladder infection in 1 week.
Method 3: D-Mannose
D-Mannose is a simple remedy that can work wonders for bladder infections in pets. It is a variety of sugar that is not digested by your dog’s body. Hence, it reaches the bladder and sticks to the bacteria, preventing them from adhering to the walls of the bladder. As a result, the bacteria gets flushed out of its system via the urine.
Single-Step Treatment: Give D-Mannose to your dog daily
- Give 500 mg of D-Mannose to your dog 3 times daily for 3 days.
- Reduce the frequency to 2 times for the next 4 days.
Giving D-Mannose to your pet will bring relief from bladder infection completely in 1 week.
Method 4: Corn Silk
Corn silk refers to the thread-like fibers that cover the corn kernels on a cob. It is said to help bring relief in bladder infection in dogs. According to a 2017 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice, corn silk provided relief from the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) leading to incontinence in rats. (2)
It works as a diuretic, improving the flow of urine and aiding the expulsion of bacteria. Corn silk is also anti-inflammatory, which helps soothe the lining of the bladder to provide relief to your ailing pooch.
Single-Step Treatment: Give corn silk supplements to your dog for 1 week
- If using a tincture, give the appropriate quantities twice a day:
- Large dogs: 1 or 2 droppers full
- Medium dogs: ½ to 1 dropper full
- Small dogs: ¼ dropper full
- If opting for tablets, give 1 tablet of 400 mg in the morning and 2 tablets at night. You can mix it in your dog’s food.
- Alternatively, you can give corn silk tea twice daily. For this, mix 1 tablespoon of corn silk powder in 2 cups of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain it. Give 1 teaspoon of the tea for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight.
Method 5: Keep Them Hydrated
More water means more pee and thus faster recovery. It is extremely crucial to increase the intake of water in order for your pet to flush out the bacteria. Therefore, the deal is to keep your dog hydrated. Though the remedy is simple, it can be difficult to execute as you cannot force your fluffy friend to hoard up on water. However, you can follow these tips to encourage it to drink more water:
- Make sure that your dog has access to clean drinking water.
- Change the water frequently and clean the tray before refilling it.
- Add in some ice if the weather is hot. Some dogs love to suck on ice.
- Add in some kibble or berries to make the water more enticing.
- If nothing has worked, trick your pup into drinking water by changing the water bowl. A new shape or color will excite him to check it out.
Tips to treat bladder infection in dogs at home
- Take your pet out frequently to allow it to pee. Holding urine for too long will only make the infection worse.
- Do not chide your dog if it has peed in places it should not. The discomfort and burning will make your dog pee more frequently and urgently during this time.
- You can cover the carpets or sofas with training pads to prevent urine stains.
1. Olby NJ, Vaden SL, Williams K, et al. Effect of Cranberry Extract on the Frequency of Bacteriuria in Dogs with Acute Thoracolumbar Disk Herniation: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.14613/full. Published 2017.
2. Kim Sa R, Ha AW, Choi HJ, et al. Corn silk extract improves benign prostatic hyperplasia in an experimental rat model. Nutrition Research and Practice. https://synapse.koreamed.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0161NRP/nrp-11-373.pdf. Published October 2017.