Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs

Husky Dog At The Vet

Created: 08/06/2021 - Shelley Simmons

Health & Wellbeing

Urinary Tract Infections can be common in dogs but are less common (unlike urinary tract disorders) in cats.

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Generally, a UTI occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and into the bladder. Urine in the bladder is generally sterile, but once bacteria enter, they can grow and reproduce, causing the UTI. Some animals can develop bladder stones in conjunction with a UTI.

Symptoms of UTI in dogs

  • Attempting to urinate more frequently than usual

  • Having accidents in the home

  • Drinking more than usual

  • Straining to urinate

  • Crying in pain when trying to urinate

  • Dripping urine

  • Frequent licking of genitals

  • Strong odour to the urine

Straining and passing nothing at all can indicate a blockage of the urinary tract or inflammation of the bladder and is an EMERGENCY and you should contact your Veterinary practice immediately.

Worried Dog At The Vet

UTI in dogs

In female dogs, bacterial cystitis is the most common cause of frequent urination but there are many different causes. Once the underlying cause has been diagnosed this will be treated alongside the UTI. Antibiotics are the typical treatment for UTIs in dogs and the vet may also prescribe pain medication because UTIs can be very uncomfortable.

In some conditions, a clinical diet or supplement may be recommended to help alter the urine acidity, encourage water intake, offer bladder support and/or assist with dissolution of stones. If stones have formed surgery may be required.

Preventing UTI’s in dogs

  • Provide fresh drinking water every day and encourage your dog to drink. You can also add water to their food to increase water intake. This helps to dilute the urine and flush out bacteria.

  • Allow your dog plenty of opportunities to urinate throughout the day. This helps to avoid inflammation.

  • If your dog already has ongoing problems, speak to your vet about urinary supplements that may help prevent inflammation.

  • Ensure your dog’s tail end is kept clean and clear of any soiling to reduce the chances of any bacteria entering the body.

  • If your dog has recurrent problems, or develops crystals, a specific clinical diet may be recommended to dissolve the crystals and maintain the most suitable pH balance for the urine.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.