Vet-Verified Tips: How to Treat Your Dog's UTI at Home Naturally

Dr. Simran Mudaliar, BVSc
Authored by Dr. Simran Mudaliar
Dr. Mudaliar a holistic veterinarian specializing in integrative medicine and preventative care. Dr. Mudaliar combines conventional veterinary practices with complementary therapies to promote optimal health for pets.
Dominika Guidoni
Reviewed by a Certified Homeopath, Dominika Guidoni
Dominika has a genuine love for animals and a passion for homeopathy. As a certified homeopath, she helps support the body’s natural processes.
How to Treat Dog UTI at Home Naturally: Vet-Verified Tips

Are you looking for natural treatments for your dog's UTI? Look no further. Urinary tract infections are a common concern, especially in older female dogs. As a holistic veterinarian, I am here to share my expert approach to treating UTIs naturally and effectively.

What is Canine Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common issue that many dog owners face. These bacterial urinary tract infections occur when bacteria, particularly E. coli, travel from the genitals up through the urethra and into the bladder. Early recognition of symptoms, such as frequent urination, straining to urinate, or blood in the urine, is crucial.

Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene and ensuring your dog stays well-hydrated can help prevent UTIs and keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable.

How does UTI affect a dog's urinary tract?

When harmful bacteria reach the bladder, they can cause a type of inflammation known as bacterial cystitis, or bladder inflammation. This condition can lead to severe pain and difficulty urinating. Urinary tract problems should never be disregarded, as timely intervention is crucial for your dog’s health and comfort.

Although they may share some common symptoms, it's important to remember that a UTI in dogs is not the same as urinary tract inflammation. A dog's bladder infection must occur first before urinary tract inflammation can develop.

The Different Types of UTI in Dogs

Understanding the different types of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs is crucial for effective treatment and prevention. Veterinarians classify UTIs in dogs into two main categories.

The first is sporadic cystitis, which occurs randomly in young female dogs. This type is often easy to treat and even easier to prevent, typically presenting with symptoms like frequent urination and discomfort.

On the other hand, the second type is called complicated UTIs in dogs. As the name suggests, more challenging to manage. Dogs with this type of UTI may experience recurring urinary tract infections and are at risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Let's discuss these two (2) types of dog UTI below:

  1. Sporadic bacterial cystitis
    An uncomplicated UTI, also known as bacterial cystitis, is a type of urinary tract infection that occurs without any anatomical or functional abnormalities. In other words, it can happen randomly to an otherwise healthy patient. For example, if a dog experiences fewer than three episodes of bacterial cystitis within a 12-month period, it is considered an uncomplicated UTI.

  2. Complicated bacterial cystitis
    Recurrent UTIs, also known as complicated bacterial cystitis, often occur due to an anatomical or functional abnormality. For instance, dog breeds with loose skin, such as Shar-Peis and Mastiffs, may have a hooded vulva, increasing their risk of recurrent bacterial UTIs.

    Additionally, certain medical conditions can heighten the likelihood of persistent or recurring infections or hinder effective treatment. Conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing's disease are known to contribute to these challenges.

Why Causes Dog UTIs?

So, you think your dog has a UTI but you're not sure why? Many factors can contribute to a dog developing a UTI. These can include anatomical reasons, underlying health conditions, and lifestyle factors. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Female dogs are prone to UTIs.

Did you know that female dogs are particularly prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to their anatomy? With their urethra positioned in close proximity to both the anus and bladder, harmful microbes have a clear pathway to travel from the outside environment to the bladder, significantly increasing the risk of infection.

Anatomy can be a factor in a dog's UTI.

When considering factors that contribute to urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs, anatomy plays a crucial role. Advanced age and decreased skin elasticity can increase their susceptibility. Additionally, breeds with an abundance of skin often have a hooded vulva, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to UTIs.

NOTE: Did you know that older, overweight dogs are at a higher risk of developing lower urinary tract problems? The excess skin folds around their vulva create an ideal environment for bacterial growth, leading to infections. To prevent urinary issues, it’s crucial to monitor these vulnerable dogs closely and ensure proper hygiene.

Diabetes or a similar underlying health condition can contribute to recurrent dog UTI.

Certain dogs are more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to various factors. One such factor is diabetes mellitus. Dogs with diabetes tend to have higher levels of sugar in their urine, which can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. As a result, these dogs are more prone to bacterial infections, leading to more frequent UTIs.

Common Dog UTI Symptoms to Watch Out For

When it comes to the indicators of this health condition, here are the UTI symptoms you should keep an eye on:

  • Stranguria: Straining to urinate.
  • Crying: Indicating pain during urination.
  • Hematuria: Presence of blood in the urine.
  • Urinary incontinence: Inability to control urination.
  • Pollakiuria: Frequent urination with little output. Often, the dog appears to want to urinate but only a few dribbles come out.
  • Vulva licking: Excessive licking of the vulva area.

How Does a Vet Diagnose Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats?

How Does a Vet Diagnose Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats?

Diagnosing a UTI in a dog is relatively straightforward. When I suspect a urinary tract infection in my patient, I first conduct a full physical examination. Often, dogs with urinary tract issues will visibly tense their abdomen when the bladder is palpated, indicating discomfort.

Common symptoms such as frequent urination, blood in the urine, or crying during urination may prompt this examination. Following the physical examination, I typically recommend a urinalysis to confirm the presence of infection. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications and ensure the pet's well-being.


Collecting and analyzing a urine sample under a microscope is critical for diagnosing a UTI in dogs and cats. Urinalysis helps determine the presence of bacteria, indicating an infection. Additionally, blood in the urine can signal inflammation or injury to the urinary tract, while crystal formation might suggest underlying metabolic issues or the potential for bladder stones.

By identifying these elements, veterinarians can accurately diagnose the UTI and tailor the appropriate treatment plan. Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential for the pet's health and well-being.

Testing for culture and sensitivity

In cases of recurring UTIs, it may be necessary for a veterinarian to conduct a urine culture and sensitivity test to identify the specific bacteria in your dog's urine. Recurring infections often indicate that the initial treatment was not completely effective or that there is an underlying issue.

During this test, a sterile urine sample is collected to analyze the bacteria strains present and their susceptibility to different types of antibiotics. This crucial analysis guides the veterinarian in prescribing the most effective antibiotic treatment for your pet, ensuring a higher chance of a successful recovery.

A Vet's Perspective: Preventing UTIs in Dogs

No doubt preventing a bladder infection in dogs and cats can seem like a challenge. But what if I told you that it doesn't have to be? Today, I'll share some natural veterinary medicine tips on how to prevent urinary issues in your furry friend.

Zumalka's Urinary Tract Support: a dog UTI natural remedy you should consider

URINARY TRACT SUPPORT is a homeopathic natural product specifically formulated to promote urinary tract health in dogs. With natural ingredients such as Berberis, Cantharis, Solidago, and more, this product helps alleviate symptoms associated with urinary tract infections and supports normal kidney function.

Utilizing natural ingredients is crucial for minimizing side effects and providing gentle, effective care for your pet during a dog's urinary tract disease.

The features of this natural remedy include promoting a healthy upper and lower urinary tract, relieving stress urination, and reducing frequent urination with a strong smell.

Berberis: This remedy is often recommended for UTIs with symptoms like burning or cutting pain during urination, especially when the pain extends to the bladder or kidneys. It may also help with lower back pain or discomfort associated with UTIs. ~ Homeopath at Zumalka

Cantharis: Cantharis is useful for UTIs with intense burning and cutting pain while urinating, often accompanied by a constant urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty. It may also help relieve inflammation and irritation in the urinary tract. ~ Homeopath at Zumalka

Cranberry Extract: one of the home remedies for dog UTIs to include in your checklist

Cranberry extract is a natural and effective option for dog owners to prevent complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is because cranberries contain specific phytochemicals such as A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) and other polyphenols, which actively inhibit bacteria from attaching to a dog's urinary tract system, thereby reducing the risk of infection.

Additionally, cranberry extract helps alleviate symptoms linked to bladder infections by reducing the inflammatory response, making it easier for dogs to recover. For optimal results and safety, pet parents should consult with a veterinarian before adding cranberry extract, as well as dog cranberry juice, and cranberry supplements to their furry friends' diets.

Keep the Vulva Clean: a simple and practical way to maintain a healthy urinary tract

A hooded vulva in dogs, where the vulva is partially covered by skin folds, is often linked to dermatitis, which can promote bacterial growth. In dogs with this condition, the perivulvar hairs (or hairs around the vulva) may fold inward, drawing bacteria into the vestibule and increasing the risk of infection.

While surgical options are available, they can be costly and may not be practical for all pet owners. Therefore, one of the suggested home remedies is to regularly clean the vulva using an antiseptic pet wipe.

This simple, non-invasive method can help manage the condition effectively as well as help relieve UTI symptoms. Regular cleaning not only prevents bacterial growth, but also provides comfort for the dog. The same approach can also be applicable to male dogs.

Frequent Toilet Breaks for Older Dogs: one of the most straightforward methods to keep clear from UTI symptoms

Encouraging frequent urination with complete bladder emptying can play a crucial role in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) in older dogs and cats prone to recurrent infections. Frequent urination helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, reducing the chance of infection.

Pet parents can encourage this by providing plenty of fresh water and taking their pets on regular bathroom breaks. Regardless of the size, body weight, gender, and breed of your furry friend, this strategy is applicable to small dogs and large dogs.

A Healthy Diet is Key to UTI Treatment in Dogs: a dog's diet can help maintain a healthy immune system

A well-balanced diet rich in nutrients and adequate water intake are crucial for supporting a robust microbiome. The health of the urinary tract system is intricately linked to overall well-being.

Proper hydration and a balanced diet sustain a healthy microbial environment, which in turn supports the urinary tract. Beyond preventing UTIs in dogs and similar bacterial infections, the right diet can also help avert other health issues like kidney stones, prostate disease, and a weakened immune system.

A Vet Explains: UTI Treatment for Dogs

Before discussing UTI treatment for dogs, let me share some personal case experiences from my veterinary clinic.

As both a mother and a veterinarian, I understand that the use of antibiotics can be a sensitive topic. However, there are times when antibiotic therapy is crucial as it can prevent infections from worsening and even becoming life-threatening.

I once treated a cat with a bacterial urinary tract infection whose owner opted for alternative medicine instead of antibiotics. Unfortunately, the infection worsened and spread to the cat's kidneys, causing pyelonephritis. As a result, the cat had to be hospitalized for several weeks due to kidney failure.

It's important to remember that not seeking appropriate veterinary care, especially in these scenarios, can lead to serious consequences. While homeopathy and alternative medicine can be beneficial, they are most effective when used alongside Western medicine. Combining both approaches can provide the best care for your pet.

When addressing a dog's UTI, prompt initiation of antibiotic therapy is crucial. Similar to human medicine, treating canine UTIs can be challenging due to the resilient nature of the infecting bacteria and potential antibiotic resistance.

Upon diagnosing a bacterial infection in your dog, veterinarians typically commence antibiotic treatment to eradicate the infection.

Additionally, they may recommend a pain management regimen using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to alleviate discomfort related to lower urinary tract issues. By combining antibiotic therapy with pain management, veterinarians can effectively address both the infection and the associated discomfort, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your pet's health.

Dog UTI Treatment: how long do UTI in dogs last?

Once antibiotic therapy commences, it typically takes 7 to 10 days for the infection to resolve, although this duration may vary depending on the severity of the infection and the dog's response to treatment. During this time, your vet may ask you to repeat a urinalysis to ensure the infection has cleared. This follow-up is crucial to confirm that the treatment has been effective and to prevent recurrence.

Support Your Dog’s Digestive Tract with Zumalka's PROBIOPET

As a veterinarian, I understand that antibiotics can sometimes cause side effects in dogs, though these are generally less common than in humans. Nevertheless, it is important to support your dog's gut health during antibiotic treatment.

Zumalka's PROBIOPET is a breakthrough all-natural probiotic that strengthens your dog's immune system and promotes gut health.

Packed with over 100 billion beneficial bacteria, this natural product effectively balances and supports the microbiome in your dog's gastrointestinal tract. This powerful solution is an excellent choice for maintaining your dog's health during antibiotic use.

What are the Home Remedies You Can Use for Blood in Urine During Tract Infections in Dogs?

So, are there home remedies for bacterial cystitis in dogs? Unfortunately, when bacteria are involved in the bladder, the only way to address it is with antibiotics.
However, if your dog is showing signs of discomfort, there are a few homeopathic ingredients that can lessen the itching and pain associated with urinary tract disease.

  • Berberis (Barberry): This herb has been used for centuries in human medicine to reduce pain associated with urinary tract disease. It may help alleviate discomfort in dogs as well.

  • Cantharis (Soldier Beetle): This remedy is said to modulate uropathogenic E. coli in mice. While it is not a substitute for antibiotics, it may, in theory, reduce symptoms of urinary discomfort if the UTI isn't complicated.

These home remedies can provide some relief for dog UTIs, but it’s important to consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet receives appropriate treatment.

Can a UTI in a Dog Resolve Itself?

Unfortunately, once a bacterial infection is established, a UTI cannot resolve on its own. If left untreated, dogs and cats can develop bladder stones and even kidney infections, both of which are extremely painful conditions.

Not sure what the difference is between a kidney infection and kidney failure? Check out our article on kidney failure in dogs for more information!

Preventing Canine UTI Can Be Easy with Zumalka

While natural home remedies aren't abundant for canine UTIs, there are numerous homeopathic supplements available to support your dog's overall urinary tract health.
Helping with urinary issues in dogs requires a holistic approach.

Adequate water intake, regular bathroom breaks, and supplements like cranberry extract and Zumalka's URINARY TRACT SUPPORT can all play vital roles in maintaining your dog's urinary health.

Including URINARY TRACT SUPPORT in your home pet care checklist can help safeguard your dog's well-being, offering a natural and effective solution worth exploring.

Got a question about UTI treatment in dogs? Let us know in the comments below.


About the author

Dr. Simran Mudaliar, BVSc
Dr. Simran Mudaliar, BVSc

Dr. Simran Mudaliar BVSc is a New Zealand-based veterinarian specializing in holistic medicine and preventative care. She is passionate about educating pet owners on natural and comprehensive pet health.

Dr. Mudaliar integrates conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with complementary and alternative therapies to maintain long-term optimal health for her patients. She addresses a wide range of issues, from basic veterinary care to chronic conditions.

In addition to her clinical work, she mentors new graduate veterinarians and consults in holistic veterinary medicine and nutrition.

Dr. Mudaliar began her education in Zoology at Guelph University, Ontario, Canada, and completed her degree in Veterinary Science at Massey University, New Zealand.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her husband, baby, and dog named Marley.

Read the complete profile of Dr. Simran Mudaliar, BVSc (Veterinarian) here.


  • Eva Lawrence June 30, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing these natural remedies. I usually stock up on antibiotics from PetSmart and PetCareRx to deal with my dog’s UTI. But these tips should help increase the efficacy of medical treatment.

  • HOMEOANIMAL May 9, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Jak,
    I am so sorry to hear about your Bowser’s diagnosis. I am sure this is very stressful for you and rest assured we are here to help.
    To help us find the most targeted natural treatment options that will work with what you are already giving, we will send you a private email to get all the details from you.
    We look forward to helping Bowser win his fight against this tumor!


  • Nellie Riggs May 9, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Hi. I have a nursing Dam who I believe may have a UTI? What is safe to give her?

  • Marilyn May 9, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Hi, I have a 40lb fiest/daschound mix female fully intact dog, she’s 4 yrs old. Recently she went into heat has been through 2 weeks of the cycle with bloody discharge as usual. This time she is obsessively licking her genitals. I do not see anything wrong that sticks out to me but she seems annoyed and pees often. What can I do for her?

  • HOMEOANIMAL April 12, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Vilma, Thank you for your comment. I am sure this situation is stressful for your and your little dog. It is possible that stress or bacteria from the surgery caused an infection in the urinary tract. Cranberries are great but the juice has too much sugar which is bad. We have our SILVERPET which is a natural antibiotic as well as our URINARY DISORDERS product to help with the pain and inflammation it causes. In the mean time, be sure to keep your Rusty hydrated and add vitamin C to your dog’s food to added help. We will also send you a private email for more personalized help.
    I hope Rusty feels better soon!

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