It’s tough dealing with a sick pet. They can’t tell you exactly what their symptoms are, so figuring out what’s wrong and what merits a vet visit can be tricky. Nowhere is this more true than with a urinary tract infection — they’re painful, can cause urinary problems, and may result in serious kidney-related complications if they’re ignored. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies that you can use to help heal your dog’s UTI.
Does Your Protection Dog Have a UTI?
Whether they are pampered lapdogs or highly trained personal protection dogs, most canines show the same constellation of symptoms when they’re struggling with a urinary tract infection:
- Yelping while urinating.
- Straining to urinate.
- Frequent urinary urges.
- “Smoky” or bloody urine.
- Regression in housebreaking.
- Lack of appetite.
Because some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, it’s a good idea to have your protection dog evaluated by a vet when they pop up. Once an infection has been diagnosed, you can make the choice to pursue antibiotic therapy or attempt treatment with natural UTI remedies.
Why pass on antibiotics for a UTI?
Though many antibiotics are good at wiping out urinary tract infections, there’s a number of risks involved. For one, more and more UTIs display antibiotic resistance. This typically happens when bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic that doesn’t kill them completely — the remaining bacteria pass on their resistance to their offspring.
Allergies and unwanted drug side-effects may also be a concern. Since antibiotics have a negative impact on the normal bacterial flora in the body, they can also create the opportunity for a serious infection to occur.
How do urinary tract infections happen?
UTIs occur when fecal bacteria end up in the bladder. Dogs that experience stress or have a poor diet are at increased risk of developing a UTI — these things can alter the natural pH of their urine, creating a more hospitable environment for bacteria to proliferate. Personal protection dogs for sale should ideally be fed a high-meat diet that is close to what their diet would be in the wild, and this diet should be maintained by their owners after purchase. Grain-based diets may technically fulfill a dog’s macronutrient needs, but can damage their health in the long run. Even if a grain-based diet was used for personal protection dogs for sale in the past, it’s best to gradually switch to a meat-heavy diet for long-term health.
What natural treatment options exist?
When it comes to getting rid of a UTI without resorting to antibiotics, there are a few different ways to go about it. The best, safest routes for at-home treatment are generally herbal or homeopathic remedies. Since a bacterial UTI results in a biofilm of bacteria that clings stubbornly to the lining of the bladder, it may be necessary to try a couple of different remedies at a time to tackle every aspect of the infection and ensure it clears up completely. As with any over-the-counter treatment, keep tabs on your protection dog to make sure they are improving. If their symptoms don’t seem to be letting up, it may be time to talk to your vet about an alternative course of treatment.
Herbs help by either calming inflammation in the bladder, keeping things “flushed out,” acidifying urine, or killing bacteria outright. Some safe herbs to try for your dog’s UTI include:
- Petroselinum crispum, or parsley. This is a common sauce and salad ingredient that’s easy to find in any grocery store. It is both an antiseptic and a diuretic, but its mineral content helps it be less depleting than some other diuretics can be. For best results, add roughly 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs of your protection dog’s bodyweight to their drinking water, or administer directly by mouth. As a last resort, it can also be added to food.
- Elymus repens, or couch grass. Couch grass has a reputation as a weed, but it can be a lifesaver for someone suffering from a UTI. It helps soothe urinary pain, and has gentle anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Make a tea of the dried herb (1 heaping teaspoon per 8 oz of boiling water), let it cool, and give 1/2 teaspoon per 20 lbs of your protection dog’s bodyweight twice daily.
- Methionine. Though methionine is an amino acid, not an herb, it’s another natural go-to remedy for urinary tract infections. Give 100mg twice daily to small dogs, or 200mg for large protection dogs. Works best when combined with cranberry
- Vaccinium macrocarpon, or cranberry. These tangy fruits contain a compound that helps keep bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder, lower urine pH, and serve as a mild diuretic. Give 100mg of cranberry extract to small dogs, 200mg to medium dogs, 300mg to large dogs, and 400mg to giant dogs three times daily. Works best in combination with methionine.
Homeopathic remedies work by triggering the body to heal itself. Many homeopathic remedies mimic the symptoms they’re designed to cure, until the body overcomes them. Complicated or recurring UTIs will require a visit with a vet well versed in homeopathy, but there are two remedies you can try at home:
- Mercurius vivus. This remedy is indicated when there’s straining to urinate, bloody urine, diarrhea, urinary urgency, thirst, strong-smelling urine, and restlessness at night.
- Mercurius solubilis. Similar to mercurius vivus, with the same indications.
- Nux vomica. This remedy is most helpful when toxin exposure may be a factor. It is also indicated for standoffish dogs, straining while urinating, gastrointestinal problems, and cramping.
While everyone hopes their dogs — whether lapdogs, service dogs, or personal protection dogs — stay healthy, sometimes minor illnesses are unavoidable. These natural remedies against your dog’s UTI can help you keep your dog happier, healthier, and more comfortable, even in the midst of an uncomfortable urinary tract infection.