UTI in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments in Alameda, CA

Your dog is one of the family. You not only feed and care for them, but just like your family, your dog’s health is a big priority to you. Dogs suffer from certain ailments similar to your family members. Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to urinary tract infections. Bacterial urinary tract infections are common in dogs. So, as a dog parent, it’s important to know the symptoms, causes, treatments, and practices to prevent a UTI in your dog.

uti in dogs in alameda ca

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection develops when bacteria moves and travels through your pet’s urethra to their bladder. The urethra is the small tube that transfers urine from the bladder out of your dog’s body when they pee. Normally urine in their bladder is sterile, but when bacteria contaminate the urine, the bacteria grows and reproduces, causing an infection in their urinary tract. Sometimes bladder stones form along with a UT causing other health problems for your pet.

What are the symptoms of a UTI in dogs?

Watch for these symptoms of a UTI in your dog:

  • Bloody urine
  • Whimpering or crying why they urinate
  • Having peeing accidents in the house
  • Needing to go outside more
  • Licking genitals
  • Dripping urine

If the urinary tract infection isn’t treated, it can spread to your dog’s kidneys. Signs your dog’s kidneys are infected include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain which results in loss of appetite

What causes urinary tract infections in dogs?

UTIs are caused by bacteria on the skin or poop that gets into the genital area and spread to your dog’s bladder or kidneys. Here’s a more detailed explanation of what happens.

Bacteria in feces- Fecal matter is full of bacteria. If your dog isn’t tidy about urinating or pooping, it may lead to them getting a UTI. You may need to wipe them down with unscented baby wipes after they do their business to prevent the spread of bacteria.

E.Coli- This type of bacteria is the most common cause of UTIs in dogs.

Not urinating enough- If your dog doesn’t urinate enough, the bacteria won’t get flushed out of their system, leading to a UTI.

Certain medical conditions cause dogs to be more susceptible to UTIs. These include:

  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract stones
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Incontinence
  • Cancer

If your dog is on a certain medication, it could cause them to be prone to a urinary tract infection. These include:

  • Prednisone
  • Immunosuppressive medications
  • Chemotherapy

How is a UTI in dogs treated?

A urinary tract infection is painful and can be dangerous for your dog. If you suspect your pet is suffering from a UTI, get them treatment immediately to prevent the infection from spreading to their kidneys, which may lead to permanent damage or death. Take action right away if you think your dog has a UTI.

  • Schedule an appointment with your vet. Your vet may ask you to bring in a urinary sample, or they’ll take a sample in the office.
  • Urine tests- Your vet will look at the bacteria in your dog’s urine. They’ll check for abnormal blood cells, evidence of stones, Ecoli, and other bacterial growth.
  • X-rays- If the vet sees evidence of stones, they may want to do an x-ray of your dog’s bladder. Bladder stones cause infections and should be treated.
  • NSAIDs- Your vet may prescribe a pain reliever for your dog’s comfort. These will help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Antibiotics- Treating a UTI involves antibiotics for fourteen days. The antibiotics used most often to treat this type of infection are amoxicillin, sulfa, or enrofloxacin. Your vet may suggest encouraging your dog to drink water to flush out their urinary tract and bladder. 

Don’t try to treat your dog’s UTI at home. Urinary tract infections can lead to permanent damage or death. They are dangerous because the bacteria can spread quickly.

How do you prevent your dog from getting a UTI?

There are steps to help prevent your dog from getting a urinary tract infection.

  • Give your dog lots of fresh water every day- Keep a bowl filled with fresh water in a place where your dog can get to it easily. Clean the bowl regularly to prevent bacteria from growing.
  • Switch to canned food- If your dog is prone to UTIs, switch them to canned food instead of dry food. Canned food has more water which will help keep your dog hydrated.
  • Frequent breaks outside- Take your dog out a lot so they can pee to keep their urinary tract system cleaned out.
  • Ask your vet about cranberry supplement- Ask your vet if you can give your dog a cranberry supplement to help prevent a UTI. Cranberries contain properties that prevent bacteria from sticking to your dog’s bladder walls. Not all UTIs can be prevented with cranberry supplements because cranberry only works to prevent E. coli bacteria.


Your dog depends on your to keep them healthy and happy. Knowing the signs of a UTI will help you prevent a UTI in your pet. If you suspect your dog has a UTI, get them medical help immediately. Fortunately, antibiotics get rid of urinary tract infections, so your dog can get on track quickly.

For more information or questions about UTI in dogs, please call Providence Veterinary Hospital East at (510) 521-6608 or West at (510) 521-5775.

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Providence Veterinary Hospital & Clinic serve Alameda, CA as well as Oakland, San Leandro, and the surrounding areas with superb veterinary medicine and gentle, compassionate care. We’ve been a part of this community since 1947 when a veterinarian started seeing pets in his home after the end of World War II. He built an animal hospital right under his house, and that’s where we remain to this day (with modern remodeling in 2016, to outfit the hospital with the latest medical technology and equipment, of course!).

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