What Are The Symptoms Of A UTI In Dogs?

Here are the signs your dog is dealing with a urinary tract infection.

Dog UTI Symptoms

Dogs can give us physical cues to show us they’re not feeling well. And if your dog has a urinary tract infection (UTI), he’ll likely find a way to let you know.

Essentially, a UTI is a bladder infection that occurs when bacteria travels up the urethra and into the bladder. If bacteria is able to grow and reproduce, a UTI can occur. If left untreated, some dogs can also develop bladder stones, which can lead to even more health issues.

We spoke with Kathryn Johnson, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet, for more insight on dog UTI symptoms and how you can help ease your dog’s discomfort.

Dog UTI symptoms

A UTI can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog. There are a variety of signs to look out for if you suspect your dog may have a UTI, according to Johnson:

  • Frequent urinary accidents in the house
  • Urinating in small amounts
  • Straining while urinating
  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Bloody urine (though not in all cases)
  • Strong odor in urine
  • Licking genitals excessively

If you begin noticing these signs in your dog, it’s important to schedule a visit with your vet as soon as possible.

Treatment for a dog UTI

To determine a treatment plan for your pup, your vet will need to run a few tests.

“First, your veterinarian will want to run a urinalysis,” Johnson told The Dodo. “In order to do this, they will try to collect a urine sample, so it’s important not to let your dog use the restroom before their appointment! Your vet can either have you bring in a fresh urine sample from home that you have caught, or they will collect a sample sterilely by performing a cystocentesis.”

While neither process sounds super pleasant, a urinalysis is necessary to let your vet know if any bacteria is present in your dog’s bladder.

“Depending on your dog's results, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection,” Johnson said. “By sending out a urine culture, they can determine the exact antibiotic needed or whether an abdominal radiograph is needed to check for bladder stones.”

After your pup finishes his prescribed antibiotics, you’ll need to head back to the vet one more time for a recheck urinalysis to make sure the UTI has cleared up completely. Then it’s back to belly rubs and feeling good again!

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.