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How to Promote Dog Urinary Tract Health

Posted: 01/22/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Uncategorized

Urinary health is as important to your dog as it is to you. That’s because your pup’s urinary tract is responsible for filtering toxins from the blood, reabsorbing water, and maintaining electrolyte balance. Keep reading to learn how you can promote dog urinary tract health for your pup at every age.

Common Urinary Tract Conditions in Dogs

Before we get into some of the ways you can help support your dog’s urinary tract health, let’s take a look at some of the most common urinary tract conditions in dogs.

Infections

Perhaps the most common health issue dogs face is a urinary tract infection or UTI for short. This is a general term that refers to an infection in the lower part of the urinary tract, namely the bladder or urethra. 

Urinary tract infections can cause straining to urinate blood in the urine, frequently urinating small amounts, or urinating in inappropriate places. These common infections can be caused by many different types of bacteria and sometimes occur secondary to underlying problems such as urinary crystals, stones, or cancer. 

UTIs can be painful but are treatable with prescription antibiotics.

Lower Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs

 This is a general term that describes a variety of problems of the bladder and/or urethra. In addition to an infection, some dogs can suffer from ‘sterile cystitis,” which is inflammation of the bladder and/or urethra. Symptoms mimic those of UTIs but are treated differently. 

Urinary Bladder Stones

Stones can sometimes develop in a dog’s bladder. When first formed they may go unnoticed, but over time and if left untreated, an emergency may develop as a stone passes from the bladder into the urethra where it can become lodged and block the flow of urine.

This can eventually cause the bladder to overfill and rupture, causing sepsis and potential death. 

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Urinary Bladder Cancer

It is not uncommon for dogs to develop some form of urinary bladder cancer, the most common being transitional cell carcinoma. This painful cancer can cause very similar symptoms to a bladder infection, cystitis and bladder stones, ie straining to urinate, blood in the urine or urinating small volumes at a time. 

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Dogs with CKD experience a gradual loss of kidney function over time. THe disease is more prevalent in older dogs and the chances of developing CKD increases with age. Often CKD can be managed through special diets.

Causes of Dog Urinary Tract Health Conditions

Urinary health issues in dogs are quite common and many are treatable. Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds can develo urinary tract issues. Causes can range from obesity, poor hygeine, genetics, stress, and poor diet. 

How to Promote Urinary Tract Health in Your Dog

In order to properly treat urinary tract issues, your vet will need to run some various tests to determine the exact cause of the issue. A treatment plan will then be developed to fix this issue.

When it comes to pomoting urinary tract health so you can prevent the above-listed issues from developing in the first place, the following are some steps you can take:

Diet and Nutrition

Diet plays a major role in urinary health. If your pup’s food is too acidic or alkaline, their urine will be as well. Unfortunately, many commercial cat foods are truly unsuited for optimal cat health. As an example, many dry kibbles contain artificial ingredients that do NOT support urinary tract health. 

The best thing you can do is look for a food that has human-grade ingredients that has been optimally developed to offer dogs a balanced diet. Avoid foods with fillers and artificial ingredients. If you’re lost with the overwhelming food choices on the market, speak to your vet.

Proper Hydration

Your dog’s overall health is, in large part, dependent on proper hydration. But this is especially true for their urinary tract health. 

If your pup is currently eating a dry kibble diet, consider switching to a high-moisture diet. Feeding canned or a homemade wet food can help your pup drastically increase their daily hydration.

You may also want to increase the water even further by adding in some water or low-salt chicken broth into their food as well. 

Be sure to always offer plenty of fresh, cool drinking water throughout the day. Encourage your dog to drink by adding in ice cubes to their bowl. Some dogs prefer drinking from water fountains, so if you feel your dog isn’t drinking enough, try a fountain and see if he doesn’t start drinking more.

Regular Checkups

It’s important to get your pup into the vet for regular wellness exams. For young pups, this can mean once a year. But it is generally recommended that older pups see the vet twice a year. This can help your vet spot a urinary health issue before it gets serious and costly to treat.

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Pet Insurance Can Help You Help Your Pup

One of the best ways to promote overall health and wellness in our pets is to be 100% sure we can pay for any treatment they need, should an unexpected injury or illness occur. 

If you’re like most pet parents, you don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for an emergency vet bill. That’s why more and more are turning to pet insurance to help them take the very best care of their fur baby.

A good pet insurance policy can pay up to 90% of the vet bill. That gives you peace of mind, knowing should life throw you a curveball, you can absolutely get your pup the help she needs, when she needs it the most.

If you’ve thought about pet insurance but weren’t sure the best provider, here are the top providers with rankings based on over 150,000 reviews from pet parents just like you:

 

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Embrace10,254
4.9Healthy Paws7,460
4.9Fetch171
4.9Lemonade772
4.8Trupanion55,007
4.8Nationwide21,391
4.8Prudent Pet124
4.7ASPCA5,692
4.7Hartville164
4.7MetLife405
4.7PetPartners98
4.7Spot159
4.5Pets Best7,187
4.4AKC889
4.4Figo587
4.3Pet Assure12
4.3Pumpkin54
3.4ManyPets10

 

References:

  1. https://cvm.msu.edu/vdl/client-education/guides-for-pet-owners/chronic-kidney-disease-living-with-your-pet-and-the-diagnosis
  2. https://www.webmd.com/pets/dogs/lower-urinary-tract-problems-infections-dogs
  3. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/urinary-tract-infections
  4. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/noticing-dog-uti-symptoms-could-be-something-more/

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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