Urine Infections in Dogs

Dog urine infections are incredibly unpleasant for your pup. Not only is it incredibly annoying needing to wee every few minutes, but it’s also quite painful when they go! Find out everything you need to know about urine infections in dogs with this guide.
Labrador sitting in the garden
Labrador sitting in the garden
Labrador sitting in the garden

A dog urine infection is very common, and just like when it happens to us humans, it can be unpleasant and quite painful thanks to the burning sensation when urinating. Luckily, once taken to your vet for diagnosis and treatment, these infections will clear relatively quickly and your canine friend will soon be back to their usual self.

If you’re wondering about the signs of dog urine infections and want to know the treatment options available, keep reading as we’ve put together this handy guide with everything you need to know.

What are dog urine infections?

A dog urine infection is an infection of the urinary tract, making it uncomfortable to pass urine. Your dog may strain when urinating, and their urine may contain blood. These urinary tract infections (UTI) are commonly caused by bacteria including E coli, but some fungi may also cause an infection. UTIs can also be caused by bladder stones, and incontinence in older dogs may also lead to an infection.

Surprisingly, dog urine infections are more common than you’d think. According to the American Kennel Club it’s one of the most common infectious diseases in dogs and around 14% will get it at some point in their lives.

Are there some dogs which are more predisposed?

Any dog can get a urine infection, but there are some which are more likely to be affected. Older dogs are more likely to get them, as are female dogs because they have shorter urethras. Additionally, dogs with pre-existing health conditions such as chronic kidney disease and Cushing’s disease are more at risk of getting a dog urine infection.

Symptoms of urine infections in dogs:

If your dog has a urine infection, they may display some of the following signs:

  • Difficulty urinating – they may appear like they’re straining and might whimper
  • Urinating frequently – they may also dribble urine
  • Forgetting their housetraining – they might start urinating in the house again
  • Blood in dog urine – it may appear a pinkish colour or be cloudy
  • Frequent licking – they may constantly lick around the urinary opening
  • Fever – your dog may feel hot and a fever may be present
  • Bad odour – the urine may also have a strong smell to it
  • Increased thirst – due to the more frequent urination, your dog may drink more often to try and restore their bodily fluids
  • Fatigue – your dog may seem more tired or sluggish than usual
Dog peeing in the hedge

If you suspect a dog urine infection is present, take them to the vet for a diagnosis. When left untreated, these infections can cause problems such as lower urinary tract dysfunction, kidney or bladder stones, blood poisoning and even a kidney infection in more serious cases.

Diagnosis

The vet will ask for details of the symptoms your dog has, and then they will conduct a full examination which may include taking a urine sample which they may culture to help identify any bacteria that are involved.

Dog sniffing at the grass

Treatment

Once your vet confirms it’s a dog urine infection, it’s usually a simple case of prescribing the correct antibiotics to clear the infection up, if a bacteria is thought to be responsible. Luckily, once this has been administered the symptoms will generally clear up relatively quickly. To ensure that your dog gets back to full health quickly, it’s important for you to keep up with the recommended amount of antibiotics for the allotted time your vet has told you. Stopping treatment too early could cause the infection to reappear. If your dog’s urine infection seems to be hanging around for too long, go back to your vet and they’ll be able to look at an alternative method of treatment.

The important thing is that if you suspect your dog has a urine infection, take them to the vet straight away. Dog urine infections can be painful and uncomfortable so it’s important to get it treated early so they can go back to being the happy and healthy dog you know and love.

Want to find out more about dog health and nutrition? Read our guide to hernias in dogs.