Imagine this: your well-trained and obedient female dog suddenly starts having issues holding in her dog pee. When you come home from work, you find multiple stains on the carpet. What’s going on?
Your dog may not be acting out, but rather, she is suffering from urinary issues.
Any organism with a urinary tract can develop urinary issues. When dogs develop urinary issues, they prevent a pooch from controlling his or her bladder. These are painful and may cause a lack of appetite.
While there are medications and antibiotics to treat urinary issues in dogs, there are also holistic remedies that boost your dog’s bladder health. The most reliable natural urinary issue treatments come from cranberries and cranberry supplements.
How do cranberries enhance bladder health in dogs? Let’s find out.
What Are Urinary Issues in Dogs?
Urinary tract issues are common in dogs. Approximately 14% of canines experience a bacterial urinary issue at some point in their lifetime. Another 30% of dogs experience recurring episodes.
Dog urinary issues happen when bacteria travel up the urethra and reach the dog’s bladder. Once the bacteria enter the bladder, they colonize and offset the balance to create a urinary tract infection.
Most urinary issues are caused by Escherichia coli. This is the bacteria most commonly found in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. However, not all urinary issues are the same. Various bacteria may be present to cause the underlying problem. Most veterinarians take urine samples and send them for testing to determine which bacteria strain is causing your dog’s issues.
A urinary tract issue is painful. It makes it difficult for a dog to hold urine and can create sharp pains in the dog’s abdomen. Most dogs whimper or struggle to pee when they are suffering from urinary issues.
As with humans, female dogs have a higher risk of developing issues than males. UTIs are also more common in dogs living with other health issues that compromise the immune system. These are also more common in older dogs compared to younger ones.
Dog Urinary Tract Issue Symptoms
Some dogs do not show any signs of a bladder infection. In these cases, veterinarians often discover UTIs when performing checkups or testing for other disorders.
For dogs who do show symptoms, they most often include:
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty urinating (such as whimpering or straining)
- Frequent urination
- Being unable to hold in pee (and thus urinating in the house)
- Increased thirst
- Strong-smelling urine
- Reduced appetite
- Licking around the urinary opening
When left untreated, this can turn into kidney or bladder stones. They can also cause infertility, non-normal inflammatory response, and kidney failure. It’s important to recognize the signs of a urinary tract problem and seek out proper treatment.
How Do Cranberries Help Dog Urinary Issues?
When it comes to dog bladder problems and home remedies, many pet owners turn to cranberries. Cranberries are acidic and rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Cranberries also contain compounds called proanthocyanidins. These compounds target bacteria and stop the cultures from attaching to the bladder mucosa. Since the bacteria cannot attach, they are unable to colonize and create a serious problem. Therefore, whole cranberries and natural cranberry supplements may help target urinary issues in dogs, fight bacteria, promote normal inflammatory response, and improve your canine’s overall bladder health.
Dogs can eat raw, cooked, or dried cranberries as long as they are in moderation. Certain dog foods include cranberries because of the nutritious and bacteria-fighting compounds they contain. Try to avoid giving your pooch cranberry juice or cranberry sauce, as these foods tend to be high in sugar and other artificial sweeteners.
Overfeeding your dog too many cranberries can lead to stomach problems, nausea, and diarrhea. If you are incorporating cranberries into your dog’s diet, do it slowly. Make sure your dog has a positive reaction before making the cranberries a regular part of their diet.
Other Benefits of Cranberries for Dogs
In addition to reducing symptoms, cranberries can provide a range of other benefits to dogs. They contain essential nutrients, including:
- Vitamins A, B1, B12, and C
The fiber in cranberries may decrease a dog’s risk of serious issues. When dogs chew cranberries, the acid from the fruit actively removes tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth. Research also suggests that the antioxidants in cranberries can help promote a normal inflammatory response and fight free radicals that lead to other major issues.
Natural Cranberry Supplements for Dog Bladder Problems
A dog's urinary issues can be painful and can cause accidents on your carpet. But adding cranberries or cranberry pills to your dog's diet leads to better bladder health and prevents bacteria from causing an unpleasant problem.