5 Signs Your Dog Might Have a Urinary Tract Infection

If your dog’s potty habits change or you notice additional symptoms, a urinary tract infection may be to blame.

More water, please! By: elvissa
More water, please! By: elvissa

When your dog gets a urinary tract infection, it’s no fun for the dog or for you.

Some dogs may show obvious signs that something isn’t right with their urination pattern, while others may show subtle signs. The best way to determine if your dog is suffering from a UTI is to be familiar with your pet’s urination activity.

Symptoms can vary, but here are 5 of the more common ones.


1. Increased Thirst

This can be difficult to determine, especially in the summer months or if you have a dog that normally drinks a lot of water. You can always try to measure the amount of water you are giving and the amount of water your dog is drinking and compare it over a few days.

If it is increasing, this could be a sign that your dog has a UTI. Think of it as supply and demand. Are you filling up the water bowl more often than you normally do because your dog is drinking it all?

2. Increased Urination

If your dog is drinking more water than normal, obviously she will be urinating more.

My dog Leroy is just getting over having a UTI, and he was noticeably urinating a larger volume than he normal does — and he was doing it more often. This was a dog that could go hours and hours without having to pee, and now he needed to go out every 2 or 3 hours and was peeing for several minutes straight.

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3. Straining

Some dogs will strain when they have a UTI. They may stand there like they need to have a urination but only a small amount will come out.

In some cases, no urine will be produced. Some dogs that strain to urinate will also arch their back because they are experiencing pain, and others will cry or whine.

Excessive thirst is a symptom of a UTI in dogs. By: Marilyn Peddle

4. Blood or Discharge in the Urine

Some dogs will have blood or a white discharge in their urine. This could be because of either straining or the infection itself and  sometimes can be hard to see, especially if your dog urinates in the grass.

In cases such as this, you might try to place a paper towel down on the grass to see if blood is present — but keep in mind that even if blood is present, it might not be visible.

5. Accidents in the House

Dogs suffering from a UTI may have a few accidents in the house because they can’t control their urination or because they are in pain.

Leroy has woken me up several times in the middle of the night when he was suffering from a UTI. The first time, I unfortunately ignored him, and the poor guy had a huge accident in the house. I knew something wasn’t right.

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These 5 signs are a short list of the most common symptoms of urinary tract infections in dogs, but a few more include: vomiting, strong odor to the urine, lack of appetite and dehydration.

Keep in mind, no dog is the same. As always, seek advice from your veterinarian. Some vets may request that you bring in a sample of the urine for diagnosis.


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