3 Ways to Keep Your Dog's Urinary System Healthy

Posted on: 25 September 2017

While many pet owners focus on keeping their dog's hearts and lungs healthy, it's important to remember that other organs need your care and attention, too. Your dog's bladder and urinary tract are important parts of their body. If they're not looked after, your dog could get an infection, pain, or stones. More serious problems can lead to incontinence, and some urinary system issues could even be fatal. Here are 3 ways to prevent that from happening by keeping your dog's urinary system healthy.

Encourage Your Dog to Drink More

Good hydration is crucial for your dog's entire body, so it should come as no surprise that the urinary system—which processes waste water—is reliant on it, too. If a dog doesn't drink enough, their urine will be more concentrated. You can usually tell when a dog's urine is concentrated because it will be dark and sometimes cloudy. Concentrated urine contains concentrated levels of bacteria and minerals that can cause infection or inflammation. A dog who doesn't drink enough will also urinate less frequently, which means those concentrated cells stay in the urinary system longer. Aside from increasing infection risk, this can also lead to the formation of bladder or ureter stones.

There are many ways to encourage your dog to drink more. Feeding your dog small, frequent meals instead of one or two big meals will stimulate them to drink more often. Switching to wet, canned food will also provide your pet with more water than dry kibble does. Some dogs prefer to drink from fountain-style bowls, so trying one could get more water into them. If your dog's low water intake is seasonal, you can also try giving them ice cubes as treats in the summer (adding a small amount of juice to the cubes is optional) or cooled, onion-free broth in the winter (try it poured over dry food).

Take Your Dog Out for Frequent Bathroom Breaks

While keeping dogs hydrated is essential, you also need to ensure they can flush that extra water from their bodies when they need to. Try to give your dog as many bathroom breaks as you can each day. If you have a garden, getting a dog flap installed is a good way to ensure your dog can 'go' as they please. If you don't have a garden and you're not at home all day, consider asking a friend, neighbour or dog walking service to take your dog out for a mid-day bathroom break. As mentioned above, infrequent urination can lead to infections, inflammation and stones, so making sure your dog can pee when needed will keep their urinary system healthier.

See a Vet Regularly

One of the best ways to prevent urinary system problems in your dog is to take them to the vet clinic more regularly. Vets can diagnose problems in the bladder and urinary tract early, treating infections and other health concerns before they develop into more serious issues. A vet can also prescribe your dog with supplements to help prevent UTIs, advise you on how to change your dog's diet to support bladder health, and help you find ways to get more water into your dog.