When we hear about urinary tract infections (UTIs), we typically think of the pesky problems that affect ourselves and our loved ones. But pet owners may not be aware that our precious cats and dogs can also have UTIs — and they're just as unpleasant for our furry family members.
In a November 2018 statement, presented at the New York Vet 2018 Conference, Gary Oswald, DVM, explained that it's important to identify and correct underlying issues with companion animals who have recurring UTIs. That way, these cats and dogs can avoid excessive antibiotic treatment for their troublesome symptoms. American Veterinarian reports that specific signs of UTIs in pets can include frequent urination, painful urination, and the presence of blood in urine. (Sound familiar?) Considering we know firsthand how awful human UTIs can be, there's no question that we want to help our four-legged friends avoid these issues, too. Luckily, there are a few ways we can help them.
If you suspect that your cat or dog is suffering from a UTI, take them to the vet immediately — and then be sure you discuss all the options for treating the infection. While antibiotics might be the best option for high-risk patients, some pets may be better off taking non-antibiotic treatment.
Even if your pet has never had a UTI before and seems relatively healthy, it never hurts to keep a sharp lookout for any sneaky issues that could lead to infection. Chronically damp or wet areas of hair can potentially be a problem if unaddressed. If you need another reason to make sure your pet stays as clean and dry as possible at all times (except for when in the bath), this is surely an important one!
Another way to help prevent UTIs in cats and dogs is by helping them with any metabolic issues they have — including being overweight or obese. Not only can keeping your pet's weight under control protect them from diseases such as diabetes, it can also prevent future UTIs.
Don't your pets deserve to be as happy and healthy as possible? Let's help our fur babies along as much as we can to keep those tails wagging and those paws playing!