When it comes to dealing with UTIs, you have to understand the causes and risk factors in order to come up with specific strategies that are more likely to be successful.
Technically speaking, UTIs are caused directly by microorganisms including bacteria and yeast cells that invade the tract lining.
What you have to be concerned about are the underlying causes and risk factors that allow these microorganisms to invade. Here are the biggest culprits.
High blood sugar levels
Your dog’s diet can actually cause UTIs especially if it is unbalanced and unhealthy. High levels of blood glucose due to high carb diets or conditions like diabetes result in high levels of sugar in urine.
The sugar in turn promotes the growth of colonies of responsible microorganisms which results in the infection.
Inadequate water consumption
Another common cause of UTIs in dogs is inadequate water consumption. Water is crucial for a healthy renal system mainly due to its flushing function. It literally washes bacteria off the lining of the renal tract thus preventing infections.
Psychological stress can indirectly cause UTI in dogs. One way this happens is by compromising the dog’s immune system and by extension their ability to fight the pathogens that cause the infection.
In serious cases of stress, some dogs completely refuse to eat or drink. The dehydration, as we have already discussed, allows microorganism colonies to colonize the urinary tract lining causing the UTI.
Holding in pee for long periods
Dogs can also get UTIs from holding pee in for too long. This ties back to the flushing function of water in the renal system. Without water in the pee passing through the tract, bacteria can easily latch on deeper into the urinary tract lining.
To prevent this, train your dog to be ready for potty breaks at most every 6 to 8 hours.
Urinary tract stones
Renal stones work in many different ways to cause UTIs in dogs. One way they do it is by compromising the structural integrity of the lining by causing lacerations. These give bacteria a great foothold for serious infections.
These stones may also cause obstruction which in turn prevents flushing of the bacteria and allows them to thrive and wreak havoc.