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Can cranberry juice be given to dogs to treat urinary tract infections?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Jon – I have had several urinary tract infections and my doctor recommended that I drink cranberry juice. Can it also be used in dogs?

Nancy P.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking if cranberry juice can be used to treat urinary tract problems in dogs. Cranberry juice is not a part of traditional medicine and not commonly used in dogs.

A typical urinary tract infection is diagnosed with a urinalysis and/or a urine culture and treated with antibiotics. Often, it is important for the veterinarian to evaluate WHY the urinary tract infection is occurring and address any underlying cause. The article link below will give you more information on this issue.

Other important aspects of treatment are to ensure your dog has plenty of fresh clean water and lots of opportunities to urinate. Antibiotics should be given as directed and often the last dose is recommended before bedtime to achieve a maximum antibiotic concentration in urine during the night.

I have read that cranberry extract can help to deduce the pH of urine. It also is theorized to help decrease the attachment of bacteria to the bladder wall. It comes in a powder form and can be sprinkled on the food. I've been told that some pets like the taste.

I'd recommend that you stick with your veterinarian's instruction using traditional and known effective treatments. If you want to add cranberry extract – do so under the guidance of your veterinarian.

The dose that I've read is based on the dog's size and extrapolated to be ¼ to the same as the human dose – depending on the size of the pet.

An article that might be helpful to you is Urinary Tract Infection (Cystitis) in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Jon



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