Cranberry Juice, Dogs & Bladder Infections



Cranberry juice and tablets of cranberry juice extract might help a dog with chronic bladder infections. Cranberry juice imparts an acidic (lower) pH to the urine. Acidic urine can help prevent or eliminate bacterial infections of the urinary tract. At least two bacterial inhibitors in cranberry juice, long believed to reduce bladder infections in humans, may protect dogs against urinary tract infections.

Cranberry juice can be offered straight or diluted with water but an alternative source of unaltered (plain) water should also be available. Therapeutic diets and medications can accomplish the same pH shift. Increasing the acidification of the urine should not be used as an alternative to antibiotic therapy, but as an adjunct or preventive treatment.

Always check with your veterinarian before adding supplements, even those that seem as safe as cranberry juice. Prolonged overacidification of the urine could lead to some types of bladder stones, such as calcium oxalates.

Prolonged infections often have underlying causes. Search for these if appropriate antibiotic therapy fails to clear a urinary tract infection or there is recurrence. Antibiotic therapy should be based on culture and sensitivity testing and needs to be long enough to effectively clear any infection. At least four weeks of continuous treatment is usually needed in chronic or stubborn cases. A follow-up urine culture should be performed about seven days after completion of antibiotic therapy to assess the treatment's effectiveness.

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Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1985.
Rescue and Adoption services for Golden Retrievers from the six New England states.
Address: P.O. Box 808, Hudson, MA 01749-0808
Hotline: 978-568-9700


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