[First published: 9 May 2016, Last updated: 8 Aug 2019]
Has your pet ever suffered from a Urinary Tract Infection? Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are commonly experienced by dogs and cats, with up to 1 in 5 affected in their lifetime. Having operated Nekojam for almost seven years, we have had a handful of customers come to us for advice when their pets contract UTIs.
Although UTIs can be fairly easy to prevent and cure, they can also be dangerous or even fatal to your pet. Any pet can be at risk. The most common signs of a UTI in cats and dogs are:
- Straining during urination
- Blood in the urine
- Strong odour of ammonia in urine
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Urinating in inappropriate places, among others.
UTIs are also often accompanied by struvite kidney stones, which can be painful for your pet. The infection is usually cured with antibiotics, prescribed by a vet after a physical examination and other tests.
Unfortunately, most pet owners don’t think about urinary tract health until they are confronted with an infection. Most UTIs can be avoided because a few simple steps is all it takes to safeguard your pets’ wellbeing! It also does not help that UTIs tend to recur as there are several strains of different bacteria that can reinfect the dog or cat at risk.
The best way to prevent recurrence of UTIs and other urinary issues in your pet is to take a proactive approach towards ensuring optimal urinary tract health in your furry friend.
Cranberries to Prevent UTIs
One of the more common natural preventatives for UTIs and struvite stones are cranberries! As inconspicuous as this little fruit may be, cranberries actually contain an abundance of health benefits for your pet and can be fed as a daily supplement for overall general health and wellbeing.
Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries contain phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants. These phytochemicals prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. The free floating bacteria is then easily flushed out of the body when your pet urinates. Cranberries possess anti-microbial qualities that can prevent other UTI-causing bacteria! The incidence of struvite stones that are caused by infections will also be reduced.
Although cranberries cannot be used to cure a UTI that is already present in your dog or cat, they can be a great supplemental therapy. Using cranberries on a regular basis will help to prevent future infections or reinfections, ensuring that your pet stays happy and healthy.
Other Benefits of Cranberries
The phytochemicals found in cranberries improve dental health by slowing down acid production and defending against oral bacteria, the same way that they prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract lining.
Cranberries contain high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which help to regulate the production of gene products that control physiological and pathological processes. The antioxidants fight free radicals that lead to cancer, heart disease and many other diseases.
Which Form of Cranberries Should I Feed My Pet?
Although cranberry juice and dried cranberries can be easily purchased in supermarkets, the most effective way to provide your pet with the health benefits of cranberries is through cranberry extract. Feeding your pet cranberry extract helps eliminate the excessive sugar found in cranberry juice and dried cranberries.
Cranberry extract is also more palatable than the bitter taste of cranberries or cranberry juice, so there is a higher chance of your pet accepting it. Its antioxidants and phytochemicals are much more concentrated in extract form, especially if there are no fillers, preservatives or colourants added. Look for a cranberry extract that is specially formulated for pets, and is food grade and certified organic.
Cranimals Supplements for Dogs and Cats
Nekojam is proud to be an official retailer of Cranimals’ range of high quality supplements. Cranimals makes food grade cranberry supplements to manage some of the most common pet health issues. Have no doubt that the cranberries they use are certified organic!
As with all supplements and medications, please consult your veterinarian before feeding cranberries in any form to your pet!
*Featured Image Source: Pixabay