Pet bladder problems: Cathy's tips!

Helping your pet bust bladder issues

Do you find your pet urinating in the house every day? Not sure what to do or how to cope? From kittens and puppies to older pets, we asked Cathy Samuel, Pet Health Consultant to give us her best tips to handle this situation with ease and sensitivity for your pets. Here's what she said about making 'accidents' a thing of the past and how to watch out for UTI's….

My dogs Holly and Silky are not puppies, but I've had my fair share of inexperienced bladders - enough to write a book! When pet urine becomes the unique fragrance of your home, it's time to seek help. But I also see a lot of older pets struggling with incontinence as well as Urinary Tract Infections in pets of any age, and so I'd like pet owners to know that there are many steps you can take in your own home to lessen the burden for all parties concerned.

1. Other than the obvious accidental urination, how do you know your pet has a UTI?
Cathy says: "Watch out for any straining during urination, licking of genitals, excessive drinking, whining or meowing (in cats). Sometimes cues are very subtle - other times your pet may urinate right in front of you, so the best bet is to know your pet and monitor bladder habits. I know with Holly, when she starts to urinate indoors that she is stressed or that something is up and I take notice. Some bladder issues can be serious and even life threatening, so your first stop should be at your veterinary practice to have your pet checked for any more serious underlying medical causes."
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2. What causes UTI in pets?
Cathy says: "There are many reasons a pet may get a UTI, ranging from stress, weakened  immune system (due to yeast overgrowth), viruses or other health condition, genital anatomical issues, bladder or prostate cancer , bladder stones and/or underlying kidney or other health problems. (This article on how to prevent cancer in pets is a must read for all pet owners). Diet may also be a factor as wheat and grains can be high allergen foods that contribute to yeast growth. Kibble and/or dry food can be problematic for both cats and dogs because of its low moisture content, so I mix water in with dry food for my dogs. Many owners have reported that after a course of antibiotics, their pet had another recurrence of a UTI. This because antibiotics can disrupt the intestinal flora and good bacteria which are needed to fight off infections. After a course of antibiotics, my dogs get the immune supporting remedy Immunity and Liver Support capsules, to help re-balance the immune system and UTI Free (which is a wonderful natural homeopathic remedy especially for cats and dogs with Urinary Tract Infections) if they experience a recurrence of the UTI. There are also great tips to support your pet's immune system."
HAVE A QUESTION about your pet?
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3. What is the best way to handle bladder accidents or house training for puppies and kittens?
Cathy says: "The number one rule is no punishment. Your pet should see the task of urination as a positive one, not associated with fear. When I house trained puppies and kittens in the past, I fed them on a strict schedule and took them outside to urinate on a strict schedule (urination trips outside every hour, after naps and after play). Pacing, whining/meowing, circling, sniffing or leaving the room is a sign it may be time. If you catch your pet in the act, never shout, just pick him up swiftly and take him outside. Have a phrase that you always use when you take him out to urinate - I use  "Big Wees" and  always praise him for piddles outside with lots of love and affection. If you notice your pet is urinating when you are out it may be due to separation anxiety - never make a fuss of saying goodbye when you leave, this could cause him to become anxious. Always try to leave quietly to desensitise him to your leaving. Let him get used to you going out, by staying out for short periods and gradually increasing your time out. Leave chew toys or simply leaving the TV on will help to divert attention away from your absence. Feelgood Pets has a wonderful natural remedy called PetCalm, especially formulated for pets who suffer from separation anxiety. Try it for your pet if he tends to have 'accidents' when you are away."
HAVE A QUESTION about your pet?
Email Feelgood Pets FREE of charge for advice, click here.
 
4. How should one handle older pets and incontinence?

Cathy says: "When it comes to caring for older pets, the most important thing is to keep your pet as clean and dry as possible to avoid any skin irritation and to keep them comfortable. Older dogs will drink usually drink more than younger dogs, so again, take your dog outside often to try and avoid accidents and keep him well groomed, with his fur trimmed short. They will most often "leak"urine when sleeping so rubber sheets can be used on bedding to make cleaning easier or place a waterproof pad under your pet’s bedding or use old towels and blankets to cover the sleeping area. Look into natural ingredients as an alternative - I like the specific homeopathic formulation of Equisetum and Cantharis in the Better Bladder control remedy, because it gets to the underlying issues and helps to support the bladder. For cats, you could try placing additional litter-trays around the house so that they are always readily available. Make sure that the litter trays are placed away from where the food and water bowls are situated."
HAVE A QUESTION about your pet?
Email Feelgood Pets FREE of charge for advice, click here.
 
5. Do you have any other tips and tricks from your own experience with pet bladder problems?
Cathy says: "I have always seen a sudden urination indoors as a sign that I need to take a deeper look at what's happening - is there a new stressful event, or perhaps a neighbours cat lurking around freaking out my pets. Animals are very intuitive and so any upset to their environment can set them off and cause urination accidents. I would always suggest that if you notice any change in urination habits in your pet that you have him checked by your vet immediately to rule out any more serious underlying medical conditions that could be causing the change in habits. I would also invest in a 'pee post' for the garden. It really does make the act of urination more appealing for your dog, for cats keep multiple litter trays around the house - this one available locally is currently on sale."
HAVE A QUESTION about your pet?
Email Feelgood Pets FREE of charge for advice, click here.
 

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