Uva ursi is a pretty amazing herb, especially for dogs who battle frequent urinary tract infections.  It’s a natural diuretic known for its ability to cleanse the kidneys.

It’s main medicinal use include its antiseptic, astringent and diuretic properties. Uva ursi is notable because of the large amount of tannins it contains (up to 40 percent). Because of this property, it is one of nature’s finest astringents.

What makes it so good at treating your dog’s urinary tract infections is its high quantity of hydroquinones, which work as chemical compounds against a variety of pathogens.  This is an herb meant for short term use only.

image for article on herb for urinary tract infections

Therapeutic Uses

primalix for dogs with utiUva ursi’s leaves and twigs are used to create decoctions and tinctures.

It can be found at most herb retailers, while nurseries that have native plants should also carry it for planting if that’s up your alley.  DO NOT COMBINE WITH CRANBERRY DUE TO CRANBERRY’S ACIDIC NATURE.

  • As mentioned, uva ursi is an effective treatment for urinary tract infections. READ THE PRECAUTIONS!  DO NOT USE UVA URSI FOR DOGS WITH PRE-EXISTING KIDNEY AND LIVER DISEASE.

Because of its alkaline reaction, you should always pair this herb with an herb such as Echinacia that contains strong antibacterial properties.  It can also be combined nicely with Corn Silk which you can read more about here.

Uva Ursi works by maintaining the urine’s pH balance from becoming too acidic.  Your dog’s urine should be elevated to a healthier pH state before using uva ursi as a treatment option for infections since it loses its potency from high amounts of acidic urine.  You can easily check your dog’s pH by using strips such as these.

A dog’s normal pH is roughly 6.5 – 7.0. When your dog has a low pH level, this means he has a lot of acid in the urine which isn’t good.  A slightly higher alkaline or higher pH is good (7.1).   Uva Ursi works best at the first sign of infection.  You can eliminate the hassle of doing all this by using a product such as Primalix Number 1 which contains both Uva Ursi and Echinacia as mentioned above.

  • Uva Ursi is an excellent choice if your dog has blood in the urine.  It can be used to help stop bleeding due to its astringent properties. It can also reduce inflammation in the urinary tract, but it is a strong herb and can do damage to the kidney if used in large doses.
  • MAKING YOUR OWN DECOCTION WITH FRESH OR DRIED HERBS: You can purchase dried Uva Ursi through Starwest Botanicals here if you like. They offer quality dried herbs.  Directions for using Dried Uva Ursi for UTI’s: Use one cup of dried herb for every three cups of water. The leaves are impervious to water, so you won’t be able to make a tea out of it. There’s not much information available on using this herb in it’s dried form for dogs.  One site recommends a dosage of one teaspoon of decoction daily for a maximum of three days.  However, it offers no information based on the size of the dog.
  • Capsule dosage: Again, we don’t have any actual dosage of capsules. If you want to use capsules, you will most likely have to adjust the human dosage.Or, you can try this tablet form made for dogs and crush it if necessary. Here’s a link to a company on Amazon.

using uva ursi for dogsPreventative Measures

  • According to some sources, uva ursi can “inhibit oxygen delivery to the uterus. Because of this caution, it should not be used by nursing animals or puppies.
  • And again, long-term use should be avoided (like with many astringent herbs) because of potential irritation of the kidneys, bladder and urethra.  Do not use longer than 5-7 days at a time.
  • DO NOT use for dogs diagnosed with kidney or liver disease.
  • Can cause nausea and digestive disturbances.

Reasons to Use

Uva usri is a solid treatment for urinary tract infections, as we’ve mentioned, and it’s generally safe to use within the dosage recommendations listed above.

Uva Ursi History

The full name of this plant is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, but we’re going to go with the shortened form for obvious reasons.

This plant is circumpolar and is largely found in northern latitudes and higher altitudes the further south you get.

You can typically find uva ursi in forest clearings, where it is located throughout the northern third of the United States, Canada and Europe.

Uva ursi blooms from April through June and its fruits develop in the middle of summer. The fruit is a red berry that looks like a tiny apple, but its leaves and twigs are really what’s relevant here.

 

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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Showing 8 comments
  • Heather
    Reply

    I have a year dog female boxer and I think she might have a UTI. I have Uva Ursi capsules and wanted to know the dosage I could give her

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Heather:
      So sorry for the delay. I was out of town. Anyway, I think you’re best bet is to purchase a formula already formulated for dogs so that you get the correct dosage. Here’s a tablet form you may be interested in. You may be able to crush it if necessary.

      Janie

  • Alan Husic
    Reply

    I have a nearly 11yr old staffy with repetitive UTIs & thickening of the bladder wall,i have found uva ursi in tea form/tea bags & was wondering if it would be benificial & safe to give her for her disorder? Any advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Alan:

      Can I ask if your girl has been checked for any kind of obstruction such as a tumor? Typical factors for bladder wall thickening are fungal and bacterial infections, bladder & urinary stones, polyps and tumors.

      Also, what type and brand of food do you feed? Do you include any supplements for your old girl? Do you use chemical flea and tick products on her? Do you vaccinate often?

      Janie

  • doro schinella
    Reply

    Hi Janie, I just found your website! Great. I have a 106 lb., 10 1/2 spayed Newfoundland who was dx’d with Cushing’s disease in July of 2015. I am managing this pretty successfully with herbs from Pet Alive (Cushex Drops-S). She has always been prone to UTI’s and recently this is becoming a big issue for her. She has an “outie” for a vulva and currently it is swollen and red. I keep her hair short around that and use baby wipes and Desitin daily; she also gets 1-2 tsp of D-Mannose powder daily. I also use MalAcetic HC wipes on her. She just finished a round (successfully) of Baytril (Feb. 13, 2016 start date) but I am fearful she may need to do more. I hate to keep her on antibiotics but will probably need to take in a urine sample in the a.m. (March 14, 2016). Do you have any suggestions that might help? (Additionally she has L1-7 Spondylosis with neuro compromise so is on Neurontin (Gabapentin 300 mg. 2x a day and Ultram (Tramadol 50 mg. 2 tabs 2x a day. Thank you, doro schinella

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Doro:

      I’m glad you found us and I’m glad you like our site too! I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’m sharing my ideas for naturally treating a Cushings disease in dogs.

      Can you tell me what kind of diet your old girl eats? Are you giving her any vitamins, supplements, probiotics, etc. Doro? Dogs with Cushings are unfortunately predisposed to calcium oxalate bladder stones. I would definitely avoid a dry food diet, if you aren’t already doing so and consider raw or partially raw anyway along with some home cooked or The Honest Kitchen. This is highly recommended for dogs with Cushings. Include lots of meats and lots of well cooked steamed veggies.

      I’m wondering if she has some allergy issues? I wouldn’t be surprised Doro. The diet should help along with the supplements. I would use Rehmannia 14 if you can find it for kidney function and Cushings. I offer Rehmannia 8 here on my site Doro. I would also look into using Lignans which can be very helpful for dogs with Cushings. You can also include Melatonn. I would keep her on the Pet Alive or consider the products that I recommend here on my site for managing Cushings: Bio Preparation F3, Daily Multi and Adrenal Calm.

      You can also consider Acupuncture which I love.

      I hope this helps Doro. If you decide to use my ideas, would you mind stopping back and letting me know how things go with your big old girl. 🙂

      Janie

  • W Brown
    Reply

    Hi there. Love your info. I’m looking for natural remedy to aid my Pyrenees who recently showing signs of lost weight. I suspect heartworms as he had a cough that subsided with some application of wormwoodcombination Kroeber Herb. He stoped eating dog food but eats any meat I serve him. Any suggestions for me?

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi W Brown:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Glad you like the information.

      Are you here in the U.S. or abroad? I ask so that I don’t recommend something that you might not be able to get a hold of.

      Listen to your dog. He’s trying to tell you what he needs. Here on yourolddog.com, we’re not big fans of kibble or commercial canned foods. We recommend dehydrated forms of food such as The Honest Kitchen or Dr. Harveys where you add hot water, raw or cooked diets or a combination of all of the above. This will be the best thing you can do for him.

      But, just feeding meat alone is NOT a balanced diet and balancing it is critical for him. Feeding a food such as The Honest Kitchen or Dr. Harveys can help balance out the diet. I often recommend feeding one these foods and adding additional meat to the diet and including a daily multi vitamin. Ours are very good by the way. These foods aren’t cheap, but you will see a big difference in your dog. Feeding meat alone will not put weight on him. You need to balance out the diet with a variety of foods.

      If he is truly healthy, you don’t need carbs to put weight on him.

      Our own dogs eat zero carbs other a few treats daily. So, I would focus on looking to one of these foods as your dog’s base diet and adding additional protein to it. I hope this helps.

      Janie

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