It can be pretty annoying when your greyhound has a huge drink, cries to go out, can’t make up his mind to go while he’s out there, and then comes back in without having done anything… and then he repeats the whole cycle, but this is often a symptom; as are leaving piddle-puddles on the floor, and blood in your dog’s pee. Right now, I am going to help you figure out if your greyhound-or other dog- has a UTI, and how to make your greyhound UTI free for life.
Your attention to these five factors will dramatically reduce your dog’s chances of getting UTIs:
* Knowing the symptoms
* Simple food supplements
This complete resource will get you started on the road to relief for your dog (and you!), right now, so read on! I am also here to support your efforts with 7 companion videos and a shopping guide.
Symptoms (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp day1)
Even just one of the symptoms I mentioned above can mean your greyhound has a UTI, which means it’s time to call the vet! If it’s the middle of the night, make that call first thing in the morning, and get your pup seen that day, the sooner the better!
* He’s miserable, and so are you.
* The clean up is awful
* Unlike a fine wine — this is not going to get better with age
* From here, it can grow into a larger, more dangerous, harder to treat infection.
Here’s what’s happening to your dog:
He’s gotten some harmful bacteria in his urinary system. It’s irritating the tube where his pee needs to pass through, which is a surprisingly small opening to begin with, and now it’s getting inflamed and swelling up, and making it even harder to pee and flush out the bacteria. That’s why you may see your dog’s pee coming out in little squirts or drop-drops, instead of the usual robust stream.
With no place to go, your greyhound’s urinary tract becomes like Petri dish, breeding and growing even MORE irritating bacteria.
This cycle continues, and, as you can now see, is on a downward spiral from here. The infection can go through his whole urinary tract – the tubes, bladder, and kidneys.
So, do this when your dog starts showing any of the symptoms:
* Be kind!
* Call the vet
* Get a sample (Stick around to see the easy way to do that)
* Follow through the full course of antibiotics
The Easy Way to Collect a Urine Sample
The easiest way to get a pee sample is to tape a container that has a lid (keep lid handy) onto a long stick, and move it under your dog at the critical moment!
Snap the lid on the container right away, or things can get messy!
When you get home, you can use a ph strip to help confirm your suspicion (very cheap, and easy to get from any drugstore). The UTI bacteria tries to neutralize disease-fighting acid in your dog’s pee, so a high reading is a bad sign. A normal reading is below 6 or over 7.
HOWEVER, if your greyhound’s ph reads OK, you should still call your vet, if you have a concern that something’s wrong.
Remember the signs:
* Trouble peeing
* Peeing indoors
* Blood in pee
* ANY problem with peeing
And to get an idea of what little odds and ends you are going to have to buy to get your greyhound through this problem, I have created a full resource page, so check that out. You know what they say: forewarned is forearmed.￼
Hydration (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day2)
The end of your greyhound’s UTI misery could be as close as his water bowl, and it’s absolutely free of charge….but a lot of greyhounds are poor drinkers. Let’s look at 3 ways to get your greyhound to drink more, including how to get an extra pint of water into him every day.
In following the standard advice to always leave water out for your dog, it’s easy to forget to change that water or keep the bowl clean, especially if your greyhound is a poor drinker; so his bowl always looks freshly filled, when it’s really just barely touched.
The key to getting your greyhound to drink more water is know when he wants it and how he likes it, and then follow through, every single day.
Here are 3 ways to do that:
1.Add 1 cup of water to your greyhound’s food twice a day. It might look sloppy and gross; but, believe me, your greyhound will not mind. If he does mind at first, and balks at eating it, do not give up. He will be back at the next mealtime. Or you can put it away, and try again in an hour. If you do so, be sure to loosen the food up with a spoon, so he can get at it more easily.￼
In cold weather, zap the water in the microwave for 20 seconds.
When you serve the food, tip the bowl a little. Some greyhounds will be put off by a layer of food that’s stuck fast to the bottom of the bowl, and decide that it’s just not worth the effort…. not that they’re lazy or anything!
2.Bowl hygiene is HUGE!
According to the sanitization foundation, your dog’s bowls rank forth for the germiest surface in your home. Never use plastic bowls. Over time, they develop scratches, which harbor bacteria. This bacteria is very hard to clean out completely, and can make your dog sick.￼
This includes bacteria you can’t see, as well as those that you can; such as biofilm, the clear slime you might feel in your dog’s water bowl. Biofilm contains a crazy amount of nasty germs, which are suspected in a lot of illness in people, as well as pets. It can also release toxins into the air, which can make the whole family sick. At the very least, biofilm has a rotten smell. You might not catch it, but your dog can, and it can make him pretty uninterested in drinking from that bowl.
Then there’s the gross pink stuff- Serratia Marcescens (sehRAYshuh MARsehsenz) which can cause infection, as well as pneumonia. Your dog’s bowl can also breed mold, yeast, Salmonella, and E. coli- which, as you now know, is the most common culprit in UTIs.
What to Do:
* Change your greyhound’s water frequently, at least every couple of hours.
* Be sure the bowl is clean.
* Every time you change your dog’s water, be sure to give the bowl a good rinse.￼ If your sink has a good sprayer, that can be a useful tool in breaking up any forming, microscopic bacteria.
* Every night, wash all dog bowls thoroughly. My first choice for this is to put it through the dishwasher, using the sanitize setting.
* No dishwasher? Then wash the bowls using hot, soapy water. Rinse very thoroughly, and dry well.
I’ve heard that some dogs dislike drinking water, because they can taste the soap that was used to clean the bowl. If you think this may be the case for your dog, there are a few things you might try:
* Avoid applying soap directly to the bowl or the sponge. A little soap really does go a long way. Try a small amount of soap diluted in water.
* You can try using a scent-free dish soap.
* Oh, and that sponge? According to the sanitation foundation, that is the #1 germiest place in your home. It’s a good idea to have a separate sponge that is just for your dog’s bowls. You can keep the sponge separate by labeling it with a Sharpie. Personally, I avoid this entire problem, by crocheting cute, little dishcloths ￼to clean my kitchen. It dries between uses, l throw it into the laundry at the end of the day, and start fresh with a clean one in the morning.
Another thing you’ll need to do is go around your yard and empty any sources of standing water. Dogs love to drink out of these, and the water really is filthy. Besides, they’re mosquito breeeders, and you don’t want that! It’s important to remember to do this after every rain! If you water your lawn or use sprinklers, always check after your watering is done, for standing water water which may have collected. It can sneak into all kinds of places.
…oh, and you want to keep the lid closed on the porcelain font (AKA the toilet).
In warm weather, your dog will need even more water. A good way to make sure he gets this is to give him some ice in a container that makes it easy for him to get at it.￼
Ice is also good for keeping your dogs water fresh and clean on hot days.
Here’s how you can make your dog a little electrolyte ice-treat. Please don’t give your dog human electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade. According to an article from cuteness.com:
￼￼ “Electrolyte recipes for dogs contain higher sugar-to-sodium ratios than electrolyte solutions for people, as dogs do not lose sodium as quickly.”
Country vet Kaetheryn Walker recommends a solution of:
• 1 quart of water
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt
… But since studies show that dogs will consume three times as much water if it is chicken flavored, we can modify this, and replace the teaspoon of salt with a teaspoon of chicken broth powder. Pour into ice cube trays, or any cute silicone molds you happen to have, freeze, and bag up for your pet to enjoy on hot summer days. ￼￼ By the way, 1/3 of this recipe fills one ice cube tray.
Movement (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day3)
Your greyhound’s favorite activity – namely, sleeping – can make him more prone to UTIs, so let’s explore simple ways to cut down that risk.
Remember that bacteria we were talking about earlier? Well, it’s a lot like your greyhound – It doesn’t like to be disturbed!
So, here’s the Secret Sauce for Day3 of the ByeBye UTI 7-day Bootcamp: don’t let that bacteria rent space in your greyhound’s urinary tract! You’ve got to shake it up, and here are the four easiest ways to do it:￼
The first , you’ve probably already guessed – Just walking around will give that bacteria a bumpy ride, so it doesn’t get too comfortable in your dog’s system.
2. Regular Schedule
You want that walking to be on a regular schedule, so he can empty out his bladder. Greyhounds can seem like camels, the way they can hold it! …but just because they *can* doesn’t mean that they should. Some of you are probably saying￼ that your greyhounds hold it 8-10 hours every day, while you are at work,￼with no problem . … and if that’s the case, I am glad you’re here, anyway, so you can learn more about symptoms and prevention.￼
Often, as a greyhound gets older, it becomes necessary to shorten the length of time between potty breaks. Doing so will keep your greyhound healthier, overall, and can also prevent accidents.￼￼
Be patient, and make sure your greyhound empties his bladder completely every time. Be very careful to never distract your dog when he’s doing his business, whether it’s by pulling him along to continue his walk, or calling him back into the house. If you notice, you’re a greyhound may have a habit of standing still after he looks like he has finished doing his business, and then he’ll push out a little bit more pee. If that pee is left behind in his bladder, it can culture a lot of bacteria. You would be surprised how often this small oversight is at the root of a full-blown UTI.
4. Change Positions
Here’s one that can really sneak up on you: Make sure your greyhound is changing positions often enough. One of the cutest things about greyhounds is that every time you look at them, they’re in different positions! But if your greyhound is recovering from something, not feeling well, or has just found an exceptionally comfy spot, he may not move for hours; and, again, you will have that bacteria, culturing away in his bladder, like algae in an old swimming pool. ￼
This, like the other strategies we’ve discusssed here, it’s just a matter of simple awareness. And the solution is just as simple: if you find your greyhound in one position for too long, the best thing to do is to get him to stand up, as opposed to trying to shift him or roll him over on your own. Greyhounds are very heavy!￼￼￼￼￼ Plus, sometimes they get resentful if you try to move them. Food is the best way to get your greyhound to stand up. Call him over to you for a treat, or it might be a good time to break out a toy, like a treat ball That’s something that will get Lily up every time!
So, to recap this section:
2. Stay on schedule
3. Empty that bladder
4. Change positions
Supplements (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day4)
They may be the first and only sign that your dog has a UTI.￼￼ Some simple, natural additions to your dog’s daily diet can eliminate that dreaded fish-scented puddle. This is going to save you so much anxiety and money, and save your pet so much misery, you’re not going to believe it.
You can to make your greyhound’s urinary system an inhospitable place for the bacteria to even exist!
Every day, give your dog …
* 20 ml/2t of apple cider vinegar
* 20 ml/2t of pure cran juice,
* 1 cranberry pill
First, make sure you pick up the right supplies. It’s very easy to grab the wrong product, and then you’ve spent all that money and time, with no results.
Be sure to check out the resource page for additional tips and help locating this stuff.
The vinegar you want is unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Look for the murky, rust-colored vinegar.
If you run out, you can use filtered apple cider vinegar for a day or two. It’s acidic enough to help keep the bacteria at bay; but it doesn’t contain the good bacteria of raw apple cider vinegar, which is another weapon in our arsenal for keeping your greyhound UTI-free for life.
Don’t bother with this white vinegar, although if you swab his ears with it, it’s dandy for keeping ear mites away! Never EVER use wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar! They’re made with grapes, which are toxic to dogs, and greyhounds are especially affected by them.
I’ve had great luck with these 3 apple cider vinegar brands:
* Braggs, which is very widely available
* Trader Joe’s, easy to get, if you live near a Trader Joe’s
* Whitehouse, which I got from Dollar Tree!
If you find another brand, you might try it. Some work, some don’t. When you find one you like, stock up, because this secret is out, and the ones that work are popular and go out of stock often.
It’s very important to get pure, unsweetened cranberry juice. Most of what is sold as “cranberry juice” contains just a small amount of cranberry juice, blended with other juices (called, in the fine print, a juice blend). Also commonly sold is a product with a lot of water and added sugar (called a juice drink or, my personal favorite name, the juice cocktail). There’s a good reason for all this dilution, aside from a higher profit margin – Pure, unsweetened cranberry juice tastes pretty awful!
I get pure, unsweetened cranberry juice for $4 at Trader Joe’s. That’s the best price I’ve seen. Don’t sweat the price tag too much, though – This 32 oz. bottle, at 20 ml/day will last you 6 weeks, and the cost of all of these things, put together, is a miniscule fraction of what it costs to treat chronic UTIs.
So, why not use CranApple, or CranTwist, or Cranwhatever? Because, like with the apple cider vinegar, when the juice is diluted, your dog is not getting enough of what he needs to stop the UTIs. Cranberry works, according to WebMD.com, because it has “active compounds” in it, that – instead of getting destroyed by digestion – actually fight bacteria straight through your dog’s entire system….and these compounds are especially effective against eColi, the bacteria most likely to cause your greyhopund’s UTI’s. They may also contain artificial sweeteners, some of which are toxic to greyhounds.￼
Cranberry supplements, in the form of a capsule, will give your greyhound a huge boost of this beneficial fruit. I tried several different ones, and settled on one, which I get from Amazon. One pill is 500 mg of cranberry extract, the equivalent of a staggering 25K mg of cranberries! Youre probably thinking that’s a harvester filled with cranberries, but it’s really only about 12 cranberries. Greyhounds have a habit of spitting out the cranberry skins, though; so you’ll find the pills a lot neater than having red specks strewn all over the house.
I have also gotten BJ’s house brand. They’re not quite as potent, but they’re good in a pinch.
In case you’re wondering why I give both the juice and the pill, it’s because I discovered the juice first. Then, I discovered the pills, and I’ve been hesitant to give up the juice. If you give only one or the other, and your grey has had no further UTI’s, tell me about it in the comments.
How to Give Your Dog a Pill
If you don’t already know the easiest, cheapest way to get your greyhound to take a pill, you’re in for a revelation!! I would think everybody knows this; but apparently not, or Pill Pockets would not exist! Not that they’re bad; I’m sure they’re wonderful…but why pay a quarter each for a Pill Pocket, and you only get 30 in a bag?
It only takes a little peanut butter to get your dog to take a pill. If your concerned that he might lick off the peanut butter and then spit out the pill, you can coat it more thoroughly, still at a fraction of the cost of a Pill Pocket.
I only give Lily one cranberry pill￼ a day.
How to Mix Your Own UTI-Fighting Juice Blend
The easiest way I’ve found to get these sour juices into a greyhound is to make up a blend ahead of time, like this (We’ll get to the actual daily dosing in a minute):
1. Pour off half of a 16 oz. bottle of apple cider vinegar into a 16 oz Mason jar.
2. Then, simply top off both the bottle AND the jar with cranberry juice.
3. The vinegar bottle is the least awkward of these three vessels to pour from, so put the other two away.
4. This first bottle will last you about 3 weeks; and then you can refill it, using the contents of the Mason jar.
5. Once you’ve used THAT up, hang on to the empty vinegar bottle! Wash it out, and put it aside for the next feeding.
6. Remember that half-bottle of cranberry juice you have stashed in the back of your fridge? break that out, along with a fresh pint of ACV, and your leftover bottle from the last feeding.
7. You guessed it! You’re going to pour half of the new bottle into the old bottle, top both bottles off with the rest of the cranberry juice. Now you have two bottles of our UTI-free juice blend, enough for another 6 weeks.
…So, all together, you get 3 months out of a quart of each of these liquids.
To get this juice into your greyhound, simply add it to his food, along with all that water we talked about on Day 2. If you are concerned that he will reject it, break it in gradually over 8 feedings; starting at 5 ml (1 t.) and increasing by 5 ml. each feeding, until he is up to the full dose.
Once you’re at that point, give your greyhound 20 ml, twice a day; or 40 ml, once a day. My favorite way to measure this is with a medicine dosing cup, the kind that comes with cough medicine. Mark the appropriate dose, right on the cup, with a Sharpie. It makes it much easier and faster to get the perfect dose.
A lot of my readers have whippets and Italian greyhounds. For these smaller dogs, I would try half the dose for a whippet, and a quarter-dose for the Italian greyhound. The great thing about these supplements is that, being foods, they are very mild, and you don’t have to worry that giving a little too much will make your buddy sick. Likewise, it’s very simple to give the cranberry pills to your smaller, dog safely – Just buy a lower-dosage pill.
So – getting back to greyhounds –
that’s one cranberry pill/once a day, and 20 ml/2x a day of the ACV/cranberry juice blend!
Natural, wholesome, inexpensive, and such a simple way to keep your greyhound UTI-free for life!
Hygiene (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day5)
A little doggie hygiene can go a long way toward helping to keep your greyhound stay UTI free for life. Let’s take a look at three ways we can help your greyhound clean up his act!
There’s nothing like a little “freshening up” after doing one’s business. It’s not unusual for your dog to still be a little “messy” after he does a #2; but you leave him dirty; don’t worry – He’ll be glad to tidy himself up!
This can cause The dreaded UTI 3 ways:
Eating his own bacteria, which can work its way down to his bladder. Our old friend e coli and other bacteria can hitch a ride onto your greyhound’s tongue, and through his digestive system….and any bacteria that survives THAT ride is pretty tough!
Transfer from the outside – Greyhounds are not very discriminating about their licking. They like to give a good cleanup to the whole general area. And, as doggie-logic will dictate, cleanup will begin with the messiest area and go from there. That means he will be spreading the bacteria in his #2 right to his urinary area, where it can easily make its way into his UT. It also makes his greyhound kisses a little unhealthy for you and your family. And we are all familiar with the Greyhound Breathmint, otherwise known as licking your rug. Then, bacteria is tranferred onto your rug (or couch).
Diarrhea – idigesting bacteria from licking can upset your greyhound’s stomach, triggering diarrhea, which is always a bacteria-fest. Now you have even MORE UTI-causing bacteria flooding the zone!
What You Can Do About It
All that yucky stuff can be avoided simply by giving your hound a quick wipe just before you pick up his doodles. Have the a baby wipe, in the bag, ready to go. Grab the wipe from the outside of the bag. Invert the bag over your hand. Lift your pup’s tail and – this part is critical – Always wipe the butt LAST.
If your dog is a boy, wipe the underside of his tail, any surrounding fur that looks soiled, and then his butt.
If your dog is a girl, carefully wipe any droppings from around her urethra very carefully; making sure not to push it into her UT. Then, wipe the underside of her tail, any surrounding fur that looks soiled, and then her butt.
Sometimes, that used wipe can be helpful in cleaning up the ground, as well.
In case you’re wondering if I feel embarrassed, if anyone passes by while I’m wiping my dog’s backside, the answer is of course I do…but it truly does keep my dog healthier, so I’m ok with that. I think they’re just glad to see someone who picks up after her dog.
Fight UTI-Causing Bacteria by Keeping Your Dog’s Furnishings Clean
The second area where you can fight bacteria which could find its way into your greyhound’s urinary tract, is in his bedding. Doing a load of dog laundry once a week keeps your dog’s bedding clean and comfortable. Dogs love fresh, clean blankets, warm from the dryer.
You can start with whatever laundry detergent you normally use. I’ve used many different brands throughout the years, depending on the needs of my family, and all have worked beautifully on dog laundry. Currently, because my son works on cars all day, I use Persil, which is a heavy-duty, deodorizing detergent. If Lily gets sick or otherwise soils her bedding, I will wash that with a free-and-clear type of detergent and add a laundry sanitizing product. I’ll have more laundry tips for you further down the page, in the Day 6 section of this article
You’ll be amazed at how much cleaner your dog and your home smell just from this one, simple change (as if greyhounds aren’t cuddly enough, wait til you have one that smells like clean laundry!)
Dental Hygiene: Improved Health for Life
A third way to lessen your greyhound’s exposure to nasty, UTI-causing bacteria is to brush his teeth. This will improve your dog’s health overall, saving you HUGE money at the vet’s office. Our first greyhound, Peaches, had awful teeth. We brushed them every week, and still had to put her through the trauma of annual dental cleanings.
These were expensive, scary, and painful. And with greyhounds, there is always the concern that they will react poorly to the anesthesia. We finally hit a point where we told the vet to be very aggressive and thorough in Peaches’ next dental treatment. He was; and after a tough recovery, we followed through by brushing her teeth every day.
After that, she never needed another dental treatment! Her teeth passsed every annual check up with flying colors, her digestive problems cleared up, and her health actually improved, every year, for the rest of her life!
Guess what else happened with Peaches – No more UTIs!
If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth, you both can adjust to it gradually. For the first session, wet a new children’s toothbrush, and brush just his big front teeth. Give him a little treat. Add a few more teeth every day, until you’re both comfortable with brushing. Then, you can try it with toothpaste. Make sure the toothpaste doesn’t contain xylitol, which is toxic to greyhounds.
Did I forget any ways to help your dirty dog clean up his act? Let’s see:
1. Clean rump
2. Clean Laundry
3. Clean Teeth
I’ll bet you never thought there was so much you could do to make your greyhound happier, healthier, and UTI-free for life￼!
If you would like to see a question-and-answer follow-up video packed with more helpful information on dog UTIs, please add your question in the comments over at YouTube.
Accidents (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day6)
If your greyhound has just left a UTI-induced puddle on your floor or couch, you may be experiencing a range of …feelings …
He can make a puddle on your floor that is tricky to remove! In addition to concentrated urine, it contains a high level of bacteria, has a high ph, often contains blood, and has a distinctive “stressed dog” smell to it, which could invite him (or your other pets) to make further messes there!
This is a quick primer on how to get that mess cleaned up and disinfected.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps:
1. Don’t wait
2. Mark the area
3. Blot with paper towels
4. Spray with cleaner
5. Remove the stain
6. Spray with Lysol
The first and most important thing to do after your dog has had an accident on the floor, is to drop everything, and begin cleaning IMMEDIATELY!! The less time it has to soak in, the better chance you have of salvaging your floor.
Mark the area
Use masking tape to mark the perimeter of the stain(s). I know this seems like an odd thing to do first; but as you start to remove the stain, it’s easy to lose track of exactly where it was, and can you end up painstakingly cleaning a much larger area.
Blot with paper towels
Grab the entire roll, and get to work. Stepping on layers of paper towels works very well. Tread carefully, though! There’s a fine line between blotting it up and grinding it in! As the towels begin to come up clean, you can step harder, increasing pressure, until you’re sure you’ve gotten it all. A roll of heavy-duty paper towels, known as shop towels, are great to have tucked away for just such an emergency!
I recommend strongly against using any kind of reusable, washable cloth. You are not dealing with ordinary urine. Remember, your dog has a UTI because his system has been overloaded with bacteria, yeast, or virus…not exactly the kind of thing you want swirling around the washer with your handtowels. Through the natural course of life with our pets, we are exposed to plenty of these things, which helps build our healthy immune systems; but it’s important to use discretion, too. If you insist on using washable cloths, hand-wash them in a bucket with plenty of soapy water. Rinse well. Flush the water, or dispose of it outside. Then, run the rags through your washer, using a laundry sanitizer and strong detergent. In other words, treat them as you would soiled bedding, or a baby’s soiled cloth diaper.
Spray with Cleaner
Even if you’re going to use a rug shampooer, spray the spot with cleaner. It’ll get to work, breaking up the stain and making it easier to remove. Located below is an easy how-to for making your own gentle, natural cleaner for pennies; but ￼there are many excellent stain removers on the market, including pet-friendly, natural ones. You might choose an enzymatic spray, as these break down the scent-compounds in the urine, so they turn into gasses, which will dissipate into the air.
Do not use baking soda on your rug. It’s OK in the laundry; but it tends to leave a white residue behind, and can really clog up your vaccuum and rug shampooer. There are other ways to deoderize your carpet, which we will be getting into here.￼
Here’s how to make the gentle cleaner that I now use every day, all over my house. I learned how to make this as a pet-stain cleaner, and I liked it so much, that I’m never without it. In addition to being the best thing I’ve found for removing pet stains from rugs and laundry, it has the bonus of not giving me a headache when I use it, like chemical-based cleaners do.
GENTLE CLEANING SPRAY HOW-TO
What’s really in a good cleaner, and can we replicate this at home? Well, let’s see:
* You’ll want a soap to break up the stain. Hands down, the best cleaning soap is Dawn Original formula.
* White vinegar will help neutralize the stain.
* Peroxide has a bubbling action that will oxidize the urine and help bring it to the surface.
* Essential oils are, well, essential. It looks like a small bottle for the money, but they are not expensive, when you consider that essential oil is used in drops. Different oils have different functions. For cleaning UTI stains, we are going to use orange to further break up the stain, and rosemary to neutralize the odor. Coming up, we will make a formula for your rug shampooer, which will contain lavender (a natural sanitizer) and peppermint, which will freshen your carpet and discourage your dog from returning to the scene of the crime.
1. First, put 2 1/2 cups of water into a clean 1 qt. spray bottle.
2. Then, add the following:
A few drops each of orange essential oil and rosemary essential oil
3. Using a cup, top off the bottle with water. If you try to top it off by running it under the faucet, it will foam up, and the essential oils you just added could end up down the drain. Screw on the spray head top, and you’re ready to clean!
Because there is peroxide on this spray, test it on a remote corner of your rug. Peroxide will fade some fibers. The peroxide in this cleaner is so diluted, that it’s never faded one of my rugs. It did, however, fade the black paw print pattern on a flannel sheet once, when I used it as a laundry pretreatment. I did think, once, that it faded an old rug that my dog had trashed; but, to be honest, I think it just super-cleaned that one spot, and highlighted how far gone the rest of the rug was!
Getting back to that nasty UTI stain, spray it carefully with your cleaner. You want to use just the right amount here – Enough to treat the stain, but not so much that you are spreading the mess outward, and down through the pad and the flooring.
Give the spray about 10 minutes to work, while you gather what you need for the next step.
Remove the stain
This is the hardest and most time-consuming part.
If you are going to have both pets and rugs, buy a carpet-cleaning machine. It will save your furnishings, your back, and your relationship with your pets.
These machines wet down the spot with your choice of cleaner. The cleaner dissolves your carpet stain, and the powerful suction of the machine vacuums the mess into a holding tank. Afterward, you empty the tank, and I like to take the whole thing apart outside, and spray it clean with the garden hose.
Your machine won’t last long, if it is not cleaned thoroughly, right after each use, before the mess dries on it. I know that sounds odd (Really? I have to clean my cleaner?). Also, your rug cleaner is a stain buster, not a vacuum cleaner, so avoid letting it get clogged with pet hair. I went through quite a few machines, before I figured that out! It’s one thing just to clean one area of your rug; but if you decide to clean an entire rug, always use your regular vacuum first, to remove the hair, dust, and dander.
There are 3 types of carpet cleaners: handheld, upright, and upright with hand tools. Whichever one you buy, make sure it is well-rated for performance, suction, and not leaking. More expensive ones have better motors. These last longer, and work harder, so you don’t have to. This is one instance in which you really do get what you pay for.
A desireable feature is for the head of the machine (where it contacts the surface you’re cleaning) to be clear. When you use these machines, it’s good to be able to actually see the progress of the liquid being sucked up. That way, you know when you’ve gotten it all, and can move on to the next part of the stain.
The first type look like little, handheld vacuum cleaners. These are good on area rugs, chairs, and couches.
Uprights look like vacuum cleaners. These tend to be more powerful than the handheld variety, but you lose the ability to clean furniture with them.
That’s why I prefer the upright type that has a hose and attachments. It’s the best of both worlds, and they tend to be better-quality machines. That way, you’re ready for whatever your dogs dishes out, and wherever he, uh, dishes it!
You can buy a decent one for the price of renting one a few times, and it’s always there when you need it. Plus, since you own the machine, you have control over what type of cleaner you put into it….
How to Make Your Own Carpet-Cleaner Fluid
…which brings me to our second how-to for today, how to make your own carpet-cleaner fluid! It’s very similar to the gentle cleaner spray, and has the same benefits – Excellent cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing, without the toxins of commercial cleaners.
It contains white vinegar, castile soap for breaking down the urine, and Dawn for thorough cleaning. I also add rubbing alcohol, as a disinfectant, and to help it dry faster. For essential oils, use lavender oil for sanitizing, and mint to throw off your greyhound’s sniffer and discourage him from turning that spot into a public toilet.
Fill the water compartment of your machine most of the way, and add:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1T castile soap
a few drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils
Top off with enough water to fill the compartment, and prepare to run your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Get you paper towels out again, and give that stain one more good blotting.
Then, start your machine. I find that the hand tools do a more thorough job. It’s easier to see what you’re doing. Be sure to clean from the outside of the stain first, working your way toward the middle, so you don’t spread it and make it worse. Typically, the machine (or handtool) has a trigger that you press to release the fluid on your first pass. Let go of the trigger, and the machine goes into vacuum mode. This is when you should be able to see the now-dirty fluid being sucked up into the machine. Keep going over this first little area until no more fluid is coming up. Press the trigger, and clean the spot again. Hopefully, you’ll see clean fluid coming up this time; but if not, you’ll know that a 3rd pass is going to be in order. The dirtier parts of the stain will need more passes.
Keep working. Be patient, succeeding in one small area at a time, until you have worked your way to the center of the stain. Be very sure to move the tool slowly, and to draw as much fluid out of the rug as you can. I won’t lie to you – This is hard work. In fact, this is the thing that motivated me to create this series for you! Cleaning up UTI puddles is the ultimate buzzkill of pet ownership! With what you have learned in this article, you will have a lot fewer moments like this!
At this point – I hate to say this – but you’re going to have to give it the sniff-test. You can also give it a test-blot with a clean paper towel. If it still smells, or your paper towel comes out yellow, clean it again…but I have good news for your back – This time, simply working back-and-forth will be fine. Again, draw as much liquid out of the rug as you can. It will not be completely dry to the touch, but you can put a fan on it. This step is especially important during humid weather or in poorly-ventilated areas – You certainly don’t want mildew setting into your rug after all that work!
Before you go, spray the area lightly with Lysol to further disinfect, and discourage mildew and return “visits” from the furry folk.
The same procedure applies to furniture. Savvy pet owners know to keep their furniture covered. Either way, sometimes there is leakage! You will be very happy with the way the machine draws that gross mess out of your furniture.
Cleaning By Hand
If you need to clean the spot without a machine, you can use the same steps, up to where we broke out the machine. Then, you’ll need a scrub-brush (use a softer brush on furniture, like a toothbrush), a sponge, rags, a bucket of clean water, and your cleaning spray. You can make the same cleaning spray I described earlier, with the addition of 1t of castile soap and 2T of rubbing alcohol.
Just like one using the machine, work from the outside in, and clean one small section, very well, at a time. Spray a small section lightly, scrub it lightly and briskly with the scrub brush to finish breaking up the mess, and wipe it up with a damp sponge, rinsing the sponge often. A clean, dry rag will provide the absorption you need to draw out the rest of the stain. More blotting. Yes, it’s tedious, which is why I recommend the machine, even if you need to save your pennies, or sell something out of your garage to raise the money for it!
Once you’ve reached the center of the stain, give it the sniff test, and go over it again, if needed. Spray with Lysol, and put a fan on it, until it has fully dried.
WHAT IF THE MESS IS IN HIS BED?
I hope, for your sake & your wallet, that you have taken the precaution of using bedding that cleans up in the laundry! I cannot count the number of adorable dog beds I wasted money on, which only lasted until the next illness. Here are pictures of what layers go on Lily’s bed. You might say it’s too much trouble, or that your dog would dig that up in a New York minute. I had those opinions, too; until I had an elderly, incontinent greyhound. This is all you need to do to clean this bedding set-up, if your greyhound has had a UTI accident on it:
* Strip off everything that got messed an, placing it into a bucket
* Throw away the disposable pad(s)
* Fill the bucket with warm water and a shot of any cleaner (Lestoil, laundry detergent, Dawn dish soap, Woolite, etc.)
* Let soak, while you put fresh coverings on the dog’s bed
* Flush the stain out of the fabric under running water (sink, utility sink, tub, or even hose it down outside)
* Wring out, and spray with our DIY cleaner
* Launder on the heaviest setting you have
This is so much easier that cleaning a rug, which is one of the reasons I don’t like my dog running, free-range, when I’m not home. I use a crate, but an alternative set-up I have seen is a dedicated room with a bare floor and lots of old quilts for the dog to craft into a cozy nest.
Whew! That was a ton of work; but by now, using the techniques you’ve learned here, your greyhound should be on his way to improved health, so you don’t have so many awful times like this!
Other Ideas (ByeBye UTI 7Day Bootcamp, day7)
What ELSE can you do to help keep your greyhound UTI-free for life?
* You can check his pee at least once a day, to make sure there is no blood. UTIs can come on very quickly.
* You can educate anyone who cares for your dog, and make sure they follow the procedures outlined here. If you are someone who cares for dogs professionally, you can help keep your furry clients healthy by asking their owners to watch these videos.
* Be patient! Although natural cures sometimes work right away; more often, they will take a good 6 weeks to load into your dog’s system. If your dog has had chronic UTIs, it may take even longer.
* Greyhounds are sensitive folks! Stress messes with their ph, making them more prone to UTIs. Watch even more carefully for symptoms during extreme weather, dietary changes, illness, injury, emotional upset, or any other change.
* Make a detailed note of any changes you make to your dog’s diet or routine, and be sure to hand it to your vet on the next visit, so it can become part of his record. That way, he’s better able to help with any further urinary issues.
* If all else fails, try a special food. Some dog foods are so high in protein, that the kidneys have trouble processing it. Royal Canin has a special UT support formula, as do some other brands. The best thing you can do is take a trip to a pet store with a good variety of foods, read some labels, and pick up a small bag to try. If you decide to try a new food, always break it in gradually, or your dog can suffer terrible indigestion! The first few days, replace 1/4 cup of your dog’s regular food with the new food. Increase the replacement by another 1/4c. every few days, until you have completely changed him over to the new food. If you decide to go back to his old food, or try another new food, repeat the process the same way.
Have I missed anything? Leave me a question in the comments! If I get enough questions, I’ll do a follow-up Q&A video as a companion to this series.
Have you been successful in improving your greyhound’s health? I’d love to hear about that, too. Stories of your success with the techniques you’ve learned here can help encourage others.