Dogs get urinary tract infections (UTIs) too, but using AZO to treat a canine’s condition is not a good idea. In some versions the active ingredient is Phenazopyridine and that comes with higher risks for pets.
AZO, because it’s available OTC at pharmacies, may seem harmless. That could be a misguided conclusion. This product’s efficacy for dogs is largely unknown and, instead, it may be potentially harmful.
There’s some evidence that AZO could cause certain susceptible dogs to experience Hemolysis which is the destruction of red blood cells. Muscle and liver damage is also possible. Too many risks!
Can I Give My Dog AZO? Answer: No
While pet parents have given this medicine without incident, we can not recommend it.
AZO is an analgesic treatment that has been thoroughly tested on humans, but it’s not intended for your dog. The truth is there isn’t much of a track record for the use of AZO on dogs. We do know that a Chihuahua was harmed by phenazopyridine, according to the NCBI.
Quality cranberry chews for canines are much safer and also more effective if your dog is dealing with a UTI.
AZO Not a Fix Anyway
AZO tablets, and similar drugs like Pyridium, aren’t actually remedies for bladder infections.
Your dog may get short-term relief because that’s what analgesics do. The effect will be temporary and there are many known side effects such as stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
Carcinogenic for K9s?
There are more scary reasons why we think all Phenazopyridine formulations, AZO included, are inappropriate for pet dogs.
Liver damage and Rhabdomyolysis (a muscle injury syndrome) are concerns, but AZO may also be carcinogenic. Of course, this is only proven in lab rats – not dogs.
These serious concerns are in addition to rare situations where red blood cells could be affected by the use of Phenazopyridine.
Two AZO Alternatives
Utilize a natural and safe remedy rather than giving your dog an over-the-counter prescription or nonprescription medication such as AZO.
While debatable, cranberry is widely believed to reduce or alleviate some of the nagging symptoms of urinary tract infections and other bladder urgency problems. Introducing chamomile tea to your canine may also help.
Quite honestly, your vet deals with dog UTIs all the time and can provide the best solution.
A prescription medication is likely the right medicine and that would require a veterinarian. Often times an antibiotic is needed to properly address a stubborn urinary tract infection.
OTC AZO, regardless of the version you have, is not the right approach for a beloved pet dog.
Identifying a Dog’s UTI
Most owners can’t identify a typical UTI in the early stages. It’s often the case that by the time the dog exhibits an obvious urinary infection, it’s time to call in a professional.
A noticeable UTI has already progressed to the point where an antibiotic is usually the best way to handle it. A vet visit will ensure that your dog gets the right treatment. Save the AZO for human use.
Conclusion on AZO
Giving your dog AZO for a urinary tract infection is not totally safe or appropriate. Try natural remedies instead, or get a vet’s antibiotic prescription. While rare, AZO can be dangerous for certain dogs. Phenazopyridine, the active ingredient, is a bit risky.