How to Manage Senior Dogs Peeing in the House: Incontinence 202

Like humans, dogs also go through a lot of changes in their lives. For most of us pet owners, we have witnessed how our best furry has grown from adorable little puppies who have been very dependent on us until they have become active, playful young docs until they become senior dogs who have been very loyal companions. 

As they age, their behavior also changes. These changes are often health issues that go with their age. Unfortunately, our best bud weakens as they age. One noticeable change that they go through as they grow old is incontinence.

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is a dog’s inability to control urinating or pooping. To be specific, urinary incontinence in dogs is the involuntary loss of the dog’s urine. This condition usually affects older or senior dogs and older neutered females. 

The causes of this condition are: 

  • Chronic bladder inflammation
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Enlarge prostate 
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Nerve damage affecting urine control
  • Weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Incontinence can affect any breed. In most cases, incontinence in dogs starts in middle age to old age. It is important to know the signs that your fur buddy is suffering from this condition so that you can bring them to the vet and get them medicated or get treatment. Common signs include:

  • Urinating while sleeping.
  • Dropping urine while walking.
  • Urinating while walking.
  • Wet spots on its beddings.
  • Smelling urine most of the times

Managing Dogs With Incontinence

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from incontinence, the best thing to do is to see your doctor first.

Have Your Dog Checked  

Having your dog checked by a veterinarian is the best decision that you can make to help them. Incontinence can be caused by a medical condition or a behavior problem. Having your dog checked will let you know if your dog is suffering from a serious medical condition hence the behavior. Remember that incontinence often happens to senior dogs that are often weak. It can be caused by urinary tract infection, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, spinal disorders, arthritis, or brain disease.

The good news is that 90% of dogs who are suffering from urinary incontinence respond to medical management. If needed, veterinarians prescribe medications to pet owners and have their dogs undergo medications. If the condition is chronic or serious, the dog may need to stay in a facility where it has to go through medication and needs to be monitored. Your visit to the vet will matter the most as they will be able to determine if somethings wrong with your dog. If the symptoms are something to do with an illness or its just behavioral.

Frequent Walks  

While some dogs respond to medications, some are caused by behavior change or, in some cases, dementia. What you can do is you can increase frequent walks or potty time with your dog. Take them out immediately after eating or drinking or after waking up. Do not limit your dog’s water intake. They need to have as much water as they had to stay hydrated and healthy.

Waterproof Covers 

For most senior dogs, urinary incontinence is already part of their aging process. To be able to manage this, you many put waterproof covers on their bed and those places where they usually rest.

Keep It Clean

Thoroughly clean soiled areas with an enzymatic cleaner. This will keep your dog from being attracted to that area.

Keep Them Clean

Best to keep your furry friend clean at all times to prevent foul smell, infection, and irritation. This is to avoid any foul smell that can cause discomfort not only to your dog but also to you. 

Doggie Diapers

Use doggie diapers in cases in which your dog cannot really control urinating. These are severe cases, and using doggie diapers is the best solution so that you won’t go around your house cleaning urine. Make sure to change it frequently as it may cause infection and irritation. Make sure that you keep it clean if you have to use the diapers. There are adult diapers, even for big dogs.

Incontinence can be hard to deal with, and it can be stressful not only for you but especially for your dog. Your senior dog is getting these symptoms of old age, and it is hard for them as well. In dealing with incontinence, consider considering your pet’s physical and emotional needs. They can feel embarrassed, or they can feel bad. At this time, our furry friend may need us, humans, more than ever, and they also deserve to live a comfortable life.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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