Dog Incontinence 101 - Common Causes and Treatment
We all like to keep a clean house, but sometimes it feels like your doggo has other ideas. If your dog is struggling with urinary incontinence, you aren’t alone. It’s a common problem with a variety of causes, and luckily many treatments.
In this Dog Incontinence 101, we answer your questions about why dogs pee in the house, what the best course of action is for your dog & how to get your house back on track! Peeing in the house is usually a puppyhood problem. These little furballs haven’t worked out the ropes yet, so if they are still young just keep working on your potty training!
But if you are wondering - why is my older dog peeing in the house? It could be one of several reasons. Sometimes called "inappropriate urination" by vets, older dogs can experience apparent relapses in their housetraining. First, it’s wise to first rule out any health problems first. So a visit to your local vet is a great start.
If a mature dog is peeing in the house, here’s what could be causing it:
Age - as dogs get older, it can become harder for them to control their bladder. Just as we do, dogs can suffer from dementia or senility, leading to house training regressing.
Structural Abnormalities - whilst older dogs are more likely to lose control, some dogs as young as 3 can suffer from incontinence due to structural issues with their bladder. If your dog is peeing sporadically, leaving urine puddles in the bed or on the floor during naps, and generally seems unconscious of their accidents, then this may be the cause.
Urinary Tract Issues - if the behavior comes on rapidly, a urinary tract infection is usually the most common cause. Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) or bladder stones are also common.
Serious Medical Issues - thankfully these are more rare, but they do happen. Tumours, diabetes, Cushing's disease or kidney failure can cause erratic urination, which is why it’s best to have a vet assess your dog straight away.
If, however, your dog is consciously urinating in large quantities in inappropriate areas, you might be facing something behavioral. Once your vet has cleared your pooch of any health issues, they might suggest the following as areas of interest:
Marking - some dogs (usually males) can display marking behavior. Driven by sex hormones, marking involves urinating to claim territory. This behavior can become a bad habit, and can continue even after a dog being neutered.
Submission, anxiety or excitement - this may happen if your dog is intimidated or overwhelmed by someone or something. If you have had a change of circumstance or added a new family member recently, this could be the cause.
Dog Incontinence Treatments
If your dog has a medical issue, the vet will usually advise on a suitable treatment. This could be a course of antibiotics or something more invasive.
If the issue is behavioral, here are some incontinence solutions:
Retrain - revisit your successful potty training routine and repeat the steps, this might help kickstart a new behavior pattern.
More Potty Breaks - get really vigilant in taking your dog outside or onto their Potty Buddy right after drinking, eating, and waking from naps.
Reward - praise your dog for peeing in the appropriate places.
Clean Up - it’s always wise to thoroughly clean the affected area, as your dog may recognise the urine smell and associate that place with their potty breaks!
Identify Triggers - try to work out if there’s anything in particular that could be causing excess stress or anxiety for your dog.
Living with a senior dog means accidents can happen, so here are some ways to plan and prepare to keep them (and you!) more comfortable:
Sleep Spots - it’s a good idea to keep a pee pad like Potty Buddy where your senior dog sleeps. Potty Buddy's unique design features three layers which work together to eliminate leakage and trap odors. Being soft and comfy, you dog will naturally be attracted to using it.
AffectedAreas - place a Potty Buddy down in the areas your dog frequents most, as this way you can avoid the worst of the damage. Plus the weighted, anti-slip design is totally safe for their paws.
Walkies - try and get them outside or on their Potty Buddy as frequently as possible to encourage them to go in those spots.
Advice - dementia or senility in dogs can be managed with medications and supplements, so get advice and help from your vet.
Until you get a handle on your dog’s behavior, or if you want help managing your senior dogs accidents, our pee pad is a great investment. Reusable, machine washable and created with ease in mind, Potty Buddy Reusable Pads are the smart way to start getting your house back.And just remember… you got this!
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable
Leak-Free Potty Pad
A durable and super-absorbent potty pad that can be washed and reused for years. It saves money and the planet.