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Tips for Dealing with Incontinence in Dogs


Healthy, housetrained dogs can go without urinating for up to eight hours. This allows them to hold their urine overnight or while an owner is at work. Some dogs cannot hold their urine, though, which can create all kinds of problems for pet owners. Read on to find some tips for dealing with incontinence that can help owners keep their beloved pets more comfortable and their homes clean.

Find Out the Underlying Cause First

There’s no need to assume the worst. There are diverse reasons that a dog could develop incontinence problems and not all of them are serious. Some conditions that cause urinary incontinence are even treatable. However, incontinence can also be a symptom of potentially serious medical conditions. It’s important to take the dog to a vet for an accurate diagnosis.

Cat and dog- Scottish News
Photo by Alexis Chloe on Unsplash

When heading to the vet, expect the dog to undergo a full exam. The owner will also have to answer some questions about the animal’s recent drinking habits. Start paying attention to when and how much the dog drinks and urinates before his or her visit.

Buy Doggie Diapers

If the dog has an underlying medical or behavioral problem that is not treatable, dog owners may want to buy dog diapers from Pet Parents. Dog diapers are designed to be comfortable and hygienic. Some dogs may initially resist wearing them, but they will get used to the diapers.

With doggie diapers, pet owners don’t have to worry about protecting their households from unwanted accidents. They don’t have to lock their pups up in crates or restrict them to the yard. Instead, diapers can give incontinent dogs their independence back since they can rejoin the family, get back up on furniture, and roam around the house as they please without causing any trouble. Diapers also help to protect dogs prone to scooting around on the floor from urinary tract infections.

Buy an Easy-to-Clean Dog Bed

Washable pillow beds tend to absorb liquids and odors. Once this starts happening, incontinent dogs will often start avoiding their beds altogether. Instead of replacing them all the time, dog owners should buy easy-to-clean, elevated beds made from porous materials. That way, the liquid will flow through, leaving the dog happy and dry. Pet owners can simply wash the bed off with soap and water and put puppy pads beneath it to avoid having to clean up unpleasant messes.

Never Punish Incontinent Dogs

Dogs struggling with incontinence can’t help having the occasional accident. Getting angry or punishing the dog will only make the situation worse for both owners and animals. The dog will get anxious, which will make the animal more prone to having accidents in the house. Try to stay calm and continue treating that furry friend with the respect and compassion he or she deserves.

Limit Access to Certain Areas

If some areas of the home have carpets or other difficult-to-clean flooring materials, pet owners may want to restrict access to these areas. Instead, try to keep the incontinent animal in areas with easy-to-clean floors. Just make sure the pet does not feel cut off from the family.

Use Puppy Training Pads

Some dogs struggling with incontinence make good-faith efforts to get outside. If they are house trained, incontinent dogs are more likely to urinate in entryways if their owners aren’t home to let them out in time. Try placing puppy training pads on the floor in the areas closest to the door to make it easier to clean up accidents after getting home. If the dog doesn’t like using the pads, try placing an inexpensive, washable throw rug over them.

Bring the Outside In

Some incontinent dogs urinate more frequently because of medication side effects or illnesses. When this is the case, pet owners can bring the outside in to make frequent urination less of a chore. Try placing some artificial grass on a balcony or in a bathroom or laundry room that is easily accessible for the dog. The artificial turf can be washed using soapy water, and most dogs will recognize it as the best option for urinating indoors.

Consider Medical Interventions

If the animal is incontinent as a result of an underlying medical condition, the pet’s veterinarian may have suggestions that could help. Some treatments focus on strengthening dogs’ urethral sphincters, while others involve hormone therapy, collagen injections, or even surgery. Not all forms of urinary incontinence can be treated, but it’s worth taking the time to discuss options with the animal’s veterinarian, especially if the dog is young and otherwise healthy.

Consult the Vet before Limiting Water Intake

Veterinarians recommend leaving fresh, clean water out for dogs at all times. It may be tempting to restrict the animal’s water intake if he or she is experiencing incontinence as a result of excessive water intake, but that’s rarely the right course of action. Pet owners should always consult a veterinarian before limiting water access, especially if the animal is drinking more to compensate for excessive thirst as a side effect of a medication.

Dealing with Incontinence as a Behavioral Issue

Not all incontinence is caused by underlying medical conditions. Sometimes, stress can cause a loss of bladder control. Don’t punish this behavior. Most dogs will outgrow the condition and those that don’t can be trained to manage stress in healthier ways. Try to keep stressful interactions to a minimum by avoiding bending over the dog or making direct eye contact. It may also be wise to speak with a canine behaviorist.

The Bottom Line

Canine incontinence doesn’t have to ruin dog owners’ relationships with their beloved pets. This problem may be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that incontinent dogs are not urinating indoors out of spite. Incontinent animals have genuine medical or behavioral issues that cause them to lose bladder control. Pet owners should do their best to remain calm when their animals around, consult a veterinarian about possible interventions, and purchase products that will make it easier to keep the home clean and reduce the dog’s infection risk.