Dealing with Incontinence in older dogs

Dealing with Incontinence in older dogs

Health & Safety

Dogs give their owners so much pleasure throughout their lives, they are loyal and form strong ties with their families and the people they love. Sadly, as dogs get older, just like us, they can develop certain health issues and problems one of which is incontinence. It can make life difficult for both an owner and their canine companions because most dogs hate it when they soil themselves. Coping with dogs when they start leaking"" can be managed so that it does not turn into a real problem, it just takes a bit of planning.

A more common problem in older bitches

Although it is more of a common problem seen in older female dogs, males too can suffer from incontinence for all sorts of different reasons. With this said when a female starts leaking and leaving damp or wet patches on their bedding when they have been lying down, they can also develop the following problems:

  • The skin around their genitals can become inflamed and sore which is because the urine they leak when they are lying down ends up scalding their skin
  • The hair found around their genital area becomes discoloured by the urine they leak
  • Dogs lick at their genital area excessively to keep themselves clean which can make the area sore
  • A dog's breath starts to smell of urine because they constantly clean themselves

The problem is that dogs don't realise they have leaked any urine because it tends to happen when they are totally relaxed which is typically when they are sleeping. With this said, a dog can leak continually when awake too which makes the problem that much worse to have to deal with for both owner and dog.

The Causes

When a female dog starts leaking urine, the chances are they have developed some sort of urinary tract infection which can include a condition known as cystitis. Other reasons could include the following:

  • A loss bladder control which is usually due to issues developing at the neck of a dog's bladder
  • Loss of bladder control because of a spinal issue which is usually some form of disease that attacks a dog's spine
  • Kidney failure or diabetes mellitus can also cause a dog to leak urine because they produce too much urine

What to do when a dog's starts leaking urine

It would be a mistake to just assume a dog has started to leak urine because of their age alone. As such, a trip to the vet is necessary so they can check a dog over thoroughly and find out just what the problem is.

What happens if nothing is done?

If nothing is done about a dog's incontinence, scalding can occur on a dog's skin which can then turn into lesions as the skin become ulcerated. The leaking can also be caused by some underlying health issue which should be investigated sooner rather than later.

Coping with a dog when they are incontinent

Fortunately, today there are many good quality products available on the market which includes specially made dog nappies and well-made incontinence pads that come in all sizes from small to extra-large. It is even possible to buy washable dog nappies which means that if your pet has a real problem and needs to wear a nappy both during the day and at night when they are sleeping, it won't cost a fortune in disposable dog nappies.


Male dogs can become incontinent when they get older more especially if they are suffering from a form of cancer, have developed kidney disease or some other underlying health issue. The good news is that if they wear nappies or sleep on incontinence pads, the problem can be managed and therefore does not turn your home into an antisocial and smelly environment which often happens when dogs become incontinent when they reach their golden years. A trip to the vet to have them checked out is essential because they could be prescribed medication that would help manage their condition although a cure may not always be possible.


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