Canine Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence in dogs can be caused by a variety of things. Among these are old age, medications, surgery, anxiety, bladder/kidney issues, a urinary tract infection – these are just the causes I am aware of.

Having a 13-year-old dog, I know firsthand how stressful dealing with a dog’s urinary incontinence can be. Bea’s first round of indoor accidents was caused by a UTI and back pain. Thankfully modern medicine and an awesome veterinarian fixed the initial problem.

DO pay a visit to your veterinarian if your previously house-trained dog is having accidents/leaking OR if they never seemed to get the hang of potty training. It is important to determine what is causing the issue. It is a sad fact that some dogs are given up due to accidents only for shelters/rescuers to discover that the dog has a medical issue that is relatively easy to treat.

Some dogs need medications to help with whatever is causing the issue. Don’t discount the benefits of a trip to your vet. Urinary incontinence can be the canary in the coal mine of more serious issues. Whatever you do, don’t punish a dog for an accident – that is like punishing a toddler for an accident.

Now, due to another bout of back pain from playing too hard Bea is on a short round of Prednisone. This medication is causing him to drink more water and leak. He will not be on it for long and the benefits far outweigh a little leakage.

Waking up to a dog bed with pee on it is not fun for me and I am certain Bea is no fan either. So, I put carpet paper across his bed (once it was sanitized), put a towel down and one of those cushioned bath mats. Voila! This morning’s clean-up was simple – I did not have to take apart his entire bed and it did not leak through the cushioned bath mat!

            For the dog who leaks on its bed:

1.      Put an impermeable layer of plastic/tarp over the dog’s bed

2.      Place a towel or material over the plastic

3.      Place something super absorbent like a cushioned bath mat over the towel


Tips to make life easier:

-         Get your dog to the veterinarian ASAP for a checkup

-         Consult with your veterinarian about supplements that may help

-         Use an exercise pen or baby gates to contain the dog while still giving freedom

-         Take the dog out to potty more often

-         Hire someone to give your dog potty breaks

-         Use the 3 steps listed above to pee proof the bed of a dog who leaks while sleeping

-         Test out a Belly Band (this is for male dogs)

-         Use an enzymatic cleaner if you have other pets who may want to “mark” the area

-         Do not punish an accident – the dog cannot help it!