How to Treat Incontinence in a Dog

Written by louise lawson
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How to Treat Incontinence in a Dog
Incontinence can affect dogs of all ages. (dog face image by KateC from

Finding a puddle of urine in your home when you have a housebroken dog can be an alarming discovery. Incontinence is the inability to hold urine and occurs when the muscles at the opening of the urethra are too weak to prevent urine from leaking out from the bladder. Many different factors can cause incontinence in your dog, and canine incontinence can manifest at any age, but you can treat your dog's incontinence so your dog can return to a normal life.

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Things you need

  • Medication
  • Soft treats
  • Puppy training pads
  • Incontinence pants or belly band

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  1. 1

    Watch for signs of incontinence. A dog with bladder trouble will leak urine onto the floor or his bed and will want to go outside frequently to urinate. Excessive licking of the vulva, in female dogs, or sheath, in male dogs, is also common with incontinence.

  2. 2

    Take your dog to your veterinarian to determine the cause of her incontinence. Canine incontinence is especially common in older dogs and in females that have recently had puppies, because pregnancy strains the bladder. Your vet will run a series of blood tests to screen for hormonal incontinence and may prescribe an appropriate medication for your dog.

  3. 3

    Administer any medication as directed by your veterinarian. Propalin is a drug commonly prescribed to incontinent dogs--it causes the urethral sphincter muscles to tighten and prevent leaking. Place the pill in a soft treat such as cheese and feed it to your dog before her normal meal when she is hungry and she will eagerly accept the treat.

  4. 4

    Place puppy training pads in the areas your dog frequents to prevent urine stains on your carpet and furniture. Puppy pads have a plastic lining and a soft absorbent layer that soaks up urine. Dispose of soiled pads and replace fresh pads as necessary.

  5. 5

    Fit your female dog with incontinence pants or your male dog with a belly band. Incontinence pants are essentially diapers that slip over the rear end of female dogs. A belly band is a thick pad that fits snugly over a male dog's midsection, or belly, to cover his penis. Give your dog a break from wearing the pants or band periodically and wash daily to prevent absorbed urine from burning your dog's skin.

Tips and warnings

  • Your dog may develop a rash around the genitals as a result of irritation from excessive licking. Daily application of an antibiotic ointment will help ease discomfort and encourage healing.

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