Urinary incontinence in dogs
As your dog ages, you will notice changes in their behavior, personality, and physique. Incontinence is a common occurrence among older dogs, and it's important you feel confident in being able to care for them.
If your older dog is incontinent, they'll stop urinating in the same way as when they were younger; they may not recognize when they are urinating, leave trails of urine on the floor, or struggle to urinate. It's crucial not to chastise them for this behavior—they're not doing this on purpose, but rather because they aren't able to control these functions.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from digestive problems which cause discomfort, unpleasant symptoms and sometimes wider-reaching health issues. Their diet is a key way to help manage digestive sensitivities and maintain a healthy digestive system.
How can incontinent dogs be treated?
Depending on the cause of their incontinence, your dog will be treated in different ways. If it is a muscular issue, your vet may prescribe certain stimulants which induce better control of their urinary muscles. These are efficient in 75% of cases.
If your dog has an underlying urinary issue, your vet may suggest surgery to remove any stones in their system, prescribe antibiotics to treat infection, and help you choose a diet that can maintain good urinary health. The vet may also suggest lifestyle changes, such as encouraging your dog to be more active and therefore reducing the risk of further urinary problems.
If there is a larger medical cause, your vet will look to treat that as a whole, rather than only the incontinence.
If you see that your dog's urination behavior has changed as they've aged, there's no reason to think nothing can be done; make an appointment with your local vet who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.