How to Help an Older Dog with Incontinence
As your senior dog gets older, he'll often experience a few changes that come with age, just like humans do. One of those is no longer being able to hold his bladder as well as he once did. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to help your older dog's incontinence and let him feel more comfortable every day, from getting a bed with a waterproof lining to taking more frequent potty breaks.
Visit Your Veterinarian
A visit to your veterinarian should be your top priority. A dog can develop incontinence problems for all sorts of reasons that aren't necessarily tied to age. So visit your vet to make sure there isn't a health issue at play.
Take More Frequent Potty Outings
Older dogs simply can't hold their bladder as long as they did when they were puppies.1 Some dogs will be genuinely upset when they have accidents because they only want to make you happy. Help set your dog up for success by taking her on more frequent potty breaks. Start with a walk first thing in the morning. Then try to go again right after she takes a nap. If you work outside of your home all day, consider asking a friend or dog sitter to stop by a couple of times during the day if you don't have a doggy door.
Invest in Wee Pads or Doggie Diapers
When a senior dog is incontinent, he may dribble a little pee while standing or walking. He may not even realize he needs to go potty until it's too late. That's where doggy diapers or male dog wraps can help. Change the diaper frequently, and consider trimming your dog's "bum fur," so it gets less messy.
Potty pads can also help if you place them where your dog likes to sleep. You might also want to pile some towels or clean blankets in the areas where your dog sleeps to help make cleanup after accidents a little easier.
Try a Foam Bed
Some dogs may feel uncomfortable while sleeping if their bladder is bothering them. A foam bed can help ease that discomfort, so they sleep more soundly. The Deluxe Ortho Bolster Sleeper has an orthopedic foam base to help your pup, but it also comes with a cover that can be washed when accidents happen. You could even insert a pee pad between the cover and the foam to make sure nothing soaks through.
You can also get a bed made especially for incontinent pets. The Superior Orthopedic Indoor/Outdoor Bed comes with orthopedic foam to cradle your dog more comfortably in her senior years. It also has a waterproof backing for senior dogs that can't hold their bladder as well.
Clean Accidents Thoroughly
Make sure you clean any accidents thoroughly. This will ensure there isn't any left-behind smell to attract your dog to the same spot later. Use a cleaner designed especially for dog pee.
Give Your Dog Extra TLC
Your dog is going to feel extra stressed over all the accidents that happen. So you need to give her a lot of extra love and attention. Surprise your dog with new interactive toys to play with and balls to fetch. Just remember that an older dog may be a little slower and have less stamina, so be ready for extra cuddles after playtime too.
You love your pup and want to do everything you can to make his life more comfortable as he ages. Senior dogs just need a little extra loving care. If you take these steps, your older dog will feel much more comfortable even if he has an incontinence problem every now and then.
1. WebMD. "Urinary Incontinence in Dogs." Pets.WebMD.com, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/urinary-incontinence-dogs#2.