Is Your Male Dog Leaking Urine While Resting? 5 Things to Look For.

Is Your Male Dog Leaking Urine While Resting?

Most people don’t often give much thought to their dogs when they lie down. After all, there really isn’t much of anything to look for, right? This isn’t always true. Depending on the overall health of your male dog, you might want to pay attention to a few things when your dog is sleeping.

For example, if your male dog is old, there’s a much higher chance of incontinence. This can present itself when the dog is sleeping, which can make for an unpleasant surprise when the dog wakes up he has been leaking urine. Something else that can cause leaking urine during sleep is if your dog has been spayed recently. This is actually a fairly common side effect of spaying. There are few things to look for if you suspect that this is happening.

Before you can begin looking into whether or not your male dog is leaking urine when lying down, you should first understand why this might happen. For some dogs, the urine leaks will only happen when the dog is lying down and the dog will urinate just fine otherwise.

For other dogs, this can be one of the first signs of developing incontinence. Typically, this happens because when your dog is lying down, there is increased pressure on the bladder. For dogs that have poor bladder control, this increased pressure can essentially force the urine out of the dog whether it means to or not.

dog training incontinence

Incontinence & Leaking Urine – What To Look for?

One of the first things to consider is the condition of your male dog. An elderly dog is much more likely to leak urine than a younger dog. Likewise, there’s an increased chance that your puppy can’t control bladder due to its age. Dogs who have been recently spayed are also at risk of leaking urine.

If your dog is in this sort of position, you should pay even more attention to your dog’s bedding than you otherwise would. The health of your dog plays a large role in the control of its bladder. Besides knowing the condition of your dog’s health, there will be some signs of incontinence in your dog’s bed as well.

One of the most obvious signs will be a strong scent coming from your dog’s usual napping spot. Urine usually has a strong smell, meaning that you will know right away if your dog leaks urine or not. Another thing you should check for is a wet spot on your dog’s usual resting places.

The wet spot will usually be towards your dog’s rear end, as you might be able to imagine. The fur on your dog’s hind legs will also be dampened. If your dog has white or light-coloured fur, the stain will be yellow. These are just a few of the signs to look for when you are checking to see if your dog leaks.

Stress-Related Incontinence

Stress can sometimes lead to incontinence. This may be because of something physical, as some male dogs have weak bladder muscles and release urine if they move suddenly and with force. On the other hand, the stress may in some cases be psychological, for example resulting from a major change in the dog’s routine or surroundings.

The great book “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” lists submissive urination as a form of stress incontinence often seen in male puppies. It often occurs when a young dog interacts with a human or a dominant adult dog leading to the release of urine.

Age-Related Incontinence

Like many a male dog ages, many become less able to control their bladders. Incontinence often occurs in older spayed females, but it also can occur in other elderly male dogs. Age-related incontinence is one of the awkward ones that can suddenly happen, improve for a while, then progress to more frequent bouts. Consulting with your veterinarian and allowing him/her examine your dog to diagnose the cause, make certain no disease is involved, and prescribe any needed medications.

Bladder Conditions

In other instances, your male dog may suddenly begin leaking urine if he develops an infection in the lining of his bladder. The inflammation will make him feel as if he has to go, and you may notice him crouching frequently and in improper places.

Neurogenic Incontinence

Tumours, injury to the spinal cord, or some hereditary conditions can lead to neurogenic incontinence. In such cases, the nerves that control the bladder are affected, interfering with the bladder’s ability to contract. This can cause a situation where the dog’s bladder literally fills to overflowing. The result is irregular dribbling and random urine leaks.

Hormone-Related Incontinence

Hormonal imbalances – estrogen in females and testosterone in males – can lead to what is medically referred to as hormone-related incontinence. Because those hormones are essential for muscle tone of the urethral sphincter, an imbalance can cause loss of bladder control. In most cases, this type of incontinence leads to bed-wetting and leaking urine while resting. Your male dog will urinate normally while awake and alert but will be unable to control his bladder when resting, asleep and relaxed.

How Can You Help Your Male Dog?

If you notice that your dog is leaking urine, the first thing you should do – asides from considering incontinent dog solutions – is to take the dog to the vet. In some cases, it might just be a condition that your male dog will grow out of or it could simply be a sign of ageing. However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that the leaks could be caused by an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated at once. Vets have both the knowledge and the expertise necessary to check your dog’s health and make sure that your dog stays as healthy as possible.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dog Incontinence

apple cider vinegar for dogs

Apple cider vinegar is popular as a natural treatment for humans — so inevitably the question is bound to arise that is apple cider vinegar for dog incontinence an ideal option? And if you can use apple cider vinegar on dogs, what should you use it for?

Is Apple Cider Vinegar right for dog incontinence? Before detailing how apple cider vinegar can be used, it’s important to note that if you suspect your dog has a urinary tract infection and has displayed symptoms of incontinence – while it is not an immediate emergency – you should contact your vet doctor as soon as you can.

Many dog lovers add vinegar to their pets’ food or apply it topically to their best friend’s skin. It has a lot of supplemental uses and it’s easy to find — you’ll find it here and at most supermarkets and grocery stores.

Humans have used vinegar in various forms over the years, despite being used as a food supplement; vinegar is also used as a household cleanser, cosmetic aid, and health treatment.

apple cider vinegar for dogs

What is apple cider vinegar?

As the name implies, apple cider vinegar is mostly made from fermented apples with the addition of yeast and sugar. Like other fermented foods, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar contains healthy bacteria – the gut-friendly bacteria that helps to keep the digestive system working properly.

ACV has been used for years as part of traditional, naturopathic and holistic medical practices.

The key to apple cider vinegar is fermentation. This increases the probiotic qualities and enzymes, which, when consumed, have health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is usually light golden brown or orange in colour.

Can dogs drink apple cider vinegar?

Many natural health experts defer to raw organic apple cider vinegar as it has several health benefits. It is also becoming popular as a home remedy for a number of health issues, including; topical applications, muscle aches and bruises; sunburn, windburn, abrasions, insect bites, and stings; and hair care (controlling dandruff and improving the condition and static control).

Because many dogs have sensitive skin, it’s important you test a small area by applying vinegar to it. Then check back every couple of hours for up to 24 hours.

If any irritation or redness develops, just diluting the vinegar and applying again will solve any issues. It helps to remember that ACV contains an acidic content, which helps neutralise the infection-causing bacteria.


8 Ideas and Suggestions for Apple Cider Vinegar in Dogs

Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI in Dogs

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a good preventative measure for bacterial infections, thanks to its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.

The vinegar in apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that is effective in reducing the growth of infection-causing bacteria. This makes apple cider vinegar a natural way to relieve discomfort caused by urinary tract problems.

It is important to add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s diet. When consumed by a dog, it will help to kill bacteria and create an acidic environment that prevents additional growth of bacteria.

In nearly all UTI cases, bacteria called Eschericha coli, or E. coli have been shown to cause infections by entering the urinary tract.

The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce the growth of E. coli by about 50 per cent.

A syringe can be used to feed the Vinegar to your dog or add it to a drinking bowl.

Give ½ tsp of apple cider vinegar per 15-20 lb body weight.

Small dogs should be given 1 teaspoon two times per day in their drinking water. Large dogs should be given 1-2 tablespoons twice per day in their drinking water. This should continue for 7-10 days, or until symptoms begin to dissipate.

It is important to remember that while ACV can be an effective remedy for canine bladder infections, it is should not replace a trip to the veterinarian or medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

Apple Cider Vinegar as an Insect Repellent

It can be used as a natural way to repel fleas, ticks and biting flies.

Small amounts of apple cider vinegar can be mixed in with water into a dog’s food or water. You can also give your dog a bath in an apple cider vinegar solution or splash some apple cider vinegar on your dog before going on an outdoor adventure.

Apple cider vinegar for dogs with an upset stomach

Owing to the benefits humans have had from adding apple cider vinegar to their diets, some dog owners believe that putting small amounts of apple cider vinegar into a dog’s food/water aids their digestion. It is also believed to encourage a dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from his food.

Dog Yeast Infection Home Remedy

Millions of dogs suffer from yeast issues. The side effects can cover the entire body from the bad breath, urinary tract infections, ear infections, tear stains, skin issues, hair/fur loss, and lethargy.

Yeast infection in dogs can arise when naturally occurring fungi reproduce out of control. It refers to an overabundance of yeast in a dog’s body, whether in the digestive system, in the mucous membranes, or on the skin.

Especially susceptible in dogs eating grains, plant protein, or carbohydrate diets, apple cider vinegar promotes the growth of probiotics, which help kill off the yeast.

Apple cider vinegar for dog ears

Apple vinegar can be used for dogs as a natural ear cleaner. As with other topical applications, the apple cider vinegar-water mixture can be added to a cotton ball before gently wipe your dog’s ears.

Place a few drops in each ear and gently massage, or apply with a cotton swab.

If despite your care, your dog has additional signs of ear infection such as redness or coloured discharge, consult your vet.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Itchy Dog Paws

Dogs with seasonal allergies can develop itchy feet in response to pollen exposure. Soaking the paws in a premixed or diluted ACV solution can help reduce the itching.

Improve Diabetes in Dogs

Acetic acid, as found in apple cider vinegar, has been proven through medical research to help balance blood sugar and improve insulin responses. (If your dog has diabetes, be sure to consult with your vet about treatment.)

Apple cider vinegar for dogs fleas

Will apple cider vinegar kill the fleas on dogs? No, but they sure do help. 

Apple cider vinegar can help repel insects, including fleas and mosquitoes. Spray the neck, torso, tail, underbelly, and overall coat (avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth) and let dry.

Mix half water and half ACV and let it soak into your dog’s skin once per day for a few weeks to avoid flea infestation.

For a nontoxic flea dip, spray it on and work it into the skin and coat. Avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth. Let it stand for several minutes before washing with a gentle shampoo.

 Note: As with any flea/tick repellant, it’s important to regularly inspect and check your dog for any issues.

As noted above, ACV can be used to treat a load of issues that can affect your dog and not just for treating incontinence.


3 Important Dog Incontinence products

female dog

The most common reason why dogs leak urine in their sleep is dog incontinence. The risk for dogs with incontinence can be attributed to the link between the sphincter and the dog’s brain is disrupted, hence it’s relatively easy for bacteria to travel up the dog’s urinary tract and causing an infection.

This problem can come about from a number of different things, such as neuter/spay, ectopic ureters, urinary tract infection, and bladder stones. Old age can also affect the ability for a dog to control its bladder, but it is not always the case as some younger dogs experience this issue as well. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being passed.

Dogs affected by a lot of these conditions can end up dribbling urine on numerous occasions during the day, especially when having a nap. This is not a behavioural problem, it’s a medical problem, and so trying to correct or punish her is a very bad idea.

A housetrained dog will be confused and even ashamed to know she’s leaving urine in inappropriate spots. That’s why it’s so important to treat urine dribbling as a medical problem requiring a medical diagnosis rather than a behavioural problem requiring behaviour correction or worse, punishment.

If you are currently going through this with your older dog or recently spayed female dog, below are a list of dog Incontinence products that can help.

Dog Incontinence Natural Remedies

The cause of your dog’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives. If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, you should consider treating the problem naturally.

However, if there’s an underlying ailment or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical intervention and/or surgery, then that is definitely an option to be considered.

To correctly diagnose your dog’s incontinence, the following tests should be undertaken;

  • Physical examination by a Vet doctor
  • Blood test – chemistry, complete blood count and thyroid test
  • Urinalysis to evaluate kidney function

If a major urinary ailment is ruled out, then alternative remedies can be considered. Diet is the first place to look and is easily addressed.

There are dietary and herbal treatments that may help your incontinent dog. Many animals with incontinence issues from a variety of causes improve greatly or are cured through changing to a raw, grain-free diet.

It is quite useful to try a variety of treatments or combination of treatments when dealing with urinary incontinence.

The good news is incontinence usually amounts to little more than an annoyance in an otherwise healthy dog.

Dog Natural Remedy for Incontinence

Beds for Dogs that Pee

If your dog is experiencing urine incontinence it is vital that the dog is kept as clean and dry as possible. By using waterproof Dog beds that are designed to love and care for active dogs, your dog can stay dry.

If your dog is incontinent it is important that they are kept as clean and dry as possible. The great thing now is that waterproof dog beds are very easy to maintain and come in a variety of shapes.

The best waterproof beds for dogs that pee – and puppies – will protect the inside of the bed from mess and accidents. Most of the beds listed here are totally waterproof and the seams are thermally welded so the beds are totally sealed. The fabric wipes clean and antibacterial. So there’s no need to wash the covers repeatedly through the day.

Best Waterproof Dog Beds

Dog Nappies

Washable Dog Nappies and Male Wraps are a cost-effective solution for those needing to manage their pets incontinence. Dog nappies are a great way to help your older dog go through the challenges of dog incontinence with dignity – without feeling like they did something wrong. They also help ensure your home is clean & hygienic

Nappies for dogs are a good solution for dogs who suffer from incontinence, excited urination, or excessive male marking, and are also great for females on heat, or even just puppies who aren’t yet housetrained. For a female dog in season, excitable urination or suffering from incontinence, try a dog nappy might be the solution to all your problems.

Best Dog Nappies

Treating Old Dog Incontinence

old dog Urinary Tract

So you have an old dog. How you treat your old dog’s incontinence problems would depend on what is causing the issue in the first place.

Do you do out and get the best large pee pad available? Or do you consider your options and investigate some more?

Sometimes urinary incontinence is the whole problem, at other times it’s just a symptom of another underlying health issue.

There are lots of effective remedies for your old dog leaky plumbing issues, from medications and supplements to surgery.

The key to success is to make sure that you’re trying to ‘cure’ the right problem!

Treating Hormone-Induced Incontinence

Estrogen-deficiency – this type of senior dog incontinence can affect elderly ‘intact’ females, but it’s much more common in those who have been spayed.

Sometimes this is referred to as spay-related incontinence.

There are sometimes some short-term bladder issues after the spay surgery itself. Despite this, the impact of the dropping hormone levels doesn’t show up until your dog is somewhere between three and five years old.

The low estrogen levels cause the sphincter muscles (which keep the ‘neck’ of the bladder closed.

Sort of like an elastic band around the neck of an inflated balloon) to become weak and any pressure in the bladder is enough to cause urine to leak out, or even flood out.

Many times, this type of old dog incontinence is fairly straightforward to treat and there are two options…. drug/medication treatment or surgery.

Medications & Hormone Supplementation

The medications are usually the first choice unless there’s another underlying problem, or it’s extremely severe.

‘Male problems’

Although hormone-related incontinence is usually seen in female dogs, males can suffer too.

When that happens, testosterone supplementation may help.

Estrogen supplements (either natural or synthetic) can be used. These stimulate the nerves in the sphincter, encouraging them to tighten up, which reduces or eliminates the ‘leak’.

The drug (actually a decongestant) called Phenylpropanolamine (aka PPA) has the same effect, it’s found in both Propalin and Proin, which are prescription medications that your veterinarian can prescribe.

Both drug therapy and estrogen supplementation are very effective in many dogs. Estrogen supplementation has about a 50% – 60% success rate, and PPA’s figure is around 80% – 90%.

Sometimes your vet will use a combination of the two options if Fifi isn’t responding well enough to just one. This is often very effective.

old dog Urinary Tract

Female Dog Incontinence…… Possible serious side effects….

In 2011 a new hormone replacement drug was launched onto the market and is used to treat incontinence in female dogs. It contains a natural estrogen hormone called Estriadol.

Although it can have generally mild side-effects (including appetite loss, swelling of the vulva and increased thirst), there are some reports of owners noticing significant behavioural changes in their dogs when on this medication.

Excessive friendliness and overly affectionate behaviour (to the point of being highly irritating to other dogs), or increased (and often uncharacteristic) aggression are both noted.

If your senior dog is prescribed a drug to use and you notice behaviour changes, discuss them with your veterinarian as a change of medication might be needed.

All options are long-term propositions and your dog will most likely need to continue to take the medications for the rest of her life.

Luckily side-effects are rare and usually minor, and once your vet gets the problem under control he will reduce the dose he prescribes until he finds the lowest effective dosage.

Surgical Options For Spay Incontinence

There are a few surgical options for treating this type of incontinence.

They include implanting a ‘urethral occluder’ – which is a kind of ‘cuff’ that is fitted around the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder). It can be adjusted to keep the opening tighter.

Another choice that is sometimes used is to inject collagen around the sphincter muscles to ‘bulk them up’ and improve function.

Finally, there are surgeries which can ‘tack’ the bladder into a more functional position and improve the placement of the neck.

Colposuspension is the most common procedure.

These surgeries are varied, and a little complicated, and sometimes it takes a combination of several different treatments to get the best results.

Also, these aren’t necessarily going to fix the problem permanently.

So your best bet is to discuss surgical options fully with your vet if the other options haven’t been successful.

* Some of these operations can be performed on both male and female dogs, some not.

Spinal & Neurological Incontinence

For incontinence in older dogs that are being caused by an underlying health problem, the only thing to do is to fix that!

So, if your dog has bladder issues caused by spinal, vertebrae or neurological issues, those are what you need to address.

Sometimes medications can reduce the inflammation and swelling which is compressing the nerves, other times surgery is needed.

If your old dog is showing any signs of weakness or lameness in his rear end and has leaky plumbing, then your vet will want to investigate and test for this type of issue.

Treating Dog Urinary Tract Infections

Your veterinarian will diagnose a UTI by taking, and testing, a urine sample from your dog.

Antibiotics will usually kill off the bacteria pretty quickly and have your dog feeling better fast – that’s always good news!

If the infection is what caused the incontinence, then once it’s cleared up, the problem hopefully won’t reoccur.

BUT if the infection was the result of another health issue then your vet will want to run more tests so that he/she can treat both problems properly.

Never leave a UTI untreated because bacteria can travel from the bladder to the kidneys very easily and cause a lot more trouble there.

Treating Underlying Illnesses & Diseases

Your old dog is at risk for a lot of different health issues and many of these can cause incontinence which ranges from mild to severe.

The key to getting this under control is to figure out exactly what it is that’s causing the problem, so you’ll need to be looking at any other symptoms your dog is showing.

These could include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Weigh changes (up or down)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tummy upsets (such as diarrhoea or vomiting)
  • Signs of pain or stress (panting, pacing, whining etc.)
  • Disorientation, weakness or collapse, muscle spasms
  • Behavioural changes or confusion (a possible sign of Canine Dysfunction Syndrome)

Most veterinarians will use these above symptoms, as well as any other tests needed to find out what’s behind your old dog incontinence issues.

THEN, the right treatment program can get put in place and hopefully, that will cure both the incontinence and the underlying health issue.

How Urinary Infection in Dogs is Treated

dog incontinence

A urinary infection (UTI) is able to take hold when your dog’s urinary system is either out of balance or there is a problem with a specific part within the dog’s system including Urethra, Kidneys, Bladder or the Ureter. Most infections are either caused by bacteria or in a small number of cases, fungus.

Dog's Urinary infection

Urinary Incontinence in Puppies and Younger Dogs

Canine Ectopic Ureters (EU) is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in dogs that are younger. It is an inherited problem where the connection between the ureters and the bladder (the tube that leads from the Kidneys), is not formed correctly leading to a urinary infection. It is usually seen in females and is rare in males.

This condition is diagnosed by injecting dye into the urethra (leads from the bladder to outside the body) and then using x-rays to analyze the health of the area. Ultrasound and possibly endoscopy may be used as well.

Treatment is to use surgery to correct the deformity. The rate of success is between 50 % – 75%. A new less invasive procedure uses a laser that is inserted through the urethra. It has the same rate of success, although the procedure is somewhat new.

USMI: As mentioned, this is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in dogs. To treat this condition your veterinarian will first try using medications to help your dog strengthen the sphincter muscles. Treatment is effective in most dogs with minor side effects. Therapy will be with oestrogen or newer types of drugs. You can also help your dog achieve some temporary relief with a new natural homoeopathic remedy that was just developed. It is called PetAlive Better-Bladder Control and it is made to temporarily relieve incontinence and strengthen the bladder. If these approaches do not work, then surgery will be required.

Bladder Urine Storage Issues: This condition might look like USMI, but be actually due to stones (see below, also called urolithiasis), paralysis or abnormal cell growth (neoplasia) in the bladder or urethra. Treatment for these conditions may require surgery to remove obstructions or tumours plus medications made for the specific condition.

Canine Infection and Canine Bladder Stones – Treatment Approach for Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Fungal Infection: In rare cases, a fungus will be the cause of your dog’s problem, usually in the lower urinary tract. The fungus is called Candida spp. Unlike bacteria which enters from outside the body, the fungus usually comes from the kidneys into the urinary system.

Fungal infections are usually caused by some other condition in the body such as diabetes mellitus or if your dog is taking medications such as an antibiotic. Once the diabetes is treated or medications are stopped the fungal infection will go away. If it doesn’t, there are prescription medications that are very effective at eliminating the problem.

Diagnosis of the dog urinary infection is done with a simple yeast test. Often if the underlying problem is correct such as treatment for diabetes or the end of therapy with antibiotics, the problem will resolve itself. If it doesn’t then medication can be prescribed using the drug fluconazole. Other drug choices are ketoconazole and itraconazole, although these might not be as effective. A new medication called amphotericin B is showing promise in people and may become common for canine care.

A condition called overflow incontinence exists when the bladder becomes too full because there are blockages that are keeping the urine from exiting the body.

Treatment for dog urinary infection lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. After treatment, your dog will be tested to make sure the infection is gone.

Bacterial Infection: When bacteria enter the body from outside, it colonises in the urethra and moves up to the bladder and if left untreated the kidneys. It is possible to not show symptoms for a long time, allowing the bacteria to colonise and develop. Antibiotics are effective at fighting infection. To prevent infection and to help supplement the antibiotics, consider giving your dog some cranberry juice mixed with food (they tend to not like the flavour) and possibly a homoeopathic remedy made to strengthen the urinary system such as UTI-Free Formula for Pet Urinary Tract Infections.

Urine is your dog’s first defence against infection. When the urine has the proper PH balance (base/acid mix) and urea (the primary component in urine that is created by the liver), then it works to fight off infection.

Your veterinarian will diagnose the problem by taking a urine sample in the office by using a catheter. Urine collected by holding a cup under your dog may not provide a clean sample. Urinalysis, the name for the test, will show if bacteria is present and if there is a large concentration of crystals, the building blocks of bladder stones.

There are several types of bacteria that can cause a problem. X-rays or ultrasound may be used if the formation of stone is suspected in the upper tract. To view the lower tract an endoscopy, a video camera that is at the end of a thin tube is used.

You can help your dog avoid bacterial infections by using some home remedies. These include:

Cranberry Juice chews: this type of juice has properties which improve the acid level in the urine. The juice also has properties which help to protect the bladder.

Walks: Talk your dog out for 2 additional walks each day. Dogs will increase the amount they urinate and feel they need to drink just by being outside. The urine flushes the urinary tract. Increased urination will help flush bacteria from the bladder.

Bladder Stones: There are two types of stones that are commonly found in dogs, struvite and oxalate. If your dog has struvite stones, your vet may be able to dissolve the stones with a change to a Prescription Diet. Medications and methods for flushing smaller stones out of the body are available. For oxalate stones and stubborn struvite stones, surgery may be required to remove the stones.

dog incontinence

Diagnosis and Examination Associated with Dog Urinary Infection

When the body is working properly, it is likely that a urinary tract infection in the dog will not take hold. Your veterinarian will examine the following areas to check to see if a malfunction in any one is a possible cause of the problem:

  • Urination
    • Flow
    • Frequency
    • Amount (all urine leaves the body at a time or only some)
  • Urinary System Itself
    • The function of the urethra
    • The surface of the urethra
    • Canine Bladder Wall
      • Bladder pressure
      • Problems with the wall
      • Bladder contractions
      • Urethra length
      • Valves
  • Urine Quality
    • Proper PH
    • Urine concentration
    • Urea concentration
    • Acid level
  • Infection-fighting Antibodies in the body
  • Kidney Function
    • Blood supply to the Kidneys

Pets that have accidents

urinary tract infection in dogs

When pets have accidents, the first assumption is that it is due to a behavioural issue. That may or may not be the case.

It’s important that customers are taught early on that any time there’s a change in a pet’s behaviour, contact the vet. Most pet owners create assumptions: “It is an old dog, there is nothing I could do,” or “She’s mad because we just returned from holiday.” Well, perhaps the puppy is older — but that does not mean there is nothing the pet owner can do. In terms of the pet that inappropriately urinates after the family returns home, there’s a long list of health conditions, from diabetes to bladder control problems which might be causing or contributing the issue.

urinary tract infection in pets

What appears to resonate with pet owners is if veterinarians or technicians clarify that if there is a change in behaviour for your personal pet –why now? Something should have precipitated that change. Sure, there might be a behavioral explanation, but behavior frequently changes over time, not automatically overnight. Pet owners may not have realized that you’re interested. Many pet owners simply don’t understand that their vet wishes to learn about any changes in behaviour.

So, with each trip, repeat the mantra: Changes in behaviour mean a trip to the veterinarian.

Many pet owners are ashamed that their pet is having accidents, and may not willingly report it. Because inappropriate elimination is a frequent reason for relinquishment (common in dogs and cats), understanding that the pet is having accidents may save a life, and obviously a pet owner. You can probably help, but you can not offer assistance to a condition you’re unaware of – if the problem is behavioural.

Routinely checking for information on home training in dogs and litter box habits in cats, rather than just kittens and older pets — but instead all pets.

Ultimately, you will need to figure out whether the pet is incontinent or having accidents.

The explanation may be an issue of housetraining. Many owners assume that the dog is housetrained when maybe the dog truly isn’t, at least not reliably.

Sometimes owners have unrealistic expectations. “But my neighbour’s 10-pound pet can hold it for 10 hours.” Maybe that dog can, or maybe the neighbour is exaggerating. It doesn’t matter.

One big question: where the dog is eliminating? If the dog is eliminating by lifting a leg and/or hitting vertical surfaces, the dog might be marking (of course, reproductive status does matter, though even neutered dogs might).

Looming even larger is the question of if the puppy is removing. If the dog wees immediately when folks come home, wagging a tail, even as the dog rolls over (especially when guys come home), the issue may be submissive urination. This behaviour is most common in dogs, but can occur in dogs of any age, especially when newly adopted.

If the dog urinates when noone else is indoors, the dog may suffer from separation anxiety. Usually, there’ll be additional signs of separation anxiety, however, like the dog being over-solicitous to household members; behaving anxious as individuals demonstrate cues that they’re going to leave the home; maybe salivating so much from the lack of individuals there are puddles while folks arrive home; objects could be chewed on; the puppy might scratch in the door; neighbours might report whining, scratching or scratching; and the puppy might also eliminate bowel control.

Older pets

If the dog is older, canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome should be considered. As in separation anxiety, there’s typically at least another sign beside having accidents. There is a manual, frequently labelled with the acronym DISHA:

Disorientation: Changes in spatial consciousness, lack of ability to navigate around familiar obstacles (like trying to walk through the incorrect side of a doorway, or becoming ‘stuck’ in smallish rooms), wandering or pacing behaviour.
House soiling: Not only having accidents but does not appear to understand that the “oops.” If the dog appears to instantly realise, it’s somewhat more likely to be due to a medical condition.
Activity level changes: Beyond what is normal for older dogs, important diminished exploration and reaction to things, people, sounds around the home; decreased grooming, diminished appetite; increased stress, such as restlessness, agitation, or an onset of separation distress.

It is your job to “Sherlock Holmes” what is happening if your pets urinating inappropriately by deciding if the issue is behavioural. There are many ways to do this, as described in very good detail in Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.

So check for changes in your pet’s lifestyle. Is the pet more or less interactive? Is your cat drinking more water?

All of the queries listed above are questions that veterinarians and technicians regularly as of pet owners, while simultaneously testing for proper medical possibilities. Replies help veterinarians to better narrow down that medical conditions appear likely. If it turns out that the pet is having accidents exclusively for behavioural reasons, possibly drug intervention could be utilised as an adjunct to behavioural modification.

If the pet has to be professionally known for behavioural problems, the British veterinary association has a superb directory online.

The other option is to look into additional research like Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (4th Edition) by Pitcairn,, H., Richard D.V.M. (Author) or Understanding Canine Urinary Incontinence by Peter Holt or Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs by Rick Woodford.

Dog’s Urinary Tract – 5 Symptons

Dog's Urinary Tract - 5 Symptons

Your dog’s urinary tract is a marvellously intricate system of organs, hormones and chemistry. The kidneys are the primary organs responsible for regulating the internal environment of the body.

They play an important role in water and electrolyte balance, in the elimination of the everyday waste products that result from metabolism, and in the removal of certain toxins.

As the kidneys remove the toxins and waste from the blood, they create the urine that will eventually carry the unwanted substances out of the body.

Urine is stored in the bladder until it passes through the urethra and exits the body. Nerves reaching up from the spinal column to the bladder and urethral sphincter muscles signal appropriate contraction and relaxation during urination.

The dog’s urinary tract is dependent on other organs and body systems to function properly. An imbalance anywhere in the body can affect the ability of the kidneys to do their job.

For example, to keep the urinary tract in good condition we must also take care of the circulatory system –  particularly the heart – as well as the adrenal glands.


Functions Of The Kidney

  • Regulates the body's water and electrolyte function
  • Assists in regulation of blood pressure.
  • Filters waste material from the blood stream
  • Assists in the production of red blood cells
  • Converts vitamin D into a form that the body can use.


The most common signs of a UTI in dogs is straining when peeing, blood in the urine, fever, lethargy, unpleasant smell to urine, incontinence and urinating in inappropriate places.

Maintaining your Dog’s Urinary Tract health.

To help your dog’s urinary tract stay healthy:

  • Provide easy access to fresh water, and remember to clean the bowl regularly.
  • Make sure your dog has easy access to a place where he can urinate whenever he needs to. Even if you think he’s very good at holding it, making him wait will cause overdistension, or stretching of the bladder and can lead to chronic problems.
  • Provide a balanced diet with fresh food and plenty of variety.
  • Supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Minimise the stress in your dog’s life as much as possible.
  • Supplement with vitamin B-complex and an antioxidant blend if your dog is undergoing an emotionally or physically stressful period.
  • Avoid dehydration if your dog is a senior citizen. If he does not receive the water his body needs  – whether from failure to drink, excessive diarrhoea, even if someone simply forgets to fill the water bowl – kidney damage may occur.

dog incontinence

5 Symptoms of Dog Incontinence


Does your dog suddenly seem to have forgotten his house training? If he is urinating in strange places it may be a sign of emotional difficulties, senility, or a urinary tract problem.

Unless there’s an obvious reason for him to begin expressing himself in this way (such as a new puppy in the house of a major change in his routine), ask your vet doctor to run tests to check for the physical course.

If the results are normal you can then explore the possibility of a behavioural or emotional course.

Weight loss.

Unexplained weight loss is always a sign that something is not gone wrong. When it occurs with other urinary tract symptoms, it’s an indication is troubling him is taking a significant toll on his system.

Loss of appetite no vomiting.

These symptoms may indicate kidney trouble and are signs that your dog’s condition might be serious.

Mouth sores and bad breath.

An odd smell or sores in a dog’s mouth could be the result of a buildup of toxins as a result of kidney failure. If he is constantly tired and disinterested in food, see your vet doctor as soon as possible.


If your dog has incontinence, it will begin to smell like urine. Urine has a very strong odour, so it will not be tough to detect a urine odour coming from your dog. If your dog regularly lies on a dog blanket or dog bed, these items will also develop a urine odour.

Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Signs of Urinary Incontinence

Are you beginning to find puddles of pee in the house? Or have you discovered wet spots where your dog was lying or sitting? If the answer is “yes” to any of them, your dog may be experiencing a condition known as urinary incontinence.

The fact is this condition can frequently be easily managed.

Many people assume that the “leaky dog” syndrome is due to their dogs ageing and that there are no treatment options available to them. They don’t seek help for their pet, or worse, they have it euthanised. The reality is this condition can often be easily managed.

dog incontinence

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the loss of your dog’s ability to control urination. The most common reason for this condition in dogs is acquiring it as they mature. This condition goes by several names. Technical names are “urethral sphincter hypotenuse”, “primary sphincter mechanism incompetence (PSMI)”, “idiopathic incontinence,” and “hormone-responsive incontinence”.

The less technical name is “weak bladder”.

Regardless of what it is called, the sphincter muscle in the urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside) has become feeble and is less capable of holding the urine. This condition primarily affects middle-aged to elderly, spayed female dogs.

Roughly 1 out of 5 female dogs will be affected by this condition once they are spayed (removal of the ovaries +/- uterus¹). It may also affect younger, spayed females, intact females and intact or neutered men, but to a much lesser extent.

Does this mean you shouldn’t have your pet spayed? NO! Mainly because there are loads of health benefits associated with your dog being spayed.

How it Happens
Dogs that have a weak bladder can hold their urine while awake but often “leak” when they’re relaxed or asleep. Owners will often find puddles of urine around the home; normally in the area their dog was lying or sitting. The spots can vary in size.

Dogs often start with sometimes leaking small amounts of urine. These episodes slowly increase in frequency and amounts as time goes by. During the summertime, the irritated areas of skin may become infested. These urine strips are ideal for testing prior to things getting out of hand.

Other Reasons For Urinary Incontinence

If your pet is leaking urine, it’s extremely important to schedule a visit with your veterinarian so as to rule out other causes of incontinence. You can not just assume it’s a weak bladder.

Other conditions that can result in urinary incontinence are urinary tract infection, bladder stones, injuries or degenerative diseases of the spine, prostate problems, birth defects, diseases which cause excessive drinking like diabetes, senility, rectal bleeding as well as the lack of home training.

The majority of these conditions call for a different type of treatment compared to that for urethral sphincter hypotenuse. Your vet may also order additional tests if needed to help provide a proper diagnosis.

Treatment Choices For Urinary Incontinence

So now you have taken your dog to your vet and have received the diagnosis of urethral sphincter hypotenuse. What could be done about it? There are options for coping with or treating this issue. They include:

Of these choices, drugs would be the first selection for treatment by most dog owners, with injections and surgery reserved for those dogs who haven’t responded well to their drugs.

Just like any long-term medication, laboratory work should be carried out before starting any medication protocol. Blood pressure, blood work and urine samples must be monitored periodically to make sure that your pet can continue to take the medication. The most frequent side effects are nausea, increase in blood pressure, decrease in appetite, weight loss, protein in the urine and behavioural alterations.

You don’t need a Plumber
Urinary incontinence due to urethral sphincter hypotenuse is a frequent illness with affordable and effective options for therapy. It isn’t hopeless. Speak with your veterinarian about your dog’s condition and the best treatment option that is appropriate for your pet.