Is your older dog peeing excessively? Have you noticed a significant change recently in your dog’s bathroom habits?
There are several reasons that you may notice that your dog is starting to pee more often. For older dogs, this could be a medical condition or simply a sign of aging.
The first step to addressing the problem is to understand why it is happening in the first place.
Why Is My Older Dog Peeing So Much?
Urinary Tract Infection
Most regularly seen in female dogs, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are uncomfortable and can lead to long-term health problems if left untreated.
Your dog may feel a need to pee urgently or frequently, but only pass a few drops of urine. Or, you may notice traces of blood in your dog’s urine.
Other symptoms include cloudy urine or frequent licking of the genitals.
If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Kidney Infection or Kidney Disease
Left untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infections, kidney stones, or kidney failure. This is why it’s so important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
The signs of a kidney problem include:
- Excessive thirst
- Urgent or excessive urination
If your dog’s kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it can often be managed with medication.
Contact your veterinarian to better understand your options.
Diabetes is a common condition among older dogs. It’s most commonly experienced at the age of 5 years old or older, but it can develop at any age.
One of the signs of diabetes is excessive thirst. The more that your dog drinks, the more he needs to go.
This can make it increasingly difficult to hold off on going to the bathroom for as long.
A dog that once could go 3 or 4 hours easily without a bathroom break may now need to go every hour. If you haven’t adjusted your schedule, this can lead to unwanted accidents in the home.
Loss in Cognitive Function
Just as people often lose cognitive function with age, our dogs can experience mental decline as well.
This common sign of aging can lead to unwanted complications.
A loss of cognitive function with age is more commonly called ‘Old Dog Syndrome’. It is similar to conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia in humans.
While there is no treatment to reverse this cognitive decline, there are options to better manage your dog’s condition.
How Can You Help Your Dog Deal with Incontinence Problems
See a Veterinarian
Before anything else, make an appointment with your dog’s veterinarian. This will allow you to rule out any medical reasons.
If there is a medical explanation, you will need to address the problem at it’s root.
Maintain a Regular Routine
Dogs thrive on routines and schedules, especially as they age.
This will give your dog the structure to know exactly when he can expect to go outside to pee.
Creating a predictable routine can help to eliminate indoor accidents. By knowing when he will get to go out, your dog may do better at ‘holding it’ to do his business in the right location.
If you are battling incontinence from an untreatable medical condition, you may want to consider diapers.
This will protect your home and prevent the need for regular cleanups. Plus, it will help with dogs that feel guilty when they can’t control their bladders the same.
Other options that can help include a waterproof dog bed, potty training pads, and an enzymatic urine cleaner.