Old Dog Peeing Inside The House, Is It Time To Put Them Down?
If you have a senior canine companion in your home, you have likely seen them change in many ways throughout the years.
One of the many general declines that our dogs face is the ability to hold their urine, often referred to as old dog incontinence.
Though this is to be expected in many old dogs, could this also be a sign that it’s time to say goodbye?
In this article we will discuss the most common reasons why an old dog will start peeing around the house, and help you better understand what this can mean for your senior dog going forward.
What Is Incontinence In Dogs?
Before we discuss the many reasons why your old dog could be peeing in the house, it’s important to have a general understanding of canine incontinence.
The term incontinence refers to the inability to control the bladder, leading to the involuntary leaking of urine.
This can range in severity based on the underlying cause, but many old dogs will struggle with it in some form.
While some dogs will be aware of their need to urinate, some dogs won’t even realize they are having an accident.
Why Is My Old Dog Suddenly Peeing In The House?
Now that you are aware of what incontinence is in the first place, it’s time to discuss the potential reasons why your dog is suddenly peeing around the house.
Ranging from underlying medical conditions to behavioral struggles, let’s discuss the possibilities.
1.) Urinary Tract Infections
One of the potential reasons why your old dog may be peeing around the house is due to a urinary tract infection.
UTI’s are more common in older female dogs, especially those with any underlying illnesses that make them more prone to infection.
A UTI can cause a dog to dribble urine around the home, as well as pass small amounts of urine frequently.
The urgency of a UTI may also make a dog think they need to pee immediately, leading to the potential for accidents around your home.
2.) Old Dog Incontinence
Just as older humans can develop incontinence due to weakening of their bladder muscles, so can our older canine friends.
Old dog incontinence is quite common in dogs 10 years and older, and can lead to an increase in accidents around your home.
These dogs may feel a sudden urge to pee that does not allow them to make it outside in time, or they may even dribble urine around the house.
Anxiety and stress can cause many strange symptoms in our dogs, and one of these symptoms can include inappropriate urination inside your home.
Senior dogs can experience anxiety due to many of the same triggers younger dogs experience, as well as anxiety that is brought on by old age.
Dogs can develop a condition known as cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to increased anxiety as a result of their general confusion about their surroundings.
Diabetes is a common factor behind many cases of incontinence in our older canine friends.
Diabetes causes increased thirst in the dog it impacts, leading to the need to pee more often.
If these pups are not able to go outside each time they have to pee, this could lead to them having accidents inside of your home.
This is actually one of the most common reasons why dogs are diagnosed with diabetes, as their owners notice sudden accidents inside.
5.) Canine Dementia
Canine dementia refers to the general decline of cognitive function as a dog ages.
This condition can lead to an array of behavioral changes for the older pup, one of which involves inappropriate urination and defecation around the home.
This could be a result of forgetting their potty training rules, general anxiety surrounding their condition, and even forgetting where their outside space is.
6.) Mobility Changes
If these conditions become too painful for a senior pup, they may lay around more often in effort to avoid uncomfortable movement.
If it is too challenging for a dog to get up and go outside, they may simply urinate where they are.
7.) Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is another potential cause of increased accidents around the home.
Dogs with kidney disease often experience increased thirst, causing them to urinate more often than usual.
If a dog cannot get outside in time to pee, they may resort to peeing inside of the house.
How Can I Help My Incontinent Old Dog?
If your dog is struggling with controlling their bladder around your home, there are a list of ways that you can improve their quality of life, as well as the amount of accidents you have to clean up each day.
Let’s list a few of the most effective ways to help your senior dog below.
Visit Your Veterinarian
If your dog is suddenly having accidents around your home, we always suggest having them seen by your veterinarian.
While their accidents certainly could be a result of their age, their symptoms could also point to underlying medical conditions that require treatment.
Before you assume that your pup is simply getting older, we always suggest ruling out other medical complications.
One effective way to prevent accidents around your home is by putting diapers on your pup.
This can allow dogs to urinate freely in the diaper, preventing the urine from falling onto the floor around your home.
As long as you change their diapers when they are soiled and monitor their skin for any irritation, this can be a great way to help your pup.
Belly bands are similar to diapers in the sense that they prevent your dog from peeing around your home.
Belly bands are most effective for older male dogs that struggle with incontinence, as they wrap around the belly and cover the dog’s penis.
If the dog urinates in the belly band, the band will catch the urine and prevent it from leaking around the home.
Frequent Trips Outside
If you know that your dog struggles with holding their bladder for any reason, it is important to increase the amount of times you take them outside.
The more opportunities they have to empty their bladder throughout the day, the lower the chance of them having accidents around your home.
Indoor Potty Areas
If it is impossible to prevent your dog from having accidents around your home, it may be ideal to create an inside potty area for your dog.
You can do this by placing potty pads in a corner of your home and training your pup to use this new area when they can’t make it outside.
Cleaning Up Accidents Thoroughly
It’s important to clean up as thoroughly as possible if your dog has accidents around your home.
Dogs can gravitate toward the smell of urine left behind from their accidents, causing them to urinate in the same spots again.
Is It Time To Put My Incontinent Old Dog To Sleep?
If your old dog is suddenly having accidents around your home, many wonder if this is a sign that it may be time to put your dog to sleep.
Many old dogs will begin to lose bladder control when they are declining in health, so how can you know if this is a sign to say goodbye?
When it comes to putting your dog to sleep, you will need to examine all aspects of your dog’s quality of life.
- Are they still eating?
- Are they still interested in activities they typically enjoy?
- Do they have a chronic illness?
- Are they in pain?
If the answers to these questions leads you to believe your dog is suffering in any way, their incontinence could be the final sign that it is time to let them go.
You and your veterinarian are the only ones that know the details of your pup’s current health status, so we always suggest reaching out to your vet with any questions.
They can help you make an informed decision that is in the best interest of your beloved companion.
Final Thoughts On When To Put Down Your Old Dog For Peeing Inside The House
Some senior dogs will struggle with incontinence as they get older, but there could be an underlying cause to blame as well.
We would never suggest putting your dog down just because they are peeing around your house.
The only time you would even entertain the idea of euthanizing your dog, is because they can no longer hold their pee and they are suffering.
As dog’s age, they can lose their ability to hold their pee.
Sometimes this is a sign of a bigger health problem which could lead to the discussion of euthanasia and when is the time to say goodbye.
A quality of life discussion would need to be done with your dog’s veterinarian as they know your dog’s health and history.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.