What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is when a dog is unable to control their bowels and bladder, this can happen to an older dog who was previously house trained, a dog that has become paralyzed and no longer has control over those muscles or just a symptom of a UTI (urinary tract infection). The severity of incontinence can range from occasional small urine leaks to inadvertent voiding of large amounts of urine.
Canine incontinence most commonly occurs in female, spayed dogs.
Incontinence is typically a symptom of other illnesses. While a UTI is a completely curable illness with the right medications, incontinence from paralysis is something you and your dog will likely have to manage for the rest of their lives.
Managing Your Dog's Incontinence
While incontinence might seem like the end of the world, with just a few extra supplies you can manage your pup’s incontinence.
Dog Diapers/ Male Wraps
Males Wraps wrap around your male dog's genitals and back to keep urine off of your surfaces, and just like having a baby diapers for dogs will keep the urine and feces contained while your dog goes about their life.
Tip: Dog's wearing diapers need to be changed and cleaned frequently to avoid urine burns and skin irritation!
Pee pads are an easy thing to put under your incontinent pup while they are hanging out on surfaces that aren't as easy to clean like your couch or car seats. The pee pads will allow you to protect your furniture and keep your pup close!
With incontinence, accidents are bound to happen so having cleaning supplies you trust on hand is a must! Looking into an enzymatic cleaner that is able to break down the proteins in the urine so your pup doesn’t keep returning to the same areas to pee, thinking that is the right spot to do their business
Easy to Clean Beds/ Bedding
Bed’s like the SleePee Time Bed are great as they wipe down easily and the urine just falls through the perforations so your dog isn’t lying in their pee which can cause painful skin irritation.
While we of course want our pets to have the most comfy bedding, consider how often you will have to change and wash it. Towels and fleece blankets are easy to clean, they will keep your pup cozy and comfy but will hold up to frequent washing.
How to Express Your Dog’s Bladder
Knowing how to express your dog’s bladder can greatly reduce the in house accidents and also allow your pup to fully empty their bladder thus reducing the risk of UTI's. Expressing is the manual external process of helping your dog empty their bladder.
Place your hands on the pet’s sides behind the rib cage and apply even, steady pressure squeezing inward and upward, be careful not to put any pressure on your dog's spine while squeezing. As your pup's bladder empties you will be able to feel it shrink and empty! You should express your dog's bladder around every 6 hours.
It is important to express is the same general location and use the same command every time just like when you house trained your dog. This allows your dog to know it's ok to relax their bladder.
Here is a great video explaining how to express your dog's bladder from Super Scooty, the happiest dog on the planet!