The Pet Parents® Guide to Dog Incontinence

Updated: January 16, 2024

Incontinence in dogs is one of the biggest dilemmas of pet parents. Incontinence can be urinary or fecal and usually occurs in senior dogs, but can happen at any age.

As pet parents ourselves, we know how hard this can be. That's why in this article, we've come up with a guide on urinary and fecal incontinence, the signs and symptoms, and ways you can manage it for a better quality of life for your dog.

Dog urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence

"Dog urinary incontinence is a condition where your dog pees involuntarily because they have a partial or complete loss of control of the bladder."


What is urinary incontinence in dogs? Dog urinary incontinence is a condition where your dog pees involuntarily because they have a partial or complete loss of control of the bladder. And when your furbaby suffers from this, it just means that pee accidents can be everywhere!

Signs and Symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of urinary incontinence in dogs:

  • Uncontrolled peeing, sudden leaks, free-flowing pee
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • An always wet bed and wet blanket
  • A number of wet spots in various areas of your house
  • The area between the hind legs are damp most of the times
  • Urine burn and rashes particularly in the area surrounding the private part
  • Constant licking of private area
  • Excessive drinking behaviors

Causes of Dog Urinary Incontinence

Dog urinary incontinence can be caused by many possible reasons, including:

Age. Some cases of urinary incontinence in dogs are caused by old age, also known as senior dog incontinence. Senior dogs are susceptible to developing urinary incontinence as bladder muscles tend to get weaker with age, losing some of their bodily functions. Senior dog incontinence is somewhat common as your furbaby reaches their golden years. On the other hand, urinary incontinence can be present in very young puppies, too. According to the Humane Society of the United States, full bladder control in pups takes time to develop and this may be the reason why your furbaby suddenly leaks. Additionally, some pups may also have birth defects that are causing dog incontinence.

Health conditions. There are a lot of medical conditions that cause urinary incontinence in dogs. Some include urinary tract infections, urinary stones, spinal injury or neurological problems, and diseases that cause excessive water consumption, like diabetes, kidney disease, & hyperadrenocorticism, as stated by Pets WebMD. In other instances, certain medications for your baby’s illnesses can also set off dog urinary incontinence.

Spaying. Urinary incontinence in dogs is also particularly common in spayed female dogs, known as spay incontinence. It is believed that a decrease in estrogen levels in the body caused the incontinence. According to the experts at Merck Animal Health, decreased estrogen levels in a dog’s body appear to degrade bladder storage capacity and reduce the sensitivity of the urinary sphincter to hold pee in, thus contributing to the spay incontinence.

Signs of urinary incontinence in dogs


On the other hand, there is fecal incontinence in dogs. Some pet parents may have never heard of this but this is the partial or complete loss of control of your furbaby over their bowel movements causing your dog bowel incontinence.

There are two broad categories under fecal incontinence in dogs, according to VCA Hospitals.

Reservoir incontinence. This pertains to any disorder of the rectum (the part of the large intestine that leads out of the body) that prevents poop from being stored the right way, causing your dog to not be able to control their urge to poop. This happens in circumstances of diarrhea, cancer, or any other diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

Sphincter incontinence. This type of fecal incontinence in dogs is the inability of the anal sphincter to remain closed, due to any lesions or damages to the sphincter. The anal sphincter is the muscle that is in charge of keeping the anal opening closed. When the anal opening is not closed, poop just leaks out of your furbaby.

Signs and Symptoms

Dog incontinence can be obvious to some pet parents, but in other cases it may seem like your dog is just forgetting their training. The following are the most common symptoms of fecal incontinence in dogs:

  • Scooting on the floor (this may indicate a condition involving the anal sacs or glands)
  • Pooping in inappropriate places, such as inside your home or in your car
  • Pooping even when walking, resting, and sleeping
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Reluctance to being touched near the tail
  • Inability to move the tail

Fecal incontinence in dogs

Causes of Dog Fecal Incontinence

There are numerous reasons that can cause fecal incontinence. The following are the most common causes:

  • Diseases that can sometimes limit the rectum to function well
  • Nerve & muscle damages, spinal cord diseases, or neurological disorders that impair the anal sphincter
  • Infection in the anal sacs
  • Parasites, like intestinal worms, that cause diarrhea and damage to the rectal muscles
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Dietary problems
  • Diseases like degenerative myelopathy, muscle weakness, spinal issues, atrophy, and paralysis, where the communication between the brain and the anal sphincter is interrupted


    Consult your vet. If your furbaby exhibits any signs of urinary or fecal incontinence, take him to your vet as soon as possible. Your vet will go over your dog’s health history and will perform certain tests like physical examinations, complete blood count, complete blood profile, and urinalysis & fecal analysis to be able to make the proper diagnosis and treatment plans. You will also be able to discuss what you can use as dog incontinence medication.

    Consider medical management. Some cases of incontinence in dogs react well to medical treatments and are curable—a chance for your furbaby to gain full control of their bladder and bowel again. For example, if parasites are causing fecal incontinence in your dog, certain medications will be prescribed by your vet to get rid of the parasites. If sphincter issues are the cause, surgical reconstruction may be suggested by your vet.

    Exercise is key. Continue to take your furbaby out for exercise. It does not necessarily need to have a high level of physical activity. Even brief but frequent walks are enough to help exercise bladder and bowel muscles.

    Use dog diapers and belly bands. With incontinence, it’s unpredictable to know when your furbaby will pee or poop and where. That's why it's best to let them wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers to avoid those messy clean-ups. These dog diapers are made from soft non-abrasive WickQuick® proprietary fabric that will absorb any leaks fast and will lock them in. What makes it even better is that Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers are not only made for pee but for poop as well, making them the top dog incontinence products for your furbaby’s urinary or fecal incontinence messes.

    Belly Bands work specifically for male dogs urinary incontinence or urinary issues. These bands sit around their waste to cover male genitalia. Made from the same sturdy and comfortable fabrics as the dog diapers, these male dog belly bands are a great alternative to a full diaper for males struggling with urinary incontinence.

    Use pads for protection. You can also provide your dog with Pet Parents® Pawtect® Pads as additional leakage protection. These dog pads are best in class absorption and odor control. Re-usable pads make excellent dog incontinence products because you can protect your furniture, floors, or even car with them. Our Pawtect® Pads have wide, zig-zag, triple stitches that make one strong binding for reliably strong dog incontinence pads. This guarantees that our pads can prevent messes without being shredded into pieces by your furbaby.

    Offer a healthy and balanced diet. A healthy diet is needed for your dog who suffers from incontinence. A diet with whole foods, fiber, probiotics, protein, etc. that will give your dog the proper nutrients they need.

    Note: Remember that there is no one right way of feeding all dogs, but there is what is right for your dog. Whatever works for you is right for you.

    Supplement. Provide your dog supplements that will help provide them with the right nutrients and will help their body deal with incontinence. Supplements like the Pet Parents® Bladder SoftSupps® will support your furbaby’s kidney and bladder health. This contains Pacran®, cranberry extract, D-Mannose, and other essential nutrients like organic licorice root & marshmallow root. These ingredients work together to flush out bad bacteria and improve excellent bladder muscle functions.

    There is also the Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps® that are packed with a high-quality Proprietary Enzyme Blend that promotes complete gut health and a powerful Proprietary Probiotic Blend that not only sustains your furbaby’s overall immunity but targets diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues as well.

    And the Pet Parents® Probiotic SoftSupps® that deals with immune and digestive health. This supplement is loaded with pumpkin fiber, vitamins, minerals, and BC MS-99® that helps support gut flora in the digestive tract. All of these supplements can be safely combined, so that you do not have to choose between the benefits for your dog.


    Dealing with dog incontinence can be a struggle for some pet parents. Wether you encounter senior dog incontinence, fecal incontinence, or urinary incontinence, there are steps you can take to keep your home clean and your furbaby happy. Know the signs of incontinence and provide your furbaby with dog diapers for incontinence.We know there is nothing you and Pet Parents® won’t do for your furbaby to have a happier and healthier life.

    "It's best to let them wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers or Belly Bands to avoid those messy clean-ups."

    Belly bands for dog incontinence