Vets4Pets logo
Text size:
Dog walking.jpg

Dog advice: what to do if your pet is incontinent

As dogs get older, they can begin to lose control of their bladder

Need Senior Dog Advice?

Search our expert senior dog articles


High and dry

If you notice your dog having little accidents, it may be suffering from incontinence. You might see a wet patch left behind when your dog has been lying down, or even puddles of urine left by a pet that is fully house trained. It is more likely to happen to an older dog, with spayed females being the most likely to show the signs. However, dogs of both sexes and all ages can potentially become incontinent.

Causes of incontinence

Losing control of the bladder can have many causes. Even something as simple and easily treatable as a bladder infection could result in this kind of little accident. Perhaps the most common cause is urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence, or USMI. This condition causes the valve that normally prevents urine being released to stop performing as effectively as it should. There are also a number of conditions that cause your dog to produce more urine, which could result in accidents around the house as well.

Time to test

If your dog is showing signs of incontinence, get in touch with Vets4Pets. As there could be a few causes, we will examine your pet and may recommend further tests to find out what’s behind the problem. This could include blood tests, analysis of your dog’s urine, an ultrasound scan or an X-ray


How we treat your dog’s incontinence will depend on the cause. If it’s a bladder infection, we may prescribe antibiotics to help dogs suffering from USMI. There are a number of medical treatments available but sometimes surgery may be the best option for your dog, but we will always talk through the cause and treatment with you.