Management tips for incontinent dogs & cats

Posted by Ally Cohen on

  • Never punish your pet for accidents. There is always an underlying cause, even if that cause is poor house training.
  • If your pet’s bladder control issues are related to house training, remember to use plenty of positive reinforcement and rewards for the correct behavior, rather than punishment for the wrong behavior.
  • When loss of bladder control occurs during stress, excitement or as a submissive behavior, the best thing you can do is not make a fuss over the incident, but rather ignore it. Try removing the stressor and take steps to calm your pet down.
  • Reduced bladder control is a common symptom in aging pets, or those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Try take your pet outside for “potty breaks” more frequently and reward them when they do urinate outside. For cats, you could try placing additional litter-trays around the house so that they are always readily available.
  • Many older pets are embarrassed and confused about “accidents” when they do occur, especially if they have been perfectly house trained for years. While cleaning up the mess afterwards is no fun, try not to react in a way that will make your pet feel more humiliated.

There are certain things that you can do for your incontinent pet and help you manage this condition effectively:

  • Provide fresh, clean water every day
  • Feed your pet high quality commercial food or an all natural diet without preservatives, colorants or additives
  • Do not let your pet hold urine in for long periods and encourage him to urinate by taking him out more frequently – in the mornings and after waking from a nap
  • Wash your pet’s pelvic area, as well as the area surrounding, daily to prevent a foul odor and infection
  • Trim or shave the hair on your pet’s stomach and around the inside of the thighs to prevent bacteria and moisture from accumulating against the skin
  • Place a waterproof pad under your pet’s bedding or use old towels and blankets to cover the sleeping area
  • If your dog is an indoor pet, confine him to an area of the house such as the laundry room that can be cleaned easily or install a doggy door so that your pooch can go outside
  • Exercise your dog by going for walks at least twice daily
  • Monitor your pet’s elimination habits so that you are aware of any changes
  • Fit your pet with a disposable diaper to prevent unnecessary messes in the home – these are convenient as they can be thrown away
  • Change diapers immediately after soiling occurs to prevent rashes, infections and inflammation of the bladder and skin
  • Keep your cat’s litter box clean
  • Disinfect areas where your pet has messed immediately with fragrant smelling household cleaners to eliminate smells and stains
  • When pets are feeling unwell or have symptoms of a bladder infection, they may urinate in an unusual place to get your attention. Never ignore the message.

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