What Should I Do When My Old Dog Starts Peeing in the House?
When my old dog Chester turned 14, he started to slow his age by slowing down and peeing in the house.
My guess is that you found this article because youa are experiencing the same thing.
Note: This updated article was originally published on September 30, 2015
I get it. We love our dogs that have been with us for the ups and downs of life for such a long time but it can be very frustrating when you are constantly cleaning up after your old dog and your house starts to smell of dog pee.
There were many times over my dog’s last years that I had to pull deep from my well of patience and try to find new management solutions to our problem.
You see, it’s not usually a lack of potty training that causes an old dog who was previously potty trained to start having accients on the floor.
Why Your Old Dog Might Start Peeing on the Floor
In most cases, your old dog can’t help peeing on the floor.
One of the most common reasons your old dog may start having accidents on the floor is due to incontinence.
As dogs age, the bladder muscles can become weak and they can’t hold it like they used to.
Dogs experiencing incontinence often pee on the floor, furniture, or their bed while sleeping because this is when their bladder muscles are most relaxed, allowing urine to leak out.
I say leak, but in my experience it is usually a pretty big puddle when this happens.
Your old dog may be peeing on the floor because they have a physical ailment that makes it really hard for them to hold it.
Your dog may not feel like they have to go until suddenly they do. Like now!
They can’t physiucally help peeing on the floor right that instant.
Common physical ailments that can result in your senior dog urinating on the floor include Cushing’s disease, a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Dementia in dogs is a real thing.
In my old dog Chester’s case, this was the culprit.
When a dog has dementia – offically called canine cognitive dysfuction (CCD) and sometimes referred to as doggy Alzheimer’s – they can lose touch with their surroundings and become disoriented.
In this state, your dog may not realize they are still inside the house when they relieve themselves.
For some other dogs with dementia, they may forget their potty training and that outside is the appropriate place to go potty.
The reasons your old dog is peeing on the floor may be any of the above reasons or even something else.
The best thing to do when accidents start to happen regularly in the house is to take your senior dog to the vet.
Discuss the possibilities above with them to possibly pinpoint the cause and see if there is any medication you can give your dog to try and reduce the frequency of potty accidents.
Honestly though, this may be a new behavior you will have to learn how to manage.
So what do you do when your old, senior dog starts to pee in the house?
What to Do When Your Old Dog Starts Peeing in the House
If your old dog pees in your bed, you jump up in the middle of the night to change your sheets and you spend a lot of time staring at this because your washer at home is an old agitator style you can’t wash big down blankets in.
Kidding, kind of.
First, what NOT to do
Seriously though, don’t do these things when your old dog starts peeing on the floor, furnture, or around the house.
PLEASE do not spank your dog if they have an accident on the floor
Assuming your old dog was previously housebroken (or mostly), the cause is probably incontinence, loss of whatever it is that doesn’t alert them that they have to pee until it is too late, or a physical ilness.
As much as we want our dogs to “love”us and “miss us” while we’re gone, they don’t feel human emotions (well, maybe those of a two-year old but let’s just say they don’t for the purposes of this issue).
Your old dog is not suddenly peeing on the floor because they are mad at you or out of spite. They’re not doing it on purpose.
Spanking is not going to solve the issue. In fact, it can emotionally damage you dog because they likelycan’t control what they are doing.
In some cases, they don’t even know they did it. They just know you are angry at them.
Really, the same goes for yelling too – it won’t help.
PLEASE do not give your dog to a shelter if they start messing in the house
I get it. Owning a dog that pees in the house is inconvenient at best.
At worst, it’s maddening.
You stop viewing your sweet old dog the same way as you used to and start getting really irritated with them (which they can sense).
You may be surprised at how many dogs end up in shelters for this reason alone.
However, you owe your dog little extra effort in his or her old age for all of the loyal years that they have given you (and probably still are despite in-house accidents).
So what CAN you do when your old dog starts to pee everywhere?
Reevaluate the situation
First, be honest. We want our pets to live forever but you have to come to terms that your dog is now a senior and might start to lose some of their faculties.
They may need help or special accommodations that they didn’t used to.
You need to admit that maybe your life journey together is entering a different phase and you might need to make extra efforts to accommodate your dog.
I found it helpful to shift my mindset to “I am lucky that I get to spend more time with Chester.”
Try to figure out the reason behind your dog’s potty accidents
Second, as I said above, you should take your dog to the vet so they can rule out a medical cause for the accidents.
In my dog Chester’s case, the vet was pretty sure it was just loss of bladder control due to aging. However, incontinence medication didn’t help.
Ultimately, it was determined that he had dementia and was forgetting he was supposed to go outside.
Resolve to find a environmental solution to the issue
What I men by finding an environmental solution to your old dog’s indoor potty accidents is to find external, physical ways you can manage the messes.
Below are some ideas that can really help keep your house clean and save your sanity.
12 Things You Can Do To Manage Your Old Dog Peeing in the House
Constantly cleaning up potty accidents in the house can be frustrating.
For me, it started out mild and would build until I thought I was going to lose my sanity.
Admittedly, when I reached this point, I felt like there wasn’t anything else I could do and I would get angry.
But then I would have a moment of clarity, find patience when I thought I was all out of it, and resolve to try something new to manage the issue.
Below are the things I discovered that would make it easier to clean up after my dog and would help me stop being frustrated with him.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
1) Get Some Dog Diapers
Invest in doggie diapers or a wrap if you have a male dog.
This can cut the house accidents down by at least 80% (see why it might not always help below).
Effective doggy diapers literally “saved” my relationship with my old dog because I barely had to worry about him going potty in the house anymore.
He could go whenever he felt like it but the diaper would catch his pee before it hit the floor.
Note: you should change the diaper once it’s wet to prevent a urinary tract infection or rash.
I searched for a wrap, or belly band, that didn’t slip around, and actually holds the pee, for a long time.
I tried about 10 different brands and I seem to have found one that actually works.
These are the best reusable wrap diapers I’ve found so far if you want something you can wash and use over and over (the same brand also makes reusable female dog diapers).
No matter which brand you choose, or how absorbent they claim to be, you may want to line them with a sanitary napkin or Poise Incontinence pads. (the sanitary napkins are cheaper but I think the incontinence pads work better).
I discovered that, since my dog Chester was in-between belly band sizes, I had to order a larger size wrap to accommodate the pad.
If you want disposable diapers so you don’t have to wash them all the time (which is very handy when traveling), then get these dog male wraps from Vet’s Best. (get the diapers if you have a female dog)
Unfortunately, dog diapers or wraps are not a 100% solution. It’s possible for them to occasionally slip out of position as your dog moves around.
Also, like in my case, I don’t like to leave the diapers on 24/7 to help avoid urinary tract infections.
And sometimes I just forget to put one back on when Chester comes back in from inside.
Because, depite dog diapers, accidents can still happen in the house I manage the situation by doing these other things.
2) Don’t Have Nice Things
Kidding. Kind of.
Just consider that you might want to put off buying your first expensive, adult couch until after this period of pee-everywhere has passed.
That goes for that beautiful, expensive cream Pottery Barn rug too. Just sayin’.
And no wool rugs! Once they are pee stained, it’s almost impossible to remove the spot.
3) Buy a Cover for Your Couch
If you do already have a nice couch, or furniture, you probably want to invest in a couch cover.
In my experience. it can be difficult to find one that is actually waterproof (but water resistant will do in a lot of cases) and even more difficult to find one that doesn’t slide around on the couch.
Believe me though, it’s worth the extra effort of constantly fixing it.
The one that works the best for us is this waterproof couch cover with rubber grips on the back.
4) Use a Lot of Towels
During the time my old dog was peeing on the furniture frequently, I laid down towels on top of the couch cover and then lay a blanket on top of those.
This extra layer will help catch pee before it can penetrate a couch cover or pool and run off onto the floor.
You’ll end up washing a lot of towels and blankets but that’s better than having to replace your couch or pay for professional cleaning (which never makes it like new anyway).
5) Protect Your Floors while Protecting Your Good Rugs
If you have wood floors and already have a super nice, expensive area rug, you might want to roll it up and store it in the basement.
You can get cheap area rugs on Amazon to use for now.
Area rugs are also great for protecting your installed carpeting if you have it too.
6) Put Potty Pads Under Your Area Rugs
I taped potty pads to the underside of my area rug before I laid it on top of the non-slip rug padding (you definitely want that anyway, but especially if you are taping slick potty pads to the bottom of the rug).
The pads will absorb the dog pee that soaks through the rug, and will also absorb the carpet cleaner that soaks through when you are getting rid of the mess, so it can’t damage your floors..
Unfortunately, you WILL have to change the pads often but it’s better than having a pee spot you can’t see soak into the wood floor and ruin it (it’s happened to me) or into the installed carpet.
Also, you may only need to replace the dirty ones.
These are my favorite dog potty pads.
These reusable dog potty pads look like a great, environmentally friendly option.
7) Stick with Washable… Everything
Try to only use household things that are easily washed.
Maybe, like me, you will have to haul your queen comforter to the laundromat once in a while but at least you don’t have to pay a ton to get it dry cleaned (which probably won’t get the pee out anyway) or throw it away.
I have to visit the laundromat to wash our down comforter (or down sleeping bags if we have been camping) every couple of months anyway.
Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost is great for getting the smell out when things are extra stanky.
8) Protect Your Mattress
While we are on bedding, get a waterproof and stain-resistant mattress cover.
They are way cheaper than having to replace a mattress.
A pillow cover doesn’t hurt either.
9) Buy Carpet Stain and Odor Remover in Bulk
Always have a pet soil and odor cleaner for carpet handy along with plenty of paper towels.
My favorite carpet cleaners for pet stains are:
- Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain & Odor Remover – this was my favorite for years and I still use it often.
- The citrus scented Biokleen Bac-Out Pet – I switched to this one because I eventually got sick of the Nature’s Miracle smell when using it so much. 5 years later, I’m still not tired of this smell.
- I’ve also used the Skout’s Honor Stain & Odor Severe Mess too.
If you have wood floors, don’t forget to check under the rugs for dampness once you are done cleaning it.
As I said above, I like to put down a potty pad to soak up extra moisture from the rug while it dries.
10) Put Potty Pads Everywhere
Place potty pads under the dog beds around the house and under anything else they might pee on.
Take my word for it, you don’t want to pick up a dog bed and discover, unbeknownst to you, the bed was peed in and a wet spot has been sitting under the bed for a while…. ruining the wood floor in your rental house (sorry landlords. It was a leaky flower pot I swear).
11) Pee-Proof Your Car
Get a waterproof seat cover for your car if you take your dog with you.
I have the Kurgo Waterproof Loft Hammock-Style Car Seat Cover and I love it.
Also keep plenty of towels in your trunk.
It’s a good idea to put one under your dog wherever they are sitting like on top of the car seat cover so it soaks up the pee even before it gets to the car seat cover.
12) Keep All Your Old Towels
You’ll go through a lot “dog towels” cleaning up messes. I have about 10.
I didn’t have many old ratty towels when this issue started so I took the opportunity to buy myself some nice new ones and bump the current ones into the dog towel stack.
Final Thoughts About Your Old Dog Peeing in the House
I know it’s frustrating to have to clean up after your dog all of the time.
I spent the first few months after my senior dog Chester started peeing in the house huffing and puffing about it.
But then I changed my attitude.
Cleaning up after him is just part of my life as a dog owner now.
Getting mad about it was not going to fix it and it wasn’t doing him or I any good.
Like I said, I am lucky to still have him around and I remind myself of that every time. That makes it easier to deal with.
(Note: eventually his dementia got too much and I had to let him go. You can read about that agonizing decision HERE if you’r ebrave enough.
Have you ever dealt with a senior dog that was once potty trained and started going in the house?
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.
This is great advice, Jessica. We’re a couple of years behind you, with Ty just turning eleven, but we are also starting to make some adjustments to keep him happy and comfortable in his senior years. I’m sorry to hear that Chester is starting to show some signs of aging – only because I wish all of our dogs could stay young for many more years. But I know that you’ll always take the best care of him and cherish all the time you have together. Enjoy!
Thanks Amy. It is hard to admit that our time together is limited (I know it always was but you still get the “live forever” syndrome when then are younger). I know that you will take the best care of Ty too as he shifts into his golden years.
Honestly thank you so much. I have a yorkie who i’ve owned since he was only a couple months & hes now about to turn 14, the passed couple weeks he’s been giving me a hard time peeing outside of the wee wee pad. He actually peed on me twice today & i became so frustrated but your post really helped me maintain my composer. Thank you!
I have a 17 year old yorkie and she is in her last days.Not eating, only drinking water.And peeing on the floor this process is super hard
I can completely relate to what you are saying. My 14 yr old yorkie rascal is peeing alot and all he want to do is sleep sleep sleep. When he does move around he looks like he’s sore or stiff. He still eats just fine and drinks and at his own time he want to play with a sock. Will not take walks anymore and has trouble coming DOWN the stairs. Ok goin up though. Love him more than life. I’m going to be devestated when I loose him. He’s my child and yet my emotional therapy. 🙁
I have a 15 year old who is partially blind, hard of hearing, and urinates uncontrollably every couple of hours. It all started in January when they think she had a stroke. I had to nurse her back to health for 5 weeks or so, two of which she would not eat so I fed her in my arms with a dropper and just prayed! After not being able to walk straight or take the stairs, my love and care helped her turn it around. Now although I’ve had to make many adjustments to my routine to care for her needs, I just cherish every day I have with her. I certainly wish I’d seen this article a long time ago. I’ve been through the same exact process with the urinating issue. Just cherish the moments you have every day.
Lovely words. My 13 year old had vestibular disease a few months back… similar to a stroke. Like you i cared for her when she could hardly walk. She had a 50/50 chance of recovering. Shes still with me, walking 90% normally but weeing her bed more and more but i dont care about her accidents just glad shes still here x
I would also put up baby gate to keep your dog from taking the stairs unsupervised. You don’t want to fall and hurt themselves. My little one still thinks she can fly down the stairs and goes crashing down before I started to usin g s baby gate.
Good reminder. We don’t have stairs in our house but we might be in that kind of situation someday.
Just seen this amazing post, I have a13 y/o rescue Staffy.
We did the baby gate thing, and she is so intelligent she actually opens it when we arn’t looking.
I completely understand. My Yorkie, Bella is and always has been an angel. Bella will be 16 on 1/2/22 and peeing on the floor when 2 feet away from a puppy pad she has used without fail for 15 years.
I can not imagine my life without her or how to begin to not have her to hold or talk to every day 7 days a week.
God please help me
I agree your posting is very informative and helpful Jessica! Thank you. It brought light into the situation for myself and my shihtzu. She is around 14 years old now and having accidents frequently, on her beds, my bed, hallways, rugs, etc… She has always been potty trained since a pup so I just started taking her out more thinking she needed more times available to go. Now I’m thinking it in more terms that this is a new process and it really is her aging. I hate admitting my baby is an old lady. I’ll definitely be purchasing her some of the items you’ve linked, including waterproof bed cover! I didn’t even know those were made and now having a bedwetter on my hands I was hesitant to let her continue sleeping with me but that’ll save my mattress and our precious nights we have left together! 🙂
Good luck Melissa. I know that my sadness about Chester getting old and losing some of his normal self did not help my stress when dealing with his peeing issue.
My miniature poodle is12 years old, always been great at going out to potty. Even if it’s raining or snowing he would still go out to pee. A month ago we found one of my dogs had peed on my daughters furniture, I didn’t believe it was Rocky, I thought my tiny yorkie was the culprit because she has on a few occasions peed in the house. Early hours this morning Rocky peed in my bed. He’s always slept with me so I don’t want to stop him. His eyesight isn’t good but he’s still able to run around the park. He’s still got loads of energy. I’m going to have to change things around the home, puppy pads and what ever else I can find to help him through this time. I’m just wondering if he’s going to get worse very quickly or if this is a gradual problem.
Thank you people on here. All posts have been very helpful.
My mikie is 17 now and has started peeing on his bed on my bed I have had him since he was 5 weeks old and it is hard to accept like me he’s old. I am so glad I found this article because I have been scolding him until today. I will just love him for the rest of his life and continue to clean up after him
Hi Jill. I think being a bit frustrated is natural. I struggle with my feelings about Chester’s new “old man” habits and mishaps. It’s super easy to get irritated and I admit that sometimes I’m not always good and handling my feelings with him. I always try and stop and react from a place of love though. We do the best that we can. Watching our babies get old is difficult.
My 15 year old dachshund Garcia has been incontinent now for 18 months, I have tried everything and have resigned myself to the fact t h at there is no return. I just dot the place with waterproof padded sheets and clean a lot. Sadly for the past 4 days he has been sick and subdued and his back legs are not holding. My vet has ‘re commended euthanasia…… I just can’t let go. It is breaking my heart. I know, especially after reading your story, that it is the kindest thing I could do for him, but I feel soo sad.
Hi Joyce. I’m sorry you are faced with this heartbreaking decision. Sometimes it is the last best thing we can do for them. I was physically ill for a week when I was deciding to let him go. I wrote the following article through tears the morning of the day I said goodbye: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/love-and-loss-letting-go-of-my-dog-with-dementia/. It may help you to know you are doing the right thing (warning though, most people find it very sad).
Oh my gosh, I’m right there with you. My 16 yr old shin tzu has started peeing everywhere. Etrrr, I hate it but…what do we do!’!’ Poor baby?
I have a 16 y/o blind and deaf shih tzu and after dog sitting someones dog that kept peeing on a area rug, mine started to do it about a wk after the other dog had left. He actually went out in the back to pee.. I THOUGHT… turned around and went on the area rug, now he does it on a daily basis.. even when I am standing there at the sliding door.. he has some visability but vet thinks it is VERY limited and blurry.. but I know he saw me… not sure if just a coincidence that it started a wk after the other dog left or his age.. either way it is what it is.. i will just continue to clean it up 🙂
Hi Kim. Frustrating for sure but glad to hear you are taking it in stride. Life can certainly be challenging with senior dogs but we cherish the time we have with them for sure <3
Hi, I have a 18 yr old shitzu-poo girl who has the last 6 months peeing on the floor. She has never done it in here bed but the other morning she poo,ed on the garage floor, never before has that happened. Fortunately she sleeps in a warm garage all the accidents happened on a concrete floor, easy to clean, it smells so I have to bleach or vinegar clean. She drinks lots of water so I have started to remove her water bowl after her dinner around 5pm, get up early at 5am & let her out in the garden to pee. Not so nice in the winters but really I have no choice. She has come down to about 2-3 accidents a week now.
Be careful with not giving her water. If she has a kidney disease, she may need more of it and it’s torture for her not to have it. Please reconsider!
Rocket, my recently adopted chiwawa has decided tovmess in my hallway. I walk h8m 3 times per day. We come in, he pees, poops in house after going outside. The vet guesses he is 8 to 10 years old. The amish owner said he was 3 years old. He was used for breeding. What can i do to stop him from messing on my hallway carpet. I rent my apartment. I shampoo carpet we very time. He was neutered 3 months ago.
My 2 Shih Tzus were potty train at 3 moths to the potty pad, they are 7 and 9. They are having accidents. I trained them with treats. we all are a very loving and close family. I do not talk bad to them or punish them when they have an accident. I tell them while I am cleaning it up, bad puppies.. Later I tell them to go to the potty pads and potty and mama will give you will get a teat. WHAT else can I do?
Hi Aleda. The first thing to do is take them to the vet if you haven’t to rule out any medical causes for the incontinence. Otherwise, all suggestions I have are listed in this article. There are too many to reiterate in this comment. Diapers were a lifesaver for my sanity, and my carpets, though so you may want to consider that if they don’t have any medical issues and incontinence medication from a vet doesn’t help.
Benny is 4 months shy of 13-has cushings,on medication,spent about $2400 on him in 18 months-and started peeing on the living room rug lately…its cold out (mid teens) bald belly due to the Cushing, but makes no attempt to ask to go out unless it’s between 4:30 and 6 a.m. and breakfast is right after that…he occasionally barks to be let out; but again,between 4:30 and 6 a.m. I’m at my wit’s end. I have a 2 year old Springer go to the demonstrated he can hold everything for 12 hours plus during this cold weather. sort of an ileostomy I don’t know what to do with Benny
Hi Karen. Benny is a Dachshund I assume? Many hate going outside in the wet and cold. Since you’re pretty much established that he won’t ask you to go outside most of the time, take him out at regular intervals. And I don’t mean “ask him if he needs to go out”. It looks like his answer will be, “heck no, I don’t want to go out in the cold”. Ha, ha. I mean physically carry him outside and watch him to make sure he is going potty (my Chester has a habit of going outside to make me happy and then coming back in to poop on the floor!). That’s the best and only solution I have found. I have to go through that routine for a while every year after the weather turns bad. I send the dogs outside every 2-3 hours when I am hole whether they have asked to go out or not. After a while, hopefully Benny will get back into the habit of asking to be let out. If he is doing it when you are gone, consider crating him or restricting him to the kitchen using a pet gate. Good luck.
My dedicated Chili is 17 and cannot hear, see but still manages to have a bounce in his step some days. He pees & poops in the house, the last 6 mos have been rough but everyday I thank God for another day, he is in his final days but has run a good race & deserves the best! This helps me to hear about other seniors. Chili is a long hair mini DOXIE , the best of the best!
Thanks for giving Chili such a long, good life.
I gave to 15 year old female miniature doxies that I rescued. They both pee and poop in their kennel area. I put up a small gated area hoping it would help. I use pads on the floor sometimes they go on it and sometimes they will not. They both will pee while they sleep. We were told they were kept all the time in a grate. Love them just want to make them comfortably for the time they have left. going to order the diapers for both of them so they can enjoy more freedom in the house along with our other doxies.
My boys are both 15 and barney has started peeing on the floor even after you gave opened the door and tried to encourage him to go out he just walks around peeing. He’s being treated for infection but tablets not making any difference
My Yorkie Poo is only four years old and has gone outside to use the bathroom. But, she seems to have a little breakdown and has started peeing and pooping in the house. Any advice.
Did it just start suddenly? It can be a sign of a health issue so you should take her to the vet to rule that out. Also think about whether there have been any other changes to her routine/environment lately. It could be due to stress. Good luck.
but what if you have a 1 year old that walks through dog pee and poop!? i just can’t!
I assume you mean a 1 year old little person? Have you tried the dog diapers? That would keep the mess off of the floor but, unfortunately in the case of the poop, might keep in “on” your dog if you know what I mean. Another option is to partition the dog to a part of the house where the child doesn’t go.
With that being said, dealing with an old dog peeing and pooping everywhere is frustrating and hard work. Now everyone has the patience or the time to do that. The cold, hard reality is that you have to decide what you can and can’t deal with. In my opinion, letting a senior dog exist in a an environment where their needs can’t be met, and who have to bear the brunt of frustration or be constantly kept away from the family they so love, is tragic. There is a time that we might decide to let our pets go with dignity and perhaps that time may be near for you.
Letting our pets go when it’s best for them is one of the hardest, most selfless things you can do for them. I know it’s not an easy decision so my thoughts are with you.
Let’s see how / if this works, I was up 2am and actually researched getting rid of my dog because she was peeing on my brand new carpet flooring I installed, I was hopping mad I tell you all, I spent thousands of dollars and she pees on the carpet! I have medication for her peeing but still she pees. I have sent emails to shelter and adoption agency to get rid of her I will also ask friends to help me get rid of her. I swear I hate to do this but I can’t afford for her to destroy my carpets! Last resort, I will bar off a section of the house from her, the downstairs area has a doggie door and the floor in hardwood, I notice she doesn’t pee on wood also I will not allow her upstairs (which is carpet) at night. Any thoughts anyone
Hi Gary. I get how frustrating it is when your dog starts peeing in the house. Have you tried diapers for her? In my expeirence, it can be more difficult to find diapers that fit a female dog (vs male) but they were a sanity-saver for me. Containing her to hardwood-floor areas is also a good idea.
You didn’t mention using belly bands, which I think are a great option to use along with other things. Belly bands worn at night, for instance, could keep your male incontinent dog able to sleep on the bed with you without peeing all over everything. Of course, you have to make sure it doesn’t stay on all the time, and is checked often when it is on to make sure it stays dry, but washing a washcloth from a belly band (or throwing away a pad if you use those instead) is way easier in the middle of the night than pulling all the bedding off and tossing it in the wash.
I was going to but forgot 🙂 I plan to write a separate post on that later. I’ve been on the lookout for a good belly band but Chester wiggles right out of the few we have tried. When he has the accidents, it is a huge amount of pee so I don’t expect a belly band to be able to catch it all anyway. It would help though.
If you’re looking for a good belly band- I’d suggests these guys: https://www.etsy.com/shop/doodlebugduds
They are PDX locals and sell at the Portland Saturday Market- if you’re ever in town over the weekend you can get one in person but they ship through their esty shop too. Super lovely ladies- they will help you with a custom if you need too
Thanks for the tip. I’ll check them out.
Jessica, when my Dachshund Max had back issues a few years ago and needed to wear belly bands, I made some from old towels and secured them with a 2″ piece of Velcro. Worked out great and stayed on him most of the time. The towels absorb well and easy to wash.
Yeah but you’re all sew-y and crafty and stuff. Ha, ha. Great idea though. I kept my Grandma’s sewing machine when she passed away and keep meaning to get it out of storage. I could probably handle sewing some Velcro to and old towel 🙂
I totally recommend buying MidWest Plastic Pods. They’re plastic beds with slits in bottom to drain. Put dirty bedding in washing machine, spray bed with bleach water and wipe dry with paper towel. You can buy covers and pillows for them but the sheep skin cover NEVER stays on and the pillow is too thick to have to wash every day (unless your dog wears the belly wraps) and unfortunately you can’t buy cover without pillow.
Thanks for your comment! I’ll be purchasing this bed tonight! My shihtzu loves her beds we have placed throughout the apartment, but she has been having accidents all over them and that of course leaks down to the carpet. This will hopefully catch a lot of it. 🙂
i just use towels and area rugs with the tr a in pads and wrap Kalya in a towel as ell and d alot of llaundry too…peppermint spray h elps with odour…and remembering the love…
My senior dog also has occasional accidents and she usually goes in the same spot. So, I placed a clear plastic tablecloth from the dollar store on top of my area rug, and cover it in towels. Now, I just need to wash the towels, not the area rug. I can`t believe I never thought of it before.
Great solution! 🙂
Roxy will be 11 soon, and thankfully no bladder issues, yet, knock on wood. We do have to accommodate what she can and can not do though. It’s hard to watch them age.
It IS. It’s sad but, like I said, I also feel happy because he is still with me. I try to cherish every moment… when he is not being a jerk. Ha, ha.
I’ve been having this same exact problem. Shiner has wet the bed in her sleep a handful of times in the past few months and has accidents in the house on occasion. I would swear that some of these accidents are just because she’s pissed at me for kicking her out of the living room so the cat can come out from behind the couch for a while, even though they say dogs don’t do pee to spite you. That’s another story though! This is some great advice and I should probably follow a few of your tips.
I think Chester usually does it when he is sleeping too. Not always though. I know of a few instances where he was totally awake right before… and I had just taken him outside! I get frustrated but just keep reminding myself that he is old and these things happen now.
My Tiki likes to pee when she is mad. If we have a friend over and she starts to feel neglected, she will pee in the middle of the floor right in front of me. Fortunately, she hasn’t done this in long time.
Also, my Lana pees in her crate with or without a towel or bed in it, day or night. She’s done this since day one, and nine years later, still doing it. She has stopped doing it in the night thank goodness.
Chester almost always pees in his crate now. He didn’t used to often though. If the crate is filled with “den” material (like a bed that fills the whole thing), they usually won’t go in there. Some dogs just do though. I know Chester used to do it out of anxiety.
Thank you so much for this wonderful information ! I never thought I would bond over dog pee LOL. My Buster is 14 years old and I’ve had him since he was eight weeks. He’s always had major separation anxiety he. I think it’s because I am disabled and we have always had an extraordinary amount of time together. He is definitely Alpha at our home. When he goes to his “Doggy daddy ” or anybody else’s house he is the perfect little gentleman. That’s why I agree with one of the post that said she felt that her dog pees out of spite. I feel that way sometimes. He doesn’t do it at other peoples homes. Only at ours !! Another thing that seems to be a factor is he just recently went on a couple of different medications for allergies. He’s on Atarax and Apoquel. He’s always been on amitriptyline. I’m wondering if the combination of medications which do cause lethargy are just making him too tired to be bothered with making it to the door and he Is just saying oh well the dining room table legs seem just fine. I just find it coincidental that it seemed to start when he went on these rather sedative medications. I did get a belly band for night and it’s dry as a bone. So I don’t think it’s an incontinence issue. Anyone have any experience with these medications or anything lots regarding this situation? But I do appreciate the reminder that it could be worse. And they aren’t going to be with us forever. I need to not make it a bigger deal than it is. So I’m cleaning up pee off the carpet . One day he won’t be here and I will wish that I was cleaning up after him. Thank you so much for all your comments and great advice.
Thanks for sharing what is going on with your Buster.It’s so hard to watch them get older and deal with these changes.
Have you talked to your vet about the medication and your concern? Logically, your explanation makes sense but I’ve not had an experience with those medications. We did finally try incontinence medication for Chester and I don’t feel like it made any difference. That leads me to believe that either 1) that medication was not effective or 2) hie issue is not incontinence. I suspect it’s the latter. I am taking Gretel to the vet in a week or so and I am going to talk to him about Chester again. I’ve pretty much come to terms with this being how life is for us. Chester had an accident in his bed the other day and I didn’t say anything – I just put the bed in the washer, got out a new one, and put him in it. It IS still annoying but my love for him is bigger than the annoyance <3
I was starting to worry about my 14 year old boarder collie. He has just in the last few weeks been drinking a lot of water. And not being able to hold him self. We have potty pads on our floor for all three of our dogs while we work. and he uses those even while we are right there. I just did not know if that was normal. I love him he is an amazing dog.
Hi Roberta. It is quite normal for dogs to become incontinent as they age. However, a change in water consumption – especially an increase in drinking- can signify something more serious. If you haven’t already, I would ask your vet about that just in case.
My Dashchud Hauns is 10 years old. I have recently had a bad femer break which called for surgery and now sleeping in the guest bedroom until healed. Hauns has recently started to pee in that room. Wondering if that might have something to do with my medical problem.
I used to have them in a larger crate, but when we moved I used the smaller one. I tried them in their own crate. Lana just goes in their. At least I know I won’t be stepping in it. In the house (currently live in an apartment) they used to go in the bathroom in front of the toilet. Pretty sure it was because I would say “Mommy is peeping or pooping”, then they started doing it. It was cute, but really. Lana doesn’t scratch at the door like Tiki, but she does bark at me. I have to pay attention to her behaviour and the bark to know if she needs to go out.
Just curious if crates too big?
My crate that my cairn terrier is in is normal size she can stretch out and stand up. When she pees at night she just moves her covers over and sleep on the plastic pad I have over her mattress. Some times she lays in it and it doesn’t seem to bother her. She is going on 10. She also pees in the house and I do think some times it is for spite.. She gets ticked off easy!! I guess that breed is known to be very sensitive and can’t stand to be scolded. She is a very sweet little girl bu t if she gets mad at you she gets mad and ignores you for quite a while. It is a good thing I love her. I have had her 3 yrs. I rescued herd from a breeder that got her back. She never had pups and has been fixed. I did that first thing. I also have a shih Tzu and he is 11 and MOST of the time he tells me when he needs to go out. She never does. I thought beings she loves him so much she would follow him about letting me know but she doesn’t. I rattled on enough excuse me. When it comes to my babies I get carried away. Any suggestion on how to control this, other than the ones on here that I have tried,
Hi Mary. It sounds like you are doing many of the right things. I would try taking your pup out every hour (when you are home) whether she says she needs to or not. At the very least, I would follow her outside to make sure she is actually going potty when she goes out. My Chester sometimes heads outside then turns around and comes in after a minute or two and forgets to potty while he is out there. Also, diapers have been a miracle for us. They are a bit of a hassle but so is cleaning up dog pee of the carpet all of the time.
We’ve gone through this with a couple of dogs. For one who just couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of potty pads, we would gate her in the (large) kitchen when we were gone for the day, so at least when she peed it was easy to clean up and non-damaging to the floor.
My current senior dog is used to the potty pads and almost always uses the one we leave for her in the laundry room if she can’t wait. We have upped our outing schedule, too, and figured out that where she used to be fine for a few hours after her after-dinner walk, she now needs to go out again an hour later and ~then~ is ok for a while. At night we have a potty pad down in the bathroom near where she sleeps so it’s easy access. On the one hand – ugh potty pads everywhere. On the other, super easy to clean up (much better than newspaper) and it’s a small thing for a dog whose been with us for 14 years. <3
The advice here is really good – don't have nice things! Cheaper replaceable rugs esp!
I would like to also mention something I just discovered and it has been a lifesaver or should I say floorsaver. You can order a product called Spillguard to place under your area rugs. It is a waterproof pad to protect your floors. We had a large shaggy rug in our living room over our brand new $12,000 beautiful wood floors. Our older dog started having accidents and a few went undetected. We managed to fix the damage but I immediately started look for solutions to prevent it from happening again. I found this and it really helps protect our floors. Here is the link below. I hope this helps someone! I have also found if you use a rug that is made for outdoors, they are easier to clean. Overstock.com has a wide selection of really nice ones that are affordable. Often you can just take them outside treat with stain/odor solution and hose it off and leave it to dry as they dry quickly. They virtually never stain! Leaving in the sun will also help remove odor.
Thanks for the tip Holly. It can be damaging to wood floors when a dog pees and you don’t catch it right away… so the wet rug stays against the wood. I also find that even if I do catch it early, the rug cleaner can soak through. Since I don’t want that touching the floor for an extended period either, I place a potty pad underneath the rug as a barrier.
Kristin – I keep Chester in his crate when we are gone. He does pee in there often but at least it’s contained and the blankets and bed are easily washable. He would never tolerate sleeping in the bathroom though 🙂
Holly – I am not sure if it was “spillguard” but I have seen something like that. We currently have those waffle non-slip pads under the rugs but having an actual barrier is probably a good idea.
Good post – and one that all dog owners should read, because everyone should be aware of the potential problems of an aging dog and be ready to deal with them.
Jeffie became incontinent, bless his heart. In his case it began with pooping in his bed, and he was prescribed a drug for Canine Cognitive Disorder (Doggy Alzheimers) which helped a lot. But when his liver cancer really got going, it gave him horrible diarrhoea which could not be controlled and we had smelly trails right through the house on a daily basis. But although we’d only had Jeffie for three years, he was our dog and a part of the family. You don’t give up on a family member because they’re having a health crisis. We only sent him to the Rainbow Bridge when the bad outweighed the good – for HIM, not for us.
What are we teaching our children if we show them by example that when an elderly family member got old and inconvenient you give up on them? The phrase ‘what goes around, comes around’ springs to mind. If we teach our youngsters that love is only while things are easy we are not dong anyone any favours. And our dogs give us so much unconditional love, they deserve the same from us.
When our pets and family members are in need is when we can show our love best. I need to talk to the vet about Chester potentially having some kind of dementia. It’s seems obvious that he does more recently but it’s hard to tell for sure because it comes and goes.
I am sorry about your Jeffie. That doesn’t sound like a very pleasant way to live your final time.
Oddly, it didn’t seem to faze him. He remained happy and bright until his last day, and even ran to meet the vet at the door, wagging his tail. Although at times a tad confused and occasionally slightly panicky when the mess happened (and it did seem to just ‘happen’ to him) he was still enjoying life. The decision was partly because he was becoming a walking skeleton and with his Degenerative Myelopathy he wasn’t going to be able to get up and stand for much longer, but mostly because he hated having his bum wiped so much, and it was getting really sore, even though I was putting lanolin on it after washing. Sounds like a feeble reason put like that, but it was the whole package, you know? And we knew for sure his liver was only going to get worse. It was literally the hardest decision I’ve had to make.
Costco has cheap memory foam bath mats with rubber backing that can go in the washer and when stacked make a better cozy bed than many fiber filled dog beds and are perfect size for a GSD.
We replaced all our dog beds with them and could be used on the human bed too. They hold a lot of liquid and don’t leak through until they have been washed many times (those ones get stacked so we wash the top old bed more often).
That’s a good idea. We have a bath mat like that and our old agitator washer doesn’t clean it well but they would probably wash easier at the laundromat that dog beds we have to disassemble.
We had a Doxie that became diabetic and he would just start peeing so took him to the vet and was diagnosed as diabetic. When we got his diabetes under control the peeing stopped. He had been drinking a lot more water before we found out he was diabetic.
Chester got his blood tested after he started having this issue and nothing looked abnormal. There were no changes in his drinking habits either. I am glad that they found out what was wrong with your pup though and that the treatment helped both issues.
This is a great post and your attitude is the right one. You are spot on when you say we owe it to our senior animals to care for them even through the harder stages of their lives. If we are lucky enough to have them live into old age we will most likely have some messes to handle. I am dealing with this with my 18 year old cat currently – until the last year or so she had impeccable litter box habits. Now she is arthritic, possibly a little confused or just can’t be bothered, but I’ve accommodated the best I can – we are actually using puppy pee pads with her, which I’ve never heard of for a cat, but it’s what works. It can be frustrating but it’s the trade off for all those wonderful years together.
That’s right – taking care of them when they are old is the “price” we owe them for all the wonderful years they gave so much to us. I guess I am one of those types that feels that way about all family and close friends – I am fiercely loyal and will do what I need to help them when they need it (like in old age or when they have medical problems. Gambling debt? You’re own your own. Luckily, Chester never liked to gamble. Ha, ha).
Try these! http://www.bestdogdiapers.com/ I found these when my boy had prostate cancer and became totally incontinent. They stay on well and you use male guards, Depends or cheaper brands, so the diaper covers don’t have to be washed every time. Three is enough for 24/7 wear! Good luck and many doxies make 17 so 13 is not that old.
I’ve seen those around. They are definitely on my list to try. I am glad to hear you had a good experience with them.
If you use a diaper for long periods you need to use a diaper onitment like A&D to protect his prepuce.
Mom has had it happen with old cats and that is a real problem! Now, Katie still holds it like forever, but she often will poop somewhere if she isn’t taken out for walk in time. It is no fun, but sure beats pee. She also often poops on the street because she can’t hold it to get to the grass. She gets out plenty, so we don’t know why this is happening. She feels bad, but Mom snuggles her and is totally understanding. It is so hard watching old age take over a pet.
Yeah, I would rather Chester pooped in the house. I mean, as long as it was firm 🙂 A couple of the dogs I walk poop in the street or random places on the sidewalk too. They started doing it after they needed back surgery because they were getting paralyzed due to nerve issues (common in Doxies). I wouldn’t be surprised if nerves become “weird” when any pet gets old so maybe that is why they can’t hold it as long or aren’t aware of when/where they go.
Such a great post- our border collie mix Bear is 13 now as well, and we are frequenting the yard much more often, but not experiencing accidents in the house yet. We will continue to adjust our schedule as needed- and help him age as gracefully as possible. He is so worth it!
It’s just a matter of changing the routine right? It shouldn’t be a make or break thing. I do take Chester out more often now but it hasn’t seemed to changed his random peeing accident frequency.
Great advice!! I have a 1 yr old fixed male dog that doesn’t use potty pads and even though I take him out every two hours will pee or mark things in the house. It usually is the other dogs’ beds, blankets or toys but sometimes it’s our bed. I have started using belly bands on him when I get busy in the house and can’t watch him and they have worked great! He is very active and doesn’t wiggle out of them and when he does have an accident it catches all the pee (we use an overnight thin maxi pad inside) . The belly bands have saved me so much time and money from not having to do the wash all the time and has allowed my dog to still have his freedom 🙂 I must mention though not all belly bands are created equal. There are well made ones and not so well made ones. So if this is something you would be interested in trying with Chester you may need to just find the right one or fit for him 🙂
I am definitely interested in trying them. I have tried the actual “Belly Band” brand but he wiggled out of it. He actually doesn’t when we are in the house so it may work for times when I am home but can’t watch him like with your pup. I left for a short time and he had it off when I came back though. I usually keep him in his crate when I leave though and I don’t care if he pees in there. The bedding is easily washable. I would still like a belly band type option that he can’t wiggle out of though because I know it’s only a matter of time before he starts getting it off when I am home.
It is one of the problems with growing older in both humans and animals. A belly ban would definitely be something that I’d look into having. Chester is lucky to have you. ♥
I think you guys covered everything; the only thing I can add is, “Jellybean Rugs” are completely machine washable and dryable. We recently adopted a 15 yr old dachshund who spent his life,up to now, indoors. He gets the idea of wee pads but his aim is not always great. I clean up in a hurry, sometimes just with water, and let the air get to the floor for awhile before I put down a new weepad. I use a Shark steam mop on the floor which is pretty good. We have wood floors but we don’t worry about them much. They can always be refinished someday if we want. He’s the greatest little dog, btw~ cute, funny,playful, and enjoying the heck out of his new, feel-good life. We’re just so happy about the little guy. We hope he gets to wee on the floor for years to come! “Living things before things.” Go out and adopt an old dog!
What is a “Jellybean Rug”? I am not sure I understand.
I wouldn’t worry about the wood floors as much if our house wasn’t a rental. Honestly, the soft wood has gotten many dings in it since we moved in so the landlords will probably want to refinish them anyway. I just thought it was super hard to fix “water damage” from pee. I haven’t looked into it though.
Jellybean is the company name. They make very affordable accent rugs and have interesting designs. The rugs come out of the washer and dryer as good as new, in case someone mistakes one for a wee-wee pad. (Someone did. It wasn’t me.)
Ok, thanks. I’ll look them up. I was picturing a rug made of little colorful balls or candy. Chester would totally eat the candy 🙂
Thanks for the post. We’re not here yet, but we will be someday. So far, we’ve only had one accident in the house in the past year and it was my fault. Zoey was trying to tell me that she needed to go out, I didn’t notice, so she came and started to pee in front of me. I jumped up and took her outside.
I’m very well trained.
I know what you mean. Until Chester started losing bladder control, the only accidents we had in the house were because I missed the “need to go out” signals. However, the “out” signals look suspiciously like the other signals like pet me, I’m bored, feed me, love me…. They just sit there and look. I have to pick up on the subtleties of where they are standing when they are looking and stuff. I thought about training them to use poochie bells once but, considering that they aren’t trained to sit or come reliably, that was probably not going to happen. Ha, ha.
I am sorry that you are having to deal with the joys of old age. I am also slightly jealous as neither of our previous dogs made it past 8, so all of this will be new to us. Our angel Gemini did develop a stress condition that had her obsessively drink and pee. We did all the vet checks etc. ended up limiting her water and replacing the carpet. Great post and great advice!
Here’s a natural solution that might be surprisingly effective & surely can’t hurt to try if it will help your senior dog has issues with incontinence. Corn silk husk has been reported by many pet owners as a safe natural aid in helping pets with issues like these. Here’s the reviews page on Amazon and some interesting feedback from dog owners who raved about how helpful it was
Certainly worth a try I’m sure.
Poor Chester he certainly is getting up in years. It’s great that he has a mom that is responsible enough to deal with it properly. These are his golden years you don’t know how many you have left. But really, that is some good advice about the bedding and the floors will have to remember that. Love Dolly
I had a senior that started having accidents also . She gad them when she would sleep… she was very embarrassed and I put nighttime doggie diapers on her. I tried a product called Vetri Science Bladder Strength ..all natural very affordable available online. I am very happy to say that the last year and a half of her life after being on that only two weeks she never had another accident again and we got to get rid of the diapers:-) really hope this helps … Please let me know:-)
Thanks for mentioning the VetriScience product. We are currently using their joint supplements and I am very happy with them. I will check out the bladder strength product.
Thanks a godzillion. Just order from my little nearly 15 year old Shadowman who has started to go pody in the house.
All excellent advice but I find changing one’s mindset to ‘the glass is half full’ makes all the difference in the world. Well done. Enjoy that adorable sweet boy as long as you can! 😉
I have an almost 10 year old dachshund. She’s been getting snippy and has been having accidents on the carpet too. I just chalk it up to her getting older. I love her to pieces so don’t really mind, most of the time. I also now have my mattress on the floor so she can still sleep with me because of the beginnings of back issues. It’s just as comfy on the floor! 🙂
I LOVE this post. What great and perfect advice. We had this issue a little bit with our older beagle before he passed, but we had it even more with our elderly cat. The advice is basically the same for both. Our cat is gone now is well. Yes, it was not easy to deal with but we dealt with it because we loved them and it is part of being a pet parent. Our three girls (2 dogs, 1 cat) are getting older now too and if it happens again, we will deal with it again. It breaks my heart that anyone would give their pet up for that reason.
We are definitely happy we have wood floors, because that does make it so much easier. We had carpet on one staircase where our cat had accidents, and we just had that replaced. No biggie.
It’s certainly been a challenge with Chester. I can’t imagine what it’s like with multiple pets having the issue at the same time. I did cave and start giving him incontinence medicine but it’s not helping. I am learning that his accidents might not actually be related to bladder control. It may be a reverting to the anxiety peeing he did when he was young or a bit of dementia. No matter what, I will continue to love and cherish my baby boy 🙂
Very good post. I solved the rug problem – got rid of them. I just lost a senior, she just didn’t seem to notice she was peeing sometimes. She was nearly blind and deaf which I think confused her where she was at times. I kept rolls of paper towels several places and a swifter to make cleanup easier. She had Cushing diesease which is fairly common in elderly doxies. Meds did help her increased thirst and peeing. I don’t miss changing sheets or cleaning the floor but I sure miss her. You just don’t turn your back on everything they gave you over a wet floor.
We rent and have wood floors. It’s in our rental agreement that we keep high traffic areas covered with rugs so we can’t pick them up. I by cheap ones from Overstock (except that one really expensive one… which I won’t do again) so it’s not a huge deal if I have to get rid of one and replace it. I can’t quite figure out what is going on with Chester. We did try the incontinence medicine and it didn’t help. For the most part, he seems to be aware when he is peeing in the house. He will look at us and walk over and pee on something… even if we just let him out. Other times it might be an accident. Knowing that dogs don’t pee out of “spite”, and that it’s not separation anxiety because we are sitting right there, the only reason I can think of is dementia? It’s frustrating but, as you said, I would never “turn my back” on him because of it. He’s my Bubby 🙂
I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!
Hi Nancy. It definitely sounds like classic symptoms of anxiety. Chester used to pee on the rug as soon as I left even if I had just taken him out. It took me years to realize he was doing it out of anxiety. My solution was to create him when I leave the house. That won’t cure anxiety in itself. In fact, some dogs can be MORE anxious in a crate until they are properly crate trained… and some dogs not trained young never get used to it. It’s worked for Chester though – it keeps him from peeing all over the house while I am gone and he sleeps in his cozy nest while I am gone. If you haven’t already, I would take him to the vet to rule out underlying medical conditions. If he doesn’t have any, then I would look up into online about dealing with an anxious dog with abandonment issues. If it’s a severe case, you may need to consult with an animal behaviorist.
Thank you so much for this! My boy Biscuit who is half weenie and half black lab and almost 16 years old has peed in the house 3 times in the last two nights. Definitely looking for some ideas to help us both with this! He is on meds for anxiety and allergies but has had a rough couple of nights. I’m going to look into the belly bands and also getting some throw rugs. I live in a mainly carpeted rental and am sure there is damage to the carpets already. Also need to look into ways to deal with that when I’m not able to life up the carpet. It’s overwhelming but as long as he still has some joy in his life, I’m going to keep doing what I can to be here for him. Thanks again!
Hi Heidi. I’m sorry to hear Biscuit is having issues. Throw rugs and belly bands can go a long way to protecting your sanity and your home. I know in Chester’s case, the incontinence doesn’t seem to bother HIM and he is fine physically otherwise. I look at it as aging adults that wear Depends but otherwise live a healthy, active life. It’s sad to watch our furry friends age but this is hopefully just a blip in your journey together. Good luck.
My dog Harvey is about 17 years old and an Australian Shepherd mix and he has been doing this for a long time. The vet put him on selegiline for cognitive dysfunction, and that worked pretty well for awhile, but now he’s so far along that even on the highest dosage possible he pees in the house multiple times per day. I have anxiety and I’m a total germaphobe, and the second time I stepped in pee in as many hours I just about lost it. Having pee everywhere in the house is so unsanitary, it confuses the other animals and some of them have started peeing in the house, and with my parents going through a messy divorce we don’t have the money to keep washing these towels several times a day, not to mention his medicine. I can’t live like this anymore and I can’t make my family live like this anymore. I love him and I’m so grateful for the 12 years I had with him but my mom thinks we need to put him down, and I think she’s probably right. Is there anything else you can think to do? I don’t think belly bands will work, we’ll either be constantly washing it or throwing the diaper away and buying new ones, and the money is a big problem.
Hi Cat. First, that’s amazing that your pup is a ripe old age of 17! Second, I am sorry you are stuck in this bad situation. No one wants to let a pet go but I do believe there is a point in time when their quality of life is so diminished that putting them down is a reasonable option. It sounds like your pup has a great deal of dementia and medical issues (you mentioned medicine). My questions would be how well does he get around (what is his mobility like) and is he still happy? If he can barely get around and seems like he is always in pain (always grumpy can be a sign) then it might be time to talk to your vet about letting him go. He’s had a long, good life. However, if he is otherwise happy and healthy, maybe there is some way you can figure out the peeing in the house thing. Belly Bands would be the most economical and, in my opinion, the least “gross” option. Most belly bands use sanitary napkins as inserts. Yes, would would have to buy and replace those but they are way less expensive than doggy diapers. You will need to make or buy several Belly Bands so you have a backup when you do have to wash them. Another possible option is restricting your dog to one or two un-carpeted rooms in the house for the majority of the time (except for when you let them outside or for short cuddle times). I don’t know if you have any of those in your house or if your dog would tolerate being separated from the rest of the family though. Also, in my mind, doing that does further cut into his quality of life so… It’s a tough decision. If I were in your position, I would definitely consider humanely ending my pet’s life too. If guilt is the main thing holding you back from making a decision, please don’t beat yourself up about it. I think that knowing the right time for a pet to go and letting them go with dignity is the last, greatest, most compassionate thing you can do as a pet parent.
My two dogs are seniors at 17 years old. One poops then steps on it dragging it around the house so when I wake up to the smell I see small brown paw prints all over my carpets. I started regulating how much they ate and what time. I feed them at 0630 and 130-200 pm to regulate when they poop and pee. I also take up the water bowl around 730pm. If I don’t they wake me up at 1am, 4am and 6 am to pee or poop. When I’m not home they have diapers on. So far no accidents because my regiment is so strict. I just got tired of the poop clean ups.
We are all happy now but each day is a struggle. I treasure very moment even the poop days. I love them so much.
Glad you found something that works. I’ve thought about limiting Chester’s water before bed to at least minimize accidents IN the bed. He only has an accidents in the bed every few months though and I have a really good mattress cover.
I find a great way to cope with the peeing problem is to use doggie diapers or belly bands on our dog. Dogs tend not to mark when they wear diapers, so they can be trained not to mark inside the house unless taken outside. We got our diapers from Barkertime, they make really high quality pet products and they’re very well-known for their diapers and belly bands. More importantly, their products are Made in USA! They have like hundreds of designs to choose from https://barkertime.com/
Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve tried using a belly band with Chester but he always manages to wiggle out of it. I may have to go to a diaper at some point. It still happens so infrequently that it’s more annoying for me to take the band/diaper on and off when he goes outside to potty than it is to tolerate and clean up his messes 🙂 I’ll check those out though.
THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION. I FEEL BETTER NOW. I LOVE MY THREE DOGS AND ONE WAS MISTREATED FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF HIS LIFE. I’VE HAD HIM NOW FOR SIX YEARS. HE IS THE ONE PEEING. I’VE BEEN PUTTING PADS ALL OVER THE HOUSE. I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH HIM.
I know how frustrating it can be but hang in there 🙂
When my boy became incontinent from prostate cancer I found these. They work great and you put a male guard from Deprnds in them so not so much washing. http://www.bestdogdiapers.com/
Thanks for sharing. We had a style similar to that but it was too difficult to take on and off several times a day. This one looks much more simple.
I have two senior Akita’s, Nikita will be 14 in a few weeks and Jake is 11. Jake started with fecal incontinence about a year and a half ago. The vet prescribed gabapentin for him, he also has major hind end issues which have resulted in us having to use a harness and limit his use of steps. He can’t be on ANY floor that does not have carpet or some type of rubber flooring which makes this very tough for his now unable to hold his pee while I’m at work for 9 hours. Nikita now is having the same issue at 14 she can’t hold it all day while I’m at work, so I’m double whammied with it. I’ve discoversed the washable bed pads that they use for hospital beds… I habe rubber mats in my kitchen all over and then place the bed pads on them and they are washable ! I have tried and tested so many different things Including yoga mats … Jake has gotten to the point where when I get home he gets wound up and runs back and forth peeing as he goes, I’ve had him from 8 weeks and it’s heartbreaking to see. He also has separation anxiety, I know someone had mentioned their dog did also …he is on amitriptyline for that along with carprofen the gabapentin and dasuquin. I will always do whatever I need to for them, they are my life !
I’m glad you found a system that works for you. We really love our senior dogs but it’s nice when we can spend our time and energy giving them love instead of being frustrated.
So, Bounce . Is a 14 year old wire haired Fox Terrier still very active but my carpet is taking a toll with his in-house peeing this last year, even though I let him out frequently and he doesn’t seem to like to use the pee pads. This tip has helped. I have found that when I steam clean my carpet I use heavy vinegar water solution and that does help also I have a spritz bottle that’s half water half vinegar and every couple of days I spritz the carpet with it and it does seem to detour him from going on the carpet
Hi Cynthia. Thanks for the vinegar tip. I might have to try that.
I purchased some gym flooring tiles/squares…that’s not working. Pee in between the seams and it ruined my floor. It’s driving me crazy. She’s constant urinating inside the house (13 years old). My doggies have their own area with a doggy door. What I’ve ordered and am picking up next week is a gym mat roll from lowes:
It’s beyond frustrating and fingers crossed it’ll work.
Have you tried dog diapers? Girl dogs have to wear full-on diapers so I don’t know how well that works but my boy Chester wears a wrap. I finally found ones that he can’t get out of and it’s solved any issue of going potty on the floor (pee anyway). It’s SUCH a relief.
Thanks for all the helpful advice. My Westie named Tito is 15 and he sometimes has accidents when he comes home from staying at his Grandma’s house. Definitely will invest in cheaper rugs and potty pads soon!
Overstock.com is amazing for cheap rugs. So many options. Good luck.
Hi, Thank you so much for writing this post! I have a 15 and a half year old miniature dachshund named Ranger. He has been having numerous accidents throughout the day. I was getting very stressed out handling the constant clean up with my pup’s accidents We recently moved to a house with carpet too (ugh!) and all I could think about was the messes I was going to have to clean up while managing a house hold with 3 little humans running around with their own bathroom issues.. Your post gave sound suggestions and ideas. And for me it definitely put a new perspective on the issue. I do love him so much and you are so right about how we owe them a bit more work on our end for their golden years. I am going to try out the diapers and also simply having some puppy pads around the house. Thank you!
Finding a male wrap (diaper) that worked for Chester has changed my world and relationship with him! It’s such a relief now. Things are totally different. Good luck to you and Ranger (love the name by the way).
Which one did you find that worked best for Chester? I am experimenting with my left over size 1 diapers from my son….for now until I do more research and buy something more appropriate. 🙂 ha!
Oops never mind! Just reread the bottom portion of your post! Thank you!
What chest protector do you recommend?
Hi Alan. I’m not sure what you mean by chest protector or how one would help with a dog that pees in the house. Could you please clarify?
Thanks I thought I would be the only one, I have a 14yrs old jack Russel female starting to pee in the house. I’ve invested in potty pads but the peeing in bed has been frustrating.
Ill have to take a step back and understand it’s not he fault, thanks for making me realize this, she has been with me since she was a pup 8 weeks old
My little 12 lb mutt, Sparky is 18. Sparky has just started peeing in the house. I think it’s because of the cold weather and stiff joints. He is very wobbly in the morning when he usually does this. We try to keep an eye on him and take him out as soon as he wakes up, even if we have to carry him out to the lawn. He has a doggy door, but he doesn’t want to use it. Fortunately we do not have hardwood floors or new carpet. We have been saying for years, you don’t replace carpet when you have a 13 year old dog…14 year old dog…15 year old dog… We knew this would probably happen one day. I will start by trying pee pee pads in strategic places.
Hi Annie. I’m sorry about Sparky. It’s so hard to see our babies age and start to lose their faculties. It’s awesome that he’s made it to a ripe old age of 18 though! I’ve started taking Chester out every hour to hour and a half now even if he doesn’t “tell us” he needs it. There are still times he’ll go out and then pee when he comes back in the house though. That’s really frustrating for us. However, adjusting our attitudes and trying to minimize the mess has really helped. I hope the pee pads make things easier for you.
Thank you so much for this amazing website! We have a chiweenie and love him like crazy but he is not well potty trained. He came to us at 6 yrs. old having been terribly neglected and used as a stud in a small scale puppy mill. We’ve taught him not to poop and pee in his “house” (crate) and that he doesn’t need to be dirty anymore, but he is still peeing on the floor. We’ve accepted that we will always have puppy pads laying around and that’s fine. We will do whatever it takes to keep him with us forever. Belly bands really upset him and he peed in it almost as soon as I put it on which I didn’t realize, so he walked around for almost 2 hours with a wet band and he almost didn’t forgive me 🙁 I don’t want to use one if I can avoid it. Since he is a chiweenie we are taking what we can from knowledgeable Doxy owners and Chihuahua owners. We find he is more Doxy than Chi in personality and behaviour. This guy is absolutely hilarious and so snuggly! Thanks for all this great info, I feel so much less alone. Kurgo makes a great harness that fits our boy perfectly and it comes with a seat belt attachment!
I am so thankful to find this blog!! I was just about to lose it. There are so many good ideas and it helps me to know I’m not alone in dealing with this specific problem and aging dog issues in general.
I just happen to come across your doxie blog. I have two doxies, a doxie/terrier (Becks) and doxie/pom (Mochi). They are both 11 yrs old. Becks has congestive heart failure (CHF) and is on three different meds. One Lasik makes him drink lots of water and pee a lot. Other than the CHF, he is stable.
Having peeing and pooping issues with my 14 yr old female, Corgi/ lab mix. I bought several baby mattress pads. They come in several sizes and easy to wash. Olivia is our third dog in more than 35 years. Luckily the same vet family members have cared for all of them. I use the goodnites diaper pads on her bed and in my car. Tried diapers but use them if we go to someone else’s house. This has been first female for us. Didn’t have this with our 16 yr old poodle but we treat her as if she is an older family member. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the tips. I’m glad you found something that worked for you.
My problem is similar…but not. My 10 year old teacup Maltese has always used pee pads in a big litter box. All of the sudden he started peeing in front of it. I thought maybe his hips hurt when stepping into it, so I began using a boot rack with the pad. He pee doff the edge every time. So I fashioned a very large box with 3 sides at floor level with 2 pee pads in it. 90% of the time he pees on the floor in front of it, whether I am home or not. I have tried giving him treats for peeing in the center or the back of the box, but he is peeing on the floor right in front of it with me right there. I am at wits end. It is in a bathroom, and sometimes he pees on the carpet in front of it st the edge of the bathroom. I just can’t do this any more. He is the light of my life and this is causing such problems, him being in trouble and me being angry and pee everywhere! Make no mistake, it is a choice, he never does it at night, and is one half step Fromm the proper place. Help! He does poop in it…
My problem is similar…but not. My 10 year old teacup Maltese has always used pee pads in a big litter box. All of the sudden he started peeing in front of it. I thought maybe his hips hurt when stepping into it, so I began using a boot rack with the pad. He peed off the edge every time. So I fashioned a very large box with 3 sides at floor level with 2 pee pads in it. 90% of the time he pees on the floor in front of it, whether I am home or not. I have tried giving him treats for peeing in the center or the back of the box, but he is peeing on the floor right in front of it with me right in the next room. I am at wits end. It is in a bathroom, and sometimes he pees on the carpet in front of it In the bedroom. I just can’t do this any more. He is the light of my life and this is causing such problems: him being in trouble and me being angry and pee everywhere! Make no mistake, it is a choice, he never does it at night, he gets up several times and pees on the front edge ( same result, but he tried) during the night. He is one half step from the proper place. Help! He does poop in it… in the middle! WHY MUST he pee in front of it or at the front edge, off the edge??? How can I re-train him to pee IN the box?
Ah, I get your frustration Theresa. My Chester, who has to pee almost every hour and has to wear diapers during the day, can hold it at night with no issues (we’ve had an accident only once or twice). In Chester’s case, I think he just doesn’t have the mental alertness anymore to know when he needs to go out until it’s too late. That doesn’t sound like that is your pup’s problem though. To be honest, I don’t know how or if you can retrain him. If you want to go that route, I might consult with an animal behaviorist. If it was me, I would just slap a belly band on him (male diaper). My life became so much easier, and my relationship with Chester got better, when we went that route. He still “pees in the house” but the diaper catches it so the joke is on him 🙂
I understand that old dogs will start to pee in the house but I have a 14 year old beagle that will pee in the same spot and nowhere else, I think she is doing this when she is mad at us. It only happens when we have done something that she doesn’t like the day before such as leave her outside, or go away for the day without her. She is my boyfriends dog and she pees right in front of his chair. Is this possible because she is mad at him?
Hi Rose. Dogs do not feel human emotions so she is not doing it because she is “angry”. When dogs misbehave, or display undesirable behavior, they ARE trying to tell us something though. It’s either a medical or behavioral issue. The way you describe what is happening – the delay between something that could be upsetting and her peeing in the house – it’s probably not a medical issue. It never hurts to rule that possibility out though by speaking with your veterinarian.
It sounds like classic anxiety to me though. That can happen to a dog that never had it before when they age or it can get worse (maybe she had it mildly before). Leaving her outside separated from the family, or leaving her alone for long periods, probably makes her fearful. A dog will then often act out by peeing in the house. The reason could be to “mark” her comfort zone or just a release in general, but it’s not because she is “mad” and should not be punished. That will likely only make it worse – she is scared/uneasy and you would make her moreso by “scaring” her again with the scolding. You’ll need to pinpoint the exact cause either by the process of elimination or by consulting with an animal behaviorist. If you want to go with the process of elimination – research “separation anxiety” online for suggestions on how to diagnose and handle it. You can also just search something like “what to do when my dog is afraid of being alone” and you might come up with some suggestions. I know it’s frustrating but hang in there. She’s not doing to be a bad dog.
As far as it being in the same spot, that is typical for dogs. When Chester was younger and we lived in an apartment, he always peed in the same hallway. Almost the same spot every time. I can’t explain why exactly. It may be that spot smells like them so they go again in a familiar place.
Hi, I’m just starting to go through this with my girl now(14). Bless her, she gets so stressed about it and its so hard to watch. I’ve been to vets and unfortunately its just old age and she gave her some tablets that chill her out so she isn’t getting as worked up with all the confusing and scary symptoms of old age. I never ever shout at her for anything and every day is a blessing with her so thank you for writing this. I think I will try the doggy nappies but as of yet she isn’t really peeing much so I will see how she is but she is on meds for arthritis and it makes her bit more thirsty so I’m going to start picking her water bowl up a bit in the day. Thank you xx
Gemma, I am sorry you and your baby are going through this. I get how difficult it is to see them age and deal with health issues. I know that limiting water intake has helped some people minimize accidents in the house. Good luck to you.
My girl Precious is 16 and just started having this problem a couple of months ago. It’s been better the past couple of weeks because I’ve been very diligent about letting her outside more often. I was home much when it started, i was in another city and my family didn’t let her out as often as needed. I’m home now though and its been better. I also am pretty sure her hearing is going. I’m struggling with the fact that I have limited time left with her, she’s been with me since I was 14. Its hard to imagine life without her, so as frustrating as it is. I’ll put up with pee on the floor just to have this time with her.
It’s very hard to watch our pet’s age and to realize their time with us is limited. We tend to think they will live forever when they are younger and doing well. Enjoy your time together!
All these suggestions are great! Also you MUST check for Cushings disease. Some of the symptoms mimic aging in smaller dogs. Our Snickers began peeing in bed at night and leaking all over the house. Also his muscle tone had deteriorated and he was sleeping all the time. ALL of which could be age or Cushings. A simple blood test will confirm this and daily meds can manage it easily.
Hi Lorri. That’s definitely an important point to make. Cushings is very common in Dachshunds. In my case, Chester has been tested for that and a multitude of other potential ailments. He’s healthy. We also tried incontinence medication but it made no difference. In his case – and this is not uncommon – the vet said it’s related to his dementia 🙁
Aaaaaahhhh! Our dog Mitzi will just walk in the room squat and pee…even if she has just been out. No indication that she has to go. Or one of us will walk in turn around and there’s a pile of poop…again, no indication that she had to go. She’s not “leaking” just popping a squat and going. She is 14…I am so frustrated! Help!
Hi Debby. I get your frustration. That’s exactly what my Chester does and why I wrote this article. I offer many ways to “help. The diaper was the thing that made the biggest difference for us. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
I’m an Old Dog Haven foster plus had taken care of my own senior dogs for many years now. First, i want to thank you for asking people NOT to surrender their pet because of incontinence. Sadly, many do. And thank you for pointing out how helpful a change in your mindset was. Attitude is everything. Depending on the underlying reason, i found belly band or diaper work great. I want to add that besides UTI, sometimes bladder stones can cause a house trained dog to start having accidents. My ODH senior has started having this issue in the past year, and washable diapers were a big help.
I like Old Dog Haven 🙂 Thanks for volunteering. I know that, sadly, many people do surrender their old dogs out of frustration. To be honest, although I would never send him away, I found it easier to relate to the people that do during those initial stages when Chester was peeing everywhere. Like I said, changing my mindset and getting him diapers was a game-changer. My frustration just disappeared.
Thank you for the practical advice and encouragement. My 12-year old dog just started having accidents in the house, on a corner of a rug which lies on a wood floor. The clean-up has been frustrating (the first time, I discovered it late, so the smell became overpowering and the floor suffered some damage), but I’ve ordered a puppy pad and I’m hopeful that she’ll use it. I admit I scolded her, but your encouragement helped me get over myself. I was focusing on how to change her behavior, which I probably can’t do. Reading your suggestions (puppy pad and removing the rug will be my first attempt) already made me feel a lot better. I’ll buy lots of puppy pads if it protects the floors, and I’ll consider diapers later on, if it gets to be so frequent that we can’t keep up with it. If I can come up with a solution that will keep me from going crazy, then I can enjoy the time I have left with her, instead of resenting her for something she can’t control. She doesn’t like this either, I’m sure. I certainly don’t need to make her feel worse.
Hi Liz. I totally get your feelings. We love our furbabies but constantly caretaking and cleaning up messes can be trying. I hope some of my suggestions helped.
Help, which male doggy diaps do you recomend? I didn’t see it on the thread. 🙂
Hi Dawn. That information is in my article. I admit it might be a bit easy to miss though. These are the washable diapers (male wraps) I use: http://amzn.to/2z0Ov2d When we are traveling, or I otherwise need convenience, I use these disposable ones: http://amzn.to/2xiUfXz (both of those are affiliate links so I will get a small “finders fee” to support this blog if you make a purchase).
My old 16 year old dachshund NEVER had an inside pee problem until the last 6 months. On top of that, she and the 14 year old don’t want their crates locked at night. Panic sets in and they aren’t happy in their crates after all this time of being crated. I’m on constant “toddler potty training” mode. We can’t leave the house for longer than a few hours at the most for fear they are peeing everywhere. Anyone else find their dogs decide that their crates are no longer their prized place for sleeping? Mine have never slept in bed with us – but they do like their round cushion beds with a blanket to burrow – except mine are too old to burrow themselves. I cover them once they are in their cushion. However they will get up and roam at night and pee….for me to step in when I get up at 6 am in the morning. Or 5 if I hear the flap their ears when waking. I’m miserable and can’t imagine living like this for another year!
Hi Kathy. I know this is a difficult effect of aging to deal with. Pacing around at night can indicate a little bit of dementia, which is common in senior dogs. Forgetting their potty training, and having anxiety in the crates when they didn’t used to, can also be signs. Have you talked to your vet about this issue? For a immediate solution, consider getting them diapers/belly bands. That totally changed how I deal with Chester and improved our relationship. I listed the ones we use in the article but here they are again in case you missed them: These are the washable diapers (male wraps) I use: http://amzn.to/2z0Ov2d When we are traveling, or I otherwise need convenience, I use these disposable ones: http://amzn.to/2xiUfXz (both of those are affiliate links so I will get a small “finders fee” to support this blog if you make a purchase).
Our Yorkie rescue started peeing and pooping in the house this year. He is.14 and has had two bladder stone surgeries (I expect this is why he was a rescue). He also has a very bad skin condition that causes him to be on Apoquel daily and antibiotics and prednisone about every two months. I used one the wire fence-type play areas and put it on a piece of horse stall mating. I put his crate in there and cover the whole area with pee pads. Since he sleeps about 22’out if 24 hours he doesn’t act like he feels isolated. I’m going through huge boxes of pads but we have come to a fairly good understanding. My thing is that he is losing his eyesight and hearing. When I go to pick him up to take him out (he just falls down any stairs) he is snapping at me. Don’t know if it is a startle reflex or if he has just lost his mind. He.still runs around like a puppy when you offer him a treat but I am just feeling that with all of his health issues it may be time to let him go. Anyone’s thoughts would be appreciated.
Hi Suzanne. I would talk to the vet about his behavior. What you describe – the snapping when you pick him up along with not being able to not go down the stairs – can be a response to pain. It COULD also be because he is startled but I’ve heard of that a lot less. It’s best to talk to your vet to rule out medical reasons.
I had never heard of the Lenny pads. I don’t have a Doxie, but am thinking if adopting one. I have 3 dogs now, and 2 are seniors. One is a 16 (she’ll be 17 in Jan.) toy fox terrier. The other is a 15 (he’ll be 16 in March) rat terrier. He was adopted as a senior, but I’ve had Lola since she was 7 weeks. Both have to “go” before I get home. I’ve been using washable chux that I get from amazon. These are currently $33.00 for a pack of 4 pads 34 x 36 inches.
You write that doxies are stubborn and hard to house train. I had a minpin who was the most stubborn creature on this planet and I lovingly put up with her “divaness” for almost 17 years. I still miss that dog. Anyway, are doxies worse than minpins in the stubborn category?
Hi Bonni. Both breeds are known to be stubborn. I think that how stubborn depends on the individual dog.
We adopted our Leela (10+ years they weren’t sure,) from the shelter a few months ago after our two year old husky died of heart failure. I wasn’t sure I was ready but she wiggled her way into our hearts. She has been peeing uncontrollably the last few weeks and seems to not even realize that she is doing it. She has a few forms of cancer and is generally a lethargic dog but we wanted to give her a good end to her days. My heart breaks because I think her body is starting to give way to her illnesses and she’s got nothing but pain and humility coming her way. I don’t want that to be the case seeing as I’ve become very attached to her and do not want to see another dog pass in less than a year. I wonder how large I would need to get her diapers (she is a German Shepherd/ Rottweiler mix and weighs 80-95lbs) are there any recommendations for what is best for her? I don’t want to suggest having her euthanized but she isn’t walking well any more and takes days to eat one bowl of food. Thank you for the article and any advice.
Thanks for taking a senior dog into your home. Having a dog that pees everywhere – whether intentionally or unintentionally – can be very frustrating. Diapers could definitely be a solution. Every brand fits a little different though. I suggest finding a diaper brand that you like and then consulting their size chart to find the right one. I’m guessing your girl will need an extra large or large.
Dear Ms. Rhae,
You say that NOT to take the dog to a shelter. For what reason do you say this? Will not the people in the shelter put he dog to sleep with least amount of pain, rather than wait for someone to adopt a dog, who in our case is 15 years old. If you are apprehensive about shelters, is asking your vet perform this last task better?
The highest ethic of humanity is to ameliorate suffering. A painless death is something we all wish for as death begins to approach us.
That is 100% correct. I agree that highest ethic of humanity is to ameliorate suffering of your pet. However, the shelter is NOT a place to do that. If you wish to end your pet’s pain, they should be taken to a veterinarian to do so. Bringing your dog to a shelter and leaving it in their hands 1) takes up a valuable space for a pet that is not at the end of it’s life (your dog physically occupying that space for a while so the shelter can’t accept another) and 2) puts the burden on an already taxed system (overcrowding, lack of funding, already taxed emotionally so asking them to take the life of your pet for you ads to that, etc.). It bewilders me that someone would think, if they wanted to end their pet’s suffering, that the answer is to dump them at a shelter and leave the responsibility up to someone else. Do you think that because there is a lack of good veterinary care in your area? Is it an affordability thing – that euthanasia at a shelter is less expensive that at the veterinarian? I also recognize that I live in a metropolitan area with easily accessible veterinary care and that my experiences are not everyone’s so I am genuinely curious.
Thank you for clarifying this issue. Since this is the first time I am faced with this situation, I was unsure about the best way to proceed. The issue for me is not about the cost and I will follow your advice and talk with the vet.
It looks like most dogs are a lot older we have a 7 year old Beagle named Max o Million we got him when he was about 1 our vet says there’s no medical reasons for his accidents. We are also foster parents for children and Max has been very welcoming until the last year he gets very cranky so we decided not to do foster care until he’s better. But I’m here 24/7 and he goes off and pees in a room he has always been very good about being house broken and scratches to go out I almost think he is not doing the peeing by accident any advice?
Hi Gerri. Have you taken Max to the vet? Sometimes the cause can be as simple as a urinary tract infection. In the case of Dachshunds, the fall and winter often become the “pooping in the house season” because they despise going out in the cold and rain to do their business. If you think that might be the reason (I hear beagles can be stubborn too), I would start taking him outside on a leash to make sure he does his business (yes, even in your own yard). Hopefully that gets him in the habit of going outside again. Other than those two things, I would suggest consulting with a dog trainer or behaviorist. Good luck.
My 15 year old male Shih Tzu has been house broken since a pup. After a visiting dog left, i found my dog had been peeing & pooping in the bedroom where the visiting dog stayed. I had to close off that room. Then I recently discovered my dog has been peeing routinely in another extra room. This week i took him out as always and he came back in and peed in room im in with him. Our house is carpeted throughout, so have shampooed, cleaned every room. He is still peeing in house and outside when we go out. Will be taking him to vet, something is wrong for sure. Im retired and home with him every day, have established routines outside every day for potty and exercise, cant believe i did not pick up on his peeing problem.
Our elderly female Beatle dog is an estimated age of ten to thirteen years of age. She lost her vision and use of both of her eyes so they were surgically removed and then her eye lids were surgically closed. The vet closed her sockets off in such a way that it looks like she is constantly sleeping. She was originally adopted by my brother from a family that posted an ad of her on Craigslist. He already had an active and much younger female Beagle dog at home that he wanted to pair this dog up with so his dog could have another dog to bond with. So, after he decided to get her, he saw her in person and took her home. We had no previous medical paperwork because she had not been medically treated by the family due to them adopting her weeks prior. They had received orders to relocate from the military and were unable to bring her with them. But any hoo, apparently from what we learned of her by the previous temporary owner, Daisy wasn’t a younger Beatle like my brother thought and she had also had a rough past previous to being taken in. Someone else had her when she was younger and possibly abused her. She was then found wandering in a wooded area, full blown pregnant. She was just barely of age and maturity at that time to be able to conceive so it was hard on her body. Well, the puppy she was carrying was too large for her to birth and it was underdeveloped so she was rushed to surgery and the puppy was removed. It died. She was traumatised from what the owner told us because she had anxiety a while afterwards and she was so young. Apparently the poor dog had 4 owners before we got her. Something always happened to her and she ended up being passed on to the next person so in that time, she aged and was actually a senior dog when we got her. It was amazing to me because she looked younger and small. Her size versus her breed didn’t really match up either so we all still question her true genetic makeup. She’s shorter and stalkier than regular beagles. Any hoo, after her past was known to us, when she lost her eyes, her health actually remained immaculate and her sense of direction and navigation was actually BETTER than it had been before she lost her eyes. It was incredible. Well, it has been years since that surgery and now, out of the blue, she has been randomly urinating on the same area in the living room. She only pees on carpet and it’s always in the same exact spot. Her urgency to be let outside is literally every hour or 30 minutes. Its insanity. She will go alot of times, pace, run into the deck rails, miss steps and constantly wanders in the yard. She hardly ever actually needs to urinate or deficate 30+ times a day buy she will go to the door nonstop and act like she HAS to go potty. Sometimes when we let her in, even after long periods of outdoor time, she will continue to have us take her outside or will pee on the living room rug and will only do it if she is left alone for 10 minutes at a time sometimes. Its a constant battle and war with her and we are all missing out on much needed sleep every single night because she paces and won’t stay still EVER and will constantly go to the door to be let outside. She doesn’t move slow. She doesn’t act like she is in any type of pain. She eats her food fine daily and drinks water regularly. The one thing I do notice is that she will drink the water so fast every time that she will often regurgitate it almost immediately. When she does, it’s all back on our carpet and then we have to steam clean hard and it’s a constant thing. Its no fun. She is the type of dog that has exhibited behavioral problems before whenever she didn’t like something. She seems to know what to do to grab our attention and let her outside over and over, so she’s not a stupid animal. She has us all trained but her doing this repetitive stuff for a majority of the day and over night is literally making all of us break down. We cannot put her in a crate, she will howl and complain the entire time. Even when we have let her outside and then she comes back to the door after only a few moments and isn’t even left there long to be let back in, she will bark at the door impatiently and her bark pierces my ear drums. She is loud. She acts like she HAS no patience, obedience, training or understanding of her bad actions. What do I do? I can honestly say she is a good dog but this had got to STOP asap.
I understand. Although the issues with my senior dog are different, I know how trying and life disrupting caring for a senior dog’s needs can be. Have you had her checked out at the vet to rule out any medical conditions causing this? A urinary tract infection can cause urgency and “false alarms” like that. She may also have dementia. The running into the railings and obsessively thinking she needs to be outside could be due to something like that. Unless there is a treatable cause like these things, you probably won’t be able to train it out of her, sorry to say. Old dogs just do old dog things and peeing in the house is one of them. I highly suggest going the diaper route. Because she’s a girl, the diapers are a little more tricky to get used to. But they will take care of the peeing in the house and remove that stressor from the equation. I can’t begin to describe but a lifesaver it was once I found male wraps that worked for my Chester. He’s been using diapers for a year now and I am very much less irritated with him now, which I believe helps him act “better” in other circumstances.
This is wonderful, thank you so much for sharing! I have a 12 year old Chihuahua/Jack Russel mix, and he’s been going in the house more frequently. Its making my mom very upset, and I’ve been searching for ways to salvage their (already quite rocky) relationship. Joey (my pup) was a rescued dog, and my mom inherited him when she married my step dad. Joey has some issues with his bowels, I’m certain, but I’m not entirely sure if this is warranting a visit to the vet, or if this is just my boy getting older. Just today, he went pee three times in the house. He startles easily, and sometimes, when he gets too comfortable or warm, he accidentally lets go a little.
I try my best to get him outside whenever he shows signs of discomfort or needing to go. But I’m worried about how my parental unit will handle the accidents. I’ve been a lot more passive with him, I understand that when he comes inside from the cold and snow, that the sudden temperature change can get to him. I also know that he’s getting older and we need to accommodate for him more. I don’t scold him, and I definitely DO NOT spank him. I can’t do it. My stepdad, however, will give him a good swat and toss him outside, and it hurts to see my Joey avoid my stepdad for the next few days because of it (again, before Joey was adopted, he was in an abusive home, so obviously anger can frighten him).
I’m definitely going to be looking into the pee pads, but unfortunately, most of the house is carpeted. Maybe a diaper would be a good idea, for the time being? I’ve already gotten a cover for his bed, but he never really goes near where he sleeps.
Hi Erin. That sounds like a frustrating and sad situation for all of you. He’s a boy so I would definitely go with the male wrap to curb his peeing in the house. Going that route with Chester seriously turned our relationship completely around from the trajectory it was on. I love him so but messes all over the house were causing me a lot of frustration and I know he could feel it.
Male wraps are way easier to use than actual diapers. It won’t help the pooping but hopefully cutting down on the total number of accidents will help. Full diapers would help with the pooping in one sense (it wouldn’t end up on the floor) but then you would have to constantly be bathing him. No fun. It’s sounds like those accidents aren’t as frequent anyway.
Also, if you think they would be open to it, have your parents read my article. It may help to shift their perspective on what’s happening.
Good luck <3
I was fortunate to find these articles on dogs aging and having accidents in the house. I really
appreciate knowing other people are having this problem and can obtain information.
I have a very sweet older beagle, who started peeing in her bed nightly, took her to her vet
found out she was diabetic\… Since she was a rescue dog and horribly abused until she was 3 years old
I didn’t have the heart to just put her down
So she receives 10 units of insulin in the morning with food and 8 units at night… yes she’s getting old and weak now but no more accidents…yes it is a pain and for some the cost about $40 a month is expensive, but she is happy and living a good life, and I will not take that away from this gentle dog….just yet
I’ve had several old, incontinent large breed dogs. I haven’t read all the replies, here are my top few that I didn’t see in the article:
1. Get the MIRACLE that is a Hoover FloorMate for bare floors. It works on cleaning up the residue from fecal accidents and vomit too.
2. Get zippered dog beds and put the guts of the bed inside a contractor size garbage bag. Then you only wash the cover and the guts of the bed are fine.
3. Get yourself a box of latex medical gloves and small wastebasket sized garbage liners for pick up.
4. Temporarily replace smaller (like 5×7) area rugs with several rubber backed area rugs all with the same pattern. It doesn’t look too bad and you can throw them into the wash individually when they get peed on.
5. When the doctor says there is no medical reason-they are just old- talk to them about Proin. It helped tremendously with the constant dribbling.
Thanks so much for the tips Jill! I know a lot of people have been reading the comments here so I bet it will help someone 🙂
It is great to find that I am not the only one having to deal with a dog that pees and poops inside the house on an almost daily basis now. I just took her for a walk, but instead of peeing outside in the grass, finds it more convenient to pee in our carpet.
Seriously though, I got mad at her and scolded her but will try my best not to do so again. She’s 17 and I know that her days are numbered, and must come from a place of love. She has given us so much joy & love in her years, and I realize after reading all of your replies that scolding her is wrong at this point. I will try to spend more time with her and spoil her a little more with treats & also take her out more often. Thank you.
I think we all do the best we can or know how to do. I’m happy to hear you will try to come from a place of compassion in the future. It IS very frustrating though and, at least for me, impossible to be all hearts and roses about it every time. Sometimes I still get frustrated with Chester and huff and puff about while I’m cleaning up his pee or poop. I don’t scold him anymore though because I understand he’s really not doing it “on purpose”. The diapers really saved our relationship though because messes on the floor are much more infrequent.
My senior wiener Spencer will be 18 in a couple of weeks. He has many accidents and it is getting so frustrating. We have had him since he was a baby and he has been such a joy in our lives, but now he just sleeps and eats and messes in the house and I am feeling so frustrated. It helps reading all these other comments. I will look into a belly band or something like that. He has Cushings Disease so originally thought the peeing in the house was related to that but he’s been on meds for a couple of years and nothing has changed so doubt I can blame it on that. He cannot see or hear much these days so that is really sad. Also his back legs seem to be getting weak at times, but sometimes he romps into the house, so not sure why the weakness is intermittent. My husband isn’t as patient with the “accidents” as I am, but I have to admit, when I saw him just squat and pee a ton on the carpet this morning, I about lost it. I will try to remain patient and love him, but some days are just really hard. Thanks for this page. It really helps.
Hi Janet. Unfortunately, a lot of things that happen to a dog as they age are intermittent. That’s part of what makes it so hard to decide when it’s time to let go (totally not saying anything about your situation). They can seem really bad one day and then not so bad, or even good, another. It sounds like you are being an amazing dog Mama and doing all that you can. I understand it being SO frustrating. My Chester had dementia. We got past the peeing part but, over the last year or so, his mental state got worse and worse. His behavior really started to take a toll on our whole family 🙁 I’m glad that the comments on this post gave you a new perspective and resolve to get through the hard times.
Thank you for this article Jessica! I have a soon to be 15 yr old Maltese & she’s been having more & more frequent accidents in the house & I’m going insane! I can honestly say that after I read your article, I had to pet her & apologize for losing my temper as it happened again this morning. This is like 5 times in the last week she’s done this!! I realize she’s old but have had to come to the realization that she’s not trying to be defiante. We have alot of carpet in our house & it never fails that’s where she always goes. She has been potty trained her whole life (we’ve had her since she was 6 wks old) so it gets very frustrating because it gets to the point where I’m wondering if people can smell it when they come over. We shampoo our carpets regularly because we don’t want there to be a smell in the house but I doubt that’s really taking it away completely. I must say that after reading what you wrote about having a different attitude that we are lucky to have her around still, it instantly caused me to calm down & realize, I have to change my outlook & attitude about it. She’s been such a good dog her whole life. She doesn’t deserve to have me turn on her now that she’s old. I haven’t ever found a urine cleaner that actually works so that’s frustrating too. Well, just wanted to say thank you for your helpful words! I’m sure Chloe would like to thank you too! 🙂
Hi Michelle. I’m glad my article helped. It’s super frustrating. I get it. For me, although I was disappointed in myself, it was impossible for me to never get grumpy or frustrated with Chester. I definitely had to take a deep breath and remember what I said in this article – that he didn’t do it on purpose and it wasn’t his fault. I hope you and your pup have many more happy years together.
I am not sure how on got to your website. BUT I am very happy to have found you.
Long story as brief as possible. A number of months ago it was time to have my Golden Husky mix put down. Ben was a fabulous dog who never got on the furniture, only twice peed In the house . He was very kind hearted and gentle animal.
Ben was dying of cancer and old age. Although he didn’t complain it was obvious that he was in pain. The night before it was time for us to part for ever I dreamt that Ben and Buzzy ( a schnauzer I had 50 years ago ) were walking up the hill out side of our home. Buzzy was leading Ben. I had never heard of the Rainbow Bridge. But that dream told me that the time had come for us to part and that Buzzy was there to guide Ben to “Doggie Heaven”.
I was so sad that I decided to get another dog to fill the void in my heart.
I went to the ASPCA and brought home a darling puppy. But the darling puppy was an avid bitter and she would bite on to my slacks. Two days of biting was two days too many . I have young grand children and this doggies nature was not what we wanted.
So the cute little pup was returned to the ASPCA.
A few days later I went to a shelter and was greeted by a very nice young woman. She asked what kind of dog was I looking for. I replied a gentle dog. A minute later she arrived with ” Debbie ” ( named after the Debbie Cakes made by the Hostess Corporation).
How I wish Debbie could talk and tell me about her past. We did learn that she had been with a family and had run away. She was captured by the dog catcher but the people who owned her told the dog catcher to keep her. The did not want her back.
So that is how we got Debbie. She is around 3 years old part Dashund and part Vezla.
So her legs are longer that a Dash.
She is very sweet, stubborn, gentle, comical, hard headed, sly, smart.
She is terrified to crates — thus we do not use one. I am very slowly introducing the crate to her. Over the 3 months we have had Debbie it is now that she will actually go inside of her crate to eat. The door is open and the crate is large – big enough for my Golden to comfortable turn around.
Oh I forgot to say that Debbie climbed the crate, walked across the top and jumped to the other side. She also climbs pressure gates.
She is a very sensitive dog and sly. For a while she went through a phase. She was put her teeth on me– BUT she did not bite me. I tried not to respond to her “almost bite” and since that time which has been a couple of months I don’t remember her testing me again.
The day we brought Debbie home I opened the front door – she took one look at my white couch and took a huge flying leap right in to the middle. She declared the couch to be ” Debbie Land “. I have two large quilts and a blue blanket on the couch and she loves to burrow and snuggle there.
She also has a small bed that she drags around the house and curls up in it.
As you have noticed I am a pushover.
Some days the potty training works well – she will hold ” the peep and poop “and do it in the yard.
Ah yes – ” the yard “. We have an acre that is fenced in. I walk Debbie on the leash 3 or 4 times a day. I would love to let her run but since she climbed the crate and the gate I am fearful that she would limb the chain link fence and get caught on the pointed wire pieces at the top.
Rather than just a collar I have her in a halter. There have been 2 times that she twisted and got our of the halter. Another good reason to walk her in the yard.
Although she does not like wet grass and umbrellas frighten her so walking in the rain in interesting at best.
Thank you for all the information you posted. You have made me feel better and more understanding of “Debbie”. I really do love her and so glad we have never permitted her to be in the bed with us.
We have chipmunks in our yard and a bunny that appears each evening.
Hi Joanie. Thanks so much for sharing your story and giving Debbie such a wonderful home. You are clearly dedicated to her wellbeing and are patient with her. Eventually she should get that she is only to go outside.
while i get the gist of this post, which is great… some here really need to consider your pet’s condition and realize that it’s time to have your beloved pet move on for their sake and not keep them for yours. some of these stories are sad to hear that you’ve kept your pet for so long… some if not all don’t show signs of pain, but suffer silently.
if your pet is frequently having issues, can’t walk, loosing sight, not eating and has a somber look. it’s time to get an assessment from the vet in allowing your pet move forward in peace.
it’s a difficult choice, but it’s in the best intentions for your pet’s life.
I agree it’s always a very difficult choice. It’s also a very, very personal one.
I think a senior dog merely peeing in the house isn’t a big deal. But, as you pointed out, if it’s just one of many, many symptoms that affect a pet’s quality of life, one may need to do some soul searching.
I happily managed my senior dog’s peeing in the house issue for almost 2 years. Then, almost suddenly, his dementia progressed rapidly. I made the heartbreaking decision to let him go with dignity. I was literally sick over my decision for a week. You can read my “goodbye” letter to him here: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/love-and-loss-letting-go-of-my-dog-with-dementia/
Just moved into a new house with a 14 yr old dog that pees everywhere. We bought area rugs called Ruggables. The adhere to a Velcro like floor covering that is like a rubbery plastic; the rug can be detached, folded and placed in washing machine (front loading). Are they plush? No. But until our old girl goes this is the answer. Plus, LOTS of throw rugs.
Yay. I’m so glad for your comment. I’ve been looking at these recently and wondered about the quality and if they actually helped with messes in the house. Glad to hear they’ve worked good for you.
Hello! I have a 7yr old Jack Russell Terrier. We took him to the vet where they said he has “doggie dementia.” They said nothing else is physically wrong with him, cause they did a 7 panel blood test on him. We take him out every 2 hours and even then he still pees in the same corner at least every other day. I have dosed that corner with Nature’s Miracle No More Marking. My mom is getting really frustrated about it and I’m trying every solution I can find to make him stop. I’m scared she’s going to take him away. Can someone please help me with any suggestions. I’m getting scared and desperate.
Hi Anya. I’m sorry you are going through this. Dementia in dogs is so hard because their mind often fails before their body. At least that is what happened with my Chester.
In regard to the peeing in the house, all of the suggestions I have are in this article. Specifically, get dog diapers. It can be a game changer and give you more happy times with your dog.
Not to be a downer but I had to make the tough decision about my Chester when his mind was too far gone. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through with a pet because physically he was mostly ok (although he started to have trouble walking at the end). I just want you to be prepared that you may have to let your dog go before you think you “have” to for physical reasons.
With that being said, your dog is only 7 though which is pretty young for a small dog. I’m actually surprised that a dog can get dementia that young. If you are too, I might get a second opinion.
My 15 year old dachshund Garcia has been incontinent now for 18 months, I have tried everything and have resigned myself to the fact t h at there is no return. I just dot the place with waterproof padded sheets and clean a lot. Sadly for the past 4 days he has been sick and subdued and his back legs are not holding. My vet has ‘re commended euthanasia…… I just can’t let go. It is breaking my heart. I know, especially after reading your story, that it is the kindest thing I could do for him, but I feel soo sad.
The link for the washable diapers dont work can you send me the link?
Hi Che. The link is working just fine for me. It must have been a glitch. Here it is again: https://amzn.to/2GiLvEj
Our bichon Ellie will be 14 in another 4 months. She was diagnosed in March 2017 with Cushing’s disease after suddenly drinking constantly, peeing on our bed ( where she has always slept) and yelping for more food. The vetoryl capsules were a fairly quick fix, & repeat STIM tests helped to titrate her dose down to a very small amount that kept her well-controlled- until about 6 wks ago. Suddenly the same symptoms recurred, We assumed our vet would just increase the Vetoryl, but after consulting with a colleague, he opted to do an ultrasound & chest X-ray. Her chest was clear but the liver ultrasound showed an ill-defined mass on one lobe of her liver. Tomorrow she is seeing a specialist to determine what more can be done. She still eats fine/ walks fine/ perhaps has lost some hearing/ and mostly just lies around all day ( is this just because she’s older???). She does not seem to be in any distress & after peeing on my husband while they were resting in the den, your explanation of lost bladder control due to aging DOES make perfect sense. Fortunately we found a GREAT solution 2 years ago & have gone back to using these pads sold on Amazon: Premium Quality Bed Pad, Quilted, Waterproof, Reusable and Washable , 35″ X 80″
by NOBLES HEALTH CARE PRODUCT SOLUTIONS. We used 2 on our queen-sized bed & just ordered a third so that they can be placed across the bed ( instead of lengthwise). Every morning I wash them in warm water, dry them on extra low heat & put them back on the bed. My husband is beyond exhausted since he kept taking her out every few hours overnight thinking that would remedy the problem. Of course it hasn’t- as proven by her peeing during an afternoon nap today on our bed. During the day, we take her out every 60-90 minutes so she’s not peeing in the house. My (overtired) husband thinks we need to put her down, but I disagree – even more so after reading this page. I can’t imagine the specialist would recommend that even if she DOES have cancer or something else going on. I like the “enjoy her remaining time” philosophy. We’ve also decided not to get another dog ( after 40 years of owning dogs!!) since we’re now in our 70s with young grandkids who don’t live nearby. Anyway thanks for the wealth of information & I hope the bed pads suggestion is helpful to others reading this page.
Hi Renee. Older dogs definitely sleep longer.
I understand the whole ordeal of changing the pads over and over would be frustrating. It sounds like you haven’t pinpointed the cause yet so I hope the vet or specialist can get you some answers. Unfortunately, having an answer still may not bring a solution that will make the excessive period stop. Patience is definitely good to have in this situation but there is value in looking at the big picture of your dog’s heath, and the quality of your own life because of it, and making a decision from there. Good luck to you guys.
I know the situation is not easy.
I have an older dog that is 17, he pees everywhere and will urinate after going outside, before going outside and a huge puddle when he is outside.
He has been checked by 3 different labs for kidney and organ function and an array of other blood values. His organs are functioning correctly and his tests all come back normal. This is really getting on my nerves to no end.
My wife and I dread going on vacation because we will have to be tending to the dog constantly during any hotel stay. So a vacation actually becomes a PIA. We usually leave him at a pet hotel which costs us around $100 a day, so a 7 day vacation will be $700 for him to stay somewhere, plus our flights and hotel and all the other vacation stuff like car rental when you arrive. It’s not really the money, but the thought of spending it on a dog who pees all the time everywhere.
No way will we be able to take him on a flight, he would likely pee immediately and we would spend rest of flight soaked in urine. So we have to drive to pet hotel (out of state), it’s the only one we trust. Others I have looked at are just junk. So we can’t even take a flight from the city where we live due to having to drive essentially just to drop him off. He has also caused us to have to reupholster a leather seat in the car due to him urinating a huge amount on it one time. The smell just was unspeakable.
I hate to say it, but he is like a friend who wears out his welcome and is destroying your home with urine. You want them out, but due to your friendship you don’t have the heart to kick them out, but at some point it becomes too much to mentally put up with. It’s giving us major anxiety and shortening our fuses. We walk him for at least 1 hour each day (min) so he is getting out enough to do his business.
We keep him in a corner when he is inside on hard floor so clean up will be easier. We tried diapers, but all that does is get his stomach soaked with urine, at which point he needs a bath (45 min, with drying) then when he goes out to pee, he usually pees on himself (another bath or urine will fester on him and be harder to wash the stink out if you leave it, plus it creates environment for bacteria and then fungus as well).
We tried to give him less water and that doesn’t work. We are clean people and tired of stinking like urine, when we handle him our hands and arms smell like urine and we have to go through what is almost like a hand cleaning ritual of 2 different soaps. Regular hand Dial soap won’t get stink out.
It’s like I can’t even wear my nice clothes around him because he will eventually have to be handled and leave urine stench. So I just wear crap.
I am at wits end, he has gone 6 different vets (3 full panel blood tests, along with physical examinations) and has no issues health wise, but this is complete nonsense. We discussed putting him down, but are hesitant based on moral issues due to the fact he does not have any reason to be put down besides his constant urinating and the anxiety it causes us . We don’t want to live our lives around a dog’s urine schedule.
Does anyone know of something that can be done about this? Please no nonsense remedies that don’t work or time consuming solutions. We both have careers and don’t want to spend our free time and youth being slaves to a dog and their bowel movements. We have been doing what is best for him , which is why we have spent so much money and time getting him tested multiple times, spending for him to stay in best pet hotels and all the time and resources (both monetarily, emotionally and mentally) we have spent on him up to this point. At what point do you start doing what is best for you and your well-being? REAL advice would be appreciated.
Hi Williams. I’m sorry you are dealing with this frustration. You are so right about the friend analogy. All of the solutions I have I’ve offered are in this article and are management based. It sounds like even those solutions aren’t working for you guys (and that’s totally ok. One can only handle so much). You’re clearly gone to great efforts to deal with the situation for as long as you can. Any future decision is of course up to you but, if it were me, knowing what I know now going through something similar with Chester at the end, I would definitely be entertaining the thought of letting him go. To me, quality of life encompasses much more than just physical health and you absolutely can’t discount your own experiences and quality of life in the matter. I really struggled with letting go of Chester but I know it was right. Here is a blog post I wrote the morning of the day that was hard to write but raw and truthful about my thoughts. Perhaps it will help you with your decision: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/love-and-loss-letting-go-of-my-dog-with-dementia/
My brother just dumped his 15yr old dog on me and left town. I am at wits end what to do with her, she pees and poops everywhere.
I’m sorry Michael. That sounds like a very unfortunate situation. If your brother does not want his dog anymore, perhaps you should take her to a veterinarian to get her health checked out. Perhaps she is peeing and pooping in the house because of some kind of health condition (physical or mental). No matter the cause, you should talk with the vet about her overall quality of life and your ability/desire to take care of her. Good luck.
We haven’t had problems with our older dog’s having pee accidents in the house, but both Linus and Stetson had the occasional poop accident in the house when they were older. We’ve done a lot of things to prepare puppies at our house. We removed all the flooring and have polished concrete throughout the house. We got rid of the our cloth couches and replaced them with leather and we seal the leather. It’s not perfect, but it helps make it easier to clean up fur and other messes. We have a lot of pet stain & odor removers around the house for the occasional accident.
Polished concrete? That’s hardcore. Ha, ha. Our old house was all wood floors but now we live in a house with carpet in the livingroom.
I have just found the comments on a senior dog urinating in the house when the 11 yr old dog was housebroken at one time. I have just spent a week shampooing my carpets where my Munchkin, a chihuahua, has been peeing for the last 18 months. I have taken him to my vet to rule out a medical problem. Our vet did confirm that he is going blind. He has arthritis which we have stairs at every door to our house so he has a slight problem going down the stairs. We lost the dominate dog of our inside the house pack about 18 months ago to cancer. She was an 11 yr old boxer and the best friend I have had besides my wife in the last 50 years. I have decided that I need to change my attitude towards the incontinence because not only is my buddy dealing with physical problems but it appears that he may still be dealing with loss of his buddy for all those years. He spends a large part of his day sleeping in a chair beside my recliner or he will go behind my recliner and sit, staring at the wall. Can anyone give me a little insight as to my boy’s reaction if I bring in another dog to the pack? I considered adopting a senior dog from a boxer rescue shelter close to my home. I love the boxer breed and want to give other dogs a chance at a forever home before they pass on. I don’t want to increase Munchkin’s anxiety level to a point that his stress causes him more physical or medical problems, though.
Hi Larry. How sad for your little pup. Getting old for anyone sucks and then to lose a friend? I’m happy to hear you are trying to cut him some slack. Dealing with a dog that pees in the house is definitely frustrating though.
In my limited experience, each dog is really different when it comes to adding a new pet to the home. Some dogs end up loving the company and some – especially older dogs – have a difficult time adjusting. Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t know until you try.
I do think adopting another senior dog is be less stressful. It will also help if the shelter will let you do a trial period – maybe letting the potential new pal stay at your house for a few days before you decide.
I have a dog who urinates all the time. This has been going on for nearly 2 years. My night time routine consists of taking him out right before bed, waking up in the morning to find he urinated on his bed (that now has absorbent gel wee pads covering it) so I change that but he laid in it so off he goes to get a bath to wash the urine off. Then I get the fun task of getting in the car and driving to work (hows that to start your day) This is after taking him out over 5 times during the day.
I see a lot of comments here focusing on the dogs well being (keep them comfortable, use pee pads, use this, do that…try this , try that) when does your comfort as a human being get any consideration? Of course they are your companion but no one wants to run around all day hassling with pee.
Our dog causes stress now and high tension with my wife and I , we get into arguments since one of us at any given time is cleaning urine or bathing him and it completely wears us down. For instance we just got back from work and first thing we do before even washing our own hands or doing anything is get our dog, take him out, come back in change his pee pad that he peed in, then bathe him. 30 minutes later we can now go about our own business and take care of ourselves. do that 2 or 3 times during the day or night. See how happy you’ll be, that is nearly 2 hours of your day messing with piss.
Like some people here I have taken my dog to the vet ,but get no real answers (you sure as hell get the bill though, they make damn sure of that). I am inclined to believe the multiple vets I have been to are just trying to extract as much money as possible from me (the customer….I mean patient). They know quality of life is not good, but they want that cash cow to keep coming in. So they drag things out. Same thing human doctors do, they want you to keep coming in for follow ups, prescriptions, tests and other money makers to extract maximum money from you and string you along.
This sucks because I would like the reassurance of a professional diagnosis or some kind of professional opinion on whether to put our dog of 15 years down or not. We love him, but at what point is it just time to throw in the towel without feeling enormous guilt or regret? Its like I can hardly remember a time when he was house trained and could be trusted to have the run of the house. Its like a completely different dog, only reminder is pictures we have of better days. Its depressing all around.
Hi David. I understand where you are coming from. Your story brings back vivid memories of dealing with my (now deceased) Chester.
I think that an owners wellbeing definitely should be factored in to the decision of when to let a pet go. I think the point of people here is that, if one is not ready, here are some ways to deal with it a little longer.
It may help you to read the blog post I wrote the day I chose to let Chetster go: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/love-and-loss-letting-go-of-my-dog-with-dementia/. As you will see, my decision was based on many factors – grace for him, the wellbeing of my other dog, and my own personal/family wellbeing.
Contacting a veterinarian from this website, or at least looking at their quality of life checklist, can help you decide if it’s time to say goodbye to your dog. https://www.lapoflove.com/Quality-of-Life/Determining-Pet-Quality-of-Life
Fortunately, my vet experience was not the same as yours. My veterinarian had a frank discussion with me about his state of health and mind and was willing to support me whatever I chose. I get that many people, and veterinarians, instill a sense of shame if you aren’t doing 100% absolutely everything you can, including putting your own quality of life second, to care for a senior dog. But some are merely trying to support what they think you want. Have you told that vet that you question letting your dog go?
Good luck. I don’t envy where you are at right now.
Currently going through this with our old Brittany. No matter how often I let her out in a day, she still has accidents sometimes. We don’t have the issue with the couch or bedding, as she hasn’t been much for laying on furniture, and we have mostly wood flooring, but she kept peeing on her bed. We got rid of our old, really nice, costco beds because they were just too bulky and hard to clean. We found one at petco from Harmony that was really nice. It was orthopedic, had an egg crate foam base, with bolsters on the side and a pillow on top for extra plush. The nice thing is I can put potty pads under the pillow top so that the base for the bed stays dry and all I have to do is throw the pillow in the wash! Even if the rest of the bed gets dirty though, it’s really easy to clean and the bolsters zip out and aren’t too heavy when wet.
Sorry that your Brittany is having trouble. I’m glad you were able to find a solution for a bed that works. Being washable is definitely key.
Thanks so much for writing this. I really appreciate both your attitude and the long list of ideas. Way too much advice for dog owners I find online is just “ask your vet” so it’s refreshing to see so many thoughtful ideas laid out here.
Our senior dog has had a lot of accidents since we moved from a house where she had outdoor access all the time to an apartment. If we are very vigilant about taking her out every two hours when she’s awake (she can go 8+ hours when she’s asleep) we can avoid the vast majority of accidents.
Very recently—in the last week or so—our system isn’t working. She peed inside between her 7pm walk and her 9pm walk, and peed in the bed during the night. (Waterproof mattress covers are a total game-changer!) Then she peed on the floor while I was getting dressed to take her out.
I’m also 9 months pregnant and have read that sometimes dogs’ behavior will get erratic when they sense that their person is close to labor, so I’m really hoping that that’s why we’ve had the sudden change! Otherwise, I’m planning to order some reusable diapers and to ask our vet about incontinence medication (the vet is always surprised at how healthy she is for a 16-year-old dog, and regarding her incontinence has only said that her kidneys aren’t working as well as they used to). And, most importantly, remembering how lucky we are to still have her. I’d way rather clean up her messes and take her out a dozen times a day than not get to hang out on the couch snuggling with her!
Your pup is very lucky. It’s clear how much you love her. I hope you can find diapers that work for you guys because those were a total game-changer for me. I hope your new little bundle of joy arrives soon.
My 13 year old Shiba has started having incontinence issues at night in his sleep. Urine checked; everything was negative. Vet put him on PPA. No change yet; has been 10 days.
Funny thing is it doesn’t happen during the day when he sleeps.
Figuring out what is causing the incontinence can be perplexing for sure. It could be that he is sleeping more soundly in the night so “having to pee” doesn’t wake him up like it does during the day. Diapers were definitely a lifesaver for us so you may want to consider them for at night. Good luck.
I have a 12-year-old mini dachshund male. I tried the belly bands with the pad inside and it just soaked his underbelly with urine and I had to give him a bath every morning when I took off the band. After reading all the posts it doesn’t sound like anyone else is having the same problem, so what am I doing wrong?
Hi Sharon. Perhaps the belly band you are using is not absorbent enough? My senior boy drank A LOT of water, and peed large amounts, and I didn’t have any major issues with what you describe. If I used the washable kind that weren’t as absorbent, he got a bit of pee on his belly but I just wiped it off with a dog grooming wipe. Eventually, I found that disposable belly bands were a better choice for us because of convenience and that they were more absorbent. I link to the ones we used in this article but you can also see them here https://amzn.to/3aoDfiK (this is an affiliate link so I may receive a small commission of you make a purchase).
Thank you for a great, honest and witty article!
My 16 yo Lhasa Apso has been diagnosed by the vet with Cushings Disease, dementia and liver cancer. He is deaf and his one eye is looking a little cloudy these days.
He is not in pain but has started peeing inside at night (usually one pretty big puddle).
I invested in some string lights which I’ve run along the floor to act as a mini ‘runway strip’ that leads to the doggy door. This has been pretty successful in helping him find his way … for now.
That’s so cool about the lights. Thanks for the tip.
This was a very helpful article. thanks. Our dog is 13 years old and has just begun to pee inside. I take her out a lot, but she still seems to need to go when I’m not expecting it. I will take her to the vet, but your article is helpful
I’m glad. It can be quite the lifestyle adjustment when senior dogs start to change their behavior. I hope you can pinpoint what is causing her to pee in the house.
I have a 16.5-year-old pug that has been struggling for the last 3 years. He is completely deaf, almost completely blind, and partially paralyzed with his back legs. He has congestive heart failure which he takes medication 2 times a day for. One of the medications he is on is a diuretic. He wears a whelping pad in the house. It helps but does not contain all the urine anymore. We have a stack of old towels we use. I use a swifter-type mop with washable pads after we clean up his mess to help clean our floors. I have a laundry basket in our garage for all the soiled laundry and leave the items that are soiled in the garage until I can get them washed. My house has all tile, and I only wanted tile in my home due to having kids and dogs that were messy. The tile floors are such a great thing to have now that our elderly pug just cannot hold his bladder. We try our best to take him out every two hours during the day, but of course, at night we sleep so he typically has an accident at night. We make sure he has soft beds to lay on that are machine washable and dryable so that if he has an accident in them we can quickly wash and dry them. We have to carry him on and off our back porch to the potty as well. I agree with there is no reason to scold them. Mine would not hear or hardly be able to see me anyways. We keep the paths he likes to travel clear and the same so he can find his beds, food, and water bowls as easily as possible. Sometimes we have to help him. we do not leave him outside for long periods due to the fact outside seeming to overwhelm him now. With my elderly dog, we know his time is very short now. He still can wag his curly tail, but that is happening less and less. So we know we must make him as comfortable as possible until he passes (we don’t want to make that choice, but we may have to).
Wow, it sounds like you have a great system down to manage him peeing in the house. You’re right, the limited time we have with our senior dogs is precious and well worth the inconvenience if it’s not time to say goodbye yet.
I have two senior shih tsu’s (emphasis on the shits) 😳. At 13 and 15, they are peeing everywhere, sometimes right in front of me… They are both 80% blind and I’m pretty sure showing signs of dementia… We love them but we’re also resorting to putting them in the crate and garage more often then we’d like. Just wanted to say that it never occurred to me to use doggie diapers. So thank you for the suggestion!
I have a 15 year old senior, he also started urinating in the house as he got older, and now it’s more and more frequent he also has anxiety and was put in trazodone a few months ago which has been a life saver for my sanity and his. I’ve resorted to keeping him in belly bands because without them he would just get up and randomly find a place to pee even after he’s been out recently.
I’ve read somewhere it can be a symptom of CCD or doggy dementia, which I think he has.. it’s just the result of being so old 😭
Hi Katie. Yes, going potty in the house can ideed be a sign of dementia. That was the case with my Chester and I’ve heard many other people say the same. I’m sure you have done some research on dimentia but this article might help you determine if your pup has CCD. https://formydachshund.com/is-your-senior-dachshund-showing-signs-of-canine-dementia/
Thanks so much, Jessica, for providing lots of super helpful information… covering more than just the technical but also the emotional issues. My little Lady was there for me when I needed her (she’s so naturally empathetic), now it’s my turn. And reading your reminders that our little old ladies or gentlemen just can’t help themselves are so helpful. I’ll be sharing your post with my hubby so he’ll see why I’m not going to punish the little old girl for her little accidents. She appears to be mildly both incontinent (little droplets where she’s walked) and senile (wandering around the house and sometimes stopping as though she’s wondering why she walked in the room).
Hi Patti. I’m glad my article helped. Good luck with your little senior love.