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Help! My Senior Dog is Urinating Frequently

Dog sitting and staring at a yellow fire hydrant

Polyuria is more a symptom than a disease, and it can be caused by several different reasons. It can either indicate incontinence or refer to an underlying medical problem that is causing frequent urination. In both cases, it’s very important to consult a veterinarian and come up with a suitable plan of action. Not only is this necessary for your dog’s health, but it will also help to keep your home clean. Read on to know why your senior dog is urinating frequently and learn what you can do about it.

Why is My Senior Dog Urinating Frequently?

Many factors and conditions affect the frequency of urination in older pups. Many owners think that age is the ultimate reason for these changes. Although age is a crucial aspect, it is not the only cause of polyuria in senior dogs. Let’s discuss some of the most common reasons that can make a senior dog urinate frequently.

Incontinence

male schnauzer wearing a belly diaper

It is the normal effect of aging on your pup. The sphincter muscles in the bladder become weak and can’t hold the pee. Some dogs won’t even realize that they are urinating in this condition. This will lead to an increased number of accidents, which can be very embarrassing for your dog. Hence, you must stay calm and treat them with care and patience.   

Incontinence is not always a condition itself because it can also indicate an underlying problem. For example, a decrease in the urethral closure pressure can result in incontinence. Similarly, ectopic ureters and hormonal imbalance can cause incontinence, especially in female dogs.

Urinary Tract Infections

These infections are very common in senior dogs. Fortunately, they are curable in most cases and won’t cause too many complications if they are treated properly. UTIs are caused by parasitic bacteria in a dog’s urinary system and are often resolved through antibiotics. Some other symptoms of UTIs that will make it easier to diagnose are bloody urine, pain, and difficult urination.  

Bladder Issues

illustration of a dogs urinary tract

Many owners tend to confuse bladder infections with incontinence because of their similar symptoms. These infections cause increased urination and damage the bladder to a point where your dog can’t hold. Therefore, it’s important to observe your pooch closely and visit your vet on the first sign of trouble.

Other than that, bladder tumors or other blockages can also lead to polyuria. It happens because the affected pup is unable to empty the bladder in one go. Hence, they will have to pee repeatedly to relieve themselves. In some cases, you may also notice urine leaking due to the excessive pressure inside the bladder.

Excessive Thirst

Border collie drinking water outside from a spigot

Dogs living in a warm climate and humid conditions are quite likely to suffer from overheating. They will need to drink more water to cool themselves down, and this can cause frequent urination. It is particularly true for senior dogs because they can’t hold the urine for too long (weak sphincter muscles). This is the reason why excessive thirst and excessive urination are often together as symptoms of diseases.

Diabetes

This hormonal disease is also a common old-age ailment for canines. Frequent urination is one of its primary symptoms as the excess sugars in the blood have to be excreted out. Increased appetite and weight loss are some other indicators that could signal diabetes. Although this condition can’t be cured, it can be managed efficiently by a balanced combination of diet, exercise, and medication.

What to Do If My Senior Dog is Urinating Frequently?

Pug hiking its leg to the side to pee on grass

The most suitable solution is dependent on the underlying cause of polyuria. If your dog is suffering from a medical condition, professional help is necessary. On the other hand, increasing bathroom breaks can be an effective way to deal with age-related incontinence. Keep reading to know about some of the best remedies to counter frequent urination.

Visit a Vet

Golden retriever at the vet being examined

It’s highly recommended to get professional help as soon as you observe polyuria in older dogs. The vet will determine the underlying cause and suggest a suitable treatment for it. He/she will perform a variety of tests to rule out possible causes. For example, blood work and urinalysis are done in most cases. If the results of these basic tests are not conclusive, your veterinarian may prescribe ultrasound and even Cystoscopy.

The vet will prescribe medications or surgery after he/she has diagnosed the problem. For instance, antibiotics are used for curing urinary tract infections while surgical intervention is needed to remove bladder stones or tumors. Likewise, insulin injections can be prescribed for countering diabetes.

Offer Extra Toilet Breaks

The dogs suffering from incontinence can’t hold their urge to pee for very long. Hence, you should take them outside every couple of hours for urination. This will keep your house clean and fresh and will also save your pooch from the embarrassment of inappropriate elimination.

Keep Your Dog Comfortable

Golden retirever laying comfortably on an old pink blanket

If your dog is peeing frequently due to overheating, try to keep him/her indoors in a comfortable environment. You can also limit physical activity and exercise if the weather is too hot. You can also place some pee pads inside the house if your pooch is simultaneously suffering from arthritis and incontinence. This will save your older dog a lot of effort (and pain) and they will be able to relieve themselves.

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