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Is Incontinence a Reason To Put a Dog Down

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Incontinence in dogs is a lack of control over the bladder and bowels, which can be caused by a variety of reasons.
  • Putting a dog down is not necessary if the incontinence is treatable and manageable, and only severe cases should consider euthanasia.
  • Incontinence can be treated with medication prescribed by a vet, and changes to a dog's diet may be necessary.
  • Dog beds for incontinence can help with cleaning and waterproofing, and dog diapers or belly bands can also be used to protect furniture and flooring.
  • Elderly dogs are more likely to suffer from incontinence due to the weakening of the muscles in the sphincter, but age alone is not a reason to euthanize a dog.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Saturday 10 July 2021
Last updated on
Monday 29 May 2023
putting a dog down for incontinence
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Owners of elderly dogs find themselves asking a lot of new questions about their care and life. Things change as your dog ages. You may find that your dog starts going to the toilet inside. Perhaps because of confusion, or a weak bladder. Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself asking ‘is incontinence a reason to put a dog down?’.

Seeing your dog struggling to get to the toilet may be one concern. Another may be frustration that your dog is urinating and defecating inside your house so frequently. Cleaning and hygiene issues all become worries that can consume you. We are going to honestly answer whether euthanasia for incontinence is an outcome you should consider or not. Let’s take a look.

What is Canine Incontinence

The term “incontinence” refers to a lack of control over the bladder and bowels in dogs. This means that your dog may urinate and defecate randomly and whenever they feel the need. In some cases, dogs may only struggle to hold their urine when their bladder is full, while others may regularly urinate without control.

While “incontinence” technically refers to both urine and fecal leakage, many owners use it to describe only urine leakage. Since this is a more common problem, this article will focus on urinary incontinence, but we’ll also briefly touch on fecal incontinence.

Is Incontinence a Reason To Put a Dog Down

We believe that a dog should not be euthanized solely due to incontinence. This condition is treatable and manageable in most cases, and only severe cases that cause the dog pain or affect their quality of life would require euthanasia. Incontinence is not intentional and is just another stage and health concern that dogs may experience, much like barking, shedding, or chewing.

Urinary and fecal incontinence can be treated with various options. Urinary incontinence could be caused by a urinary tract infection or a weakened urethral sphincter, which can be treated with antibiotics or medication to strengthen the muscles. Fecal incontinence is often caused by a problem with the dog’s diet, and increasing fiber intake or using anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory medications can help.

Dog beds for incontinence are waterproof beds that are easy to clean and are designed for dogs with incontinence issues. Dog diapers and belly bands can also be helpful in managing incontinence, but it’s important to treat the underlying issue causing the incontinence and ensure that the dog is comfortable wearing these items.

Age is a factor in dog incontinence, and elderly dogs are more likely to experience it due to weakened sphincter muscles. To clean dog urine from a bed, it’s best to dry up the urine with towels or kitchen roll and then use disinfectant before rinsing in hot soapy water or washing the bed in a washing machine if the label allows it.

In summary, incontinence alone is not a reason to euthanize a dog. Various treatment options are available, and a veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment. Only in severe cases where the dog is suffering or has a terminal illness affecting their quality of life should euthanasia be considered

urinary incontinence is not intentional
Believe it or not, incontinence is not intentional!

Is Incontinence a Reason To Put a Dog Down: FAQs

We are going to explore other difficult questions that exist alongside this topic below.

When should putting down be considered an option?

You should consider putting down your dog when they are suffering, your vet advises it, or if they are afflicted by an illness that is terminal or affecting their quality of life. Incontinence is not a reason alone to put a dog down. However, if it exists because your dog doesn’t move due to pain, or is a side effect of something much more worrisome, then that is when you need to reevaluate their situation.

What are dog beds for incontinence?

Dog beds for incontinence are easy to clean, waterproof dog beds. They exist for dogs that have some level of incontinence so that their owner can clean their bed with ease. If you provide a dog that struggles to control their bowels and bladder with a normal bed then you will be cleaning them constantly. Furthermore, you may need to replace the beds regularly if they become too gross or difficult to clean and that can be expensive.

Should I use dog diapers on my incontinent dog?

Diapers can be a good solution for fecal and urinary incontinence. What is important though is to treat the underlying problem that is causing these symptoms first. Meanwhile, though, these can help to protect your flooring, furniture and make cleaning a lot more easy. Be sure that your dog is not distressed about wearing these though, as it can cause them stress and anxiety. A belly band can also be considered for male dogs, which is a band that wraps around their midsection. It is used for male dogs who struggle to hold their urine.

Is age a factor in dog incontinence?

Elderly dogs are more likely to suffer from incontinence. As they get older they struggle more and more to control their bowels and bladder due to the weakening of the muscles of the sphincter. This is the term to describe the ring of tissue that prevents things from exiting or entering until the body deems it so. Age can weaken those that control when feces and urine are released.

What is the best way to clean dog urine in their bed?

Firstly you want to dry up the urine using kitchen roll or towels. Once you have absorbed what you can, then use a disinfectant over the spray and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing out in hot soapy water. You can also use the washing machine if the label on the bed says you can do so.

In conclusion, incontinence is not enough of a reason to euthanize a dog. There are many different treatments that can work wonders for this problem. A vet visit will be able to diagnose the cause and explain to you the available treatment. Only if this symptom is a sign of something much more concerning should it be a consideration for putting your dog down. Otherwise, some daily medications and a diet change may be all they need to feel happy and healthy once more.

4 comments on “Is Incontinence a Reason To Put a Dog Down”

  1. Don

    No not by it’s definition alone. I recently had to make that decision a short time ago not only was she struggling with incontinence but at the age of 22 she began losing her motor skills , was clinically blind and had no teeth it tore me apart to see her in this condition but she showed no signs of giving up who was I to listen to all the others who thought it would be best to have her put down immediately but it still wasn’t my call and after another year go by she be by my side on my lap and yeah having an accident now and then it was ok and the best part of my day was watching my son take her in the grassy area of our local park and let her loose and watch as she would take off in a clockwise direction one lap after another until she would come to a stop ready to get back in our truck and do it all over again the very next day. This went on and on day by day I would often shed a year praying she was happy and content and then suddenly out of the blue she let out a noise I’ve never heard come from her or any other dog for that matter and it came from deep down and at that moment I knew I had to work fAst so she might not have to go through another episode like that not wanting her to suffer any other pain or conditions I called the vet and my son and told them I think we’re ready and in another 20 minutes we said our goodby and the Lord’s prayer to send her on her way and she was gone to join all of her babies before her. RIP Mini So I would say most likely not but there will always be exceptions to the rule .

  2. Sandra A Winnen

    I think euthanasia for age related incontinence is absolutely reasonable if an owner doesn’t want their home to become a dog toilet. It’s good there are options if you don’t want to go that route, but it’s ridiculous to say it not a reason for euthanasia in a country that allows abortion because the mother doesn’t want a child.

  3. Frances Spicer

    My male dog who is 15 yrs old as far as I know (I was told he was 6 yrs when I git him) He’s started having faecal in continence every now & then (overnight only so far) previously he was fantastic never had an accident with way. He’s fed on Golden years & I’ve cut down treats as some seem to cause looseness. Is there another kibble that may help? I’m a 74 yrs old widow, lost my husband recently & this is difficult to cope with, is worrying me because he’s my companion who is still well otherwise. Should I put a pad down at bedtime to minimise mess?

  4. Silvas

    My big girl will pee every night on my hardwoods. Starting to warp, smell is unbearable. We’ve given her space, take her out often, she won’t wake me in the middle of the night. I’d wake up many times throughout the night to get her out, to “check” and coast would be clear. Then I’d go back to sleep and she’d accident. I started losing my mind from all the sleepless nights, get stressed throughout The day. My health was taking a toll. Finally, I just made her an outdoor dog. Mild coastal weather, it’s dry, she can go whenever she wants, I can finally sleep again, no stress.
    My solution was to make her a mostly outdoor dog, occasional indoor.
    Sleeps all day, eats good, plenty of shade and comfy beds. I got my sanity back, she lives a good life peeing whenever she wants.

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