It is important for dog owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of incontinence in their furry friends, as well as how to best treat it. Incontinence can cause a dog embarrassment and distress, but with patience, proper care and treatment, it can be managed so your pup can live a comfortable life. Here are some tips on how to treat incontinence in dogs and keep them happy.
What Is Dog Incontinence?
Dog incontinence occurs when a pet loses control over its bladder or bowels due to medical or behavioural issues. This involuntary leaking of urine or faeces may happen because the muscles that hold these bodily functions in check become weakened or due to an underlying problem such as kidney disease, diabetes, etc. Dog incontinence can also occur if there are changes in the environment like travel or loud noises which make them uneasy.
Pet parents need to be able to identify the signs of incontinence in their canine companions so they can seek professional help quickly. Some common symptoms include:
• Uncontrolled urination (accidents)
• Wetness around the hindquarters
• Strong smelling urine or faeces
• Restlessness while sleeping
Diagnosing The Problem
In order to understand what’s causing your pup’s condition, it is important to take them for regular check-ups at the vet. Your vet will assess your pooch through physical examination and blood tests before getting into more specific treatments based on the root cause of their condition. Common causes for dog incontinence include congenital defects, urinary tract infections (UTI), weak bladder muscles, liver disease and sphincter problems among others.
Treatments for canine incontinence
Once you and your vet have identified the cause of your dog’s incontinence, you should consider treatments – here are some tips:
If urinary tract infections (UTIs) are causing your pet’s incontinence, antibiotics prescribed by your vet may provide relief; hormone therapy may also help if low estrogen levels cause weak bladder muscles (common in female puppies).
Increase fluid intake
As dehydration causes weak bladder muscles leading to accidents, make sure you provide plenty of clean drinking water alongside meals throughout the day – this will help maintain healthy fluid levels in their bodies, which will keep them comfortable during long periods without access to water bowls outside, such as walks etc.
If behavioural problems are causing incontinence, re-training / potty training would work wonders – but do not expect quick results as it takes time and patience on both sides! Regularly taking your dog out for short potty breaks every few hours works better than waiting until he has an accident indoors – reward good behaviour too!
Dietary changes may prove beneficial depending on what’s causing the problem – adding fibre-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds helps add bulk, which strengthens abdominal muscles and keeps accidents at bay; other supplements may also be recommended by vets, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which support healthy skin and coat health, keep irritation at bay and reduce the chances of leakage from sensitive areas.
Making adjustments at home
As well as medical solutions, there are certain adjustments that need to be made at home – here’s how:
Keep their bedding area clean and dry; wash bedding frequently with mild soap and warm water; keep potty areas clean regularly with appropriate cleaners – this will help create a safe, bacteria-free environment, promote better hygiene and ensure there’s no further irritation that could lead to accidents.
Consider investing in protective gear such as belly bands (for males) & disposable nappies (for females); these come in handy especially at night when puppies tend to sleep longer making them prone to accidents – this prevents damage to furniture/carpets etc.
It is advisable to carefully monitor activities when allowing puppies outdoors without a leash; watch for signs such as restlessness just before they pee/poop involuntarily, so that you can bring them back inside immediately to prevent further outdoor mess!
Treating canine incontinence requires determination & consistency, but with enough love & effort you can help bring comfort back into the lives of our four-legged friends! Always remember, however difficult things may seem, don’t lose faith – consult experts who will guide you to the best possible solutions to keep pets contented, happy & healthy!