Jump to section

Why Urinating Uncontrollably Occurs in Dogs

There are several causes of uncontrollable urination, depending on the severity of the symptoms.  These causes can be benign or a serious health threat.

Age-Related Incontinence

As your dog ages, the muscles controlling the urethra lose their strength and your dog may experience leakage while sleeping or relaxing. Additionally, many dogs may become senile in their old age and not realize they are urinating.  However, there are also many diseases that affect older dogs and may cause an abnormal amount of urine created in the bladder.  The higher volumes of urine build pressure, which may lead to uncontrollable urination due to weakened muscles.

Submissive Urination

Submissive urination occurs more frequently in younger dogs who come into contact with people or other dogs.  Usually, your dog will urinate while sitting or even roll onto its back when in the presence of a dog or person to whom feel submissive.  Submissive urination is not a medical condition but a behavioral issue and can be corrected with proper socialization and a healthy, abuse-free environment.  

Hormone-responsive Incontinence

Hormone-responsive incontinence can occur in both male and female dogs but most often affects spayed females of larger breeds and is observed more frequently in Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, Giant Schnauzers, Irish Setters, Old English Sheepdogs, Rottweilers, and Weimaraners. 

Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the result of a bacterial infection and may cause uncontrollable urination as well as other recognizable symptoms such as pain while urinating, excessive licking of the urinary opening, possible blood in the urine, and difficulty urinating.  Older dogs whose immune systems may not be able to defend against infectious agents or dogs that don’t have the opportunity to eliminate their urine are more susceptible to urinary tract infections.  

Ectopic Ureters

A far more serious condition, ectopic ureter is a physical defect in one or both of the ureters.  The ureters are small tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.  However, when ectopic ureters fail to connect the kidneys to the bladder, urine is leaked out to where the defective ureters lead, such as the uterus or vagina.  The bladder is the only organ capable of properly storing urine and any leakage outside of the bladder can cause infection and irritation.

What to do if your Dog is Urinating Uncontrollably

Though more frequently benign in older dogs, you want to watch for any changes in your dog’s urination habits, regardless of age, and seek medical attention if you notice more frequent episodes or observe any pain or unusual behavior in your dog.  Be sure to note the frequency, when the incontinence first appeared, and any additional symptoms or behaviors you’ve seen because your veterinarian will ask you several questions to try and determine the cause of your dog’s uncontrollable urination.  

Depending on the answers you provide during the physical exam, your veterinarian may order urine cultures to determine a UTI, blood tests to determine organ damage as a result of infection, and X-rays or ultrasounds to look for bladder blockage or defects in the ureters.  If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with hormone-responsive incontinence, your dog may be prescribed hormone replacement medication or drugs to help tone the muscles controlling the bladder.  In the more severe case of ectopic ureters, your dog will have to undergo surgery to correct the defect.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Prevention of Urinating Uncontrollably

Age-related incontinence may not be entirely preventable, but some medications may help your older dog; however, it is important to safeguard your dog against possible diseases that affect bladder control in older dogs.  Making sure your dog has access to clean water and is taken outside often can prevent infections as your dog can eliminate urine as needed rather than storing it in the bladder.  Your dog should always have a clean, dry area to sleep in to help prevent another health-related issue from occurring as well.     

You should never scold or otherwise, threaten your dog or allows others to do so under any circumstance, including urinating in an unusual place.  Your dog needs a safe, comfortable environment to grow and live.  Though not a medical condition, submissive urination may result from abusive behavior or vocalization towards your dog.  If your dog urinates in your presence or in the presence of other dogs you can correct this behavior through proper socialization and training.  

Regardless of age, recognizing the signs of symptoms of incontinence is important as some medical conditions cannot be prevented and must be addressed with your veterinarian.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Urinating Uncontrollably

Treatment costs will vary depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s uncontrollable urination.  For example, a urinary tract infection may cost around $350 whereas if your dog has ectopic ureters, the cost may be around $5,000.  However, the average cost of treating incontinence issues is around $1,100, depending on your cost of living.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Urinating Uncontrollably Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Mutt

dog-age-icon

Four Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Urinating In House, Not Eating, Boogers

My dog recently stopped showing interest in food as well as peeing in the house. Also I have noticed him getting some boogers in his nose. Any idea what’s going on with him?

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, those are rather vague signs of illness, and without seeing him, it is difficult to say what might be going on. If he is urinating in the house, he may have a urinary tract or prostate infection. It would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine him, see what might be going on, and let you know what treatment he may need. I hope that he feels better soon.

Aug. 6, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Black Mouth Cur

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

Hello! My female black mouth cur is peeing in her sleep or anytime she lays down. This is extremely unusual for her. She’s gone 3 times in the past 30 minutes. Please help

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

So sorry to hear about your dog. She may have a urinary tract infection causing her to pee this much. She may also have diabetes or kidney disease. It would be best to see your vet. They can examine her and run bloodwork to see what is causing these issues. Good Luck. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

Aug. 3, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Jaenick

dog-breed-icon

Mutt

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Urinating In House

I moved in with my boyfriend two years ago. He has two dogs, a pit/boxer mix and another dog(mutt?.. we have no idea what he is) our pix/boxer mix is fine throughout the day he pees and poops outside etc. But our other dog just seems to be very spiteful. He pees at the most random times, anywhere he is. Whether it's on the bed, floor, kitchen, wherever. Sometimes he will pee multiple times, depending on what we do. If he pees and we make him go to the Kennel he will pee again. Or if we are going somewhere and have to put him in the kennel he pees. We just don't know how to make him stop peeing! Some days even when he's peed in the house multiple times (all times were a good length in time) he could still go outside and pee more. Also his pee smells horrible... Like straight ammonia

Sept. 5, 2018

Jaenick's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Kolby

dog-breed-icon

Maltese/pom

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Constantly Urinating

Our mixed breed male dog Kolby(Maltese and we think Pom)is literally peeing everywhere. He has had bladder stones removed surgically and seemed to do fine until he started peeing no matter how often we walk him. He has actually peed in front of us! He has just finished treatment for a UTI, but is still peeing all over the place. The vet said he had crystals in his urine, but as many times as we have been to the vet nothing has changed. The vet also said his liver enzymes were very high, possibly indicating Cushings, but we cannot afford the treatment for this disease. What, if anything, can we do or ask the vet to do. We are very worried that this will continue and get worse which we cannot handle. He has peed on floors and furniture and it is getting worse everyday. It is getting to the point where we cannot leave him or take him to visit family and friends for fear he will pee in their homes too. Thanks for any help!

May 24, 2018

Kolby's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

He may have an ongoing UTI, or his liver disease or Cushing's disease may be causing those signs. He may need follow up treatment for his liver disease, as that can cause this problem. I'm not sure how high his values were, or if he is on any liver supplements, but those are things that you can discuss with your veterinarian to see if they will help Kolby.

May 24, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Daisy

dog-breed-icon

lab

dog-age-icon

15 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Leaking Urine Constantly

My dog is 15 yrs. old, and has arthritis in her hips so bad she can't walk. Urine flows out of her continuously--there is no way to keep her dry. she's been treated for UTI, for spay-related incontinence, and nothing helped. PLEASE give me some suggestions!

March 12, 2018

Daisy's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Im sorry that Daisy is having these problems. i'm not sure if she is on any medications for her arthritis, but that may help her. If she in on pain medications, sometimes some conditions require a quality of life conversation with your veterinarian. When dogs get to the point where they are not enjoying life, we have the option of kindly ending that pain. It would be best to have a conversation with your veterinarian about her quality of life, any medications that might help with her pain, and what her options are at this point. I hope that she is okay.

March 12, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Paisley

dog-breed-icon

yellow lab mix

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

6 year old Yellow lab mix, fully house trained. She had issues with leaking here and there in her sleep. The past month she will pee puddles multiple times throughout the day in the house. I’ve put down pee pads and she pees right next to them but not on them.

dog-name-icon

Maggie

dog-breed-icon

Aussidoodle

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Not In Pain,Clueless

My mom got a female aussiedoodle mix,she one years old and has the top training,she's spent at least 8,000 on her in training. Everyday that dog drinks a lake of water,and every second she needs to go out, it's very frustrating to see her whine 24/7 wanting to pee or have water. She has had testing on her when she was a puppy,but I think theirs something wrong because it's not normal for a dog to drink a lake and pee a lake out every second,and her pee is clear and has no smell.my mom thinks she's fine and healthy and refuses to get her checked up, how do I help the dog stop peeing and drinking every second. Also she walks and pees now too and she doesnt even know she's doing it.hope you have an answer for me.

dog-name-icon

teddy

dog-breed-icon

poodlemix

dog-age-icon

Five Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Urinating In House

I have a 5 year old dog that has recently started urinating in trails in the house. Not a puddle but a trail as if he' walking and peeing. Is there a reason for this behavior? Is it a medical condition or behavioral issue...

dog-name-icon

Jake

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

12 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Urinating In House

My Jake will be 1 in 3 days. He is a Fox Red British Lab. He does not do this often, maybe once a month for the last 3 months, but I wake up and he has peed the bed, and bedroom floor is covered in pittle spots. (Like hes walking/running around pittling) This sometimes happens in other areas around the house when hes excited or needs to go out. Which I think is normal. But the bed worries me the most. He is a very active pup. And well trained (for a pup). If he had it his way I would throw his ball for him 24/7. He is a healthy weight, maybe a little skinny (its hard to not over feed but also keep his weight up when he runs like a cheetah whenever he can!) We also have a 3 year old Black British Lab, Ace. He pillted until recently when he really had to go or got excited. But never in our bed. Anyone have tips, tricks, advise? Should I be concerned??

dog-name-icon

Mickey

dog-breed-icon

Standard Poodle

dog-age-icon

11 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Submissive Peeing

We have had our 11 month old standard poodle since he was 9 weeks old. No abuse at all. We barely ever raise our voices. He is still peeing when excited. He also pees if we take out grooming equipment or basically anytime there is something different. Example; Ice on the driveway so when we went to let him jump out of van we laid a carpet on the driveway. He would not come out and then began peeing in the van when we attempt to coerce him. We are at wits end. We have ignored this behavior for months now but it does not seem to be getting any better. He is fully housebroken. He can go 12 hours within peeing through the night. Any ideas?

How can we help your pet?