How To Stop An Older Dog From Peeing And Pooping In The House

5 min read Jul 11, 2024
How To Stop An Older Dog From Peeing And Pooping In The House

How to Stop an Older Dog from Peeing and Pooping in the House

It's heartbreaking to see your beloved senior dog struggle with housetraining issues. While it can be frustrating, remember that aging brings physiological changes that can lead to incontinence. With patience and understanding, you can help your senior dog regain control and maintain a clean home.

Identifying the Cause

Before you start addressing the problem, it's important to understand the underlying cause.

Here are some common reasons for housetraining difficulties in older dogs:

  • Cognitive decline: Older dogs may experience cognitive decline similar to dementia in humans, leading to confusion and forgetting their housetraining.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs can cause frequent urination and accidents.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney disease can weaken bladder control and increase thirst, leading to increased urination.
  • Arthritis: Painful joints may make it difficult for your dog to get to the bathroom in time.
  • Medication side effects: Some medications can cause urinary incontinence.
  • Stress: Changes in the household, such as a new pet or family member, can trigger anxiety and accidents.

Addressing the Issue

Once you have a better understanding of the cause, you can implement strategies to address the problem.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Consult your veterinarian: A veterinary visit is crucial. They can rule out underlying medical conditions and recommend appropriate treatment.

2. Establish a regular potty schedule: Even if your dog is incontinent, they still have some control over their bladder and bowel. Help them by establishing a consistent potty schedule with frequent trips outside, especially first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime.

3. Use pee pads and designate a bathroom area: If your dog has frequent accidents, use pee pads in a designated area. This can help contain messes and make cleanup easier.

4. Keep your dog hydrated: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times, but avoid over-watering, especially if they have kidney issues.

5. Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog for going potty outside. This can be as simple as verbal praise or a small treat.

6. Consider a dog diaper: If your dog is frequently incontinent, a dog diaper can help manage accidents and keep your home clean.

7. Clean up accidents effectively: Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent of urine and feces. This will discourage your dog from marking the same spot again.

8. Be patient and understanding: Remember, your dog is likely not doing this on purpose. Stay calm and positive.

9. Make your home safer and easier for your dog to navigate: Remove obstacles that may hinder your dog's movement, such as throw rugs or furniture that might be a tripping hazard.


Housetraining an older dog can be challenging, but it's not impossible. By understanding the underlying causes, consulting your veterinarian, and implementing consistent strategies, you can help your senior dog maintain their dignity and live a comfortable life. Remember, patience and love are essential ingredients in this process.

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