First, sorry if that is happening. Frankly, it is tougher than dealing with poop in the house.
Second, any older dog who starts peeing in the house needs to see the vet. Here is why:
- Just like people, dogs can get urinary tract infections (UTIs) that cause them to need to urgently pee, and if a door isn’t open, they just can’t hold it. A UTI must be treated with antibiotics promptly so that it doesn’t become a more serious infection. A urine sample is all your vet needs to do an initial diagnosis. A dog with repeated UTIs needs to be evaluated for bladder cancer or even prostate cancer.
- Older female dogs, more so than male dogs, become incontinent and respond well to taking supplemental estrogen or a medication called Proin. These are prescription medications, all of which have possible side effects, so you need guidance from your vet. Male dogs can also become incontinent due to prostate problems or urethral sphincter issues, and sometimes respond well to estrogen, testosterone, or Proin.
- If your dog doesn’t have an infection and you either don’t want to use the medications or they don’t work, there are doggie diapers. For females, they look more like a human diaper with a hole for a tail! For male dogs, you can get a male wrap or “belly band.” For both of these kinds of diapers, you use a disposable pad just like people put in their underwear. You must be vigilant about not leaving your dog’s skin exposed to urine as it can cause skin breakdown.
As with any kind of incontinence, it is not a sure sign that your dog is failing. It is just part of the aging process and can usually be accommodated with some patience and practice. Neither you nor your dog need to live in a house with urine. But to properly deal with it, you do need to know why it is happening.