Is Incontinence A Reason to Put a Dog Down?

Having pets is a wholesome experience, however as your pet gets old and sick – there are many hard decisions that you will have to make. For example, is incontinence a reason to put a dog down?

No, incontinence is not a valid reason to put your dog down. The only time you have to make this decision is when your dog is suffering, and your doctor suggests that it is time to put the dog down. However, incontinence being the inability to control the bowels is NOT a reason why you should euthanize your dog.

But many dog owners do euthanize their dogs when they lose control over their bowels, simply because it is a task and a half to take care of such dogs.

is incontinence a reason to put a dog down

What Is Incontinence in Dogs? 

Incontinence among dogs happens when they lose control over their bowels. It means that your dog will urinate and defecate anytime they would feel the urge to do so. However, there are different spectrums to it, some dogs may be able to handle it better than others. But they all lose proper control over the bowels regardless of their spectrum.

Why Does Incontinence Happen in Dogs?

There are several reasons why a dog can suffer from incontinence. Some are easy to solve, meanwhile some may be permanent. We have jotted down some of the main reasons why your dog can suffer from incontinence.

Neurological Reasons

There are many neurological causes like spinal injuries and brain disease that can trigger this response in dogs. Your dog can lose control if there are any lesions and tumors in its brain. And neurological diseases are not easy to catch. So, if you rule out all the causes and still cannot pinpoint the reasons why your dog suffering from incontinence, you should check for neurological disorders.

Urine Infections

A urinary tract infection can be a reason for incontinence, as your dog’s bladder may get pressed from the outside causing the inability to control urine.

Stress on Bladder

When your dog holds the urine for a longer period, the stress can cause urine leakage because of the pressure. This reason is not as severe as it can be treated by behavioral therapy.

Urethral Disorders

When the urethra fails to contract due to any disorder, the bladder can fail to hold the urine in, causing incontinence. This is a common occurrence among dogs due to several hormonal responses.


Yes, older dogs are more likely to suffer from incontinence. So, your dog may not be suffering from any disorders, it can just be their age making them lose control over their bowels. And it is among the most common causes of incontinence in dogs.

Can Stress Cause Incontinence in Dogs?

Yes, when your dog is scared and stressed due to any reason. It can trigger the response to loosening up the bladder causing urinary leakage.

However, it is fairly easy to treat this reason. You can check for triggers that cause your dog to be stressed and keep a proper check on them. However, if the problem persists – visit the vet and look for other reasons.

When Should You Put Your Incontinent Dog Down?

Continence is not a valid reason to put your dog down, however, if your vet advises you to do so – you should. The reasons can include terminal illnesses that affect the quality of their life and make them suffer.

If this is the case, you should consider euthanizing your dog as it will be a constant struggle to pass each day.

Your vet will make you answer questions about euthanasia, and if your score is above 35 then it is okay. However, if the score is lower than that then your dog’s life quality is making them suffer.

You must consider multiple vet references before taking any such decision.

How To Take Care of a Dog Suffering from Incontinence?

If you decide to take care of your dog and not put their dog because of incontinence. There are some hacks that you can use. There are dog beds for incontinence that are easier to clean than the normal beds. So, getting an incontinence dog bed would make the cleaning easier for you as you will have to do the cleaning more often. Therefore, waterproof beds will come in handy.

Diapers For Incontinent Dogs

Among other options, using diapers for incontinent dogs is also a great solution. And for people who cannot cater to bed cleaning, using diapers would be your best bet. However, you should opt for the diapers and the waterproof bed after you know the underlying causes for the incontinence.

Belly Bands

Male dogs can be catered with belly bands as they can cover the midsection. It can help them hold urine for some time until they can find a place to go. However, it is not a permanent solution and if your dog is stressed because of the belly bands, you should consider the diaper or a waterproof bed.

How To Clean After an Incontinent Dog?

This cleaning process can be stressful, so you need to be patient about it and be empathetic towards your dog. You can start with using a kitchen towel or a cloth to dry up the place. After the place is dry, you can use some water and soap to clean it up.

Next, use a disinfectant and let it sit for a while, and then clean it off with a wet cloth.

If it is a piece of clothing or a bedsheet, you can just put it in the washing machine with washing powder and let the machine do its job.

Cleaning after your dog
Use a cloth to absorb all the urine
Clean with soap and water
Use a disinfectant
Toss the bedsheet/clothes in the washing machine.

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Dog Down?

It costs around $50-$100 to euthanize a dog. However, it completely depends on where you decide to take your dog. If you go to a facility, then the cost may be low but doing the procedure at your home can be a bit expensive based on where you live and how long does the vet has to travel.

Can You Put Your Dog Down Due to Incontinence?

Yes, it is one of the most common reasons why people decide to put their dog down. You can have your reasons to do so. However, the process will be done in a regular manner. First, the vet will discuss the procedure with you and after you decide to do it, they will begin the process.

After you say your goodbyes, your vet will sedate the dog and then inject the dog with a fatal drug called sodium pentobarbital. Your dog will pass away without any struggle. After that, you can choose to bury or cremate your dog – totally demons on what you want to do.

Wrapping It Up

If you are pondering over the fact that whether countenance is a reason to put a dog down? Then there are two answers to this question. First, you do not have to put down your dog if is suffering from incontinence. But if you want to do it then there are no laws against it.

However, if you want to take care of your dog, you can pin down the main reason why your god is suffering from incontinence and then start from there. Using a waterproof bed and diaper scan be a start. However, patience and empathy will play a vital role throughout the process. On the other hand, putting your dog down can be a difficult decision. So, it is best to discuss it with your vet before jumping the gun.

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