Inappropriate Urination in Pets

Inappropriate urination is a common clinical complaint in both dogs and cats.  One of the first goals we have as veterinarians is to find out whether the inappropriate urination is due to behavioral or medical reasons.  Behavioral problems are most common in very young and older pets.  Many puppies (especially the toy breeds) will often take several months to fully house train.

At the other spectrum, older pets may exhibit senile changes leading to inappropriate urination, as well as have other geriatric medical illness leading to undesirable urination.

Any pet with history of inappropriate urination should have a complete physical exam and urine analysis performed at the local veterinarian. If needed, additional blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound can also be done.  Another important differential for this complaint is whether the pet is involuntarily leaking urine where it lays or sleeps, or whether there is increased urgency to urinate.

Incontinence is managed totally differently from inappropriate urination because of inflammation or infection.  Treatment will depend upon underlying causes and may include antibiotics, anti-spasmodic medications such as Amitriptyline, or medications such as prescription Proin for those incontinent pets.   Drugs like Anipryl (i.e selegiline), and fatty acid supplements such as Super pure Omega 3, and antioxidants like Proneurozone all can help with older pets.

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  1. Any pet with history of inappropriate urination should have a complete physical exam and urine analysis performed at the local veterinarian.

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  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing but not appropriate for this blog and forum.

  4. My dog, and older dog – about 12 or 13 (he came from a shelter, so I’m not sure of his actual age), has been urinating several times during the night. He can hold it for 9 or 10 hrs during the day while I’m at work, but needs to urinate once or twice during the night. I don’t mind getting up to take him out (well, yes I do as I’m asleep) but he doesn’t wake me… I just have to be lucky enough to hear him moving around and catch him before he pees on the floor by the front door. Any suggestions? Withold water after he eats his dinner? Medications? – Thanks for any suggestions.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Best to have vet exam and urine analysis to make sure no infections or medical issues of urinary tract.

  6. I have a shepherd/pit male about 11yrs old. His hips are bad, he has alot of bumps, tumors? now hes peeing while walking-its like he does not know hes peeing? Should we restrict water after 6pm? has us up a couple times a night. He was rescued from a shelter and badly abused its very hard to get him to a vet.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Might be good idea to restrict water after 9PM. Also consider putting him on home made raw meat based diet, which should help him dramatically. See book Dr PItcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard PItcairn, DVM, phd for details. Put on good joint supplements like super joint enhancer as well as antioxidant proanthozone from 1800petmeds.

  8. Can you explain what each of these things would do? What about anipryl?antioxidant proanthozone? Raw meat baesd diet? Is this something you buy? Do you think the peeing while walking around the house is due to cognitive dysfunction? thanks

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 24, 2013 at 1:49 am

    The peeing may be cognitive dysfunction or it could be simply geriatric incontinence from weakness of muscles around the urethra. Drugs like proin or low dose DES may help in some cases. I made suggestions of antioxidant proanthozone and raw diet to help overall health. You can buy raw meat diet from companies like natures variety or primal. 1800petmeds may carry some.

  10. I have 2 Shih Tzu, ages 5 and 2 yrs old and they pee all over the place, I’ve tried everything even home remedies to no avail. Can you suggest anything please!

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Need vet exams and evaluation for urine analysis and possibly other testing before I can advise.

  12. My 6 month old female Miniature American Eskimo will continue to walk while urinating. I have a photo of a 16 foot trail of urine she put down as we walked to the spot I wanted to train her to go. Most of the walking urination is just three or four feet. It is her that continues to walk – I am not leading her. It is also hard to tell she is actually urinating though her gait is a little odd. Often it occurs while crossing middle of the busy road which I need to get to for her designated urination spot so I cannot stop in the middle of the road to let her go. However she does it on sidewalks also and I try I stop her walking to stay in one spot but she keeps walking and urinating. Anyone else see this? Any help on how to sto

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I would see vet to rule out urinary tract infections or anatomic disorders she may have been born with

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