Why Do Female Dogs Become Incontinent?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 05/27/22 •  3 min read
The contents of the OurFitPets.com website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Why Do Female Dogs Become Incontinent?

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Incontinence is a problem that many female dogs can develop at any time in their lives. At first, the problem may seem like it happens once in a while, but then they realize their female dog is leaking urine more often.

Has your female dog started to leak urine when she’s sleeping or lying down? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand this can be a concerning issue when it happens.

We’ve put together some information about incontinence in female dogs and how you can help your dog with this problem. Let’s get started!

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is the accidental (involuntary) leakage of urine. If your female dog is leaking urine, she may not even be aware she’s having an accident. Incontinence is commonly found in places where dogs like to rest, and it may either be a normal or large amount of urine.

But what causes incontinence in female dogs?

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Female Dogs

There are several causes of urinary incontinence in female dogs, including the following.

Spay incontinence: is a common problem in older female dogs who have been spayed. Their control of the urethral sphincter (the muscle that controls urine flow) may weaken with age. About 20% of spayed female dogs can develop this type of incontinence.

Bladder infections: this is another common cause of incontinence in female dogs. When the bladder is infected, the dog may feel a strong need to urinate. The infection may cause the dog to go more often than normal or even cause incontinence.

Ectopic ureter(s): this condition affects the ureters that transport urine from the kidney to the bladder. It’s possible the ureters may go past the bladder and connect to a different area, resulting in dribbling urine.

UTIs: also called urinary tract infections, can occur when a bacterial infection develops in any part of the urinary tract. The infection can cause incontinence, even when a dog is sleeping.

Hormone-responsive incontinence: this condition is found in both male and female dogs but is most often found in middle-aged and senior female dogs. The condition is caused by a lack of estrogen, which causes the dog’s muscles to weaken, allowing urine to leak when the dog is lying down.

What to Do If Your Female Dog is Incontinent?

If you notice your female dog has suddenly started to show signs of incontinence, it’s best to call the vet. The sooner your fur baby is treated, the sooner she will feel better. The problem is that incontinence can be caused by a wide range of health issues. Some of these health issues can become deadly if left untreated.

So, at the first sign of incontinence, call and make an appointment for your female dog. You’ll both be relieved and feel better once the underlying condition has been treated!

(Visited 80 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!