As dogs get older, just like humans, they are likely to need more bathroom breaks during the day and possibly during the night. Frequent “pee walks” during the day are one part of the solution. And, at night, products like doggie diapers, bellybands, and puppy pads can help manage the size of needed clean-ups. You will also want to keep clean-up and sanitizing supplies handy.

People sometimes say that when a dog is incontinent, he or she is “embarrassed” and “feels bad” about it. “Embarrassment” and “feeling bad” are emotions we might attribute to our dogs, but we really don’t know if that’s what they feel. Incontinence can be effectively managed, and a dog can enjoy a happy, high-quality life despite it.

We like to quote this reminiscence from a contributor to the Senior Dogs Project: “It just seemed to slip out in her sleep — not every night, but most. We kept a clean pad or rug under her and cleaned it up in the morning. I never minded. We always had the rest of the day to spend happily together. She was such a good, sweet dog.”

More advice on dealing with incontinence....