As Amazon Associates, we may earn from qualifying purchases. See disclosure in sidebar.

Thanks for Taking Our Quiz. Read your Answer Below.

Score for Seniors:
Activity Level:
Weight: Pounds

You will find below information written by a veterinarian, and tailored to your answers from our quiz. You can also go back to our main page about senior dogs peeing inside.

Your Answers:

  • Your dog is aware that they are peeing inside the house
  • Your dog is NOT drinking or peeing noticeably more than usual

Most Likely Reasons that Your Old Dog is Peeing Inside (Based on Your Answers)

Your answers are an indication that conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), doggy dementia, or arthritis, could mean they’re getting ‘caught short’. For dogs that are aware that they are peeing inside and don’t noticeably drink or urinate more than usual, the following conditions are the likely causes:

1. Urinary tract infection (UTI):

An infection within the bladder can lead to irritation and the constant sensation of needing to urinate. Any dog can get a urinary tract infection, although it’s most often seen in females. Urinary tract infections can usually be treated pretty easily, but you NEED to get the right antibiotic prescription from your vet. Sometimes a urine sample might need to be cultures in order to isolate the type of bacteria present.

Although UTIs are obviously uncomfortable (even painful) for your dog and inconvenient for everyone, they are generally not serious to begin with, unless there is a more sinister underlying cause.

Symptoms include:

  • Frequent & urgent need to pee: he/she needs to ‘go’ a lot more often than normal… and that the urge to pee seems to be… well… suddenly extremely urgent! Plus, Fifi may only pass a few drops of urine even though she’s been dancing around in circles as if her bladder was bursting.
  • Cloudy urine
  • Traces of blood in urine
  • Frequent licking at genitals or her sides

However, repeated UTI’s can also be caused by diabetes, kidney problems and bladder/kidney stones. If you leave the problem untreated it can become serious and affect other organs such as the kidneys. If you think that your dog (or pup) may have a bladder infection like this, get her examined by your vet right away.

2. Doggy dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

An older dog peeing in the house frequently, especially a ‘senior’ dog (and large or extra-large breeds can be considered seniors as early as seven years old), might be suffering from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.

It’s also known as ‘Old Dog Syndrome’ and is very similar to human Alzheimers Disease or dementia. In this case, the physical cause for the unusual peeing isn’t located in the bladder/kidneys, but in Fido’s brain.

The changes that are going on there make him confused, and he might be urinating indoors because he’s ‘forgotten’ that he’s supposed to do his business in the yard. Sometimes old dogs with this condition seem to be unaware of their surroundings, or actions, and he might not even realize he’s peeing (or pooping) at the time, or afterwards.

There are lots of different symptoms of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, and the frequent need to urinate is just one of them.


  • Frequent urination
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Behavior changes
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking, trembling, panting

Although this all sounds worrying, there are things you and your veterinarian can do to help your senior dog if he does turn out to be experiencing old dog syndrome.

Sometimes these symptoms can come on very slowly and owners think it’s just that their pooch is getting old. But normal aging doesn’t generally make a dog upset, anxious, miserable or confused! Your vet can make a diagnosis and make sure Fido gets the right treatment. There are medical options available to improve the functioning of the brain. How well your dog responds to treatment can vary and they may always be a little more confused than usual, that’s where management and lifestyle changes come into play.

WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is a very frequent issue with senior dogs with an estimated 60-80% of dogs suffering from arthritis at some point in their lives. Because of arthritis, your dog may experience pain and stiffness that could make it difficult to urinate. Your senior dog might be trying to “hold it” to avoid this pain. This may lead to them getting caught out and urinating in unusual places around the house.

Similarly, dogs with arthritis may not want to get up to go to the toilet and so may urinate anywhere in the house.

Symptoms include:

  • Overall stiffness
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning (or after a nap)
  • Overall ‘slowing down’, less interest in walks or games
  • Reluctance to get in and out of the car or up and down your sofa
  • Lameness or limp (may well be intermittent early on)

Learn more about treatment options on our page about arthritis.

What to Do Next

We recommend that your consult with your vet for a full exam and bring a urine sample. For most of these conditions, including arthritis and UTIs, your vet is likely going to be able to come up with a plan to help alleviate these symptoms and make your life and your dog’s life easier.

It is also important that your vet rules out other serious conditions that could also cause your old dog’s peeing inside the house (such as diabetes or Cushing’s disease).

We also recommend that you read our 6 ways to help manage your dog’s incontinence to help make your life and your dog’s life easier.

You can also go back to our main page about senior dogs peeing inside.


  • Alex Crow is an RCVS accredited Veterinary surgeon with special interests in neurology and soft tissue surgery. Dr Crow is currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine from the Royal Veterinary College (one of the top 3 vet schools in the world).

Disclaimer: This website's content is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. Read More.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.