Dog Dribbling Urine While Walking? 9 Startling Reasons + What You Should Do!

dog dribbling urine while walking
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Your dog saunters towards you slowly, tail happily wagging as it always does.

However, today you notice something a bit unusual following behind every step that your best friend takes.

Wet spots.

Lots of them too, varying in sizes from a speck to a small puddle.

Upon closer inspection, there’s no mistaking it: it’s pee. As pungent and yellow as it comes.

“Why is my dog dribbling urine while walking?” You may start to wonder in worry.

There are actually several potential reasons as to why your dog may suddenly start dribbling urine while sitting, walking, or even sleeping.

Incontinence can be caused by factors such as age, excitement, submissiveness, hormones, infections, and physical issues with the dog’s body.

Since there are so many possible sources of the problem, it is vital to establish the one that is most likely. Once the reason has been found, a suitable solution can be implemented, whether that be medication, home remedies, dog diapers, or even surgery.

While incontinence in dogs can sometimes be difficult to cure completely, it can usually be successfully managed to the point where the dog is still able to lead a relatively normal, full life!

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Peeing While Walking?

Dog pee on backyard tiles

Peeing is natural in dogs (duh), but peeing uncontrollably is much more alarming. There are several reasons as to why your dog may pee while walking.

Age-Related Incontinence

As a dog grows older the urethra muscles become weaker, and this can result in the dog starting to leak urine while relaxing, walking, or sleeping.

Sometimes, a dog gradually becomes senile and fails to even notice they are urinating (Patricia McConnell, 2009). There is a wide range of diseases that affect dogs that can interfere with the amount of urine generated in the bladder. If a lot of urine is produced, pressure can build up and cause the dog to urinate uncontrollably.

Submissive Urinating

Younger dogs may experience submissive urination, especially when they meet other dogs or people. When a dog feels submissive it will urinate while sitting or standing.

This is not an emergency or a medical condition. You can easily improve on the condition and adjust the involuntary behavior by socializing the dog more often.

Hormone-Responsive Incontinence

Hormone-responsive incontinence affects both female and males dogs, but more commonly occurs in spayed female dogs. While the dog may urinate normally, it can also leak urine while walking or resting.

This condition frequently affects Irish setters, Rottweilers, boxers, English spaniels, Weimaraners, German shepherds, sheepdogs, giant schnauzers, Doberman pinschers.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria and cause symptoms such as pain and difficulty while urinating, uncontrollable urination, blood in the urine, and licking of urine.

Older dogs, those with poor immune systems, and those that do not squat while urinating are at a higher risk of contracting urinary tract infections.

Ectopic Ureters

Ureters are tubes that link kidneys to the bladder. An ectopic ureter is a serious physical condition that affects both or one ureter.

What happens is that, when the ureters don’t link the kidneys to the bladder properly, bladder infections and urine leakage can occur. Leakage can occur at any time, whether the dog is sleeping, sitting or walking.

Kidney Disease

Water drinking Golden Retriever

Kidney disease can be a root cause of urinary tract infections and other urinary-related diseases in older dogs (Fogle, 2007).

A dog that is suffering from kidney disease tends to take water frequently and as a result urinates more often as well.

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It becomes a burden especially for an older dog to hold or wait for the best time and place to pee, which then results in peeing in inappropriate situations.

Spinal Problems

Spinal cord problems cause nerve issues that can lead to urinary incontinence occurring in dogs.

A dog with any spinal-related injury, or that has traumatic spinal injuries, can have immense difficulty when trying to pass urine normally. Sometimes, it may not even be aware that urine is flowing!

Brain Disease

The brain is the control unit of the body, both in animals and in humans. A dog with a brain tumor, injury, or infection that affects the control function of the brain will not be able to control the bowel or bladder properly.

Dementia and related conditions can cause dogs to forget their lifelong training as well as the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’. As a result, affected dogs may pass urine at any place and time.

At this point, the dogs themselves don’t know what’s happening and may become anxious and exhibit other changes to their behavior as well.

Arthritis

Arthritis is common in dogs, especially in old age. Arthritis affects mobility and can be very painful.

Dogs suffering from arthritis can have difficulty getting into the right position to pass urine. For some, the pain is too much to even try and as a result they urinate while standing or walking.

Most of the time the dogs try to hold their urine as long as possible and have an inevitable accident when it just can’t hold for any longer.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Dribbling Pee?

Terrier guiltily sitting beside puddle of it's urine on a tile floor

To stop your dog from dribbling urine, you need to find out why your dog is experiencing leakage in the first place. As explored above, there are many possible reasons as to why a dog may start leaking urine.

Over-Excited And Submissive Urination

Over-excitation and submissive urination is one of the more common causes for a dog to dribble pee.

Puppies in particular experience excitement urination, though you can do the following to try to stop it from happening:

  • Upon arriving home from work or school, try to reduce the level of excitement as you enter the house. Avoid emotional greetings! In return, your dog will be more likely to respond in a low mood.
  • Take your dog out after arriving home- not necessarily to play, but to give the pet time to urinate and calm down.
  • If your excitable pup is having trouble composing itself, ignore the dog as much as you can until it is calm. Make sure to reward your dog after it shows relaxed behavior!
  • Never punish or scold your dog for urinating out of excitement, as this may condition them to become more fearful.

Submissive urination more commonly occurs in young dogs, though most will outgrow the behavior as they age. You can help to prevent instances of it happening by:

  • Making yourself smaller by kneeling down and allowing the dog to approach you at its own speed.
  • Not staring directly into the puppy’s eyes
  • Again, never punishing the dog when accidents do happen.

Age-Related Incontinence

Age-related incontinence is a medical issue that can be treated by visiting a vet. The vet will be able to conduct a physical examination of your dog to diagnose the extent of the disease.

Though age-related incontinence doesn’t really have a cure, sometimes the disease can be minimized and controlled.

Pet diapers are commonly used to prevent accidental urination on floors and bedding. Urethral incontinence is also treatable with a prescription of certain medications, such as Proin. However, these can have unwanted side effects, so make sure you consult with your vet fully.

If your dog has ectopic ureters, a surgical procedure to reconnect the tubes to the bladder is often recommended.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)

UTI’s are the main cause of dribbling pee in dogs.

There are a variety of treatments for urinary infections in dogs. As you’ll see below, UTI’s can either be treated by the vet or through the use of home remedies.

To prevent a dog from getting an UTI, make sure you let the dog out to go to the toilet more often. Clean your dog’s genital areas frequently, as well as its beddings. Always put fresh water in a clean bowl for your dog to avoid any harmful bacteria from growing.

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How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has An Urinary Infection?

Traces of dog urine

Urinary infection is caused by bacteria that affects the urethra and sometimes the bladder. It usually occurs when the dog’s health and immune system is compromised.

Diseases that can cause UTIs include:

  • Kidney stones
  • Prostate disease
  • Spine abnormalities
  • Bladder tumors
  • Congenital and incontinence problems
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder cancer.

A dog suffering from a urinary tract infection often experiences pain and difficulty while urinating.

Sometimes the urine may contain traces of blood, though this may not be easy to notice unless you monitor everything the dog is doing.

If you’re not always nearby to your pet, you may notice stains or wet spots on the carpet or its beddings.

Book an appointment with your vet if you notice the following from your dog:

  • Strained urination
  • Dribbling urine
  • Passing cloudy urine
  • Crying while urinating
  • Constant urination
  • Frequent licking of the genitals
  • Bad smell in urine
  • Breaking house rules or training

If you don’t notice the above signs, the following are also possible, serious symptoms of UTIs in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Increased tenderness in the genitals.

What Do Vets Give Dogs For Urinary Tract Infection?

Sick dog being examined by vet on table

When you visit the vet you will be asked about the urination habits and status of your dog, and if suspicions of the dog having a urinary tract infection arise a blood and urine test will usually be conducted.

This is done to determine the main bacteria causing the infection, and subsequently the type of medication to be used to combat it. Most of the time, antibiotics are used to treat UTIs (Patricia McConnell, 2009).

Pain killers are also commonly used to relieve pain, and a diet change may be imposed. Older dogs are most likely to contract UTIs, so a conclusive test is more important to rule out whether there are also bladder stones present. In cases where there are, they must then be removed.

When the urinary tract infection is recurrent, the vet may recommend medication and supplements to maintain the preferred PH to avoid future infections.

How Can I Treat My Dog’s UTI At Home?

Some home remedies can be very effective in treating urinary tract infections in dogs, especially in earlier stages of the infection.

Cranberries

It is normal for a human to contract an UTI, and we are commonly recommended to take cranberry juice.

Well, can it work for dogs? Though there is no scientific proof to back up the juice, it can be just as good for our pets as it is for us.

Cranberries help to lower the PH of the urine, which then minimizes the chance of bacteria growth in the bladder (Fogle, 2007). However, care must be taken not to give very sweet cranberry juice to your dog as sugar can cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another common remedy used by humans to lower the PH in urine. It also neutralizes infectious bacteria in the bladder, relieving any present urinary tract infection.

The suggested dosage of apple cider vinegar for a small dog is one teaspoon in the dog’s food or water, while larger dogs can have two teaspoons. Give your dog the vinegar twice a day for about ten days.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements are acidic and have the effect of acidifying the dog’s urine, minimizing any bacteria development in the bladder.

As much as an acidic environment suppresses bacteria, it also promotes calcium oxalate crystal formation. This means that it should be used in a controlled manner. Consult your vet for the correct dosage as it will vary depending on a dog’s weight and diet.

Plenty Of Fresh Water

Always leave out a bowl of clean, fresh water for your dog or puppy to drink.

Water is hydrating, and the more of it your dog drinks the more it will have to urinate. It actively dilutes the urine and triggers a cleansing process. As your dog urinates, the liquid will carry with it any bacteria that may have been present in the body.

Water is vital for the good health of your dog whether it has an infection or not, so make sure that it is always readily available!

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What Can I Give My Dog For Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a serious condition and needs a vet to treat properly. Medication is administered depending on the cause (Patricia McConnell, 2009).

There are medications like phenylpropanolamine that strengthen the urethral sphincter so that the dog can control urine flow more effectively.

Others focus on hormone therapy and collagen injections. When the incontinence is caused by bladder stones, congenital abnormality, or protruding discs, surgery may be the best option.

At home, you can try to manage the incontinence by ensuring the dog’s beddings are clean, taking the dog out frequently, using pet diapers, and preventing any associated skin infections.

Dog Urinary Incontinence Natural Remedies

Vet doing acupuncture treatment on dog's head

Natural remedies can be helpful in cases where no urgent medical attention is needed. Below is a brief overview of a few of these remedies, and they include:

Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens and holistic estrogen remedies are available and can sometimes be prescribed by the vet. Plant-derived estrogen can also be used to treat spay incontinence.

For a home-made solution, flax and soy seeds can be ground together to make an effective compound. However, consult your vet first to determine whether this is suitable for your dog.

Corn Silk

Corn silk is a plant material that contains mucilage which looks like a gel and can be used to coat the bladder. It can act as both a remedy and a supportive treatment.

For dogs suffering from urinary tract infections, corn silk will also work for easing pain and irritation. It contains the aforementioned phytoestrogens that can help with spay incontinence.

You can extract corn silk yourself using whole corn, or simply buy it in stores in powder or pill form.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto can be very helpful as it works as an anti-inflammatory. It is a well-known home remedy for incontinence in dogs as it supports the muscle tone of the bladder. With saw palmetto, your dog’s hormone levels will also be beneficially balanced.

Sang Piao Xiao San

Sang Piao Xiao San is a remedy originating from China that is frequently used for urinary-related problems. Holistic vets have been known to prescribe it for incontinence in dogs.

The remedy is originally made from the egg cages of praying mantises and is available in form of a pill.

Grain-Free Diet

grain free dog food on black background, flat lay

Some dogs that suffer from incontinence can overcome it through a change in diet.

While a grain-free diet is not a natural remedy per se, vets usually recommend it as a way to treat urinary incontinence. Switching away from grain foods to an all-meat diet can reduce allergies and irritation, and can result in improvements in urinary conditions.

Acupuncture

Finally, acupuncture is one of the most popular natural remedies for difficult-to-treat urinary incontinence in dogs.

While you may not think of it at first, acupuncture has the potential to stimulate the nerves and muscles required for urinary control.

Commonly, it will take about three to five treatments for your dog to see an improvement in their urinary condition and routines.

In Summary

It can be very alarming when you see your dog dribbling urine while walking for the first time.

However, keep in mind that there are many different possible factors that can cause incontinence in dogs, including:

  • Age
  • Neurological issues
  • Physical and spinal issues
  • Stress and submissiveness
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Spay and hormonal-related incontinence.

Some of the causes are easier to treat than others, though most can be successfully managed once they have been diagnosed.

That’s why it’s so important to consult with your vet as soon as you discover the problem, as effective treatment can only then be implemented for your pup.

 References

Fogle, B. (2007). Caring for Your Dog. Dorling Kindersley Australasia.

Patricia McConnell, P. (2009). The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs. Washington DC: Random House Publishing Group.

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