Tips and ideas for incontinent dogs: garments, exercise, expressing and fluids, recurrent UTI | Dodgerslist, the premier website for Dog Back Disease (IVDD)


Incontinence tips

Share the Post:

6 areas of incontinence care

Caring for the dog with loss of bladder or bowel control after 6 weeks post-op OR 8 conservative weeks of crate rest.
  1. Four DIY protective fur and skin garments for the seal and frog-like scooters
  2. Ways to prevent bladder infection
  3. Physical activity
  4. Expressing for health with a sample schedule
  5. Skin problems
  6. Recognizing emergency issues
4 DIY Scooting garments to protect skin and fur
4 DIY garments to protect from ground bacteria from entering the bladder (for females especially) and to avoid skin abrasion


Got scissors?
Got L-XL thrift shop long sleeve t-shirt?
It is that easy!
Download this PDF to see the 5 steps illustrated in photos: Charlie Bear’s Scoot Shirt PDF


Tandy had been dragging her rear and getting UTIs and skin chaffing. She kept pulling off the doggie diapers, and they really didn’t last more than 5 minutes. Tandy is 12 pounds and I used size 6 little girls’ underwear.The size need not be exact as the fit is forgiving.
          1. Put rear legs through underwear pants leg holes.
          2. Pull the outer sides of the leg hole up and gather above the base of the tail.
          3. Secure gathers with a hair elastic. The underwear is staying up very well, and she seems to be much more comfortable. It does not help with incontinence, but it does protect her rear and keep her comfortable. Hope this helps!


The Ollie cape PDF provides easy instructions for attaching via fabric glue, very easy straight line sewing or hiring a sewist to make and attach to an existing harness:    Ollie’s Cape PDF

Watch Ollie in his cape chase his sister in a high spirited fun game:


The BumPad pattern PDF is for a 17 lbs dachshund with 14″ low-rise waist, 3″ inside thigh to thigh.

Directions explain how to adjust to fit your dog.

Because this is a wrap garment, it is not critical to be totally exact in reproducing the red pattern outline as there is great flexibility in fit with the overlapping tabs.


Approx 1.5 hours from cutting to finished project (does not include time to adjust pattern)


• 1/2  yard of a medium weight rip stop nylon, flag cloth. It is the outside fabric to take the wear & tear of scooting and be as friction free as possible.
• 2 pieces of 8″ x 8″ lofty synthetic fleece to use as a cushion.
Thread, baby diaper safety pin 

If your dog has the same issues, this pattern solves them:

  • My dog was getting burns on his rear end from scooting on the floor and area rugs.
  • Horrified at the sound of his boney butt bumping on the floor as he scooted with speed.
  • Baby diapers just didn’t fit right and slid off.
  • Unsanitary idea of a dog sitting in poop-laden diapers.
  • With this BumPad I can express for urine or poop without need to  remove the garment.

Tips and ideas for incontinent dogs: garments, exercise, expressing and fluids, recurrent UTI.

  1. ▪️Help keep the body hydrated by soaking dry kibble with equal amount of water at each meal. Give your dog frozen low/no salt broth to lick on as a treat. If it is going to be a few hours before you can express the bladder, don’t give too much water.
  2. ▪️To keep bladder tone and prevent UTI’s express 4 to 6 times a day.  This is approximately the number of times a healthy dog urinates.
  3. ▪️The longer urine remains in the bladder the more inviting for bacteria to breed leading to infection. See the tips and videos demonstrating expressing a bladder and the bowels.
  4. ▪️Cranberry’s proanthocyanidins are known to only work on the strain of  E. coli  bacteria which make velcro like fringe attachments to the bladder wall. Not all E. coli make a fringe.  More about E. coli
  5. ▪️A dog with a  UTI  can have urine with an “off smell” or no obvious signs at all. See the vet for periodic urinalysis as  UTI’s can lead to a serious kidney infection if not treated promptly.
  6. ▪️Confirm with the vet if the urine contains crystals or if there are chances of bladder stones being formed. Some supplements, like Ester C, depending on what the stones and crystals are made of, should or should  NOT  be given.
  7. ▪️Constant  UTI’s can often lead to bladder stones. If your dog has had more than a couple, it might be a good idea to do a bladder ultrasound or X-ray.
  8. ▪️Understand why UTI’s may be returning, what you and your vet can do to help get rid of  recurrent UTIs 

Dogs need daily aerobic running exercise

  1. Wheelchairs allow joining in with family activities and good exercise. Carts are not 24/7, but for a couple of hours at a time. Some carts allow walking on all fours with support.   Cart features to look for with and IVDD dog.

  2. PT and massage 3x day is still required on legs to keep muscle tone and prevent joints from freezing up.  More information.

  3. Hydrotherpy can be done in a child’s swim pool or your tub  or at a PT facility with an underwater treadmill.

Diaper/male belly wrap

Diapers are NOT recommended. Dogs abhor being near/in their waste. Diapers cause problems with skin. Proper expressing  is what keeps a dog dry and the bladder healthy.  Male wraps and diapers can be helpful short term while solving UTI leaking issues or while learning to express. Change often.

Sample Daily feeding  with 5 times expressing schedule

  • 7:00 am – express bladder and bowels
  • 7:15 am – breakfast (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
  • noon – express bladder and bowels
  • 5:00 pm – express bladder
  • 6:00 pm – supper (dry kibble soaked in equal qty. water)
  • 8:30 pm – express bladder (last drink of the night)
  • 10:00 pm – last expressing of  bladder and bowels for the night

Adjust schedule to keep your dog dry between expressings. Eight hours should be the maximum time between expressing during the day. During night time sleep, the body produces less urine.

Skin problems

Check the belly and back legs daily for abrasions.

Treat broken skin with  EMT Gel or Neosporin and a self-adherent wrap such as Coban or VetWrap.

Keep skin clean of urine and feces. Baby wipes or baby body wash is easy on the skin. If the condition does not improve within 3 days, seems worse or oozes pus, go to your vet as oral antibiotics and perhaps a skin culture might be needed.

Urine Scald, rashes.
Check for broken skin and alert the vet.

Use a barrier cream to prevent rashes during temporary use of diapers.

Look for barrier cream containing no ZINC. Examples: Aquaphor Baby, Aquaphor regular Healing Ointment OR Bayer’s A+D® Original Ointment


Signs of pain for family awareness 

    1. It’s a survival instinct not to show weakness (pain).

      Signs of pain to memorize are:
      crying/yelping, panting, shaking/shivering, licking/chewing, tight tummy, head held high or nose to the ground.

      Crate your dog at once to limit movement of the back and get to the vet for help in case it would turn out to be disc related.


  1. A must-have document on emergency signs.  Print and place on your refrigerator.
Scroll to top