One of the most frustrating things for pet parents is finding a surprise puddle from little Fido on the floor. But, it’s a fact of life that your pooch will pee in the house at some point. Even the most well-trained little fur kid can have an accident (or an on purpose). Read on for seven common reasons dogs pee in the house and what you can do to prevent it.
1. Excited Peeing
I’m starting with exciting peeing because this is something I’ve struggled with since bringing my poodle Gigi home. While most dogs outgrow the behavior once they leave the puppy phase, my Gigi has never fully outgrown it. As soon as she hears my keys turning in the door, she gets so excited. First, comes the little dance and wiggling butt. Then it’s the squirt of excited pee! But, although she still goes through that ritual, I have mastered the antidote.
In order for me to get in the house without her giving a squirt, I keep greetings low key. I typically don’t speak to her (or even look at her too much) until I get her outside. Once she goes to the bathroom, I praise her with love and a treat! Check out this article on excited peeing.
2. Not Potty Trained Yet
During the puppy potty training stage, you can definitely expect an accident or two … or three … or four. When you first bring home a new puppy, he doesn’t have full control over his bladder yet, doesn’t know how to communicate his urge to urinate, and has no clue he is even supposed to “go” outside. So, it’s up to you to look for warning signs and develop an eating/potty schedule. Click here to see 7 steps that make potty training easier.
3. Territorial Marking
Does your fur baby love lifting his leg to give a little pee squirt here and there? If you answered yes, he is marking. When dogs mark outdoors, we typically don’t think much of it. But when our pooches mark a couch or nice table leg then we tend to get upset. Hmmm…go figure! Although this is a frustrating behavior to us, our canine companions are only trying to stake their claim on something. They’re marking it. It might even happen in someone else’s home if you’re visiting and Fido happens to smell that someone marked there before him. And get this: It’s not only males who urine mark. That’s right, females do it too!
How To Stop Marking Behavior
- The largest percentage of urine markers are intact males and females. Early spaying and neutering may deter the problem altogether – or at least decrease the frequency of it.
- If your pooch has marked in the house, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the area so no scent is left behind. Click here for a step-by-step guide to properly cleaning up pet urine.
- While you are attempting to break this habit, make sure your pooch is always in view. If you can’t watch him then confine him in a crate or playpen until you can.
- If you have a multiple pet household, work on keeping your fur kids in sync so that they don’t feel competitive or threatened by each other.
Is your previously trained dog suddenly unable to hold his urine? If you notice your dog peeing all over the house or maybe even wetting the bed then he’s probably incontinent and is going to require a trip to the vet. Your pooch will need a medical evaluation to determine exactly what’s causing the problem. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause.
5. Medical Issues
If your otherwise trained pooch is suddenly peeing in the house, a trip to your veterinarian should be scheduled. The vet will probably check your pooch to make sure he doesn’t have a urinary tract infection, kidney issues or underlying medical conditions going on. Any change in your dog’s baseline of health or behavior always warrants a visit to the vet.
Stressful situations can lead to anxiety. Something as simple as running some errands and leaving Fido at home can cause separation anxiety in some dogs. Lifestyle changes such as moving, getting a new pet, bringing home a new baby, or leaving your pooch home more than he’s used to are a few things that can lead to stress and anxiety. Any of them could cause a dog to suddenly start peeing (and even pooping) in the house.
7. Changes In Your Dogs Schedule
Dogs thrive on consistency. I even wrote an entire article on why developing a daily schedule is the key to success when training a new puppy. But here’s the thing: Daily schedules only work if you stick to them! If your well-trained pooch suddenly started urinating in the house then it may be because he’s off schedule and can’t hold it any longer. Think to yourself:
- Are you working longer hours and leaving your pooch alone more than usual?
- Have you changed his eating schedule?
- Have you shortened walk time because your schedule has gotten too crazy?
The Bottom Line
If your pooch is peeing in the house, take some time to figure out why. Once you do, you’ll be able to start working on a solution. Don’t lose your temper or yell — that will only make matters worse. If it turns out that your pooch has a health problem that can’t be treated or fixed, you may want to consider doggy diapers or a belly band. They are readily available in most pet stores or you can DIY them.