Whether it’s a new puppy who hasn’t learned the ropes yet, an adult dog with a medical issue, or a senior dog with limited bladder control, dealing with accidents around the house is unpleasant for any dog owner. Your dog peeing in the house, particularly if the behavior is new and sudden, can be an indicator that something is wrong.
What are some common reasons why dogs pee in the house? How can pet parents avoid and address this behavior?
Table of contents
- Understanding why dogs pee in the house
- Tips to prevent dogs from peeing in the house
- Is it stress?
- Cleaning up after your dog pees in the house
- What not to do
Understanding why dogs pee in the house
House soiling is a common problem among dogs, and it can be a source of frustration and stress for dog owners. Knowing why your dog is urinating inside can help you address the issue more effectively, prevent it in the future, and help your dog live a happier, healthier life.
Underlying health problems are one of the most common reasons why dogs pee in the house. These issues can range from bladder infections to more serious conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes. If your dog suddenly has accidents in the house, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for a checkup.
- Urinary tract and bladder infections – Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections are common, [particularly in female dogs, and can cause your dog to feel the need to urinate more frequently and with more urgency, often resulting in accidents in the house. Other symptoms of a bladder infection or UTI in dogs include straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and licking of the genital area.
- Incontinence – Some dogs, particularly senior, spayed female dogs, lose control of their bladder and may have accidents in the house or other inappropriate places. Incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including age-related changes, hormonal imbalances, nerve damage, or injury.
- Bladder stones – Bladder stones can be a painful and uncomfortable condition for dogs. They are mineralized deposits that form in the bladder, and they can range in size from tiny particles to large, golf-ball-sized masses. When bladder stones are present, they can cause a number of symptoms, including frequent urination, straining to urinate, and incontinence.
- Kidney disease – This common condition affects many dogs, particularly as they age. It occurs when the kidneys are unable to properly filter waste products from the blood, leading to a buildup of toxins in the body. One of the most common symptoms of kidney disease is increased urination and incontinence. Dogs with kidney disease may struggle to hold their urine for extended periods of time, leading to accidents in the house. This is because the kidneys play a crucial role in regulating urine production and concentration. When they are not functioning properly, dogs may produce more urine than usual, and it may be more diluted, making it harder to hold. Other symptoms of kidney disease in dogs include increased thirst, lethargy, vomiting, and weight loss.
- Diabetes – Diabetes, a metabolic disorder common in overweight or obese dogs, occurs when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels and can cause an increase in urination and thirst. Other symptoms of diabetes in dogs include weight loss, increased appetite, and lethargy. If you suspect your dog may have diabetes, it is important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Behavioral issues can also contribute to a dog’s tendency to pee in the house. Your pup may not be house trained, suffering from stress for a number of reasons, or exhibiting some territorial behavior with marking.
- Lack of training – Dogs who have not been properly house trained understandably have accidents in the house sometimes. They simply don’t know that they should be doing their business outside. Puppies require consistent and patient training to learn the appropriate times and places to urinate. However, even adult dogs may exhibit inappropriate urination if they have not received proper training.
- Stress – When dogs are overwhelmed, they may lose control of their bladder. This is particularly common in dogs who are experiencing separation-related stress, but can also happen with changes in household routines, new environments, or triggering situations like loud noises or car rides.
- Territorial marking – Territorial marking is a natural behavior for dogs, but it can become a problem when they start doing it inside the house. Territorial marking involves the dog urinating small amounts in various locations to leave their scent, assert dominance, and mark their territory. This behavior can be triggered by new people, animals, or objects in the home or outside. Male dogs are more likely to engage in territorial marking, but females can also do it.
Tips to prevent dogs from peeing in the house
Accidents in the house can create an unhealthy and unpleasant living environment, not to mention be an indicator of an underlying health issue for your dog. How can you address your dog’s habit of peeing in the house?
House training and retraining
Just like all dog training, potty training your dog requires consistency and positive reinforcement. Establish a regular feeding and potty schedule. Set up a designated potty area and consistently bring your dog to that spot. Praise and reward your dog immediately after they eliminate in the designated area to reinforce good behavior. Gradually increase the amount of time between potty breaks as your dog becomes more reliable.
Addressing health issues
If your dog is consistently peeing in the house despite consistent potty-training efforts, it may be time to visit your veterinarian. Certain health problems such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or kidney disease can cause dogs to have difficulty controlling their bladder and can lead to more serious health issues if not addressed. Following a thorough examination, your veterinarian will be able to offer guidance and may prescribe medication to address any underlying health issues.
Is it stress?
If your dog is peeing in the house because they are stressed, it is important to first identify the cause of their stress. They may not like being left home alone, feel overwhelmed by a new routine or environment, or experience fear around loud noises or at the vet’s office. In addition to inappropriate urination, potential signs of stress can include shaking, panting, drooling, vocalizations, destructive behavior, and more. You may need to hire a dog walker to keep your dog company while you’re away or make efforts to keep their daily schedule as consistent as possible. Consider consulting a professional animal behaviorist and use desensitization and positive reinforcement to help your dog feel less stressed around their triggers.
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As always, consult your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of stress. For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your dog live their best life, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]). We are here to help.
Cleaning up after your dog pees in the house
It can be frustrating when your dog pees in the house, but it’s important to remain calm and handle the situation appropriately. If you catch your dog in the act, immediately interrupt them with a firm “no” and take them outside to their designated potty area. If the accident has already happened, clean up the mess thoroughly and as soon as possible with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate the scent and discourage your dog from peeing in the same spot again. Take note of how much urine there is (did your dog empty their bladder?) and whether they tend to go in the same location.
What not to do
Dogs can’t make connections between their past actions and in-the-moment punishment, so scolding your dog for peeing in the house won’t do much good. The common “punishment” of sticking their nose in the urine is more likely to cause fear and confusion. Positive reinforcement, talking to your vet, and paying close attention to changes in routine can all help curb this problem.
Whether your dog is peeing in the house due to lack of training, an underlying health issue, stress, or other behavioral problems, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. House accidents are not only unpleasant for everyone, but they can also indicate that something more serious is wrong for your dog.