House training is one of the very first things we teach our dogs when they first arrive at our homes. However, no matter how well-trained a pup is, potty accidents can still happen in your home.
Know the causes behind inappropriate urination in canines and learn tips on how to stop a dog from peeing in the house.
Why Does My House-trained Dog Pee in the House?
Despite being fully potty-trained and much to the dismay of their owners, dogs can sometimes urinate and defecate inside the house out of the blue.
People are quick to assume that dogs resort to the so-called “revenge pooping,” wherein they try to get back at their owners for not getting their way or if they are being reprimanded.
Such a theory is unfounded because dogs do not understand the concept of revenge. If you think your dog is misbehaving because he is angry at you, you are mistaken and likely to be missing the real issue.
Determining the main cause of inappropriate urination in canines is the first step on how to stop a dog from peeing in the house:
1. Underlying medical conditions
“Why is my dog peeing in the house all of a sudden?” is a popular question among dog owners.
To answer the question, if fully house-trained dogs start urinating in the house, health problems such as kidney disease and urinary tract infection can be the primary culprit.
Ruling out medical issues should be made before looking into other possible causes. Take your dog to the vet to get a proper diagnosis.
If he does suffer from an illness that badly affects his bladder function, prompt treatment will clear up or manage his condition.
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2. Comes with age
Senior dogs are highly prone to urinary incontinence, a condition wherein they cannot control their bladder functions. In most cases, this is brought on by age-related medical issues.
So, if you are wondering: “Why has my dog started peeing in the house at night?” take his age into account. Older dogs cannot hold it in like they used to because of weakened sphincter muscles.
In other cases, neurological problems such as senility can mess up their established urination habits.
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3. Excited to meet new people or people they have not seen in a long time
Dogs can get overly excited when they meet new people or if they have not seen their owners for a long time. This is common in puppies that are excited to greet humans.
They have “accidents” when they roll on their backs, jump up and down, or run around. Excited peeing resolves itself when puppies reach their adolescence.
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4. In fear of separation
If your dog gets stressed when you leave the house, it triggers a behavioral issue called separation anxiety.
Typically, dogs have different panic responses when anxious—some howl and whine, while others resort to scratching at doors, chewing on objects, or eliminating inside the house.
To ease your dog’s anxiety, you can leave your recently worn shirt or a piece of clothing with him. Your scent has a calming effect on your dog.
You can also leave his favorite chew toys so that he does not resort to destructive chewing when he gets nervous.
5. Afraid to go outside
Another frequently asked question about inappropriate urination in dogs is: “Why is my dog peeing in the house when the door is open?”
Your dog may have had a terrifying experience outdoors, such as sudden exposure to loud noises that makes him extremely frightened to go out, even through a doggy door. The traumatic experience then affects his peeing habits.
The problem will persist unless he undergoes training to overcome his fears. To relieve the pressure of having to go out, you can designate an area in the house where he can pee.
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6. Marking a territory
When you notice that your dog is peeing on upright objects or vertical surfaces inside the house, he likely marks his territory. This commonly happens when a dog has recently moved to a new home or the family has a new piece of furniture.
Spaying or neutering your pet at an early age will lower his territorial tendencies and lessen the likelihood of urine marking. Male and female puppies can be spayed any time after 8 weeks of age.
5 Tips on How to Stop a Dog from Peeing in the House
Consistently retraining your dog is part of pet parenting. It is also one of the best ways to resolve his inappropriate urination. Here are a few pointers to remember as you guide him through house training once again:
Monitor your dog closely, and do not leave any opportunity for him to urinate inside the house. Keep him confined in the room with you using a baby gate.
Placing him inside a crate is also a good idea. Just make sure that it is spacious enough to accommodate his size but not too big that he can urinate on the other side. Once he shows signs of needing to go potty, such as sniffing and circling, take him outside immediately.
Monitor your dog’s water intake. Drinking too much contributes to inappropriate urination within the house. Generally, the water intake of dogs is roughly 1–2 cups of water per 10 pounds of body weight. If you observe that he consumes beyond the advised amount, make the right adjustments.
Restricting your dog’s water consumption should be avoided since it can lead to dehydration. Also, do not set limits to the water intake of dogs with medical issues like kidney problems. They need to consume more water than normal as it helps manage their condition.
As much as possible, do not let your dog go on potty breaks outside off-lead. Keep him on a 4- or 6-foot lead so you can easily steer him to his designated pee spot. It also gives you more control in halting him from roaming around or playing during his bathroom break.
Lead can be useful in managing dogs that are prone to urine marking too. It allows you to keep close supervision and stops him before he carries out the undesired behavior. While we are on this topic, let us figure out how to stop a male dog from peeing on everything outside.
Marking is a self-rewarding behavior. This means allowing your dog to urine-mark is equivalent to giving him a training treat or praise. So make sure to interrupt your dog while he is still on the sniffing stage. You can distract him by calling his name or by clapping your hands loudly.
Reward your dog with a delicious treat or happy praise after he is done urinating on his potty area. During instances that he does not pee, do not give him any rewards and bring him back into the house. Wait for a few minutes before taking him outside for another attempt to go pee.
Separating playtime outside and potty breaks is also important. Do not let your dog romp around when it is time for him to urinate. Once he is done peeing, that is the time you can allow him to play and have fun outdoors as a reward.
Is your old dog peeing in the house more frequently? Increase his bathroom breaks to prevent potty accidents in the house. On average, senior dogs need to go potty every 4–6 hours.
It is also time to consider letting your pooch wear doggie diapers. Opt for the washable variety than the disposable type as it will save you more money in the long run.
For male dogs, diapers that have a wider base and a longer waist are the most appropriate choice. Female dogs, on the other hand, do not need much length.
Potty accidents may happen while house-training your dog. Beware as the scent of urine can entice him to pee in the same area again. So clean them up thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner to eliminate the smell.
Now let us answer a question that is closely related to this topic: “Will vinegar stop dog peeing in the same spot?”
The acidic odor of vinegar gets rid of the urine smell and repels your pooch from peeing on the same spot. Make your own vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Another related question is: “What can I spray to keep my dog from peeing in the house?” Cayenne pepper deterrent spray is a cost-effective option. Just mix 1 part of cayenne pepper with 10 parts water and spritz it over areas in the house that your dog uses as a pee spot.
If your dog is peeing inside your home, never let anger take over you. Avoid painful and traumatic punishments such as screaming or hitting. It will only add more hurdles to your pooch’s house training and put a big gap between you.
Instead, focus on determining the lapses in your supervision and making adjustments to prevent such potty accidents from happening again.
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When the Going Gets Tough, Do Not Throw the Towel
House training can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you are teaching adult dogs. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if everything becomes too much for you to handle.
Having a reputable dog trainer or behaviorist around will make it easier for you to tackle your dog’s problem. They can provide helpful and educated advice in your dog’s training.