How to Stop a Dog From Peeing in the House (Be Aware of The Issues!)
As a dog owner, there are few things more frustrating than coming home and seeing a wet spot on your carpet. You know your dog did it, because he keeps doing it, despite your best training efforts. Is there a way to get him to stop?
Why a Dog May Pee
There are several reasons why a dog may pee in the house. The most obvious one is that he simply hasn’t been able to fully grasp training – or in the case of some stubborn breeds, has not had the desire to learn. If this is the case, you need to be persistent with your training techniques and lovingly work with your dog to get him over the hump.
But what if your dog passed training with flying colors? Indeed, there are a few reasons why a fully trained dog may have started to urinate indoors on a regular basis, sometimes without warning. These reasons fall into two categories: behavioral problems, and medical problems.
Inappropriate Dog Urination and Behavior
When a trained dog regresses to indoor urination because of behavioral issues, it’s relating to a psychological or instinctual response. It is not because your dog suddenly “forgot” how to go pee where he’s supposed to. Your dog is smarter than that.
Also, it’s important to note that your dog will not go to the bathroom indoors to spite you, or because he’s mad because you didn’t give him your table scraps. While some of the behavioral causes may take on the appearance of the dog doing something mean, the reality is that your pooch does not know the concept of vindictiveness.
Behavioral urination could be split into two distinctive categories – marking and soiling. Marking is an instinctive behavior most often carried out by intact males used as a tactic to claim territory. This behavior can be triggered by numerous changes to a dog’s life, from significant things like a new baby or odd stuff like a new vacuum cleaner.
Soiling, on the other hand, is linked to a host of psychological issues. A common problem that falls under this umbrella is excited urination, which unsurprisingly is what happens when a dog pees because he’s super jazzed about something. The behavior is common in puppies – even trained ones – because they haven’t mastered bladder control.
Another form of behavioral tinkling involves submissive urination. This act is a dog’s way of letting you know that he respects your alpha dog status and that he doesn’t mean you any harm. You may see this type of behavior manifest in an adult rescue dog that comes to your home after a rough start to his life.
Separation anxiety can also be a root of indoor urination if you're leaving your pooch home for extended periods of time. The cause of this behavioral issue may look like spiteful behavior since it's associated with a dog being upset because he's separated from his owners. However, this behavior is driven by a need to cope with his own nervousness.
If your dog suffers from behavioral-related urination problems, your best bet is to re-introduce him to certain training methods in order to correct the issues. This may take some time and patience on your end, but you should see results if you hang in there. If you don’t, you may want to consider enlisting professional help.
Urination and Medical Issues
There are times that your dog’s indoor urination is symptomatic of a bigger medical problem. The older your pup gets, the more this could be a legitimate concern. With that being said, keep in mind that medical problems are not solely subject to senior pooches.
The conditions that your four-legged friend may have if he's urinating are wide-ranging, to say the least. Some of the issues are relatively mild, such as a bad reaction to their dog food. Others are significantly more serious, such as diabetes, kidney tumors, or brain disease.
How your dog pees indoors could provide you with a clue as to what may be going on with his body. For instance, if your puddle of pooch tends to show up in the spot where your dog sleeps, it could be a case of incontinence. If you notice that he’s in great discomfort whenever he tries to urinate, he could be suffering from bladder stones.
What You Should Do If You Suspect a Medical Problem
The first thing you should do the moment you think something is medically wrong with your dog is take him to the veterinarian. You should never wait to see if an issue would clear up on its own. Your dog can’t tell you what’s wrong with him, so you shouldn’t take chances on the severity of the potential condition.
Once you’re at the vet, you can expect your pooch to undergo a battery of tests to eliminate certain issues. When the actual cause is pinpointed, your vet will work with you and the dog to create a treatment regimen. Factors like age, breed, and condition severity all play into how this regimen may be shaped.
Caring for your Dog Once the Problem has been Determined
Again, if it’s determined that your dog is peeing in the house due to a behavioral issue, it’s wise to go back to the drawing board and re-train your pooch. When you do, don’t forget to approach things with a gentle, loving hand. Remember, your dog isn’t doing this out of spite – he loves you too much to do anything like that!
If it is a medical issue, treat him as gently as you can until the treatment is over and the problem has been resolved. Since your dog can’t speak, assume that your pooch is in a varying degree of discomfort and act accordingly.
Regardless the cause, remember he’s your buddy above all else, and that he loves you. By taking care of him properly, be it through re-training or giving him the medical treatment he needs, you are showing him that you love him right back.