Accidents happen, but if your adult dog is constantly peeing in the house, it can be very frustrating. Inappropriate urination in dogs is a common problem that should be addressed as soon as possible.
The first step is to determine why your dog is peeing inside. There are several reasons why dogs exhibit inappropriate urinary behaviour, and we’re here to help you determine whether your puppy is simply learning, ageing, or suffering from a more serious urinary tract infection.
Why Do Dogs Pee in the House?
Peeing in the house, also known as “inappropriate urination” by vets, is a relatively common problem in dogs, but it is usually addressed during puppyhood. If your dog is still a puppy, house training may not be complete. House training can take some time, and you may need to go over the steps as you go.
If your dog is definitely house trained and the inappropriate peeing began after house training was completed, there are other possible causes. Before looking into behavioural causes of inappropriate urination, it’s critical to rule out any health issues.
There are several possible causes for your house-trained dog to start peeing in the house again.
Urinary Tract Disorders
A urinary tract infection could be the cause of your dog suddenly peeing in the house (or other unacceptable locations).
This is one of the most common causes of inappropriate urination and one of the most common health issues in dogs.
Before you get upset with your dog, take him to the vet for an examination and consultation. Your veterinarian will almost certainly require a urine sample from your dog in order to perform a urinalysis and possibly a urine culture. 2 This test examines the urine for bacteria and abnormal cells. If your veterinarian diagnoses a urinary tract infection, the next step is an antibiotic course.
Other urinary issues your veterinarian may discover include cystitis (bladder inflammation), crystals in the urine, bladder stones, structural abnormalities, and even tumours. The majority of urinary issues are treatable with medications, supplements, and/or dietary changes. In more severe cases, such as bladder stones, surgery may be required.
If your veterinarian does not discover a urinary tract problem, the next step is to look for other possible health problems.
Health Issues and Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is commonly associated with senior dogs, but a dog can develop incontinence as a young adult.
Incontinence may be the cause of your dog leaking or dribbling sporadically or leaving urine puddles in the bed or on the floor during naps. If your dog is incontinent, you should be aware that he is unaware of what is happening and has no control over it. Fortunately, medication can sometimes be used to treat incontinence.
On the other hand, if your dog consciously pees in inappropriate places, it’s most likely not incontinence. To learn more, consult your veterinarian.
Kidney disease, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease are all conditions that can cause urinary problems. Depending on your dog’s other symptoms, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic testing to rule out one or more diseases (if any). Treatment will be determined by the diagnosis.
Puppies may still have accidents while being housebroken, but old age can cause other types of urinary accidents.
In ageing dogs, three types of dementia or senility can occur, resulting in house soiling. These dogs may forget their house training or simply become disoriented.
Other health issues, such as kidney failure, are more common in old age. This is yet another reason to involve your veterinarian early and frequently. Dementia can be managed in some cases with medications and supplements. Many people who live with senior dogs who have urinary issues use doggie diapers or line the dog’s bedding and other frequently visited areas with absorbent pads.
After your veterinarian has ruled out all medical issues, you and your dog are most likely dealing with a behavioural issue.
Some dogs, particularly males, exhibit marking behaviours. Marking is frequently triggered by sex hormones, but it can become a habit and persist even after the hormones have been altered.
This could happen if your dog is scared of someone or something. Some dogs will pee when someone stands over them and looks down, especially if the dog is young or fearful. When dogs are anxious or stressed, they may urinate inappropriately.
Examine the situation in your home to see if anything in the environment could cause your dog to exhibit this type of behaviour. Have you recently brought a new pet into the house? Is there a new human addition to the family, such as a new baby? Has anyone recently left or died in the family? Dogs are often extremely sensitive to environmental changes.
Your dog may also be worried about a situation outside that could cause him to urinate inappropriately. Perhaps your dog saw another dog, heard a loud construction project nearby, or witnessed something else that was distressing.
How to Prevent Your Dog Urinating in the House
Whatever you do, don’t give up on or abandon your dog. You can get through it! Of course, you may require additional assistance. Meanwhile, be patient with your canine companion and try one or more simple steps to assist the dog with its issue.
- Train your dog again: Because your dog was probably once housebroken, revisiting the training and repeating the steps can be beneficial.
- Increase bathroom breaks: After drinking, eating, and waking up from naps, take your dog outside to pee. Reward your dog for peeing in the appropriate places outside.
- Determine the cause: Determine whether there is a trigger or stimulus in your dog’s environment that causes it to pee inside. If possible, remove the trigger, teach your dog to live with it, or make any changes you can to reduce your dog’s anxiety. Avoiding sources of fear, such as the neighborhood’s aggressive dog or the area where jackhammering is taking place, is one example. If there are loud noises outside, play music or use a white noise machine inside.
- Do not hit or yell: Do not punish or yell at your dog for urinating in the house. This is likely to backfire, and instead of learning that urinating in the house is wrong, your dog may learn that its people are unpredictable or unsafe to be around. Punishing your dog may make it afraid to urinate in front of you (even outside), leading to more indoor accidents.
- Proper cleanup: Clean up each accident as soon as possible with an enzymatic cleaner that removes the odour. You don’t want your dog to recognise the urine smell and conclude that urinating indoors is, after all, acceptable.
- Get professional help: If you’ve tried everything and are still unable to solve your dog’s problem, consider hiring a dog trainer or behaviourist for a single consultation or as many sessions as necessary.