Dog peeing inside the house can be quite an annoying habit. This is one of the most common problems that most dog owners face. Since any dog can be affected with this issue, be it a potty trained dog which used to pee outdoors, or a new untrained puppy. Several factors may be involved. This article gives you a comprehensive outline of the problem, and explains ways on how to stop a dog from peeing in the house.
1. Why Do Dogs Pee Inside The House?
As mentioned in the introductory part, there are several causes for dogs urinating inside the house. Since the way you overcome the issue depends on the cause, you need to know these causative agents. These include medical issues, submissive peeing after being scolded, territorial marking, and incontinence (in case of aged dogs).
2. Medical Conditions
Various medical conditions can cause your dog to do the unhealthy habit inside the house or at other improper locations. You need to first rule out any medical issue that your dog has. Medical issues that may lead your dog to urinate at any location include bladder infections, stomach upset, incontinence or dietary changes. So, you have to have him checked by a vet to ensure that an underlying medical issue isn’t a causative agent. Medical issues are the most probable reason why your house trained dog is lately exhibiting that inappropriate behavior. Some of the common medical issues that lead your dog to urinate indoors are discussed below.
- Bacterial Bladder Infection
Bacterial bladder infection or stones in the bladder can increase the urination frequency, cause strain during urination, and at times, lead to blood in urine. Ultrasound or radiographs will be used to diagnose bladder stones. Bacterial infection is diagnosed by urine culture, sensitivity tests, and urinalysis.
- Urinary Incontinence
Dogs with urinary incontinence will dribble urine while at sleep or when they are awake. This is a common medical condition in spayed female dogs. It has been found that about 13 to 20% of spayed female dogs suffer from this kind of disorder. Several physical problems contribute to urinary incontinence in dogs. These include reduced sphincter control, urethral sphincter incompetence, ectopic ureters, patent urachus, ureterovaginal fistula, idiopathic detrusor, pelvic bladder, ureterocele, vaginal urine pooling, paxadoxical incontinence, and nerve or spinal cord damages.
Urinary incontinence in dogs is diagnosed by urinalysis and contrast studies. CT scans, cystoscopic studies, radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, etc may be used for identifying anatomic abnormalities.
- Increased Urine Production
Increased urine production or polyuria is common in dogs. Many factors contribute to this medical condition. These include decreased appetite, increased water intake, weight loss, renal disease, Fanconi’s Syndrome, pyometra, polycythemia, chronic renal failure, liver disease, pyelonephritis, diabetes mellitus, hyperadrenocroticism, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism, hypokalemia, hypercalcemia, diuretics, exogenous steroids, anti-convulsants. Diagnosis includes urinalysis, blood tests, vaginal examination, contrast radiography.
- Territorial Marking
Another reason why your dog may be urinating indoors is for marking certain areas as his territory. Territorial marking is said to be more observed in dogs that are dominant or that do not see their master as the leader. Instead of urinating in large puddles on the floor, your dog pees a small amount usually on vertical surfaces like on a table leg, door, or piece of furniture. The dog lifts one of his hind legs and marks urine on such surfaces. He often marks on different or new surfaces. He also may mark those objects that he feels that belongs to him or anything that he has become possessive about.
If your dog is marking his territories with urine, it is not an issue to be house-trained; instead it is an issue concerning his instinctive behaviors. Your house-trained dog leaves his urine’s scent as a mark, rather than due to his urge to pee. For him, the smell of his urine is of great interest unlike us human beings. He leaves the scent of his urine to leave his fellow dogs with a message. This message can be any of the following: his territory, his mating availability, or his social order. Usually dogs who have feelings of insecurity or who suffer from separation anxiety display this habit in order to build their confidence levels.
3. How To Stop A Dog From Peeing In The House?
It has been observed that dogs which have been spayed or neutered at an early age do not get involved in the territory marking habit. So, if your dog is young, have him spayed. Often only the un-castrated male dogs do more urine marking in comparison with their castrated counterparts. Even female dogs do it, but not as often as the male dogs. It has been observed that the female dogs in heat or just before heat, leave their urine scent in order to mark their mating availability. Dominant female dogs also mark with urine. However, it has been observed that the house-trained female dogs do not mark inside the house.
It has also been seen that smaller dog breeds involve in urinary marking than the larger ones. So, you can go for larger breeds to prevent this issue.
Further, if more than one dog live in your house, they may urine mark often as they start considering each other as competition. As mentioned earlier, this habit is connected to their dominance issue. Thus, your dog which has never before urinated inside your house may start the habit upon the introduction of a second dog into your house. Obedience training is required for your pet. This will let him know that he should not establish his dominance where submissiveness is required.
Dogs also develop a feeling of a perceived threat or insecurity upon the introduction of a visitor, a new pet, a new baby, a new furniture piece, or even the odor of another animal on your clothing. This in turn leads him to the need to mark his territory. If this is the case, you need to reassure him that he is still a part of the family and that he is loved a lot. You can prove the love by showering him with loads of your attention in the presence of the object or person whom he thinks is foreign.
Sometimes, your dog who does not urinate in your house may urinate at your friend’s or relative’s house. This is because he feels less secure out there. You can therefore try to make the place more comfortable for him by offering objects that are familiar to him.
You also need to understand that a castrated and house trained dog may also urinate at times, and under some circumstances. But this doesn’t mean that he will continue doing this habit regularly. He just may do it once or twice, and then return back to normalcy.
4. What Are The Other Means To Stop A Dog From Peeing In Your House?
The following means are helpful in stopping your dog from peeing in your house if he is displaying the habit as submissive peeing, territorial marking, or incontinence.
- Catch Him Before The Act
Dogs usually circle around, sniff the ground or cockle a leg before they pee. As soon as you notice them performing any of these acts, startle them mildly to disrupt them from doing their part. You can do by just clapping your hands or shaking a coke bottle filled with coins (you have to have this prepared well ahead!). This will be sufficient to gain his attention and to stop him from peeing. Immediately, take him out of your house so that he can pee where it is appropriate. After he relieves himself, praise him generously for peeing in the designated area. This will help him learn that peeing outside the house is approved and appreciated.
- Catching Him During The Act
If you are not able to predict when your dog will urinate, the next best thing you can do is to catch him while he is at it. Again, you will immediately have to gain his attention with a cloud clap that would startle him enough to temporarily stop his act. Then, you need to take him out to finish the act. After the process, praise him. Gradually, he will start associating your praises with his outdoor peeing, and loud startling claps for peeing indoors. This will help him learn where it is appropriate to pee.
- Praise Your Dog For Outdoor Peeing Always
Praising is a great dog training tool. Praising him at the correct time is necessary for ushering in a desirable behavior change in him.
- Removing The Odor Of Urine From Your House
Removing the odor of the dog’s urine from your house is one of the most effective ways to discourage your dog from peeing indoors. Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, even if you can’t smell anything, chances are there that he can. Your dog doesn’t want to pee in his den, and so is the same with your house too. But, it is a habit for him to pee in the same area where he had done earlier. He may want to continue the habit. So, clean his urine very well that no trace of its odor is left for your dog to smell. Instead of using an ammonia-based cleaning product, use an enzyme-based one. Enzyme cleaners are better at eradicating the urine odor completely. Furthermore, give your carpets and floors a thorough cleaning with the right product, instead of spot cleaning. Though this method takes some added effort, this will help in resetting your dog’s behavior.
- Habits To Avoid
Here are a few things that you have to avoid doing in an effort to stop your dog from peeing in the house. Do not rub your dog’s nose on his urine to knock some sense into him. Dog owners often say that they use this measure for reinforcing the right peeing behavior in their dogs. But it is an extremely very ineffective one. This is because, your dog mostly will not understand what wrong he has done or why you are doing it. This renders it a negative and needless punishment. What’s worse is, your dog may start fearing you. This can in turn worsen the problem – he may start peeing in the other places of your house.
Further, punishing your dog after he has committed the act is simply useless and an utter waste of time. This is because he will not understand the reason. Therefore, the key to successful housetraining is catching your dog either before or while he is at the act.
5. How To Stop A Dog From Peeing In The House?
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, he may pee while you have gone out of your house. He pees due to his anxious feeling of being left alone. So, the next time you go out, leave a belonging of yours that bears your smell. It can be your foot wear, clothing, or an accessory. This will be enough to settle his anxiety.
If the above method doesn’t work with your dog, you can take him to a veterinary behaviorist who will address the issue. He can deal with your dog’s anxiety to help him obtain a more stable emotional condition which will reduce the number of accidental peeing inside the house.
Your dog can also get anxious due to the outdoor conditions. If your dog suffers from noise phobia, he may get threatened at the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms, traffic, construction, etc. He may not leave the house at all during this time, which may result in his peeing indoors. In such times, try to create a relaxing environment for your dog inside your house. You can also keep him occupied with soothing music and food.
Rounding it all up, a dog peeing indoors is not an uncommon issue. Even house trained dogs at times display this habit. However, this issue can be modified with behavioral training and other methods. The methods discussed in the article are some effective practical ones to help your dog in this matter. All the best!