It can be challenging to figure out how to stop a dog from urinating indoors. Noticing the smell of urine in your home is frustrating, and you want to do whatever you can to keep it from happening again.
Why is your dog peeing inside the house? Is it anxiety? Is it a medical issue? There are many reasons why your pet is using your home as a toilet. The good news is, there are also many ways to stop the behavior.
Why Is You Dog Urinating Inside? There Could Be Several Reasons
Why does your dog urinate in your home? Answering this question is the first step toward solving the problem. A dog’s behavior can sometimes be the cause, but there can also be a medical reason behind this.
Here are just a few of the possibilities.
Potty Training Problems
Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, if your pet wasn’t properly potty trained, that could be the reason why they tend to urinate inside on a regular basis. Some breeds are harder to train than others. Speak with a dog trainer to see if that might be the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible.
If your pet is urinating on mainly upright objects, such as furniture or doors, that might be a way of marking territory. Males that haven’t been neutered may exhibit this behavior. It can, however, sometimes occur among neutered males and spayed females.
There are a lot of reasons why a dog marks territory with urine. It could be due to hormones. Has another dog recently been in your home? Did you purchase new furniture? In some cases, marking can be due to anxiety or stress.1
Your pet may pee when someone approaches them. It could be something as simple as the person bending over to pet the dog. Or, it could be someone punishing the dog. If your pet urinates and keeps their ears back at the same time, that’s an example of submissive behavior.
Other signs of submission include cowering and avoiding eye contact. This type of urination can happen no matter the dog’s age or gender. However, submissive urination usually occurs among young females and puppies.2
Even a trained dog can get so excited that they pee in the house. Some dogs have separation anxiety, and get so happy to see their humans that they lose bladder control.3
Some medical problems can lead to dog urine in the home. Your pet may have some sort of issue affecting their urinary tract. Common urinary tract disorders include bladder stones, infections, and kidney issues. If a dog has a bladder infection, for example, they may try to go outside before urinating but simply can’t make it in time.
Spayed dogs will sometimes have a loss of bladder control due to incontinence. But unlike a dog with a urinary tract infection, a spayed female won’t simply squat and go on the floor. She will typically urinate while sleeping instead.
Arthritis could make it hard for a pet to be able to get to the doggy door and go outside.
Sometimes, the issue is a cognitive problem. Like humans, pets can, over time, forget things they’ve learned. An older dog simply may not remember that they’re supposed to go outside to pee.4
If you have any reason to believe that your dog may be urinating inside due to a medical problem, see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
You’re Leaving Them Too Long
Ideally, adult dogs should be allowed outside for potty breaks 3-5 times a day. If you are leaving your pet alone for hours on end, they might not be able to control their bladders for the full time, forcing them to pee inside. This should never be the case. If you are not able to let your pet out enough times throughout the day, consider hiring someone to check on them, taking them to doggy daycare, or installing a doggy door.
How To Stop A Dog From Urinating Indoors: Positive Reinforcement, Crate Training, And More
As maddening as it can be to deal with the scent of urine in your home, you should never yell at or physically discipline your pet. Never rub their nose in the urine either. These kinds of behaviors don’t accomplish a thing, other than making your dog scared of you.
One way to try and stop indoor urination is to spay or neuter your pet. Neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs no longer have the hormones that can sometimes drive them to urinate indoors. Neutering and spaying also helps reduce the number of unwanted dogs who often wind up in shelters.
But spayed or neutered dogs will still sometimes urinate inside if they’ve recently been fixed. During this time, they should be looked at just like they were not housebroken.5
You may need to use a crate for a while to at least keep urine contained. There’s a chance you may need to once again teach your dog potty training.
As you can see, there are a few methods of changing a dog’s behavior so that they don’t pee in your home anymore. If you have to be away from home during the day, consider trying doggy daycare until the problem clears up. Be patient with your pet and consistent with your training.
Other Things To Try
There are several other methods to keep a dog from emptying their bladder on your floors. You can take your pet outside more often during the day – every time they eat or drink. Always use positive reinforcement – reward your pet with a treat after the dog pees outside.6
If you don’t want to try a crate, you can close off access to the area of the home where your pet is going. Close doors or use baby gates. If need be, you might consider keeping your dog on a leash when inside, until they are properly potty trained. Reducing stress could also go a long way toward stopping indoor urination.
Playing calming music might even help.
When an accident does occur, clean up the dog pee as soon as possible. Don’t use cleaning products that contain ammonia, however. Since urine has ammonia, your pet might think they should urinate in the spot that you just cleaned.7
Cleaning Dog Messes: Tips For Removing Urine Smell From Your Home’s Carpet And Furniture
Speaking of cleaning, there are a lot of products made specifically to eliminate urine spots and get rid of the odor associated with them. There are also products that may help lessen or remove the smell from areas of dried urine.
Some pet owners find that baking soda does a great job of soaking up urine and getting rid of that terrible scent. If you find a damp spot, spread about a quarter-cup of baking soda and let it sit for several hours. Once everything has dried, run a vacuum over the area.
White vinegar works great as an odor eliminator. It’s also great at removing urine stains from carpet. Mix one cup of vinegar and two teaspoons of baking soda with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly, and then spray. After a few minutes, blot the area with a towel. This should get rid of the stain and the unpleasant scent.8
Don’t Give Up
It’s obviously troubling if you have a dog peeing inside. It happens to small dogs and large dogs, in puppies and adult dogs.
But if it happens in your home, don’t get so flustered. There are a lot of reasons why your pup may go potty inside your home. Getting to the specific reason will be critically important to solving the issue.
Talk to your vet if you see any signs of a medical problem. Your vet can perform a thorough exam to see if there’s anything that needs to be addressed. If it’s not a medical issue, your vet may be able to recommend a dog trainer to help with another round of potty training.
Even a trained dog might pee inside every once in a while. Try to stay calm and patient, and make sure you still give your pet plenty of love.
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