Why has my adult house trained dog suddenly started peeing in the house?
And what can I do about it?
When a previously house trained and well behaved dog suddenly starts peeing in the house, you have to suspect something is terribly wrong.
Your dog is not doing this without some cause or reason.
It's up to you to discover what the underlying problem is.
Usually the problem of the sudden onset of peeing in the house falls into two categories:
- Medical causes
- Behavioral reasons brought on by outside influences
Some owners are under the misconception that their dog is peeing in the house to punish or show their owners that they are displeased with them for some reason or another. This is complete nonsense, because dogs do not retaliate or do things out of spite.
Read through the possible causes below and you may be able to gain some insight into your dog's problem, and how you can help him or her get back on track of taking themselves outside for a pee.
First off it is essential to have your family vet check your pet.
Medical reasons are often common causes for adult dogs to suddenly begin urinating in the house, and if they are not treated in the early stages some conditions can become very serious. Common medical causes include:
- Ageing and incontinence
- Arthritis – painful joints can make dogs reluctant to make the effort to go outside
- Bladder stones
- Bladder or urethral tumors
- Urinary tract infection
- Cushing’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Prostatic disease in intact male dogs
- Pyometra infection in intact female dogs
- Side effects of medications
- Vaginitis in intact female puppies
The sudden onset of pets peeing in the home, can be traced to changes in their environment and surroundings, these can include:
- Adding a new pet to the household
- Any Scary Event - you need to think about this one, e.g. if a pet hasn't heard thunder before they can be terrified
- Anxiety, particularly separation anxiety, but dogs can get anxious about lots of things, just like humans
- Changes in the owner's household routines
- Changes in the neighborhood like a new dog moving in
- Construction work going on in the home
- Death in the family or someone going away
- Moving to a new home
- Territorial issue
- The addition of a new baby to the household
Understanding your dog
So much can be gained by understanding your dog, and why its inappropriate behavior is happening. After perusing the list of causes above do your level best to address the issue.
One thing you must never, ever do, is punish your dog by:
- Rub his or her nose in its urine
- Shouting at him or her
- Hitting your pet
Clean up properly
Cleaning up existing dog urine is very important.
For whatever reason your dog has peed on the carpet the outcome is the same. A smelly carpet that your dog will repeatedly return to if you don't clean up after him or her properly. Remember, your dog's sense of smell is a hundred times better than yours.
The easiest way to avoid your pet re-offending is to make your own remedy at home by using Carole's Doggie World's "No dog odor spray-on mixtures" - the recipes that everyone is talking about! They are very easy to make and the best bit is, that you will more than likely have most of the ingredients you need in your pantry and bathroom cupboards.
Retrain your dog
Very often your adult dog just needs a short "refresher course" in house training. With a little reminder, most dogs get right back to their good habits quite quickly.
You can also help prevent accidents by keeping your dog away from the area they have been urinating on. A baby gate or closed door can easily restrict your dog's access.
Retraining your dog requires the same steps and patience that you used when he or she was a puppy. And remember, routine and consistency are the key.
An adult dog should be able to hold its urine for 4-8 hours depending on their activity level and how much water they have drunk. Set a schedule and stick to it every day, and success will be yours.
Retraining your dog depends on your commitment to the first couple of weeks. If you follow this schedule you will be successful. No dog is "dirty or stupid", it is you who must take responsibility for your dog's house training behaviour.
Immediately after your dog has eaten or had a sleep take him or her to the spot that you would like them to claim as their special place to answer Mother Nature's call.
Choose a quiet place in your yard or garden where they are not going to be distracted, and give them the command to pee - use whatever words they are familiar with from when you trained them as a puppy.
Dogs do not always think the spot you have chosen for them to pee or poop is the best choice. Often they have their own preferences. A male dog might prefer a tree or post. A female may prefer a grassy area. Sniffing helps stimulate elimination. Allow your dog to have some choice.
Always keep their favourite treat on hand for when they oblige and make sure you praise them for a job well done.
Depending on the age of the dog you are training, take them back to the chosen "spot" on a regular basis and then give them your command. For younger dogs the rule of thumb is every two to three hours, and for mature dogs every four or five hours.
If your dog does not pee or poop outside after three or four minutes take him back inside. Then try again in 20 or 30 minutes.
Try to make your command sound like it is a game, e.g. "do a pee Molly", or "clever girl Molly", make your words sound fun and exciting. Remember dogs learn habits through repetition and reward, so always follow up with their favourite treats and give lots of praise each time they pee or do a poop.
Last thing at night and first thing in the morning head for the spot, give them the command, and then again follow through with treats and praise.
If you suspect your dog has an anxiety problem and has taken to marking his territory inside, you could try getting him a bandana and dabbing it in his own urine. This means he will smell his own scent where ever he goes and hopefully put an end to peeing indoors.
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com