Every pet owner can relate to that moment of noticing an unexpected wet spot on the floor. While it’s definitely a common occurrence, it’s never fun. What’s worse, it can signify a serious health problem. How do you know what’s motivating a dog to suddenly pee in the house? The answer may surprise you.
A Larger Picture
When a perfectly housetrained dog suddenly starts urinating inside the house, it’s easy to allow confusion and frustration to rule. However, before you launch into questions regarding possible behavioural issues, specific health conditions should be considered and ruled out first, such as:
- Kidney disease, failure or stones
- Bladder infection, crystals or stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Problems with adrenal gland function like Addison’s or Cushing’s disease
- Deteriorating brain function
All of the above can cause a dog to abruptly lose control of the bladder. Some problems, like kidney disease and diabetes, increase thirst and the need to urinate frequently.
If Not, Then…?
If we’ve helped you establish that your dog suddenly peeing in the house has nothing to do with a medical concern, their symptoms could be related to:
- Territorial urine marking (often this behavior is totally curbed after they are spayed or neutered), but can be triggered by a new pet in the home, a relocation, new baby or roommate, new furniture or even when items are moved around in the house.
- Behavioral shifts, such as over excitement or separation anxiety can cause a dog to start peeing inside the home.
- Incomplete or inadequate training can be responsible for sudden lapses.
While it can be incredibly aggravating to come home to urine spots, your dog must be supported through the experience. Punishment or scolding can actually reinforce the behavior and create fear, anxiety, and distrust.
There are many tactics to employ in order to help a dog suddenly peeing in the house. We recommend:
- Clean the marked area(s) with special odor-removing products. The smell can deter your dog from peeing there again.
- If they are determined to mark the same place repeatedly, make the spot inaccessible with gates, double sided tape, or the pokey-side of a plastic desk chair mat.
- Alternatively, place their food in the spots they like to mark so they begin to make the connection of a meal place, not a bathroom.
- If it’s territory-related, lead them to a specific spot outside to pee after they’ve picked up the scent of another dog (from bedding or clothing).
Dog Suddenly Peeing
It may not be overnight that your dog learns to pee outside – and only outside – but if you remain calm, patient, and encouraging, their chances of understanding your expectations are much improved.