“My 12 year old dog has been urinating in the house for the last 2 years. She does this every time that we are not paying attention even though she know that she is not supposed to. We have tried lots of medication to stop the urinating and all sorts of tests but we have as yet not found the cause. We are getting desperate. How can we stop this? It is damaging the wooden floor. We have just bought a new floor as the old one was so damaged by her urine. ”
Peeing in the house
Urinating is an essential bodily function, a primeval instinct that cannot be ignored. Once the usable elements of the food have been taken into the body, you want to get rid of the waste. Out with it! Weeing in the house, yak!
Puppies have to learn how to control their bladder. They normally do not want to dirty their den area. A lot of puppies are toilet trained on newspaper when they leave the breeder. They walk from their sleeping area to the newspaper, which is nearby, and relieve themselves there.
As soon as they arrive at their new home, they need to learn that the whole house and sometimes also the garden belongs to the sleeping/living area and that they need to eliminate outside the garden fence. Peeing in the house is not included. This is difficult, especially as you are not yet in control of your bladder. You help your new puppy learn by frequently taking him out, for instance as soon as he wakes, when he is about to eat or has just eaten. The more often you go, and to the same place near home if possible, the sooner the puppy will be housetrained.
Urinating in their kennel
Unfortunately there are some dogs that have to remain in their kennels for long periods of time. These dogs have no choice but to foul their den areas. It is very difficult to teach these dogs to eliminate outside. They are so used to peeing in the house. Sometimes they are even used to sleeping next to their own mess. They don’t see any reason to do things differently.
A puppy (or older dog) can sometimes void urine during greeting. Owners think this is strange from a dog that likes you. This behaviour is usually a sign of submissiveness. Don’t get angry and the next time you arrive home do so calmly, call the dog to you and stroke him as you kneel down to his level.
A dog can also urinate if he finds something different or scary. This is also be the case when meeting another enthusiastic dog or the new pile of rubbish sacks at the side of the road. An uncertain dog can be scared of everything that is not normal. “I know that that pile of rubbish sacks shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t belong there!”
Puppy and also older dogs that are rehomed need a long time to get used to their new surroundings with all the new sounds and scents. It is normal that dogs show separation anxiety. One of the signs that a dog doesn’t like being left along is that you find a puddle when you return. Put up a camera when you leave to record what your dog does while you are away. By looing at the recording we can find out what is happening and look for a solution to the problem.
When pups are excited they can forget to control their bladder. Are you playing nicely and you suddenly spot a small puddle. Next time stop play a little earlier and go to the place when the pup can relieve himself. Don’t get angry because the pup has no idea that he has done something wrong.
Males (and some bitches) sometimes lift their leg against a curtain or the edge of a cupboard. This is especially annoying if you are visiting someone. Often when there is a bitch in heat in the area or sometimes out of stress. Keep your dog on his lead as a first step in prevention. If you have an uncertain dog then give him something small to do which he easily can accomplish and gives him success such as seek and find games around the house. This will give him self confidence which in turn will reduce the tendency to marking.
As your dog gets older the muscles including those round the bladder get weaker. They can suddenly start weeing. If you find a large puddle of urine this is a sign of emptying the bladder.
Dementia can also have an influence. Inability to control urination can be a medical problem such as diabetes, neutering/spaying or a bladder infection.
Go to the vet for an older dog health check and you can find out if your dog is functioning normally. A good food especially for older dog or a food supplement can give him what he needs as he gets older.
Is there a puddle in your home? Give the dog a toy or distract him so that you can clean up without him putting his nose in. You don’t want to teach him that urinating in the house gives him attention. A dogs nose is so good that he can still smell his urine after you have cleaned it up. A splash of vinegar in the water helps. If he always urinates in the same place put something (temporarily) over that place.
What to do?
If your dog frequently urinates in the house or suddenly starts weeing at 10 years old and you don’t know why. Please fill in the Registration form and we’ll make an appointment for Behavioral Counseling for Dogs. I’ll be happy to help you and your dog.