Have you ever screamed, “Who peed on the carpet?!” knowing full well it wasn’t your teenager or mother-in-law who just happened to be out for a visit. It’s safe to say that any human in your house is not a suspect. You didn’t really have to ask the question and certainly didn’t have to scream it out loud. It was the dog. Your adorable, sweet and loving pup is the one peeing in the house. If you live with a dog, you can expect pee to happen. But don’t worry. I’m here to help you understand the whys and what to do about a dog peeing in the house.
There are four main reasons why a dog may be tinkling in places he shouldn’t:
1. Your pup isn’t housetrained yet.
I’m often asked how I housetrained my darling 12-year-old pup, Riggins. I can tell you that it included a celebratory chant and march.
When Riggins successfully “did his business” in the sod box on the balcony of our third-story apartment, I would march around the dining room table clapping and chanting a few rounds of, “Treat for the good boy!” My proud pup would march right behind me, head held high, as we made our way to his edible reward.
The positive reinforcement was obviously very important. I’m not sure the rest of the ritual was necessary, but it made it more fun.
2. Your dog is dealing with anxiety.
If your dog soils inside while you’re gone, he may be suffering from separation anxiety.
Tips: Turn to a professional trainer or behaviorist for the most effective way to solve this problem.
Also, take your dog to doggie daycare to keep him distracted and mentally engaged in healthy activity. As an extra bonus, your sweet baby will probably be pooped when you pick him up.
3. Your dog is marking.
More likely than not, you’ll have to deal with marking at some point in your dog-owning life. As a dogsitter, I can’t tell you how many times a dog and his owner would come in for a meet and greet, and the pup would make a beeline to a piece of furniture and pee on it. “He never does that!” the pup’s parents will exclaim.
It turns out they aren’t liars. It very well may be the first (or one of the few times) their pup has marked inside. Imagine if you were that pup. You walk into a strange place, with all new things, everything smells like dog — EVERYTHING. What’s a pup to do? Claim a piece of the pie, that’s what!
4. Your dog is sick or a senior.
If you suddenly notice your dog peeing in the house, check in with your vet. There are several health-related issues that could be causing the new behavior.
Like us humans, senior dogs can have an issue holding their bladder. I have a senior Chihuahua friend who likes to spend time lying on my chair behind me while I work. Every time I pick him up to set him on my office furniture he pees a little. I deal with it because I love him!
Get to the pee when it’s wet.
Waited too late and now it’s dry?
Cleaning pee on your dog
Stop laughing. It happens. I’ve seen my tall dog pee on his little friend’s head — accidentally, of course. More than once, an epic pee has made a puddle so big it hits my pup’s feet. Then there’s just plain sloppiness when different body parts get in the way.
Thumbnail: Photography ©John Mcallister | Thinkstock.
Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned dogsitter, which keeps her busy being a dog chauffeur, picking up poop and sacrificing her bed. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area. Learn more about them on Facebook at The Active Pack and on Instagram at @wnewell.
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Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!