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Why Does My Dog Pee When Excited? Common Causes & Tips (Vet Answer)

Written by: Dr. Marti Dudley DVM (Veterinarian)

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog near a wet pee spot on the floor closeup

Why Does My Dog Pee When Excited? Common Causes & Tips (Vet Answer)


Dr. Marti Dudley Photo


Dr. Marti Dudley

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Urination in times of excitement is a common occurrence in dogs, especially young puppies. This act can be frustrating for owners, especially when the reason this occurs is not understood. Although urinating when excited is frustrating, a lot of young dogs will outgrow this behavior by early adulthood. Continue reading to learn more about this behavior in dogs and what can be done to help pets overcome it.

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Types of Inappropriate Elimination

Inappropriate elimination is urination that occurs in the incorrect location or during an incorrect time. There are medical reasons and behavioral reasons that inappropriate elimination occurs.

1. Medical Reasons

Inappropriate elimination can be the result of medical reasons like a urinary tract infection, cystitis, bladder stones, and several other things.1 It is important that these reasons for inappropriate elimination are ruled out before assuming that the underlying cause is behavioral in nature.

2. Behavioral issues

Behavioral causes of inappropriate elimination can be due to incomplete house training, fear, or excitement. Fear-driven urination is often referred to as submissive or conflict urination.2 This type of urination may be more difficult to curb and will require gentle, predictable interactions.

pee in between jack russell terrier dog and woman's feet
Image Credit: MCarper, Shutterstock

3. Excitement Urination

Excitement urination occurs when a dog becomes overly happy and is not able to control their bladder. This often occurs when greeting someone new or when owners arrive home. Excitement urination varies from submissive urination in the sense that fear is not the driving force. Additionally, this is more problematic in dogs with a full bladder.3

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The 4 Tips to Help a Dog That Pees When Excited

1. Addressing Excitement Urination

Urination occurring during moments of excitement can be frustrating. It is important for owners to remember that the urination is not occurring out of fear or spite. To combat excitement urination, routines and greetings must be adjusted. The goal is to create a very calm environment in situations that typically result in excessive excitement. Bathroom routines may also need to be reevaluated.

2. Provide Ample Bathroom Breaks

First, excitement urination is less likely to occur when a dog has an empty bladder. It may be necessary to have someone take your dog out for potty breaks when you are not home to help prevent an overfull bladder. When a guest arrives, ensure that your dog is taken out to urinate prior to their arrival. Furthermore, your puppy should be kept sanctioned away from the guest until excitement within the home is reduced.

3. Provide Indirect Interaction

Once your puppy is ready to interact with guests, interactions should be indirect. What exactly does that mean? Instead of interacting directly with the pet through petting, guests should be instructed to offer treats or throw toys—something that allows the dog to be acknowledged without becoming the focus of attention.

woman wiping off dog's pee on the floor
Image Credit: Kinek00, Shutterstock

4. Calm Arrival

A similar approach can be taken by owners when arriving home. A very calm, predictable routine is beneficial to a dog who urinates when excited. When arriving home, owners can:

  • Avoid direct eye contact
  • Speak calmly and quietly
  • Toss treats to redirect the attention of their pet
  • Have a designated “place” for the dog to retreat to during exciting times

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In Conclusion

Urination secondary to excitement can be frustrating. Fortunately, with routine adjustments, significant improvements can be noted. It is important to remember to keep typically very exciting situations like introductions and home arrivals as calm and as quiet as possible to avoid excessive excitement. Fortunately, most young dogs will outgrow this type of inappropriate urination as they mature.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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