Dog playing with leg
There’s no way to stop a dog from peeing when excited, but there are ways to manage the issue. © marcoventuriniautieri / Getty Images

Why Does My Dog Pee When Excited?

While most dogs grow out of the involuntary response to pee when excited, there are steps you can take to make the transition quicker – and cleaner.
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It’s common for puppies and young adult dogs to pee when excited. Instead of squatting or lifting a leg, they may urinate while standing, walking, jumping or running. They may also involuntarily pee during active playtime, petting sessions and high-energy greetings. Excitement urination is not something your dog can control, says Holly Lewis, founder of Cold Nose Canine. You should not scold your dog because he may become fearful of peeing in front of you.

Why do dogs pee when excited?

Puppies also urinate when they are keyed up because their bladder muscles are still growing. While most young adult dogs grow out of excitement urination, Holly says not all dogs do. A 2020 study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science also found that neutered or spayed adult dogs were more excitable than intact adult dogs.

How to stop dogs from peeing when excited

You cannot teach your puppy not to pee when excited because it isn’t something he can control. Time is the best solution because most puppies outgrow excitement peeing as they reach physical maturity around 12 to 24 months old.

But Holly says that you should teach family members and guests how to interact with your dog until he gets his ya-ya’s out. She suggests using a low, calm voice. Take slow, steady breaths, and do not fidget or make small, repetitive movements. Completely ignore your dog until he settles down.

Tips for managing your dog peeing when he’s excited:

  • If you greet and play with your pup outside, there is no clean-up!
  • Put a puppy pee pad or newspaper down where your dog greets people to make cleaning up easier.
  • Take him on frequent bathroom breaks and walks to empty his bladder.
  • If your dog pees on the floor, ignore him and quietly clean it up. Seems too harsh? Praise will confuse your pooch, and punishment can cause submissive urination.

Submissive urination vs excitement urination in dogs

Excitement urination in dogs is often confused with submissive urination. Submissive urination happens when your pup is shy, anxious or scared. It is the canine equivalent of, “You are in charge, so I do not want any trouble!” Holly says your nervous or shy dog loses bladder control because he feels emotionally overwhelmed. Submissive urination helps him get ready to flee. When he empties his bladder, he is making himself lighter.

When to get your dog professional help

If your dog flattens his ears, licks his lips or hunches his back, submissive peeing might be a behavioral issue. It needs to be addressed by a positive reinforcement-based dog trainer. Health problems like diabetes and urinary tract infections can also cause inappropriate peeing. Many products on the market can soothe your canine’s stress, from dog anxiety wraps to CBD dog treats. Talk to your vet about which dog calming aids are best for your pup. Just remember he is not peeing when he is excited or scared to make you mad.

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