As all dog parents know, accidents can happen, and you can end up with smelly dog pee on the carpet or floor at some point.
The question is why the dog is peeing at home, how to fix it, ways to prevent it, and how to deal with the lingering smell of dog pee from your home.
Here are the answers to your questions regarding dog pee, which will hopefully help you understand and if possible curb the unwanted behavior.
What can cause the dog to pee in the house?
It may be unpleasant, but urinating at home is quite a common problem in households with dogs.
Usually, the issue with relieving itself at home is addressed during puppyhood, so if your dog is still a young puppy, it may not have reached adulthood or completed its training yet.
House training requires time, consistency and patience, so do not lose hope that you will have a dog pee-free house in the near future!
In case your pup has been properly house trained and has started urinating indoors, this could be a sign of underlying health or behavioral issue.
In case you have an elderly pup, you may be dealing with a problem related to old age too.
Here are some of the most common reasons for dogs peeing at home:
Problems with the urinary tract
If your otherwise well-behaved and well-trained dog suddenly starts urinating indoors or at other inappropriate places, this could be a sign of a urinary infection.
Before you get upset and punish the dog, make sure you take it to the vet to overrule a health issue causing this behavior.
It is a good idea to take a urine sample with you when you go for the checkup. The vet will examine the dog, and then perform a urinalysis to determine whether there are bacteria or other abnormal cells present in the urine.
In case your dog is diagnosed with an infection of the urinary tract, it will be prescribed a course of antibiotics to kill off the harmful bacteria.
Another common health problem associated with accidental urination is cystitis. This can be caused by bladder inflammation, crystals in the urine, or by bladder stones.
In most cases, cystitis can be treated with a dietary change, medications, and some supplements.
In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the bladder stones.
Related article: Best Indoor Dog Potty
Problems with urinary incontinence
Incontinence usually occurs in older pups, but it can happen to young dogs as well.
If your dog is dribbling or leaking urine sporadically while it is sleeping or resting, it may suffer from incontinence.
Keep in mind, that this is something that the dog cannot control, so do not attempt to punish it for it.
In many cases, urinary incontinence can be treated with the appropriate medication.
Other health problems which cause urinary issues
There are some health problems that can lead to the dog peeing more, peeing at home, or other abnormal urination patterns and issues.
Some common problems include kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, and diabetes insipidus.
Go to the vet for a thorough examination and for the tests needed to diagnose and hopefully treat the underlying health problem your pup has.
It is not uncommon for elderly dogs to develop senility and dementia which causes them to forget about house training, and to even forget that they are at home.
With old age, more health issues can appear which can cause urination at home. One common one is kidney failure.
Speak to your vet about the possible treatments or ways to manage the problem with your old dog peeing at home.
Some variants include using doggie diapers, absorbent pads on the floor, and lining the pup’s bedding with pads.
Do not be angry at your old dog for relieving itself indoors – this is what aging can do to any dog or human.
If your vet has overruled any underlying health issues causing the urination at inappropriate places, you can be pretty sure that you are dealing with some sort of behavioral issue.
Here are some of the most common behavioral problems which cause dogs to pee at home:
Marking is a typical trait for male dogs (and cats). The males mark their territory instinctively.
This behavior can cause the other pets at home to start marking as well.
Usually, house-trained adult dogs will not mark their territory indoors, so this type of behavior can be associated with stress or anxiety due to a change in the environment, the passing of a family member, a new baby or pet at home, and others.
Try to identify what is causing the stress or anxiety of the dog in order to be able to manage it, and stop it from triggering this unwanted and messy behavior.
Submission or fear
This type of urination can occur among dogs of all ages, but it is most common among young puppies.
You may notice that your puppy or dog is reached at or scolded, it shows submissive behavior and immediately urinates.
Other factors may be causing the anxiety in your dog and making it pee in inappropriate places.
If your dog is anxious or terrified of thunderstorms, fireworks, construction noises, traveling, strangers, or suffers from separation anxiety, then it is very likely that it will pee when being put under stress.
Anxiety in dogs can be treated with anxiety medication for dogs combined with behavioral modification procedures and therapy.
Improper or incomplete house training
If you haven’t formally completed the house training of your dog, then it is only natural that it will not understand that peeing indoors is not acceptable.
Make sure you take the time to train your dog to relieve itself outdoors. Use positive reinforcement for the best results.
You will need to be patient and consistent, and refrain from punishing the pup.
How to clean up the dog pee?
Clean the pee up properly. After each accident, make sure that you clean up the spot thoroughly. Use an enzymatic cleaner that eliminates the urine smell. This will prevent the pup from recognizing the smell and peeing at the same spot once again.
If the dog has peed on the carpet or upholstery, make sure you soak up as much of the urine as possible by pressing paper towels or a clean cloth on top. Then proceed to rinse off the stain with water and an enzyme cleaner.
In case you don’t have an appropriate cleaning product, you can sprinkle baking soda generously on top of the stain after you have soaked it up. Baking soda can do wonders for absorbing nasty odors. Let it sit on the stain overnight and in the morning vacuum it off.
Another natural remedy for removing the smell of dog urine from the carpet is to mix apple vinegar with baking soda and spray it on top of the stain. Then start soaking up the liquid until all of it has been transferred from the carpeting to the paper towels you are using.
If the stain is already dry, use water or a wet vac to soak it, and then use towels to remove the liquid. Do not attempt to steam clean it because this will make the smell worse.
How to stop your pup from peeing indoors?
First and foremost, you should find the underlying reason for the accidents at home.
If it is a health issue, you can easily resolve it with the proper treatment. Just speak to the vet, and go for a checkup.
In case the dog is still young, it may still not have completed its house training, so go on with the training until the pup gets the picture and starts relieving itself outside of the house.
In case your dog has not been properly house-trained the first time, there are ways to re-train it to modify and curb this type of unwanted behavior. You can ask a professional trainer to help re-train your pup.
Identify the trigger which is causing the peeing, when it is clearly a behavioral issue. Try to figure out what stimulus is causing your pup to pee inside. If possible eliminate the trigger, or if not teach your dog to live with it. In some cases, anxiety medication or supplements paired with a behavioral modification plan can do wonders for even the most stressed and anxious pups.
Look for professional help. In case you have tried just about anything, you may want to consult with a dog behaviorist or trainer to help you resolve the issue.
Do not yell or hit your dog! This is most likely to backfire and can make the pup believe that people are unsafe and unpredictable to be around. Plus, punishing the dog for peeing indoors may frighten it enough to cause it to be afraid to urinate in front of you at all!
Do not give your dog away for urinating indoors! There is always a way to work this problem out. Be patient with the pup and try to find the reason for the accidents instead of punishing it or giving it up!