Adult Dog Still Urinating in the House?

If your normally well behaved dog is having “accidents” in the house, take note. From having a medical condition to marking his territory, there are many legitimate reasons why your dog might urinate in the house. The key is being able to determine what your dog is trying to communicate to you. Here is a list of common reasons why dogs urinate in the house:

1. Changes in the family A child leaving for college, a birth or death, or a divorce can cause distress in many dogs.

2. Home renovations Remodeling the house, especially with workmen coming and going, can lead to house-training problems. Even a new carpet with different smells can cause some dogs to leave their scent by urinating on it.

3. Deviations in the daily household routine Dogs feel secure when the family sticks to the daily schedule. If the dog is used to relieving himself at specific times during the day and his schedule is changed, he might have a hard time coping with it. When possible, make changes slowly so the dog can adjust.

4. Feeling stressed or overly excited Some dogs will leak small amounts of urine when overly excited, fearful, or stressed — it’s called submissive urination. Although more common in puppies, some adult dogs will also do this. It’s most often seen when a person is greeting the puppy or dog.

5. Hormone induced incontinence Spayed, middle-aged or senior female dogs might become incontinent due to a lack of estrogen. Estrogen helps maintain muscle tone of the urethral sphincter.

6. Age-related diseases Kidney disease, cognitive dysfunction syndrome and other conditions affecting senior and geriatric dogs can cause them to urinate more frequently or become incontinent.

7. Other health problems Infections, tumors, spinal cord injuries, kidney disease and problems with the bladder can cause incontinence in dogs of any age and can lead to house-training accidents. Diseases that cause increased drinking may result in increased urination and accidents.

8. Side effects of medications Some drugs can cause the dog to relieve himself more often and trigger house-training accidents. Talk to your veterinarian about any possible side effects related to the medicine.

9. Something new in the environment Some dogs urine mark when they encounter nonresident dogs in their environments or smell urine left in their environments by other dogs. A dog’s environment may encompass his home, his yard, the route he usually takes when on walks, friends’ homes he regularly visits, and parks or other locations he frequents.

10. Social triggers Exciting social situations can trigger urine marking. Some male dogs only urine mark when in the presence of female dogs (especially if they’re in heat), and some urine mark only when interacting with other male dogs. Some dogs only urine mark when visiting homes where other dogs have urine marked before. Other dogs only urine mark when they become highly aroused and overstimulated in social situations. These dogs often mark nearby objects, people or other dogs.

11.  Anxiety Some dogs urine mark when they experience anxiety. Anxious dogs might deposit greater amounts of urine than dogs marking for other reasons. They might also urine mark on spots that aren’t vertical surfaces. A number of events can cause anxiety and trigger urine marking, including the presence of new objects, furniture or luggage in a dog’s environment, the departure of a resident from a dog’s home, a new person moving into the home, and conflict between a dog and people or other animals in the home.

Once you’ve gathered specific details, it’s time to consult your veterinarian and have your dog given a thorough physical exam. If medical reasons have been ruled out, work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to identify the cause so that you can help correct the behavior.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t punish your dog out of frustration. Don’t yell, spank or rub your dog’s nose in the mess. This will not help the situation and may cause the dog to urinate behind the sofa or other hidden places.

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