How do I stop my female dog from peeing in the house? Here’s What to Expect

If you own a dog, then you know the frustration of walking into a room and finding a puddle of urine or giant spot on the carpet. And while this is a natural and common occurrence with dogs, its still not pleasant to deal with. Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and a pet lifestyle expert with Rover, offers the following tips on how to stop a dog from peeing in the house, so you can spend more time playing and less time cleaning.

Behavioral Causes of Inappropriate Urination

There are two most common time periods in their lives that dogs exhibit inappropriate urinary behavior. The first is when they’re puppies new to a home and figuring it out. The second is during an adolescent-type stage when they start to rebel just a bit against previous training, usually around several months of age.

There are a couple of small exceptions. One example might be a non-neutered or intact male dog exhibiting urinary marking behavior in the home. This might be because the scent of past pets, even from previous homeowners, can still be picked up and he’s trying to cover it with his own.

Another one might be an adult dog recently rescued from a poor situation. A dog who was tied up or kept caged and not socialized well isn’t going to have the best bathroom habits.

This is another reason it’s important to chat with your vet. After ruling out a medical cause, figuring out the root of a behavior requires understanding past history, and analyzing what scenarios a behavior happens in, so that one or more triggers can be discerned.

If we’ve managed to do this, and we can narrow down a dog’s inappropriate urinary behavior to a new unfamiliar environment, poor previous housebreaking, or even just a “rebellious” stage, here’s some tips.

Urinary Tract Issues

If your dog suddenly starts peeing in the house (or other unacceptable places), it could be caused by a urinary tract infection. This is one of the most common reasons for inappropriate urination and one of the most frequently seen health problems in dogs.

Before you get upset with your dog, go see your vet for an exam and consultation. Your vet will most likely want a urine sample from your dog in order to perform a urinalysis and possibly a urine culture. This test is done to look for bacteria and abnormal cells in the urine. If your vet diagnoses a urinary tract infection, the next step is a course of antibiotics.

Other possible urinary issues your vet might find include cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), crystals in the urine, bladder stones, structural abnormalities, and even tumors. Most urinary issues can be treated with medications, supplements, and/or diet changes. In more extreme cases, issues like bladder stones may require surgery.

If your vet doesnt find a urinary tract problem, the next step is to look for other potential health issues.

Urinary incontinence is often associated with senior dogs, but its possible for a dog to develop incontinence as a young adult. If your dog is leaking or dribbling sporadically or leaving urine puddles in the bed or on the floor during naps, incontinence may be the culprit. If your dog is incontinent, its important to know is that your dog doesnt realize its happening and has no control over it. Fortunately, incontinence can sometimes be treated with medication.

On the other hand, if your dog consciously pees large quantities in inappropriate areas, its probably not incontinence. Talk to your vet to learn more.

Certain health problems may lead to urinary issues, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and Cushings disease. Your dog could be experiencing an injury, joint issues, or arthritis, making it painful for them to get up to go outside for potty breaks. Your vet may recommend additional diagnostic testing to rule out one or more diseases depending on your dogs other symptoms (if any). Treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Puppies may still have accidents when theyre being house trained, but old age can bring on other causes of urinary accidents. Forms of dementia or senility can occur in aging dogs, leading to house soiling. These dogs may forget their house training or simply forget where they are.

Other health issues, such as kidney failure, tend to crop up in old age as well. This is another reason to get your veterinarian involved early and often. In some cases, dementia can be somewhat managed with medications and supplements. Many people living with senior dogs that have urinary issues also choose to use doggie diapers or line the dogs bedding and other frequented areas with absorbent pads.

Once your vet has ruled out all health issues, it is likely that you and your dog are facing a behavioral problem.

  • Some dogs, especially males, display marking behaviors. Marking is often driven by sex hormones, but it can become a habit and continue even after being altered.
  • Your dog might be exhibiting submissive or excitement urination. This may happen if your dog is intimidated by someone or something. Its common for some dogs to pee when someone is standing over them and looking down, especially if the dog is young or fearful. Dogs may also pee when anxious and stressed out.
  • Examine the situation in your home to determine if something in the environment could trigger this type of behavior in your dog. Have you recently added a new pet to the household? Has there been a human addition to the family, like a new baby? Has someone in the household recently left or passed away? Dogs are often very sensitive to these types of environmental changes.
  • Your dog may also be anxious about a situation outdoors that could lead to inappropriate urination. Perhaps your dog saw another dog, heard a loud construction project nearby, or saw something else upsetting.
  • How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing Indoors

    Your best friend is well past the potty-training stage—maybe several months or even years past—and suddenly starts peeing inside the house.

    There can be many different scenarios when it comes to peeing accidents. You may have a young adult dog that’s acting like her usual, playful self with no obvious concerns, but she starts leaving puddles of pee in different areas of the house. Or you may have a senior dog suddenly peeing inside the house, but he’s straining to urinate, and his pee is also bloody.

    Let’s explore several behavioral and medical reasons as to why a potty-trained dog would urinate in the house, some common symptoms associated with each issue, and how to address these issues.