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Help! My Dog Keeps Peeing in the House

Jack Russell Terrier being fussed at for peeing on tile floor

Dogs are not immune to accidents. In fact, they could even be expected. Especially if the dog is new to the home. However, continual urination is another story. If your dog seems to be having accidents on a fairly regular basis, it could very well be cause for concern. As with most problems, finding the cause, or reason, behind it will eventually lead to a proper solution. If your dog keeps peeing in the house, the following guide might help you figure out why.

It is advisable to get in touch with your veterinarian in case your dog keeps peeing in the house.

Accident VS Bigger Problem

The first thing that needs to be determined is whether this is an isolated incident, or something deeper. Dogs have accidents, particularly if they are young or still in the process of potty training. Other factors that should be considered are based on human error. Is the dog being given too much water? Does he have access to water sources that you might not be considering (toilet, other pets’ water dishes, etc.)? Is he getting sufficient bathroom breaks throughout the day? If he/she sterilized? There is a wide range of possible reasons for your pups for continuously peeing in the house, and narrowing down those possibilities is admittedly the tricky part. Once you have pinpointed a cause, it’s as simple as finding the correlating solution.

Possible Causes for the Continual Peeing in the House

Dog squatting and peeing on a blue carpet
  • Breed Specific Urination: If this is a new dog, the dogs’ breed could be the reason for the incessant urination. Certain dog breeds are more prone to peeing in the house than others. For example, Dachshunds and Cocker Spaniels tend to suffer from excitable urination, meaning that they will pee when they get excited and/or overstimulated.
  • Underlying Medical Issues: Quite a few medical conditions can cause loss of bladder control or increased urination. Diabetes, Addison’s Disease, Hyperthyroidism, and other endocrine diseases could be the cause of the polyuria (excessive urination), as well as other conditions like kidney disease or renal failure. There are also more than a few medications that can result in increased urination, such as some diuretics as well as anticonvulsants.
  • Unsterilized Pets: Not only is overpopulation an issue when it comes to unsterilized pets but dogs that are not ‘fixed’ are also more likely to urinate in the house. Whether it is due to territorial marking or a direct result of not being spayed (Pyometra), if your pet is still intact, that could be the reason for the constant peeing in the home.
  • Behavioural Problems: Although not quite as common, different behavioural problems can also result in your dog peeing in the house. Separation anxiety, arguably the most common one, is when your dog suffers from anxiety when left alone, or when separated from you. Dogs that suffer from this condition are well known to be destructive, including regularly peeing in inappropriate places.

What Constitutes a Medical Emergency

Thankfully, most of the time, the causes of excessive urination are not life-threatening. But, and it’s a big one, sometimes immediate medical attention is required. Something like a urinary blockage is potentially fatal, especially if not treated on time. If the frequent urination is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, malaise (sluggishness), or pain, it is likely time to contact your local veterinarian’s office. If there is blood in the urine or if your pet seems to be straining to urinate at times, this is quite possibly a symptom of a serious medical condition and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

What to Expect at the Veterinarian’s Clinic

Small white dog siting in a chair at a vet clinic

In addition to a regular physical examination, the doctor is probably going to want to run a few diagnostic tests. A urinalysis and a full blood panel will help rule a large number of possibilities. Radiographs are also a real possibility to rule out any blockages. Most conditions related to an increase of inappropriate urination are typically curable or at the very least, treatable.

Helpful Tips

  • Regardless of the cause, punishing or yelling at your four-legged friend is ill-advised. Unless actually caught in the act (in which case, a firm ‘no’ would suffice), your dog is not likely to know what he is in trouble for. Which, of course, defeats the purpose of punishment, no? Causing your pet to fear you is never a good idea.
  • Be sure that not only is your dog getting his basic needs covered (walks, appropriate amounts of food and water), but also that he is getting enough attention. Animals, not unlike human children, can, and usually will act out. And, they sometimes do so by constantly peeing all over your house.
  • Pay attention. Excessive urination typically comes along with other symptoms or behaviours. Watch for any changes and take those, if any, into account when trying to pinpoint the reason the peeing is happening. For instance, Psychogenic Polydipsia, a psychological condition that causes excessive thirst, with no underlying medical cause, would present with both increased urination and yep, excessive drinking.

Once you’ve received the all-clear from your vet, you can breathe easier knowing that it is not a life or death situation. Treatment, if not a medical issue, could be as simple as training or retraining your pet to know when and where it’s appropriate to do his business. Sticking to a potty schedule could also help. Just remember, he is most likely not doing this just to be a butthead, it might take a little bit of work (or some medication) but you will both get through it.

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