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Ways to Prevent Dogs From Peeing in the House

6 min read

By Chris Brown

The companionship from a furry friend knows no bounds. More than that, they’re decidedly good for your health too! Owning one can help moderate stress, keep you active, aid your social life, and make you happier. But let’s be real, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Owning a dog can be a lot of responsibility. They are animals after all, and no matter how well you have them trained, accidents happen. Today, we’re going to talk about the type of accidents that happen inside your home. And, whether they happen a lot or a little, we’ll walk you through some things to do that may help prevent them.

Why Are They Peeing in the House?

You can’t solve a problem without first understanding why it’s happening. The truth is, there are a lot of potential reasons your dog may be peeing in the house. Your dog might not have been trained properly, you may not let them outside enough, or they may be suffering from anxiety.

There are biological and medical explanations too. A dog who isn’t spayed or neutered may be prone to inappropriate peeing. Or, maybe your dog is suffering from a medical issue that’s causing its incontinence.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Peeing inside isn’t entirely uncommon and is by no means a reason to panic. Having said that, the first step to solving this problem should always be a visit to the vet. As minor as they may be, catching potential medical problems early is essential to your dog’s health.

Peeing in the house could be caused by a variety of medical conditions. It could be an early sign of diabetes, leg pain, bladder stones, kidney or liver disease, adrenal gland issues, cognitive problems, an infected bladder, or age-related illnesses.

Again, there are a lot of reasons your dog may be peeing in the house but eliminating potential medical explanations should be your first step.

Keep a Log

If your veterinarian can’t explain your dog’s incontinence medically, consider keeping a written log. Make note of the times that your dog successfully pees outside, how much they’re drinking on the daily, and when they pee inside.

You may not be home all the time, and the data may be far from precise, but over time the written log may illuminate a pattern that you never would have discovered otherwise. And finding that pattern should bring you that much closer to solving your puppy’s problem once and for all.

Stay Calm

If your immediate reaction to discovering an accident is to yell at or punish your dog, you’re going to want to find a way to cut that out. Dogs lack the mental capacity to connect their accident to your outrage. As such, all your anger and punishment is doing is scaring your dog, and damaging your relationship with them.

In the event of an accident, try to remain calm. It’ll be better for your relationship with your dog and your overall health.

Clean Thoroughly

Leaving a smelly pee stain in your home for too long is a bad idea on many levels. Not only is it unsanitary, but the lingering smell of dog urine indoors may encourage your pet to continue to go to the bathroom indoors.

Purchase an enzymatic cleaner right now so that you’re ready whenever an unpredictable accident may arise. Don’t hesitate to clean it up as quickly and as thoroughly as possible when it does happen.

Train Your Dog

Like the central character of the Jungle Book, you may have lived your entire life surrounded by animals. Regardless of how connected you feel to your dog, you still need to take the time to train them or have them trained by a professional.

Perhaps you’ve already taken the time to train your dog. If that’s the case, you may need to re-visit their training to reinforce the rules of your home. Peeing inside the house doesn’t always signal a gap in a pet’s training, which is why you’ll need to lean on your veterinarian’s expertise.

Eliminate Triggers

If you’ve been keeping an accident log you may notice patterns in the way that your dog behaves. Discovering these patterns can help you adjust their environment or routine and eliminate your pet’s triggers once and for all.

Should you discover that your pet frequently marks newly brought-in items, try your best to avoid leaving them lying around. If they’re peeing because they are anxious, invest in a white noise machine or put on the radio to help calm them down.

Get Them Spayed or Neutered

There’s no way around it, intact dogs are much more prone to urine marking inside your home than those who have been spayed or neutered. As frustrating as it may be, it’s in your pet’s nature to mark their territory. This is why so many dog owners rush to the veterinarian to get their pet spayed or neutered as soon as possible.

If your vet suspects that your dog’s indoor peeing habit is happening as a result of them being intact, take their advice and get the procedure done ASAP. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood that your dog will form a behavior pattern of peeing inside, which is a lot harder to disrupt.

Increase Bathroom Breaks

I know that we keep harping on keeping an accident and bathroom break log, but it really is the only way to isolate your dog’s behavior problem and eradicate it for good. For instance, frequent indoor urination may be a sign that you aren’t letting your pet out to pee often enough.

Even if you don’t keep a log, it may be wise to increase your dog’s bathroom breaks. Taking your dog outside right after eating or drinking is a great habit to get into. Rewarding them with treats after peeing outside may help reinforce the behavior as well.

Avoid Pee Pads

Investing in a box of pee pads may seem like a wise idea, but we urge you to proceed with caution. Most pet owners look to pee pads as a temporary solution to solve a recurring problem, but your dog doesn’t see it that way. All your dog sees is a much more convenient option than waiting for their potty break.

As a result, they may opt to pee on the pee pad exclusively, and indefinitely. They may resist going outside to pee at all, which may create an even larger problem for you. Pee pads should only be used as a last resort, and they should only be approached with the understanding that the switch will most likely be a permanent one.

Call a Professional

Veterinary advice, internet research, and good old-fashioned elbow grease may only take you so far. If you try all of the things on the list, or simply don’t have the time to try any of these things, then it may be wise to seek professional help.

Do a quick search online and look for a professional behaviorist or trainer that operates nearby. Professionals are trained to assess each and every situation objectively and prescribe a variety of behavior modification techniques or medications that may help you and your dog move forward.

The Takeaway

There are few things more satisfying than coming home after a long day at the office to be greeted by your best friend. And there are few things that dull your satisfaction more than discovering an accident waiting for you to clean up.

As you’ve learned today, peeing in the house is common and, most importantly, treatable. By talking to your veterinarian, increasing bathroom breaks, eliminating triggers, re-training, or getting them spayed or neutered, you should be able to prevent your dog from peeing in the house once and for all.

Chris Brown


Chris is a Canadian who loves ice-hockey, espresso, and really long books. He’s an early riser that relies on a combination of meditation, yoga, indoor cycling, and long walks to keep fit. Chris is also a multi-platform content creator with a portfolio that includes terrestrial radio, television, the written word, and YouTube. For more content, check out his podcast, “Black Sheep Radio,” or follow @notTHATcb on Twitter and Instagram

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