How to stop a dog from peeing in the house

While accidents do happen (often, in my house), it can be incredibly frustrating – especially when the accident means your adult dog keeps peeing in the house. Inappropriate urination is a common problem in dogs that should be addressed promptly.

The first step is to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s house soiling. There are several possibilities, including ongoing training, aging, or even a potential urinary tract infection. Let’s talk about the reasons why your dog may be peeing inside of your house.

Why does my dog keep peeing in the house?

Often referred to as “inappropriate urination” by veterinarians, peeing in the house is a relatively common issue in dogs. It is typically addressed during puppyhood when house training takes place. However, if your dog is still a puppy, house training might not be fully completed yet. The process of house training can take time, and it may be necessary to review the steps as you progress.

If your dog is already house trained and the inappropriate urination started after house training was successfully completed, there may be other reasons for this behavior. Before investigating behavioral causes, it is crucial to first rule out any potential health problems.

If your dog, who is already house trained, begins peeing in the house again, there could be several possible causes for this behavior. Let’s take a look at the XX most common reasons why dogs keep peeing in the house:

Addressing Behavior Problems

If your veterinarian has ruled out any underlying health issues, it is possible that you are dealing with behavioral problems in your dog. Here are some common behavior issues and their possible causes:

  • Marking behaviors: Some dogs, particularly males, may engage in marking behaviors. This behavior is often driven by hormones, but it can become a habit even after being spayed or neutered.
  • Submissive or excitement urination: Your dog may exhibit submissive or excitement urination, especially when feeling intimidated or anxious. This can occur when someone is standing over them or in situations of fear or stress.
  • Environmental triggers: Take a look at your home environment to identify any recent changes that may be triggering your dog’s behavior. The addition of a new pet, a new baby, or the departure or loss of a household member can greatly impact a dog’s behavior.
  • Anxiety in outdoor situations: Your dog may experience anxiety in certain outdoor situations, leading to inappropriate urination. This can be triggered by encounters with other dogs, loud construction projects, or other distressing stimuli.

It’s important to address these behavior problems with patience, understanding and appropriate training techniques. Consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide valuable guidance in modifying your dog’s behavior.

Urinary Tract Issues

If you notice that your dog is suddenly urinating in the house or other inappropriate places, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs are one of the most common causes of inappropriate urination in dogs and are frequently encountered health problems in dogs.

Rather than getting upset with your dog, it is important to consult your veterinarian for an examination. Your vet will likely request a urine sample from your dog to perform a urinalysis and possibly a urine culture. These tests are conducted to detect the presence of bacteria and abnormal cells in the urine. If a urinary tract infection is diagnosed, the next course of action is a course of antibiotics.

Other potential urinary issues that your vet may discover include cystitis (bladder inflammation), crystals in the urine, bladder stones, structural abnormalities, or even tumors. Most urinary issues can be managed with medications, supplements, and/or dietary changes. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary for conditions like bladder stones.

If your vet does not find any urinary tract problems, further investigation will be needed to identify any other potential health issues.

Health Problems

Urinary issues in dogs can be caused by various health problems, including kidney disease, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease. Injuries, joint problems, or arthritis can also make it difficult and painful for dogs to go outside for potty breaks. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, your veterinarian may suggest further diagnostic testing to identify any underlying diseases. A treatment plan will be based on the specific diagnosis.


Urinary incontinence is commonly associated with senior dogs, but it can also occur in young adult dogs. If you notice your dog leaking or dribbling urine sporadically, or if they leave urine puddles in their bed or on the floor during naps, they may be experiencing incontinence. It’s important to understand that dogs with incontinence are unaware of the issue and have no control over it. Fortunately, medication can sometimes help treat incontinence.

However, if your dog intentionally urinates a large amount in inappropriate areas, it’s likely not incontinence. Consult with your veterinarian for further guidance.

Aging Dog

As dogs age, they may experience changes that can lead to urinary accidents. While puppies may still have accidents during house training, older dogs can develop urinary issues due to forms of dementia or senility. These conditions can cause dogs to forget their house training or become disoriented.

Additionally, other health issues, like kidney failure, commonly occur in old age. It is important to involve your veterinarian in the care of your aging dog to address these issues promptly. Medications and supplements may be used to manage dementia in some cases. To cope with urinary issues, some pet owners choose to use belly bands or line their dog’s bedding and frequented areas with absorbent pads.

How to stop a dog from peeing in the house

Here’s are six tips to help your dog from peeing where you don’t want him to:

Positive Reinforcement

To encourage your puppy to go potty outside, it’s important to provide positive reinforcement immediately after they do so. This can include praising them, giving them dog treats, offering belly rubs, or playing with them. These actions serve as positive reinforcement, reinforcing the idea that going outside is the desired behavior.

Make sure to reward your puppy as soon as they go potty outside, so they understand that the reward is specifically for peeing outside and not for any other behavior, such as coming through the door. As they learn, you can gradually reduce the reliance on treats. However, during the initial stages, it’s crucial to make a big deal out of their successful bathroom breaks outside.

Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior

Keep a record of your dog’s behavior, including their eating, sleeping, water intake, and bathroom habits. This will help you track how long they can hold it and establish a routine for success. Adjusting their potty schedule to align with their daily rhythm may be all it takes to train them to go outside.

Keep Your Dog Close to You

During the process of potty-training your dog, it is important to keep them in close proximity to you. This enables you to promptly notice any accidents and swiftly take them outside to finish. Once they successfully relieve themselves outside, it is crucial to immediately reward them, reinforcing the positive association with going outdoors.

Keep Your Dog Secure When You’re Away

Leaving dogs unsupervised can lead to accidents. To prevent this, it’s helpful to confine them in a dog crate, pen, or small bedroom. Providing them with a designated space where they sleep or play can reduce the chances of accidents occurring.

Alternatively, you can place them in an area where they are allowed to relieve themselves, such as a dog run or a crate with a pee pad inside.

Anxiety Issues

Dogs may exhibit soiling behavior due to anxiety, nervousness, or excessive excitement. This can affect both puppies and older dogs. Common triggers include loud voices, noises, strangers, sirens, or any situation that the dog perceives as “scary.” It’s important to identify the specific cause of fear or excitement.

To help your dog, gradually expose them to situations or people that may trigger anxiety. Alternatively, try to minimize your dog’s exposure to these anxiety-inducing interactions. Some dogs find relief from anxiety by wearing a compression garment.

Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Marking behavior, especially in male dogs that have not been neutered, is a common issue. While marking can be triggered by various factors such as moving to a new home, introducing a new dog, or even the presence of new furniture, it is often associated with the hormonal effects and anxiety experienced by intact dogs.

Spaying and neutering can help reduce the urge for dogs to engage in marking behavior indoors, such as lifting their leg.

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