Your dog is a member of the family, and your home is her home, naturally. There's nothing better than lounging around the house with your dog at your side, and maybe you even let her up on the couch with you. But if your dog is peeing on the furniture, your first reaction may be to get angry and discipline her. There are actually a number of different potential causes for your pet's actions, so it's important to get to the root of the problem rather than just disciplining your dog.
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Your dog peeing in the house isn't necessarily a behavior issue. In fact, there are many medical issues that can cause frequent urination in dogs. Before you assume that your dog's peeing in the house is a behavioral issue, you may want to take him to the vet for an exam to rule out other potential causes.
VCA Hospitals notes that diabetes, Cushing's disease, and kidney disease are all common issues that can cause your dog to urinate more frequently. Bladder stones and bladder infections can also prompt your dog to lose control of his bladder. These issues are more common in older dogs, and they can come on suddenly.
If you suspect there's a medical cause behind your dog's behavior, then monitor her urination volume and frequency, as well as how much she drinks and where she's urinating. This information can help your vet diagnose the issue causing your dog to pee in the house.
Urinary incontinence affects many dogs, and it often begins when the dog is middle-aged, states PetMD. While any breed can experience this issue, it's more likely to affect particular breeds including Dobermans, Cocker Spaniels, and Old English Sheepdogs. Spayed females also stand a higher chance of developing incontinence.
A dog suffering incontinence may display a number of different symptoms such as excessive drinking, urine that is free flowing or halting, pain during urination, blood in the urine, urine leakage, and frequent urination of large amounts.
If your dog has urinary incontinence, she may not be able to prevent herself from peeing in the house. If you notice your dog peeing a lot, or find that she doesn't seem to be able to control her bladder, then it's time to head to the vet for a checkup. Your vet may prescribe a medication to help manage your dog's incontinence, and there is also a surgery that can help if the incontinence is due to bladder stones or a spinal cord injury.
When your dog is marking his territory, he will often urinate on upright items, like chairs or tables. According to VCA Hospitals, territorial marking tends to be more of an issue in intact male dogs, and dogs who are marking their territory release just a small amount of urine. There are many situations that can prompt a dog to start marking his territory, such as new dogs entering the house, a major change like a move to another house, or another situation that increases the dog's stress.
Dealing with territorial marking can be a challenge. If your dog is an intact male, neutering him can help. In other cases, you may need to find ways to help your dog feel more confident in the home. A dog behaviorist may be able to help, and keeping your dog in a crate or a separate room is another option.
Your dog peeing on furniture can also be anxiety-induced. According to Dogster, a dog who pees in the house when you're not home may be suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs may also pee in the house due to other causes of anxiety, such as the introduction of a new pet into the home, the birth of a baby, or anything else that significantly upsets their environment.
If your dog's urination is anxiety-based, then a professional dog behaviorist may be able to help you pinpoint the source of your dog's anxiety. In some cases, your vet may prescribe a medication to help manage your dog's anxiety. Once the anxiety is under control, your dog's urination in your home should stop, too.