Why Does My Dog Pee Beside His Food?
Your pup could do worse than pee next to her food before mealtime. Some dogs pee right on their food and still eat it afterward! But peeing on the floor is pretty disgusting, so kicking the habit is probably at the top of your to-do list.
Territorial or Anxious
One reason your pup might squat next to her food bowl and let loose is the presence of other animals in your house. This is more common in males, but females aren't incapable of the behavior. Your pup may your other pets as competition, especially if her food bowls is close to theirs or she's a greedy eater. She marks her area to say it's hers alone. Another reason she may empty her bladder is because she's incredibly anxious. She's so worried that your other pets will steal her food that she makes a puddle right next to her bowl. It's similar to how dogs who suffer from separation anxiety will have accidents in the house when their owners leave.
Some dogs see you filling their food bowl and could care less. Others act like you just got them a gift certificate to a doggy toy store to go pick out whatever they want. If your pup's super-excited about feeding time, she may urinate submissively right there on the spot. She might point her ears back, lower her tail, lick her chops and maybe even roll over on her back as she's peeing. She may get excited for a number of reasons, such as your making eye contact with her as you're prepping the food or telling her how awesome her dinner is going to be, or the anticipation or ferrying or arrival of the food itself.
Move the Food
In the case of territorial or anxious pups, you need to make them less nervous and make mealtime seem like less of a competition. Moving their food bowls to separate rooms that are quiet and free of distractions usually works. Make sure your other pets can't bother the pee-prone pup while she's chomping down. If after you seclude her bowl she still pees near it, it's probably out of habit at that point. Try feeding her at a different time of day or from a different bowl. Your goal here is to change up her meal routine to try and break her habit.
Outside and Interruption
If after moving your pup's food she still makes puddles on your floor, take her outside before every meal to encourage her to empty her bladder, and keep an eye on her when she's about to eat. If you see her squat, say, "Ah" sharply to grab her attention. Give her a treat if she stops.
Make It a Nonissue
Stopping submissive urination is all about making mealtime low-key. Instead of telling your pup her dinner is ready or saying even a word about it, prepare her meal when she's out of the room so she has no idea food is in her bowl. Don't pet her while she eats, and don't make eye contact with her. The less fuss you make, the less pee you should find on your floor.
By Chris Miksen
About the Author
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.