Why Does My Dog Pee in the House?

When take your dog on a walk, he will urinate on a vertical surface, such as a wall, tree, fire hydrant, etc. Dogs do this for a number of reasons, which you can learn more about in this article. You’re happy when he pees during walks, or when let out into the yard, because that’s where you want your dog to pee—outside!

But then one day you come home and smell urine. Or maybe you step on urine-saturated carpet, or see a yellowish puddle on a hard floor. Whatever the case may be, your dog had an “accident,” also known as house soiling.

Why do dogs do it?

There are variety of reasons why some dogs house soil. But whatever the case, it’s a serious issue. Uncontrolled, chronic house soiling is one reason why dogs are sent to animal shelters. House soiling can also indicate medical and /or behavioral issues.

The only cases in which house soiling doesn’t indicate an underlying problem is when puppies do it, because they’re still being house-trained.

Behavioral house soiling

In order to address house soiling, you first need to understand why your dog is having “accidents.” Common non-medical reasons can be brought on by:

  • Something new in the house, such as new furniture, rugs, drapes, etc.
  • Social triggers, such as when male dogs mark in the presence of female dogs in heat.
  • Visiting a home where other dogs have marked before.
  • Changes in routine.
  • When a dog’s basic instinct to mark territory trumps his training.
  • Anxiety or insecurity caused by the introduction of a new dog in the home, a newborn baby,  a guest, or because of conflict in the home, i.e. humans fighting, being scolded or encountering an aggressive dog.
  • Overexcitement, in which case there is no sign of submissive behavior, but quite the opposite—his tail is wagging, he’s jumping, etc.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Drinking too much water.
  • Improper training.

Medical-induced house soiling

Just as humans can suffer from incontinence owing to medical issues, so too can dogs. Other medical problems that can result in house soiling include:

  • Bladder infection or bladder stones.
  • Diseased kidneys.
  • Kidney tumors.
  • Liver diseases.
  • Disease of adrenal glands.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Addison’s disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Abnormally formed urinary system.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Dietary problems / reactions to food.

See a veterinarian

If you suspect your dog’s house soiling is a result of a medical condition, take him to the vet for a diagnosis.