Dogs that have been trained to pee outside will suddenly start peeing inside the house for many reasons: medical, psychological or behavioral. According to veterinarians and professional dog trainers, pet owners should have their pets evaluated before assuming they can eliminate the problem by increasing discipline. Pet behaviorists may be consulted after medical problems have been eliminated as a reason for apparent incontinence.
Urinary Tract Infection
When your house trained pet suddenly begins peeing in the house, it could be a sign of urinary tract infection (UTI), according to certified dog trainer Jolanta Benal. Several behaviors indicate UTI: difficulty urinating, leaking urine, urinating where it shouldn't or licking the urination area. When a dog suffers from UTI, its urine has a stronger smell. Bacterial infection is usually the cause of UTI, but a fungal infection can also be the cause, especially for dogs on steroids or antibiotics. Canine UTI should not go untreated because it can lead to the urinary tract becoming blocked. Pet expert Arden Moore advises pet owners to take their dog to a veterinarian for a full physical and evaluation.
Canine Cognitive Disorder
Older dogs may forget their house training and pee in places they had been trained not to pee, such as in the house. This can be a symptom of canine cognitive disorder, which is like Alzheimer's disease in humans. Older dogs may also suffer from arthritis, which would make it painful or difficult to get to the yard or place where the animals are supposed to pee.
Diseases such as diabetes cause a dog to increase its water intake, which requires more potty breaks. Sometimes the dog's bladder fills up so fast it cannot wait for the next walk. If your dog's incontinence started at about the time it started a new medication, then a call to your veterinarian could confirm whether thirst or incontinence is a side effect.
Peeing in the house could also be a sign of separation anxiety or panic. Separation anxiety is often accompanied by other behavioral clues such as chewing or clawing at doors and windows. It is also possible that something happened while you were gone, such as a thunderstorm that frightened the dog and caused it to urinate inside.
Male dogs, and sometimes female dogs, will urinate to mark their territory. They will urinate on walls, chairs and table legs or other vertical surfaces both indoors and outdoors. This behavior is standard when a dog is first introduced to a new home. Benal advises pet owners to treat this as a behavioral problem that will fade as the dog becomes settled.
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