Urinating in the House

Kelly Roper
Public offender

What causes a dog to suddenly begin urinating in the house? Sometimes it's due to an undiagnosed medical condition, other times it's strictly a behavioral problem. Share this visitor's story.

Dog Suddenly Begins Urinating in the House

My nine-year-old, neutered Corgi/Cocker mix has started to relieve himself in my three-year-old's bedroom. It has happened six times within the last month. We have lived in this house a little over a year now, and he has only urinated by the back door once on the day we moved in.

I feel that this behavior is uncharacteristic, could he be sick?

~~ Jacqueline

Expert Reply

Hi Jacqueline,

Given the fact that your dog is entering his senior years and that he has no real history of accidents, it would be a sound idea to take him in to the vet for an examination. Your vet would check him specifically for signs of a urinary tract problem and kidney disease. This might lead to an explanation for the sudden urinating.

That said, once he had the first accident he has probably felt drawn back to the same area because of the scent. Urine crystals can remain long after the original soiling was cleaned up. To remove those crystals, soak the soiled placed with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm water. Allow the mix to soak in deeply for a good 20-30 minutes, and then begin sponging the moisture up.

This should eliminate any remaining odor to act as a calling card for your dog. In order to break his new habit of going into the room to soil, either keep the door shut whenever possible, and use a baby gate to keep him out when your child is in the room.

As a final measure, you might want to have your dog wear a belly band in the house. This is a type of doggie diaper for male dogs that insist on urinating in the house. You'll find them easily with a quick Internet search.

Thanks for your question, and hopefully you'll find one or more of these suggestions helps you eliminate the problem.

~~ Kelly

Selective House Accidents

We have a six-month-old female Golden Retriever. She is very smart in all but one thing; she habitually wets on the plush carpets in our house.

She has been crated since she arrived in our home at three months of age. When she's confined to the kitchen and family room, there isn't a problem. She asks to go out, and we never see her acting as though she is about to eliminate on the coarse carpet on the family room floor. She is secured in her crate when we are not home, and we take her outside shortly after we return home.

She will pee on command outside, and we always praise her and/or reward her for her efforts.

Unfortunately, she wets on the deeper piled carpets as soon as we give her wider freedom of the house. As soon as we notice, we take her outside and encourage her to use the yard.

The breeder we got her from told us she had used kitty litter to house train the puppy. We think this might be why we are having a problem, but we are at a loss as to how to correct the situation.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you~~ Newton Douglas

Expert Reply

Hello Newton,

I have a couple of theories to share with you.

First, did you install the plush carpet in your home yourself, or was it already there when you moved in? If it was, there's a chance the dog of a previous owner could have soiled the carpet. Plush carpet will easily retain scent remnants because urine crystals become trapped deep within the pile, as well as the padding beneath.

Second, I think you should ask your dog's breeder what kind of surface was under the kitty litter box. If it turns out that the box was placed in a room that also had plush carpet, this could explain why your dog is confused and using the carpet in your home.

In any case, I'd recommend deep steam cleaning of all the plush carpet in your home. After that, plan on spending a training intensive weekend with your dog in the plush carpeted rooms. Take her out frequently as if she was a brand new puppy, and watch her like a hawk for signs she has to go. If you catch her sniffing, give her a very firm "No" so she begins to make the new connection, and take her outside right away.

Thanks for your question, and I hope you find this reply helpful.

~~ Kelly

Urinating in the House