Everyone loves being greeted by their dog when they come back through the front door. No one loves seeing the puddle of an accident. It’s been years since you’ve potty trained your now, adult dog. Why are they going inside the house? Even dogs who receive the best pet care and house training can still have accidents.
If your dog has previously been house trained and is still having trouble making it outside this could mean they may have a urinary tract infection, experiencing onset canine cognitive dysfunction, or other medical issues leading to incontinence.
Schedule a visit with your veterinarian to rule out any of these medical issues. Once you have established that the accidents inside are not caused by medical issues you can address the root of the problem.
This pet care guide will help pet parents understand why their dogs are going inside and tips to help curb this behavior.
What is the Cause of the Accidents?
Dogs that are house trained but are still urinating inside are going through a potty regression. If they are going when you’re away from home, this is most likely because they’re experiencing owner separation anxiety. Having an accident is a behavioral signal that your dog is enduring separation anxiety from being alone for extended amounts of time.
If your vet diagnoses your dog with separation anxiety they can coach you and your dog through ways of controlling the problem. A vet might also refer you to a pet care specialist like a veterinary behaviorist who can help your dog’s anxiety subside.
Doggie anxiety can also be triggered by loud threatening noises your dog hears. Thunderstorms, construction, fireworks, and traffic can be terrifying noises for a dog. Dogs that normally do their business outside will have issues leaving the house when noises like this make them panic. Frightened dogs will have an innate instinct to ‘hunker down’ and refuse to go outside. This is when accidents happen.
During times when loud noises are audible try and comfort your dog. Speak gently and pet your dog, reinforcing the idea that they are safe and comfortable. Use aromatherapy to help create a relaxing environment or play doggie therapy music to help distract them from the alarming noises. You may also consider getting your dog an anxiety jacket like a Thundershirt. These products apply a constant and gentle pressure that makes them feel like they’re being swaddled.
How to Stop Accidents with Pet Care
You can use the dog training methods you first used when originally house training your dog. The smell of past accidents often signals to dogs that this is an appropriate place to ‘do business.’ Use cleaners with an enzymatic formula that eliminate smells. This helps your dog know the difference between going in the proper place and the house.
Also, try and keep your dog off the carpet. Dogs are more likely to go on carpeted surfaces than hard floors. The mess will also be easier to clean up when it doesn’t soak into the carpet.
Dogs have an instinctual urge to keep their personal spaces clean. If you used crate training with your dog as a puppy you could try using the crate again while you are away from home. A crate is a sanctuary for a dog. Crates should be lined with comfortable bedding and dogs should want to rest in their crate on their own will.
You can also use a pen or a baby gate to limit the areas that your dog can roam while you’re away. Just as with a crate, make the space that your dog is confined to a soft welcoming place. Although you’re going to want this place to be carpet free, make sure there is a dog bed and plush dog toys to keep your dog busy. Problem-solving puzzle games are also great for dogs that need mental stimulation when parents are away from the house.
Pet care is also about knowing how long your dog can be alone in the house before inevitably ‘going.’ Your dog may not be able to hold it for the time that you’re gone. You may consider doggie boarding or day care. Maybe hire a dog sitter or professional walker to come check up and walk your dog while you are gone.
The most important thing to realize is that a dog who has been potty trained is not going in your house purposefully. Never scold or rub your dog’s nose in it. This will only make the situation worse because it will heighten their anxiety. Instead, use methods of pet care that help your dog relax with a safe environment.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wishes you and your doggo good luck with keep the house clean and your dog happy!
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