Why is my older dog peeing everywhere? Having a previously potty trained dog change their habits can be confusing for owners and spell trouble for your carpets. We break down why your older dog is peeing in the house, and how to save your furniture for good.
While we might expect a few slip ups from our puppies, having an older dog lapse their potty training behaviour can be confusing and worrying. There are a number of reasons why an older dog could be peeing everywhere, and thankfully a few options for how to combat it.
Firstly, it’s important to note that it is fairly that potty training for any dog can take around 4-6 months. Meaning if your puppy is still getting the hang of things or your older dog is inappropriately peeing in the house, it could be that they are simply still learning. Often, adult rescues still need to learn house rules, especially if they were never taught as puppies. Check out our Potty Training Guide if you need a helping hand.
However, if this is a definite relapse, there are a number of possible causes for an adult dog peeing in the house.
There could be a physical issue, such as the following:
There can be psychological reasons at play too. Here are some common behavioral explanations for inappropriate peeing:
Territorial marking - This can become common when a dog reaches sexual maturity, or when a new dog or person enters the family unit.
Anxietyorstress - Dog’s prone to anxiety may void when they feel stressed or worried, or when left alone.
Fear - Dogs can leak as a sign of submission, if they are afraid of another dog or of someone in the household.
Change - Dogs can be sensitive to change, a new addition to the household, a move or even a change of routine can result in behavioural changes like voiding inappropriately.
Why is my senior dog suddenly peeing in the house?
It’s more common for senior dogs to pee in the house, as there are several age related factors that increase the likelihood of a potty training relapse. If your elderly dog keeps peeing in the house, these additional factors could be at play:
Cognitivedysfunction - Similar to human Alzheimer's Disease or dementia, senior dogs can experience a reduction in cognitive function. They can seem to be unaware of their surroundings, or actions, meaning they may not realize where they are at the time of voiding.
Increasedanxiety - Anxiety can increase in older dogs due to impaired abilities to process sight and sound.
Loud noises, strange people, car rides and storms can become much more worrying than they were before, leading to behavioral changes.
Lossofmuscletone - As a dog ages, the muscles around the bladder can lose elasticity, meaning your dog may not be able to control themselves like they used to.
Droppinghormonelevels - As dogs age their hormones change, and certain levels begin to drop. This can lead to increased urgency and loss of control too.
Now we have an understanding of why dogs start peeing in the house, let’s look at how to tackle this pesky problem.
How to stop older dog peeing in house:
Seethevet - To rule out any of the physical causes, it’s a good idea to get a check-up with your veterinarian. It’s especially important if your dog is entering their golden years, to check for any age related issues that could be causing the problem.
Staypositive - Whilst it’s hard seeing unwanted puddles, remember that a dog can’t necessarily help this behaviour. If they are struggling with a health issue, are feeling insecure or worried, or are simply getting older - then they are just trying to tell you they need a little help. So avoid showing any frustration to Fido, as it could just make the issue worse.
Invest in pads - To save your floors in the meantime, get yourself set up with a few reusable pads like the Potty Buddy. For senior dogs, increased potty breaks are a must, but getting outside at all hours just isn’t practical for most pet parents. A Potty Buddy provides them with a safe place to do their business whenever nature calls. For any behavioral issues, placing the Potty Buddy in the usual voiding spots can help you stay on top of the issue while you work on some training. Plus, being machine washable means you can reuse them time and time again.
Training - If your vet has ruled out any medical causes, it’s time to think about addressing your dog’s emotional needs. Try and identify the trigger that’s causing the behavior. Then either eliminate it, teach your dog to relax around it, or change any elements you can to calm your dog's anxiety. Using positive reinforcement training has been shown to reduce stress levels in dogs, so it’s definitely the best way to tackle a worried dog’s voiding problem. It could be time to simply revisit a Potty Training Plan, to help remind them what’s expected. Working on reducing separation anxiety, finding a solid routine, avoiding stressful situations and including soothing activities like grooming and music can likewise help.
If your older dog is peeing in the house, we hope these tips help you find the cause and a long term solution.
In the meantime, we’ll pray for your floors and furniture!
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable
Leak-Free Potty Pad
A durable and super-absorbent potty pad that can be washed and reused for years. It saves money and the planet.