27 Ways How to Stop Your Dog Peeing in the House

Following these simple tips will show you how to stop your dog peeing in the house and help you discover what the underlying cause might be. To solve the dog weeing problem we first need to ask this question. Why is my dog peeing in the house?

There can be many reasons that your dog or puppy urinates inside your home, whatever that may be peeing inside is a big No No, and something you will want to put a stop to immediately.

We examine why your four-legged friend might be peeing behind the sofa and look at some tips to make it stop!

stopping dogs peeing in the house

When you bring a new puppy home it is inevitable there may be a few accidents, but with an older dog there is usually an underlying issue and we need to understand what this might be in order to be able to solve the problem.

Rescue dogs can suffer from problems if they haven’t been properly house-trained in their previous homes or have been fearful and suffered from stress while in kennels. More on rescue dogs and shelters in particular here: 

Older dogs like humans find it difficult to control their bladders for long periods as they enter their twilight years and one of the more common causes for adult dogs who won’t stop peeing in the house are behavioural issues.

I’ve often heard people say ” My dog is peeing in the house for no reason

There is always a reason and more often than not that reason is the owner. Like all training housebreaking, a puppy or re-training an adult dog takes patience, time and a watchful eye.

27 Ways How to Stop Your Dog Peeing in the House

1. Crating

Dogs don’t like to go the toilet in their personal space Creating a comfortable secure environment for them during alone time or through the night can reduce accidents.

Make sure you get the correct size crate for your dog putting a Chihuahua in a crate for a Great Dane will not only give him somewhere to sleep but quite a large toilet area as well.

2. Make Alone Time Fun

Dogs left alone for long periods can suffer from separation anxiety which can result in them urinating either through nervousness or inability to hold it in for long periods of time.

Puppies should never be left alone for long periods and if you have an older dog try to make alone time less stressful. Leave them puzzles or hide treats, even leaving the radio or television on can help them feel more secure.

3. Sprays

There are numerous commercial dog sprays on the market that can stop urinating in a particular area they contain different chemicals or natural compounds such as cayenne pepper that dogs dislike and will avoid.

There are also sprays that you can buy that you use on the place you want your dog to pee that actually smell of urine in order to encourage him to go in the correct place. You can also make your own homemade repellents which work just as well and are much cheaper.

White Vinegar

Canines can’t stand the smell of acetic acid so will avoid areas sprayed with a solution of White Vinegar. Dilute with equal parts water and spray over the affected areas. Not only will it keep fido away but will also clean and neutralise any areas he has already used as a toilet.

Rubbing Alcohol

To use its correct name, Isopropyl alcohol has a powerful scent that is extremely disagreeable to dogs. Dilute the mixture with an equal amount of water and spray carpets weekly or after cleaning. This solution also has anti-bacterial properties and will disinfect the area thoroughly.

Lemon Juice

Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and spray onto carpets. A more pleasant smell for humans it will remove any lingering odours while keeping your dog at bay.

4. Have a Neighbour or Dog Walker Pop in

If you need to be out of the home for longer periods of time it can be a good idea to get a neighbour to pop in so your pooch can have regular potty breaks or if funds allow perhaps hire a dog walker. A well-exercised dog is less likely to pee in the house and after a long walk will settle down happily instead of fretting.

5. Never Punish

It can be frustrating to have a dog that pees in the home but it is important to never shout or punish the dog by hitting it. This will only make him fearful and nervous.

If you haven’t seen him do the deed he will have no idea what he’s done wrong and if you catch him in the act it will only make him fearful of relieving himself in-front of you in future.

6. Day Care

If you have to work all day every day then you should reconsider getting a puppy, but if you have an older dog that gets on well with others why not consider day-care. He will have fun while you go to work, socialising and playing with others of his kind and the opportunity for plenty of toilet breaks.

7. Vigilance

Whether you are house-training a puppy or an older dog you need to be vigilant, keep them where you can see them at all times and always give them the opportunity to go to the toilet when waking up from a nap, or after food or drink.

If your four-legged friend needs a midnight toilet break set the alarm. It might seem like a chore initially but it shouldn’t last long and will be worth the effort.

8. Rewards

As with all dogs the best way to get them to do what you want them too is by rewarding them either by lavishing them with praise, giving them their favourite toy or usually the one that works best of all, treats!

You will soon come to know what your dog responds too best so use it to your advantage when he pees where you want him to.

9. Keeping Calm

Puppies don’t have the muscular control of older dogs and many pee from either excitement or nervousness, although not really a house-training problem and something they usually grow out of it can be embarrassing when they pee all over a guest’s shoes.

This can be avoided by teaching your puppy to sit and ignoring them until they become calm and relaxed when you enter a room and encouraging any visitors to do the same.

10. Take Time Off

It is impossible to house-train any dog be it a puppy or adult if you are not there, even if you only work part-time you need to take time off to do the job properly and consistently. It won’t take long but it really is vital to prevent your pet from peeing in the house.

11. Check With the Vet

Although puppies pee and sometimes a rescue dog that has spent time in kennels may not be house-trained it is unusual for an adult dog to start relieving themselves indoors without an underlying reason.

Older dogs especially, can develop many conditions that can increase the need to go or lose control of their bladder muscles. If you haven’t had any problems previously and now your older dog is peeing indoors, it is a good idea to check with your vet to rule out anything serious.

12. Socialization

One of the saddest reasons for a dog peeing indoors is fearfulness. Dogs that have not experienced the sounds, smells and sights of the world at large when young can develop phobias that stop them feeling comfortable when going to the loo outside.

A loud noise, fireworks, thunder can all be terrifying to a dog. Their nervousness keeps them constantly distracted instead of dealing with the business at hand. making it more likely for them to pee inside the home. It is important to introduce to lots of experiences whilst they are young to build confidence and teach your dog how to socialise.

13. Don’t Cover the Smell Eliminate it

Dog’s urine omits a powerful enzyme that tells them to “Please Pee Here!” therefore it is vital to not just clean up any accidents that may occur but also to eliminate the odour completely to stop your dog peeing on the carpet.

14. Introduce a Word

Many owners find that introducing a word associated with going to the toilet helps their dog with training to go potty outside. Our canine friends are usually eager to please and having a word such as “Busy” or “Pee pee” can help them understand what is required if re-enforced and used all the time until they get the hang of it.

15. Keep Them With You Outside Not Alone

Do not put your puppy outside and leave them there expecting them to do the business. Not only will you not know one way or the other if they have been, often they will be so involved in getting back to you and wondering where you have gone which can cause stress and they will concentrate on that rather than going to the toilet

16. Avoid Exciting Games Until Business is Taken Care Of

While trying to housetrain any dog it is important you keep them from being distracted. Avoid playing with them until the business is taken care of they will be much more interested in a game of tug or playing with a ball than going to the loo. Keep the games for afterwards when not only will they enjoy the playtime but see it as a reward. 

17. Neutering

A common problem with male dogs and in particular small breeds is territory marking this can occur if there is more than one pet in the house, if you bring home a new baby or even if someone visits.

New and strange smells will encourage a dog to mark his territory and can result in him cocking his leg on every piece of furniture in your home. So how can you stop a male dog from marking? You can try correcting with a firm no or short spray of water when you see him about to raise a leg or actually Neutering can lower the testosterone hopefully making your canine companion slightly less territorial.

18. Medication

There are many medical conditions that can contribute to dogs peeing in the house. Diabetes is a common one where the dog drinks so much he cannot hold it in like he used too.

Older dogs can also suffer from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, a similar condition to Alzheimer’s in humans. This makes them confused and they may not even remember peeing at all.

Older spayed bitches can sometimes leak urine while sleeping due to decreased hormone levels. Your vet can usually help in these cases by prescribing medication to help with the problem

19. Shaker Bottle or Water Spray

Making your own Shaker Bottle or water spray can often help you stop dogs from frequent peeing in the home. As soon as you notice your pooch doing the pee dance which inevitably involves sniffing, circling and finally squatting give the bottle a firm shake or spray him with the water.

This will be enough to stop him from peeing enabling you to take him outside to the correct area. When he relieves himself shower him with praise. This method can have quick results in stopping your puppy peeing everywhere, if used properly – Don’t scare the dog the point is to distract him not make him fearful.

20. The Boss

Dominant dogs both male and female can assert their authority as the pack leader by peeing around the house this is a common trait found in smaller breeds who have been spoiled and allowed to get away with other undesirable behaviours.

So how do you stop small dogs peeing in the house? Don’t worry this problem can be easily solved by reasserting your authority and showing them who is boss. Don’t baby them, use firm training methods, make them sit and wait to be fed re-enforcing the fact that it is you who is the pack leader and not them.

21. Soaked Paper

A common method especially used for puppies who pee indoors is to encourage them initially to pee on newspaper you can use the urine soaked newspaper to show them where to pee outdoors as the powerful smell will encourage them to go in the same place.

Hopefully the paper will only be needed for a short time and they will soon get the hang of where the toilet is.

22. Limit Drinks Before Bed

Although it is advisable to have a constant supply of clean fresh water available for your dog at all times for dog’s who are having problems going through the night without an accident it might be wise to limit their intake on an evening say after 8.00pm.

Common sense is needed here though if they have been on a late night walk, enjoyed a strenuous game or the weather is hot don’t let them go thirsty.

23. Never Rub His Nose in It

Back in the day, this was lauded as the correct way to house-train a puppy, how wrong we were! It is cruel and confusing.

The puppy has no idea what he has done to displease you he lives in the moment and at that moment he is learning that you-the person he loves most in the world can be unpredictable and someone to be feared. This will only encourage him to hide from you when peeing in future, making it much more difficult to train him.

24. Keep on Leash When Visiting

If you have a puppy who is not yet house-trained or an older dog who pees in the house it is always a good idea to keep them on the leash or harness while visiting friends that way you are in control of your pooch at all times which can prevent any embarrassment or not being invited around again.

25. Ask the Breeder

When you bring your new puppy home a responsible breeder will give you lots of information about what he has been feeding the pup, whether it has had its first vaccinations and any worming info you need. For more on worming treatments and tablets its here.

Therefore, it seems reasonable that you ask if the puppy has started his toilet training and if so is he used to puppy pads or newspaper. Carrying on with something your new best friend is familiar with will reduce the likelihood of accidents

26. Paper Training

Many dog owners train their puppies on paper or puppy pads initially, this is especially useful if you don’t have immediate access to an outdoor area (Perhaps if you live in an apartment) The best way to do this is to situate the paper or puppy pads near to the door, that way when you see your pup heading in that direction you know he needs the toilet.

Gradually reduce the amount of papers until the little fella is fully trained and they are no longer required. This method can take a bit longer than going straight outside but with patience your puppy should soon learn that peeing in the house isn’t acceptable.

27. Belly Bands

As a last resort, if your dog has an underlying medical issue that cannot be resolved by medication or suffers from incontinence you can purchase Dog Nappies or “Belly Bands” These bands wrap around the dog’s belly and contain an absorbent pad for any leakage helping to keep your home free from any accidents.

They should not however, be a lazy man’s alternative to house- training. Teaching your dog there is no designated area for peeing and giving them carte blanche to go when and wherever they want is counter-productive and will only give you more work in the long run.

It requires patience to stop a puppy peeing in the house and even more so to prevent an older dog from doing so. We have to remember it is not their fault, they are not on a mission to annoy us or make our lives difficult.

Understanding the reason for your dog peeing in the house is the key to solving the problem. Try one or more of these tips on how to stop your dog peeing in the house and you will find that your four-legged friend will soon be peeing where he is supposed to-Outside!

FAQs

Dog keeps peeing on bed

Your bed is full of your scent and when a dog feels vulnerable he will try cover his scent with yours. After all you are his protector. Some dogs will pee on your bed after being told-off or when they are left alone, their owners think they are peeing out of badness but this isn’t the case the truth is he feels nervous.

The simplest solution is to not let your pooch on the bed until the issue is sorted. Provide a comfortable crate so he feels safe and is still near to you. You also need to remove all odours of previous misdemeanors If your pup can smell his pee he will use that spot again so invest in a special dog urine odour remover.

Get to know the signs he is nervous or scared and prevent access to your bedroom at these times.

Elderly dog urinating in house

Like us Humans as they get older dogs can lose muscle tone and not be able to hold their pee in for long periods they may even leak while sleeping this is especially common in spayed females.

Drops in hormone levels can also result in a lack of bladder control. Talk to your vet as he can provide medication which could help. If the problem persists or your faithful friend has become incontinent it might be wise to use belly bands which are readily available.

Excitement urination

Many puppies will urinate when excited perhaps when you return home or visitors arrive. They usually outgrow this but trying to reduce the levels of excitement in the meantime can help.

Take your pup outside as soon as you come in with no fuss. Ignore them until they are calm or if you have begun training ask them to sit (Dogscan’t pee sitting down) Use rewards for calm and relaxed behaviour and make sure these techniques are used by everyone in the household.

House trained dog has started peeing inside

A previously house-trained dog will not start peeing in the house for no reason so to solve the problem you need to find the underlying reason.

Has anything changed? Is there anything going on that may cause stress to your dog? A new pet? New baby? Has someone died or left home? There are many reasons a dog can feel anxiety and this can result in unwanted urinating in the home.

When you have eliminated any outside influences as the cause consider if it could be a medical problem. There are many conditions in dogs that can cause peeing so it is worth a trip to the vets just to be on the safe side.

Puppy pees on his bedding?

It is unusual for a dog to soil their bedding. It could be a house breaking problem in which case you need to remove all odour from the bedding by using a product specifically for the job as puppies will use the same spot again if they can small even the slightest scent and go back to the basics of house training putting him outside every time he wakes up, has something to eat or every hour.

It could also be territorial marking. Is he the only pet in the house? If this is the case there are sprays available to discourage marking but neutering is the best way to solve the problem.

John Devlin

Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever that barely leaves my side. However, cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!
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