As a pet owner, it can be frustrating when your dog or cat pee indoors on the carpet or floor. In young dogs, the problem usually can be resolved during puppy hood with proper training, but sometimes even housebroken pets can regress and make a mess. If your pet is inappropriately urinating inside the house, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons in order to remedy the problem. Here are several possible behavioral and medical causes for why your pet may be peeing indoors:
- Excitement — When dogs exhibit joyous behavior such as wagging their tails and jumping, they often piddle on the floor because they’re overly excited. This can happen when the owner comes home from work, a new visitor arrives or when they’re waiting for a walk or other favorite activity.
- House-training problems — A canine that’s new to your home must learn how to properly relieve itself. If you aren’t following through with diligent house-training, your pet may urinate indoors because it doesn’t know any better and just needs to be taught the correct way.
- Marking and social dynamics — If your dog or cat is leaving small amounts of urine in specific areas of your home, it may be trying to mark its territory or maintain its social standing in the pack. Once your pet starts marking, it can quickly become habitual and may even encourage your other pets to follow suit. Conflicts between multiple cats or a change in social dynamics, such as the introduction of a new feline into the house, can also lead to indoor urination. Consider separating your cats until the tension fades. Placing several litter boxes throughout the house also can help.
- Medical issues — Some pets, such as elderly dogs and cats, may not be able to hold their bowels or bladders due to medical issues or medications. Medical disorders that can affect a pet’s urinary system include bladder stones, kidney disease, diabetes and urinary infections — all of which can increase urinary urgency. If your pet is leaving urine puddles in bed or on the floor during naps, a medical issue may be the culprit.
- Change of routine or environment — A cat may urinate outside of the litter box due to schedule changes or if you’ve switched to another brand of litter or moved the box to a new location. Inappropriate urination also can occur if you’ve recently moved into a new home, which can be a major adjustment for your cat or dog.
Once you’ve identified the reason your pet is urinating indoors, be patient and approach the problem with these simple steps:
- Watch for the signs — Dogs usually drop a few hints before they relieve themselves, such as sniffing the floor, cocking their leg or circling a specific area. Watch your dog closely for these signs and get it outside as soon as possible, keeping it there until it has complied. Remember to praise your pet or give it a treat in order to associate outside urination with your approval.
- Clean up properly — Pets can recognize the pungent smell of past accidents and mistakenly conclude that it’s acceptable to pee indoors. That means it’s vital to thoroughly clean up after an accident with an enzymatic cleanser that can eliminate the odor. Try to absorb as much of the moisture as possible with paper towels then rinse the area with water, spray it with an enzyme-based order-neutralizing cleanser and allow it to dry. If the odor remains after 24 hours, use the cleanser again to completely remove the smell.
- Consult a vet — If indoor urination continues to be a problem, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your pet’s doctor will take a complete history and perform a physical exam to determine if the problem is medical.
If your pet continues to pee indoors despite your best efforts, you can seek the advice of an animal behaviorist to help resolve the issue. Doggie diapers, lining the dog’s bedding with absorbent pads, or using them during house training also can be helpful in combating indoor urination.
Guide created by Carpet Cleaning Group
Vytas Macius is the owner of Carpet Cleaning Group, a family-owned business that provides residential and commercial floor cleaning services all over Chicagoland. Carpet Cleaning Group is always ready to go the extra mile to make sure customers are 100 percent satisfied with the services provided.