Urinary Issues in Dogs: What You Need to Know

Few things can disrupt the harmonious bond you have with your dog like urinary issues. When your house-trained adult dog uses your house as his personal toilet, you may think he's doing it out of spite and that he needs to be scolded for his wrongdoing. But the truth is that inappropriate urination in dogs is often beyond their control and usually has an underlying cause that has nothing to do with bad behavior.

Why Your Dog Might Be Going in the House
A number of reasons could account for why your dog is peeing inside the house. It could be something as simple as he's drinking too much water and needs to go more often than he's able to go outside. It's possible that he simply hasn't been adequately house-trained. It's a tricky lesson to emphasize to your pet that he must do his business outside — and only outside! House training may be more difficult when you allow your dog to sometimes relieve himself in a designated area indoors, on a puppy training pad, for example. It's easy for dogs to become confused about what's appropriate.
It's also possible that your pup is marking his territory indoors. This usually happens with non-neutered male dogs, and sometimes the behavior stops once the dog is neutered. Neutered males and spayed females may engage in this behavior from time to time, especially if they feel threatened by the arrival of another pet.

It's not uncommon for urinary issues in dogs to signal a deeper psychological issue, such as anxiety. In addition to the above, the following possibilities could be reasons why your dog might be urinating inside the house:

Over-Excitement: Although losing bladder control because of excitement is more common with puppies and is something that most dogs outgrow, some dogs retain this tendency well into adulthood.

Submission: Some urinate as a sign of submission to other dogs or animals, and even sometimes to humans.

Anxiety or Fear: Going indoors might be a response to any number of fearful stimuli or anxieties. If your dog is going in the house while home alone, this could be a sign of separation anxiety. There could be something in your dog's environment, such as a loud noise, that is making your dog fearful of going outside.

Change in Environment: If you recently moved and your dog's environment has changed, he might not necessarily associate the new place with being off-limits to relieving himself. In this case, it might require some extra potty training to help him understand that your new place is still considered indoors, and he must do his business outdoors.

If your adult dog, who is well-trained and adjusted, suddenly starts urinating indoors, it's likely a symptom of an underlying health issue. Certain conditions can cause involuntary loss of bladder control in dogs, while others like infections and diseases can increase the frequency and urgency of urination. Here's a list of potential medical causes of urinary issues in dogs:

  • Diabetes
  • Pain when squatting or lifting the leg to urinate
  • An infected bladder or urinary tract
  • Bladder stones
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Tumors
  • Cushing's or Addison's disease
  • Adrenal gland issues
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Cognitive problems caused by brain disease or dementia
  • Age-related illnesses and conditions