It’s frustrating when your dog suddenly pees in the house.
Especially when they’re house trained. You ask, “What the heck is going on?”
Good thing you found this article because I’ll show you:
- 9 reasons why your (old/senior) dog pees in the house.
- 27 tips to stop your dog from peeing in the house.
- The cheapest and safest product to use that can stop your dog from peeing in the house.
- And this is just the tip of the iceberg…
Table of contents
- Why is my dog suddenly peeing a lot?
- Why does my dog all of a sudden pee in the house?
- People also ask:
- 9 reasons why your (old/senior) dog pees in the house
- 27 tips to stop your (old/senior) dog from peeing in the house
- #1: Clean up after your dog…immediately
- #2: Stock up on stain and odor remover
- #3: Identify the trigger…and eliminate it
- #4: Use this to stop your (old/senior) dog from peeing in the house
- #5: Keep the odor away with this spray
- #6: Doggie diapers save the day
- #7: Bring the bathroom to your dog
- #8: Give your dog a refresher on potty training
- #9: Increase your dog’s potty breaks
- #10: Don’t hit or yell at your dog
- #11: Get your couch a cover
- #12: Use loads of towels
- #13: Get your floors protected
- #14: Tape potty pads under rugs
- #15: Have an endless supply of potty pads
- #16: Get up early and take your dog outside
- #17: Set a schedule for peeing
- #18: Use these chewables to help bladder strength
- #19: Spay or neuter your dog
- #20: Interrupt the act
- #21: Use citronella oil
- #22: Use chili powder
- #23: Limit your dog’s water intake at night
- #24: Use this cheapest, non-toxic, and eco-friendly product
- #25: Ask for professional help
- #26: Do not give up your dog
- #27: Be more understanding of your dog’s plight
Why is my dog suddenly peeing a lot?
Your dog is suddenly peeing a lot due to disease. Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and kidney disease all cause excessive thirst in dogs. They tend to drink more and, naturally, they pee more often. When your dog is old and has any of these diseases, they’re more likely to have accidents in the house.
Why does my dog all of a sudden pee in the house?
Your dog all of a sudden pees in the house because of old age. Their body is no longer as efficient. Eventually, they lose muscle tone. Thus, they cannot control the flow of their urine. Arthritis can also slow their movement. They end up peeing in the house even before reaching the door.
People also ask:
9 reasons why your (old/senior) dog pees in the house
#1: Incontinence brought about by old age
One of the hardest challenges of dog parents is their dog’s old age.
Time will come when dogs start to move slowly. They will lose their eyesight and hearing.
But it can become frustrating and tiring when they begin peeing everywhere.
You just want to enjoy spending every moment of their remaining life together. And not be stressed by constantly wiping every pee and washing every rug.
But incontinence is part of old age. And older dogs are prone to this due to loss of muscle tone.
The muscles around their bladder lose elasticity. Thus, dogs cannot properly control the flow of their urine.
#2: Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and kidney disease
When dogs age, they become like old cars, susceptible to malfunction, or in their case, disease.
Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and kidney disease are just some of these. One thing they have in common: they cause excessive thirst in dogs.
And if dogs drink too much water, then they pee more frequently.
A dog parent shares on a blog that her 13-year-old dog has Cushing’s. The dog had been peeing on the living room rug.
Another dog parent reminisces about her dog who had already died. The dog, a Doxie, had Cushing’s, too. Apparently, Cushing’s is common among Dachshunds.
This dog parent noticed that her dog would pee without knowing it. The dog was put on medication to help her with increased thirst and urination.
As seen from these two dogs, the symptoms of Cushing’s disease include polydipsia and polyuria.
According to this study, polydipsia is an increase in water intake. Polyuria, on the other hand, is increased urination.
Also, the study says that drinking more than 100ml/kg/day is already excessive. Whereas urinating more than 50ml/kg/day is also excessive.
Kidney insufficiency is common among senior dogs. It’s when their kidneys fail to filter out toxins properly.
Thus, dogs experience excessive thirst and frequent urination.
However, such symptoms also appear in other health conditions. That’s why it’s important to check with the vet to rule out possible causes.
Increased thirst and urination is also a symptom in dogs with diabetes. If this is neglected, it can lead to serious health problems.
A dog parent shares that her Doxie peed everywhere. The dog drank more water than usual.
She took the dog to the vet, who diagnosed that the dog was diabetic. With medication, the peeing stopped.
#3: Thyroid disease
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), thyroid disease is common in dogs.
If your dog’s thyroid glands under-produce or over-produce hormones, there will be problems.
One of which is hyperthyroidism. This occurs because the dog’s body produces too much of the thyroid hormone. In turn, the dog’s metabolism increases to high levels.
When your dog has hyperthyroidism, they experience many symptoms. This includes increased thirst and urination.
#4: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Have you experienced having UTI before? You feel the urge to pee again when you’ve just been to the bathroom seconds ago.
It’s the same when dogs have UTI.
You may notice that your dog only passes trickles of urine when they pee around the house. It happens because they feel the urge to go but their bladder isn’t really full.
UTI is curable. But you need an antibiotic prescription from your vet.
Warning: UTI can get serious if neglected.
No, arthritis doesn’t make your dog pee everywhere.
But arthritis makes it hard for your old dog to move fast enough to go outside. Thus, they might end up peeing on your carpet.
#6: Neurological conditions
One dog parent thinks her dog had difficulty controlling his bladder because of aging. The dog was given medication. But it didn’t help.
Eventually, the dog was diagnosed with dementia. Turns out he forgot he was supposed to go outside to pee.
A dog going through dementia might be hard to accept. They’ve been your babies for years. And now their mind is failing ahead of their body.
It can feel heart-wrenching to see them confused about a lot of things. They could be peeing inside the house because they “forgot” their potty training.
In some cases, dogs with dementia are not aware of their actions.
They could be looking at you one moment. And the next, they’re peeing where they stand without knowing it.
And if you’re not aware of their dementia, you might think they’re doing it on purpose.
#7: Side effect of spaying in female dogs
Your dog can gain a lot from spaying. Unfortunately, it can also lead to incontinence.
According to this study, urinary incontinence is a side effect of spaying in female dogs. Breed, weight, and time of spaying can have an impact on the development of incontinence.
One common symptom is peeing while the dog is lying down. It usually takes place about 2.8 years after the operation.
#8: Anxiety or stress
A couple shares on a blog that their dog developed a stress condition. One of the effects was excessive drinking and urinating.
This could happen to any dog. Their anxiety or stress could be brought on by many changes.
Though not in all cases, some dogs become too sensitive as they age. Loud noises and strange people suddenly scare them when before they didn’t.
Small and big changes alike could throw their emotional balance off. For instance, there’s a new baby in the family.
They might react by peeing in the house at times. Other symptoms include being clingy or having depression.
Physical changes can also make your dog pee in the house. They might be experiencing hearing or vision loss, or chronic pain. These could cause anxiety.
#9: Behavioral problems
A male intact dog might pee in the house as a way of scent-marking.
Scent-marking is normal territorial behavior. But doing it inside the house? That would be frustrating!
A dog is more likely scent-marking if they pee on door frames, furniture legs, and corners. This behavior will unlikely change once your dog is sexually mature.
Even neutering isn’t guaranteed to stop this behavior completely.
27 tips to stop your (old/senior) dog from peeing in the house
#1: Clean up after your dog…immediately
The smell of their urine in one spot will make your dog pee on that spot again.
To stop it from happening, clean the area thoroughly. As soon as possible.
Mop up the urine right away. Letting urine sit for quite a while can make your whole house smelling bad.
#2: Stock up on stain and odor remover
Stain and odor remover is handy to keep your home not smelling of pee.
There are enzyme cleaners that break down the pee odor. Thus, your dog won’t smell their pee from the treated spot.
If you want more details about removing pee smell from the carpet, here’s a nice video:
#3: Identify the trigger…and eliminate it
Address the problem by knowing what makes your dog pee in the house.
For instance, your dog experiences excitement urination when they see animals outside. You might want to close the curtains.
Or teach your dog to get used to other animals.
If they scent-mark new things, keep these things out of reach.
#4: Use this to stop your (old/senior) dog from peeing in the house
Help your senior dog with incontinence by giving them this Nature’s Way corn silk. It’s a dietary supplement for urinary health.
One dog parent recommends this for dogs with incontinence. Many dog parent who tried it on their dogs were also singing praises for the product.
One such dog parent recounts that her vet recommended the supplement. And in 2 years, her dog had no accident after taking the supplement.
Warning: Always consult with your vet before giving your dog any medications or supplements.
#5: Keep the odor away with this spray
Keep your floors and rugs odor-free. How?
Use an odor-neutralizing urine spray. The Nature’s Miracle stain and odor eliminator is a good product to have on hand.
It can remove the smell of urine, even vomit, and diarrhea-caused accidents. The spray can be used on carpets, tiles, and linoleums.
Unfortunately, it’s poison for hardwood floors.
Before using the product, wipe urine dry. Then spray the area and soak for 15 minutes to let the product work. Let it air dry.
#6: Doggie diapers save the day
Doggie diapers are lifesavers.
These are a fantastic investment for those days when you can’t monitor your dog 24/7. Diapers will save your sanity…and your carpets and rugs and bed.
If you’ve got an old dog, or a dog that scent-marks, a wrap will be useful. According to a dog parent, a diaper will deter a dog from marking when they’re wearing one.
Diapers will also make life easier if you’ve got a dog that pees in their sleep. Both of you can sleep comfortably without waking up soaked in smelly pee.
When it comes to diapers, one brand may not fit all. It’s a matter of trial and error to find one that fits your dog’s size.
To get your dog’s size, watch this useful video:
A dog parent shares on her blog about finding this wrap for male dogs (on Amazon). The good thing about this wrap is that it is washable. The edges are elastic to keep it snug around your dog’s waist.
The same manufacturer also makes diapers for female dogs.
- You may need to line the wrap with a sanitary napkin (which is cheaper) or an incontinence pad.
- If it’s inconvenient to wash diapers all the time, there are disposable diapers.
- Also, it is not advisable for dogs to wear diapers for a long period of time. But if this situation can’t be avoided, at least have some diaper ointment ready. It will protect their skin from irritation.
#7: Bring the bathroom to your dog
Sometimes, your dog can no longer wait to be let outside to do their business.
And before you know it, your dog is already taking a leak on your – gasp! – precious carpet.
I know, it’s frustrating. It could be a disease or old age that makes them pee anywhere.
But you can help your dog in times like this. If they can’t go to their “bathroom” in time, then bring the bathroom to them.
By bathroom, I mean a portable potty trainer that’s good for indoor and outdoor use. This one has 3 layers: synthetic grass mat, plastic insert, and tray.
With the grass mat, your dog will feel like they’re peeing on the grass outside.
For some dogs, using a potty trainer might be a new thing. Especially if they have not used it before.
If this is the case, get a paper towel and soak it with their urine. Place it on the potty trainer.
The smell will attract them to go pee on their potty trainer.
And when they do that, reward them!
#8: Give your dog a refresher on potty training
Once upon a time, your dog was house trained.
It’s a huge help to revisit the training and make your dog remember.
Don’t forget to use positive reinforcement! It’s more effective, as this study shows.
This study was actually a review of other studies about the effects of methods in training dogs. In particular, the studies delved into the differences between methods (reward-based, punishment, etc.).
The author found out that aversive methods are harmful to a dog’s physical and mental wellbeing. These methods are those that use punishment and negative reinforcement.
The author thus recommends the use of positive reinforcement in training dogs.
So make training more fun by giving your dog a reward. Your dog will be as happy as a bee if they’re rewarded for desired behaviors.
A reward is not just food. Though of course, it’s very useful to a food-motivated dog. You can also use praise, attention, and play as forms of reward.
#9: Increase your dog’s potty breaks
Make it a habit to let your dog pee more frequently. Specifically, take them outside:
- After drinking and eating.
- Waking up from naps or sleep.
Doing so can avoid accidents inside the house.
Note: Make sure your dog pees outside. One dog parent shares that her dog goes outside just to make her happy. But really doesn’t pee, until he gets back inside the house.
#10: Don’t hit or yell at your dog
First of all, doing so will not stop your dog from peeing in the house. If anything, it will only frighten them.
If it frustrates you that they pee in the house frequently, you’re not alone. I’m sure many dog parents feel the same from time to time.
But whatever the cause of your dog’s incontinence is, it’s not their fault. And they don’t deserve to be yelled at or hit.
I’ve read an article where a dog parent shares about her 12-year-old dog. She recounts how one time her dog peed 3 times in the house. The dog, apparently, experienced excitement urination.
She accommodated the needs of the dog. But her mom and stepdad weren’t on the same wavelength.
In fact, the stepdad would spank the dog and throw him outside. The dog would avoid the stepdad like a plague for days.
Worse, the dog came from an abusive home. So these instances of being punished frightened him.
#11: Get your couch a cover
There will be times when you can’t get there in time to stop your dog.
If you’ve got an expensive couch, a couch cover is a must-have. It’s easier and faster and cheaper to clean a couch cover.
Note: A couch soaking in dog urine is more expensive to have professionally cleaned.
#12: Use loads of towels
If there are a lot of dog accidents in the house lately, arm yourself with towels. Your old ones will do.
Basically, place towels on top of your couch cover. Then place a blanket on top of the towel.
You can also place towels over chairs. Even in your car.
Of course, this means you’ll have a mountain of towels to wash. But thankfully, it’s way cheaper than spending a lot to replace a soiled couch.
#13: Get your floors protected
Tiles. Linoleum. Carpets. Wood.
Whatever your floor is, protect it from urine.
If you have an expensive area rug, you might want to keep it away for now. There are cheaper rugs you can use while you’re dealing with your dog’s accidents.
For wood floors, having a Spillguard will protect it from urine. As you know, urine can damage wood if not cleaned right away.
Not only that. If your floor still smells of urine, your dog will likely pee on that spot again.
A dog parent suggests the product, mentioning that they had a senior dog that had accidents. Her search for a solution led her to Spillguard.
It’s a pad that you place under your rugs. If ever your dog pees on the rug, the pad will catch the pee.
One dog parent had an ingenious idea to protect her rugs. Her old dog had been having accidents and peed in the same spot.
So what the dog parent did was buy some plastic tablecloth from the dollar store. She placed it on top of the area rug. Then she covered the tablecloth with towels.
If her dog peed on it, she only needed to wash the towel and not the rug.
#14: Tape potty pads under rugs
Another option to protect your floors is to use potty pads.
Tape potty pads to the underside of the rug. The potty pad will catch and absorb urine that soaks through the rug.
Keeps your floor dry and protected.
However, you’re going to use and change pads frequently.
But in the long run, this is much cheaper than getting your $12,000 wood floors ruined.
#15: Have an endless supply of potty pads
Come to think of it, we use potty pads everywhere.
Place one or two on the floor right under each dog bed. Your dog might have an accident while asleep.
You can also use potty pads to protect your furniture if you have no old towels.
In addition, place potty pads in areas where your dog usually pees. If they pee in the bathroom, place some potty pads in there.
Here’s a dog parent’s story of how he trained his Chihuahua to use a potty pad:
#16: Get up early and take your dog outside
One dog parent shares on a blog that recently, his 18-year-old dog began peeing on the floor.
What he did was wake up as early as 5 in the morning. Then he would take his dog outside to pee in the garden.
It definitely diminished the number of accidents inside the house.
#17: Set a schedule for peeing
That’s right, make a schedule for peeing if you have to.
First, observe how often they pee. Or how long it takes before they pee.
Then take your dog outside at regular intervals. It could be every 2-3 hours or so, depending on your dog.
Physically carry them outside if you have to, especially during the cold months. Or if your senior dog has problems with eyesight and mobility.
#18: Use these chewables to help bladder strength
You might want to consider having your dog use VetriScience Bladder Strength. But, as with any product, get your vet’s approval first.
If everything’s okay, this product can help your dog regain normal bladder function. It also works for spayed/neutered and senior dogs.
This one dog parent says that her senior dog had accidents, mostly when asleep. She had to put diapers on her dog at night.
But after giving her dog the product, there were no more accidents. Her dog took the chewables for only 2 weeks.
#19: Spay or neuter your dog
To address your dog’s scent-marking behavior, consider spaying or neutering.
The procedure will either reduce or eliminate this behavior.
According to this study, castration was effective in decreasing scent-marking. The study included 57 male castrated dogs.
The dog parents were interviewed regarding 9 problem behaviors. And whether castration had an effect on those behaviors.
The results showed that castration decreased scent-marking by more than 50% in 60% of the dogs.
However, in older dogs the behavior might persist even if already spayed or neutered. If this is the case, you’ll have to resort to other techniques to curb the behavior.
#20: Interrupt the act
Let’s say you’ve missed the signals that your dog wants to be let outside.
And when you’ve noticed, your dog is about to pee on the floor.
Interrupt them by calling their name or making a loud noise. Just enough to make them stop. And long enough for you to bring them outside.
Let them finish outside, then reward them for doing so.
#21: Use citronella oil
One dog parent swears by citronella oil. Her dog hated the smell.
One good thing about this oil is that it is natural. Plus, it keeps mosquitoes and flies away.
Apply it on certain areas in the house that your dog pees on.
Warning: If using this oil, keep an eye on your dog. Make sure they don’t ingest it. In small doses it is nontoxic. But a certain amount might make them ill.
#22: Use chili powder
Chilli powder might as well be a flame thrower. Your dog will stay away from it.
Before using it, wash the area first to get rid of the pee smell. Sprinkle the powder over the area. Or mix it with a bit of water to make it stick to the floor.
After smelling it, your dog will steer clear of the area. But again, monitor your dog. Make sure they don’t sniff too much of the powder.
#23: Limit your dog’s water intake at night
Some dog parents actually found this one helpful.
One dog parent says he doesn’t give his senior dogs water from 7:30 pm onwards.
He noticed that they no longer woke him up in the wee hours of the morning to pee. And no more accidents in the house.
Warning: This might not be a good idea overall considering proper hydration. The best thing to do is to consult with your vet first.
#24: Use this cheapest, non-toxic, and eco-friendly product
And you can easily find it in your kitchen: vinegar!
One dog parent shares that her 14-year-old dog always peed on the carpet. The dog also hated using the pee pads.
What she did was use a heavy vinegar and water solution to steam clean the carpet. She also poured a mixture into a spray bottle. She would use it to spray the carpet every now and then. It effectively kept her dog at bay.
When spraying an area, use pure vinegar at first. Then, later on, dilute the vinegar with water.
#25: Ask for professional help
If all’s been done and nothing worked, it’s time to go to the professionals.
Consult with your vet first. Depending on your dog’s situation, a behaviorist’s help might be needed too.
#26: Do not give up your dog
It’s surprising that some dogs are given up for repeatedly peeing in the house. Dogs are given to shelters, at a time when they need their hoomans the most.
This is heart-breaking.
Dogs are part of your family. It’s not right to give them up just because their old age or disease makes them pee in the house a lot.
#27: Be more understanding of your dog’s plight
No one can blame you if you feel like going crazy when your dog pees everywhere. Cleaning up after them is no joke.
It’s frustrating when you know you’ve house trained them. And yet they see your house as a convenient bathroom.
Sometimes it’s easier to give in to your frustrations.
But hang on. During these times, get a hold of your emotions. Then breathe in, breathe out.
For many dog parents, dealing with all the challenges is the least they could do. Cleaning pee and poop from floors and rugs are worth it.
After all, their dog gave them unconditional love.
You owe it to your furbaby to take a step back and be more understanding.