Adult Dog Suddenly Started Peeing in the House



Why is my adult dog suddenly urinating in the house, and what can I do about it?

When a previously house trained and well behaved dog suddenly starts peeing in the house you have to suspect something is going on. Your dog is not doing this without a reason. It may be up to you to discover what the underlying problem is.

Usually the problem of sudden onset peeing in the house falls into two categories.

  1. A medical reason.
  2. A behavioral reason brought on by outside influences.

Some owners are under the misconception that the dog is peeing in the house to punish the owner. Dogs do not retaliate or do things out of spite.

Read through the possible causes below and you may be able to gain some insight into your dog’s problem.

A medical reason is often a common cause for an adult dog to suddenly begin urinating in the house so it is essential to rule out a medical cause first. Many of the conditions that commonly cause inappropriate urination can quickly become serious for your dog.

To Rule out Medical Problems you need to schedule an appointment with your Vet.

Your veterinarian should perform a thorough physical exam and talk to you about what is going on.

A urine sample from your dog will probably be necessary for analysis. This sample will help indicate if there is an infection going on, how well the kidneys are concentrating the urine, and if there are any crystals.

Your veterinarian may recommend any of the following tests depending on your dog and the urine results: Bloodwork, Xrays or an ultrasound.

Common Medical Causes Sudden Onset of Peeing in the House:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bladder stones
  • Kidney disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder or urethral tumors
  • Prostatic disease in intact male dogs
  • Pyometra infection in intact female dogs
  • Vaginitis in intact female puppies
  • Side effects of medications
  • Ageing (Incontinence)
  • Arthritis – Painful joints can make dogs reluctant to make the effort to go outside

Common Behavioral Causes of Sudden Onset of Peeing in the House:

Changes to the environment are also a common behavioral cause for a dog to suddenly begin urinating in the home.

Changes can include things such as:

  • Adding a new pet to the household
  • The addition of a new baby to the household
  • Death in the family or someone going away
  • Construction work going on in the home
  • Change in the owner’s household routines.
  • Changes in the neighborhood like a new dog moving in.
  • Seperation Anxiety
  • Any Scary Event (You have to think about this one)
  • New Home

Stress and anxiety can lead to inappropriate urination. The most common example of this is dogs with separation anxiety. When the owner leaves the home, the dog urinates or defecates. This is often interpreted as the dog being “mad” that the owner left. In reality, it is a reflection of the dog’s anxiety level. Punishing the dog for being anxious only increases the anxiety.


Never punish your dog for the inappropriate urination. Don’t rub your dog’s nose in it or shout or even worse hit your dog. You will only make matters worse. You need to find the reason why your dog is doing this. Nothing will be gained by punishment. Much can be gained by understanding your dog and why this inappropriate behavior is happening.

Cleaning up

Cleaning up existing dog urine is important. When your dog pees on the carpet it leaves an odor that your dog may repeatedly return to.

Using Baking Soda, dishwashing soap, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide this recipe removes dog urine odors and stains from carpets and rugs even if the urine has dried and is old.

Retraining your dog

Often your adult dog just needs a short “refresher course” in house training. With a little reminder, most dogs get right back to their good potty habits.

You can also help prevent accidents by keeping your dog away from the area they have been going potty in. A baby gate or closed door can easily restrict your dog’s access.

Retraining your dog requires the same steps you would use with a new puppy.

Read this for more advice: Chihuahua Potty-Training and Housebreaking

Schedule: Take your dog outside on a set schedule. Your adult dog should be able to hold their urine for 4-8 hours depending on their activity level. Set a schedule and stick to it every day.

Reward: Go outside with your dog each time. Take a tasty food treat. When your dog goes potty in the correct place, praise them and offer a food reward. This will help your dog want to go potty in the right place.

Consistency: Your consistency in training is the key to your dog’s success. Stick with your training plan and you will see fast results. The more consistent you are, the faster your dog will get back on track.