Your canine companion isn’t a puppy anymore, so you should be home-free when it comes to bathroom issues, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Below are three common adult dog potty problems that pet parents face and how to solve them:
1. Your housetrained dog starts having accidents: It can be frustrating for owners when their perfectly housetrained dog is all of a sudden having accidents indoors.
Solution: The first step is to consult with a veterinarian. Urinary tract infections and other health conditions can make it difficult for your dog to hold it. Once a medical problem is ruled out, give your floor a good scrubbing. Your sweet pup might be going to the bathroom inside because the smell of a past accident is still lingering. On carpet, be sure to sure to use an odor remover.
Lastly, think about how long you’re leaving your dog home alone. If you plan on being gone longer than you can realistically expect your dog to go comfortably without a bathroom break, consider a dog walker or a doggy day care facility.
2. Your dog pees on indoor plants: You may have noticed your dog releasing a small amount of urine on plants and surfaces while out on a walk, this is called marking. Unfortunately some dogs bring this behavior indoors.
Solution: Dogs that are intact are much more likely to mark their territory, so having your dog spayed or neutered will likely significantly reduce this behavior. Marking is sometimes triggered by emotional stress (maybe a new person or a new pet in the home), so acclimating your dog to new situations slowly and compassionately may help reduce the urge to mark.
3. Your dog won’t go outside to go potty in the rain: You know your dog needs to go but you just can’t seem to get those four paws outside when the weather is bad.
Solution: Borrow a tip from the puppy housebreaking manual and use a lot of positive reinforcement when your dog does to his business in the rain, either with praise or with your dog’s favorite treats. Also keep in mind that some dogs are truly sensitive to the rain and the cold. If your dog is getting up there in years or is ill, you might consider a jacket and some booties for those rainy day bathroom breaks.