House Soiling in Dogs – What You Can Do About It

House Soiling in Dogs
Dogs like to live inside with their human family, but to do so they need to be toilet trained. Even in the best trained pooches, there may be times when you find a patch of urine or some feces on the carpet. There’s usually a reason for this, so spend some time working out why it is happening so you can take steps to resolve it.

Medical Causes of Soiling Inside

With any dog behavior issues, the first thing you need to do is to rule out a medical reason for it. This means a visit to your vet for a full physical exam. Some health issues that can cause toilet training problems include:

Gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis and worms can cause diarrhea and at times your dog won’t be able to control it.

A sudden change in diet can result in sloppy stools and more frequent bowel motions.

Bladder stones or bladder infections irritate the lining of the bladder, and one symptom is frequent urination. Your dog may not have time to ask to go outside before he just has to eliminate.

Some medications can affect your dog’s toileting behavior. Antibiotics can upset the bacterial population in the intestines and cause diarrhea. Corticosteroids will make your dog drink more water than usual and that can lead to them urinating on the floor.

Sometimes your dog’s little accidents are just because he’s getting on in years. He may have early dementia, or his joints may be sore which makes it harder and slower for him to get up and out the door.

If your vet gives your dog a clean bill of health, then you need to look for any other reasons he is house soiling.

Have there been any changes in your household or his environment that may be making him anxious?

Does he have separation anxiety when you go out? This is a common cause of soiling; other symptoms include barking and howling, and chewing up soft furniture.

Perhaps a new dog in the neighborhood has ignited your pooch’s territorial instinct and he is marking your home as his turf.

Some breeds of dogs don’t like going outside in the cold and rain, so will hold on until they just have to go to the toilet and it usually happens inside.

Retraining your Dog

If you have taken care of any health or behavior issues, then it’s time to go back to basics and spend some time on reviewing and reinforcing his house training. Keep him crated or tethered to you while you can’t directly supervise him. Take him outside frequently to the same spot and praise him for going to the toilet there.

Whatever you do, don’t get angry or hit your dog for having an accident inside. He’s not doing it deliberately and all you’ll do is make him anxious and afraid. This is very likely to worsen the problem, not fix it. It’s worth the effort to find the cause and manage it, so you won’t find any more surprises on your carpet.