Superb Dog
dog pees in the house

How To Stop Dogs From Peeing in the House (A Complete Guide)

Dogs pee in the house for a myriad of reasons. We go through all of them and give suggestions for stopping dogs from peeing inside

Are you tired of your dog peeing in the house? Potty-trained dogs that seem to be doing well could backtrack and start relieving themselves in the wrong places. It’s not fun when your home harbors terrible odors because your loyal buddy keeps leaving a mess in their trail.

What could be the reasons behind this, and how can you stop dogs from peeing in the house? Let’s take a deep look.

Medical Conditions That Cause Peeing in the House

Unbeknownst to you, the culprit behind your dog’s unusual behavior may be a health issue. Common health issues that may cause dogs to pee in the house include UTIs, metabolic issues, and more.

Accidental peeing in the house may be due to a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, cancer, etc.

Urinary Tract Infection

A dog suffering from a urinary tract issue needs to pee often. Usually, a UTI in dogs develops when bacteria access the urinary tract via the urethra.

UTIs cause inflammation that makes it super painful for dogs to pee. UTI symptoms in dogs that you should look out for are:

  • Difficulty peeing
  • Blood in the urine
  • Smelly urine
  • Frequent peeing accidents in the house

Other related issues that may cause frequent peeing in the house include bladder infection and kidney or liver disease.

Metabolic/Endocrine Issues

Diabetes, kidney problems, liver issues, Cushing’s disease, and prostate problems are endocrine issues that can lead to frequent peeing.

Drugs meant to treat various medical issues in dogs may also cause metabolic problems that cause the dog to pee in the house.

If metabolic or endocrine issues go for long without treatment, the peeing may get worse. You’ll notice your dog drinks more water than usual, eats less, develops skin problems, and has diarrhea and vomiting.


Arthritis is a disease common in older dogs, causing inflammation in the joints. Due to the discomfort and pain arthritic dogs endure when they try to stand or walk, they can have urinary accidents.

Movement significantly slows down in dogs with arthritis. The dog may try to get up to go outside to urinate, but they accidentally pee in the house due to the pain.  


Incontinence is when your dog has little or no control of its bowel or urinary releases. Dogs of all ages can experience urinary incontinence, especially when they have just been spayed or neutered. Another reason your dog may experience incontinence is when they have urinary cancer. And often senior dogs become incontinent as they age.

cleaning up after dog peeing in house


When your dog is so scared, anxious, or stressed, they can’t help but pee right where they are. Anxiety or fear is a trigger for your dog; for example, if there’s lightning and thunderstorms outside or loud fireworks.

Or, it could be something as simple as leaving the dog in the company of a stranger that causes them anxiety. Harsh disciplining may also make dogs so fearful that they pee on themselves.

Eliminate these triggers to avoid peeing accidents in the house.

Submissive Urination

Related to anxiety and fear urination is what is known as “submissive urination.” It’s an instinctual response that occurs more frequently in younger dogs, usually whena dog feels excited, anxious, or scared. It also occurs as an acknowledgment of another dog’s dominance — or even a person’s dominance, hence its name. 

Cognitive Issues

Older dogs diagnosed with a cognitive disorder or a neurologic disease can exhibit peeing in your home as a symptom. Cognitive issues like dementia can cause a dog to pee irregularly. 

When such a dog can barely remember where the appropriate area is to relieve themself, they will likely pee wherever they are when they need to relieve themselves.

Canine Osteoarthritis

Large breeds and older dogs may develop Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that has no cure. However, identifying it in its initial stages means finding proper management measures to slow its progress.

In later stages, Osteoarthritis may significantly decrease the quality of a dog’s life leading to irregular urination and bowel movements, among other symptoms.

Intestinal Parasites

Toxocara Canis, Dipylidium Caninum, Echinococcus granulosus, and Cryptosporidium spp. are a few of the many gastrointestinal parasites. These parasites are the leading culprits behind dog death.

Dogs love to sniff, lick, and much on random items indoors and outdoors which exposes them to these parasites. When your dog goes too long without dewormers, intestinal parasites will thrive and wreak havoc on the poor dog’s body.

Besides diarrhea, vomiting, excess shedding, and weight loss, your dog may also start peeing in the house because they are too weak to go outside. 

dog sits after peeing in house

Behavioral Causes of Peeing in the House/Inappropriate Urination

If your visit to the vet shows that your dog is in excellent health, there’s a good chance that your dog’s frequent and inappropriate urination is behavioral. Examples of behavioral triggers in dogs include the following.


Overstimulation exists in dogs! Your dog may be so happy to see you that they pee on the spot. “Happy peeing” occurs when you greet your dog or as you’re about to offer them their favorite treat. Such accidents shouldn’t cause worry because they don’t happen often.

Territory Issues

Did you recently bring another new dog or cat into your home? If yes, your dog’s unusual peeing in the house may be caused by the lack of privacy.

Dogs prefer to do their business privately. While some dogs don’t mind sharing a potty space, others are territorial. Give each pet their own bathroom space, and your problem is solved.


This often happens when there’s more than one dog in the house. In the same way humans like labeling their possessions, dogs pee on stuff and spots around the house to declare what’s theirs.

This behavior is seen in young male dogs, mainly when you introduce a new pet or bring in new furniture or a human baby.

Your Pup Isn’t Housetrained Yet

If your puppy is untrained, any spot inside or outside your home can pass for their potty. Dogs also have a strong sense of smell; once the puppy pees on a certain spot in your home, the other dog tends to pee in the same spot, even when you clean it off.

Remember, a dog that’s 90% house trained is not house trained. Expecting the results of a fully house-trained dog when they aren’t is not fair to them.

Bad Weather

When it’s raining cats and dogs and thunderstorms roar, when it’s extremely windy, or a snow storm, your dog may hide in a dark corner in fear. Thus, your dog will avoid going outside to pee. But, they can only hold it in for too long before they give up and let loose.

Changes in the Home

If one of your loved ones recently moved in, you rearranged the furniture, or are procuring a significant restructuring in your home; your dog may suffer confusion, leading to urinary accidents.

Changes to your routine may leave your dog unsure about when and where to pee. When you no longer walk your dog at the same time or on the same path you usually follow, it can lead to random peeing in the house. These changes catch the dog off-guard; it will take time before they adjust.

dog with pee on carpet

Setbacks in Housetraining

A fully potty-trained dog can have peeing accidents in the house. Such behavior sometimes occurs when you relocate a dog from its usual home to a different household. Rescue dogs may also pee in the house, especially when they were abused or mishandled by their previous owner.

Puppies and adolescent dogs will sometimes have what is known as puppy potty training regression, where they seem to forget everything they previously learned. This is usually just a hiccup in their development and the best way to deal with it is to retrain them, which usually won’t take too long.

You may have to retrain your dog when you move to a new home or bring a new puppy home. An adult dog may pee in the house when you transition them from the puppy pad to the backyard or lawn.

Ways To Stop Dogs From Peeing in the House

Figuring out why your dog is suddenly peeing in the house is only half of the equation. Solving the problem is a whole different story. Whether the issue is due to a medical or behavioral problem, below are tips on what you can do to regain normalcy.

Clean Up Accidents Properly

Soap and water are not enough to clean pee off the floors or soiled surfaces in your home. Use a special enzymatic cleaner to eliminate odor and stop territorial marking inside your home.

Spay or Neuter Your Dog

There are pheromones in female dog pee that communicate to male dogs when they are available to mate. Whether or not there’s another male dog in the house, your female dog will pee in different areas in your home to send a message.

A male dog, on the other hand, will pee in the same spots they find marked by the female dog to mask the pheromones and keep other male dogs from pursuing the female.

Spaying or neutering your dog can help you avoid the mess and significantly reduce marking behavior. Keep in mind that this must be used alongside potty training to stop the behavior completely.

Train (Or Retrain) Your Dog

If you’ve had plenty of changes around the house, retraining your dog helps show them where it’s OK and not OK to pee. Avoid all negativity and instead opt for positive reinforcement whenever you aim to correct your dog’s behavior.

Practice patience because it may take longer than you expect for your dog to learn appropriate toilet behavior.

Give Lots of Potty Breaks

If you take your dog outside to pee numerous times throughout the day, you limit the probability of peeing in the house. Find an easily accessible spot in your lawn or backyard where you take your dog to pee each time.

Before you know it, the dog will catch on to its routine and relieve themself properly without needing your help.

Identify and Eliminate Anxiety Triggers

Careful observation will tell you what makes your dog fearful and anxious. If your dog tends to pee in the house when it’s raining, consider cuddling with them instead of locking them up alone in the dark. You might also try putting some music on as a distraction.

Introduce New Things Carefully

Take a moment to introduce new people or things to your dog properly. Lead them to the person, allow the dog to sniff the new person, tell the dog the stranger’s name and let the two get acquainted. 

Sometimes, just not making a big fuss over the greeting is the best approach. By initially ignoring the dog and not fawning over the dog, the excitement level is diminished and happy peeing may be less likely to occur.

Start Tracking Your Dog’s Behavior

You can tell when your dog is ready to find the right spot to pee indoors. The moment you notice these signs, calmly lead them outside.

dog next to pee in the house

Use Positive Reinforcement

Training your dog will prove futile if you are not patient enough, you’re doing it wrong, or you keep yelling at the dog for making mistakes.

Avoid physically or verbally reprimanding your dog or using corrections for training. Instead, put your dog in a position to succeed and always acknowledge and reward them when they behave appropriately.

When retraining, give your dog a treat when they pee in the appropriate place. Positive reinforcement is a well proven method of dog training.

Constant Supervision and Leash Training

If your dog is peeing indoors because of behavioral issues, you may have to keep them on a leash throughout the day. Supervise your dog and immediately lead the dog outside as soon as you see them preparing to pee.

The first few days might be challenging because no one wants to move around their home with a dog, but as time goes by, you’ll see improvement in your dog that encourages you to keep at it.

Monitor Water Intake

The more water your dog drinks, the higher the chance they’ll need to pee. Adult dogs should take about an ounce of water for every pound they weigh.

For instance, a dog that weighs 30 pounds should drink 30 ounces of water. Ensure your dog drinks plenty of water during the day and little to no water before bedtime.

That way, they won’t pee indoors in the middle of the night when all the doors are locked and they cannot go outside.

Use Rooms Where Your Dog Pees In

Dogs don’t like hanging out in places where they pee. Thus, if you want to keep your dog from peeing in a room in the house, staying in that room means the dog will have to find someplace else to relieve themself.

Alternatively, place your dog’s favorite toys or food in the room to yield the same effect.

Use Dog Belly Bands

Belly bands are special absorbent garments designed to keep your dogs from soiling your home. These bands will not stop your dog from peeing, but they will save your furniture, floors, and tapestry from damage due to excessive dog pee.

Dog belly bands are an excellent training tool for territorial dogs that mark regularly. A belly band shouldn’t replace potty training but should work as an aid during the training.

Be sure to check your dog’s belly band every hour and replace it with a new one when necessary.

Rule Out a Medical Condition

Regular vet visits will isolate health issues causing frequent peeing long before it becomes a problem. Before considering training your dog and other non-medical measures, it never hurts to go to the vet clinic for a quick checkup.

With the doctor’s go-ahead, you can try the suggested correctional methods for a dog peeing.

Final Notes

It can be frustrating when your dog pees in the house. Whether it’s happens occasionally from uncontained excitement or indicates a more serious problem, it’s important to exercise patience and compassion while you get to the root of the issue.

Consider all the scenarios above to figure out why your dog frequently pees in the house so you can mitigate it. Hopefully, you’ve found this guide on how to stop dogs from peeing in the house helpful.

Remember, dogs do not intentionally pee in the house to “get even” or make you mad. Any accidents are because the dog is either physically unable to keep from peeing (a medical issue), or they simply don’t know better at the time (even if we’re certain they know better). In both scenarios, it’s on you to correct the problem.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor