My Dog is Potty Trained – Why is He Having Accidents in the House?
After spending all that time potty training your dog when he was a pup, now, years later, he’s starting to have accidents in the house…what is going on?
The experts tell you to be patient, don’t yell, spank or rub his nose in it…that’s easier said than done, (yelling is often the first thing you want to do) – but it’s true, the only thing it teaches Fido is to be afraid of you.
So what should you do?
The first thing you should consider is…what has changed in your dog’s life? There is more than likely a “good” reason why this potty training lapse is going on. It usually comes down to 1 of 2 reasons:
- There is a medical problem
- Outside influences or situations have caused this change in behavior
Because your dog’s health is important, that’s the first place to start looking, determine if there is a medical problem, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. (Wouldn’t you feel terrible if you were getting upset with your dog, and the accidents were caused by a medical issue?)
Remember, your dog lives to please you, this isn’t happening on purpose.
Medical issues that can cause “accidents”:
- Digestive problems
- Have you changed your dog’s diet recently?
- Kidney disease
- Urinary tract infections
- Is your dog getting old, this can lead to incontinence caused from aging
- You may not think your dog is old, but some dogs are considered elderly at 7-8 years old
- Painful joints caused from arthritis can make it a huge effort to go potty outside
- Tumors in the bladder or urethra
- A reaction or side effect from certain medicines
- Parasites or worms
If you and your vet have ruled out medical problems, then it’s time to consider what outside influences could be causing this behavior.
Changes in your dog’s life:
- Have you recently moved to a new home?
- Is there a new baby in the house?
- Is there a new pet in the house?
- Has someone moved away from your home?
- Is your dog being left alone more? Could it be separation anxiety?
- Has something scary happened to your dog?
- Is your dog being left inside too long?
Even the smallest changes could cause stress or anxiety, which can lead to inappropriate elimination habits…this is another reason not to get angry when an accident has occurred, it only leads to more anxiety and stress.
What can you do?
Once you think you know what the cause is, it’s time to start getting back to basics, and some “re-training”. Although it can be difficult to do, it’s very important to be patient and calm.
- Keep routines, mealtimes and food consistent.
- Make sure your dog is getting plenty of good outdoor exercise which will help stimulate bowel movements.
- Take or let Fido outside frequently throughout the day, and don’t forget to reward him with his favorite treats and plenty of praise and good boy pats when he has “gone” outside. It’s helpful to take him outside at the same time of day or evening if possible.
- When accidents happen, it’s important to make sure the area is cleaned up completely, any residual odors are like invitations for your dog to return to the spot.
Make a plan, and stick to it! Being consistent is the key to having your potty trained dog back.
If you find that you are leaving your dog home alone too often, too long, do yourself and your pup a favor, and consider using a dog day care, you’ll both be happier.
At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experts in dog day care. We are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.