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HomeDear VetBabbleHow to Housebreak an Adult Dog That Suddenly Started Urinating Indoors?

How to Housebreak an Adult Dog That Suddenly Started Urinating Indoors?


Dear VetBabble,

Question: How can I housebreak my adult dog who has started to urinate in the house unexpectedly?

When dealing with a previously housebroken adult dog that has unexpectedly started to urinate indoors, it is essential to assess any potential medical issues or incomplete housebreaking. In this article, we will discuss what steps to take in these situations and provide helpful information for other pet owners who may be facing similar issues with their dogs.

1. Rule Out Medical Issues

If your adult dog suddenly starts urinating in the house, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete exam and testing. Be prepared for tests such as a urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, and a bacterial culture of the urine. These assessments will help rule out medical issues, such as urinary tract infections and stones that can cause your dog to lose control of their bladder. If a medical condition is detected, it is crucial to follow your vet’s advice and recommendations for treatment and ongoing care.

2. Address Incomplete Housebreaking

If your veterinarian concludes that there are no medical issues contributing to the problem, it could be that your dog was never completely housebroken. In this case, go back to basics and focus on potty training your dog by scheduling frequent trips outside for potty breaks. Avoid engaging in playtime or other activities until they have successfully “done their business.” You can use a specific word, such as “potty,” to signal when it’s time for your dog to relieve themselves. When your dog successfully eliminates outside, praise and reward them with treats, if necessary, to reinforce the positive behavior.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to clean any “accidents” inside the house thoroughly using an enzymatic cleaner made explicitly for pet urine. This will help eliminate lingering odors and prevent your dog from thinking it’s acceptable to urinate in that area again. For in-depth information on this topic, we recommend reading our informative article, “Why is My Dog Peeing on the Bed?

3. Consider Spay Urinary Incontinence

Another possible cause of sudden indoor urination is spay urinary incontinence. This condition typically affects female dogs after they have been spayed, but male dogs may also experience similar symptoms. Spay urinary incontinence can result in a weakened urinary sphincter, leading to involuntary leaking or dribbling of urine. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to discuss potential treatments and management strategies for urinary incontinence. To learn more about this condition, you can refer to our article on “Spay Urinary Incontinence in Dogs.”

In conclusion, when dealing with a previously housebroken adult dog who has started urinating indoors, it is critical to rule out any medical issues, address incomplete housebreaking, and consider the possibility of spay urinary incontinence. By working closely with your veterinarian and following their recommendations, you can successfully manage and resolve any potential underlying issues that may be causing your dog to urinate in the house unexpectedly. Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to training and caring for your furry friend.

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