How to Stop Your Dog Peeing Inside: Vet Advice


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Are you struggling to stop your dog from peeing inside? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is a common problem that many pup parents face. You’ll be happy to know there are a few things you can do to help your dog break the habit of urinating inside.

We spoke to Dr Cath Watson, Kiwi vet, Healthy Pets New Zealand Chair and a proud PD contributor, on how to stop your dog from peeing inside (there’s a video of that, below). We’ll also cover some common causes, so you can rule out any medical problems.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!

Why is my dog peeing inside?

Dogs urinating inside when they shouldn’t can be a bit of a puzzle sometimes – especially when they’re no longer puppies. There are several common reasons why they might do it:

Lack of training

“First of all you, you need to understand why your dog is peeing inside,” says Dr Watson. “If they’ve been doing it since they were a puppy, then maybe you need to be thinking about the lack of training. This would be a really good area to work on before you worry about anything else.”

It takes time and patience to house train a dog, but it’s definitely possible. Be consistent with your training, and be sure to reward your dog for going outside to pee. Lucky for you, we have a guide on puppy training to help!


“However, if it’s a new problem then perhaps it’s caused by disease or illness,” says Dr Watson. “There might be a bladder infection, it might be incontinence, or there may be some other disease that’s causing a huge amount of thirst. This would include things like diabetes or Cushing’s Disease.”

If it’s a disease, Dr Watson says there are other things you may have noticed as well.

She says, “There may be behavioural changes, like they are drinking more or your dog used to be able to go through the night without peeing and now can’t. There would be a number of indicators there that will help you decide whether this is likely to be an underlying disease or illness problem – in which case I suggest you go and book a vet visit and talk to you veterinarian.”


Anxiety can also be a cause of dogs peeing, and that may take a number of forms.

“I’m sure we’ve all met the dog that gets really really excited, particularly puppies, and pees themselves during the greeting,” says Dr Watson.

If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, they might pee inside as a way to cope. This can be caused by things like changes in the household, thunderstorms (read why dogs are afraid of thunder – here), or loud noises. If you think your dog is anxious or stressed, try to identify the source of their anxiety and address it if possible.

“You can focus on behavioural training to train your dog to have calm greetings. Creating a safe place that they can retreat to when they’re feeling insecure may also help,” says Dr Watson.

It's time for this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy to learn some basic puppy training commands like sit and stay. We can also teach this dog urinating inside not to


“With other dogs, it may actually be boredom,” says Dr Watson.

Dogs need mental stimulation and exercise just as much as they need physical exercise. If your dog is bored, they might start to exhibit unwanted behaviours, such as peeing inside. Make sure you’re giving your dog plenty of things to do, like toys to play with, walks, and training sessions.

Territorial dominance

This is more common in unneutered male dogs, but it can also happen in female dogs. Marking is a way for dogs to communicate with each other, and it can be triggered by things like new pets or people in the household, or changes in the environment.

“If this is a new behaviour when you’ve got a new family member – be that another pet or human – in some cases it may be something that your dog sees as a threat within the house,” says Dr Watson.

Lacking opportunities to go outside

Dogs need to pee regularly, so if they’re not getting enough opportunities to go outside, they might start peeing inside. Make sure you’re taking your dog out to pee at least every 3-4 hours and more often if they’re young, old, or have a medical condition.

Bone coloured Pug with red Lead the Way lead walking on grass. Let's stop this dog from peeing inside

How can I stop my dog peeing inside?

Once you’ve established that your dog isn’t urinating inside the house for medical reasons, you can focus on positive reinforcement training and other measures.

Stopping your dog from peeing inside the house is a common challenge, but with patience and consistency you can help them learn where it’s appropriate to go. Here are some steps to help you achieve that:

Establish a routine

Dogs thrive on routines. Take your pup out at the same times every day, especially after meals, when they wake up, and before bedtime. This helps them understand when it’s time to go outside.

Consistency is key in dog training. Stick to your routine and reinforce positive behaviour. It might take some time, but your dog will learn!

Use positive reinforcement

When your dog pees outside, praise and reward them with treats or affection. Positive reinforcement reinforces the idea that peeing outside is a good thing. Don’t scold or punish your dog for urinating inside as this can make your dog fearful and anxious. They may associate urination with your anger, which can lead to stress and anxiety, making the problem worse.

On top of that, dogs live in the present moment, so if you scold them for something they did earlier, they might not connect the punishment to the action. This can lead to confusion and won’t help them understand the right behaviour.

A young chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy laying down against a white background

Watch for signs

Pay attention to your dog’s cues. Sniffing, circling, or whining can be signs they need to go out. Quickly take them outside when you notice these behaviours.

Create pee-free zones

If your dog is having accidents, don’t give them free rein of the house. Use baby gates or a crate when you can’t supervise them closely. This prevents accidents and gives them fewer opportunities to pee inside.

Clean well

When accidents happen it’s a good idea to clean any indoor messes with an enzymatic cleaner. This helps eliminate the smell that can attract your dog to pee in the same spot again.

Be patient

Understand that accidents are part of the learning process. As mentioned, don’t scold or punish your dog for accidents inside the house.

Neuter or spay your dog

This means having a simple surgery to prevent your dog from reproducing. It’s not just about birth control; it can help with their indoor peeing too.

Here’s how it helps:

  • Less territory marking: It can calm down that urge to mark their territory with pee. That’s a big win for preventing indoor accidents.
  • Better behaviour: You’ll often notice an improvement in your dog’s behaviour after the procedure. They might become more focused and easier to train.
  • Population control: Plus, it’s a responsible way to control the number of puppies out there, which is a good thing for the doggy world.
Dog looking up at it's master as she discovers it's urine on the floor. how to stop your dog peeing inside

Consider professional help

“If you think you need help then seek it from your vet or consider contacting an accredited behaviourist,” says Dr Watson.

A pet behaviourist can be a real lifesaver when you’re dealing with tricky pet problems. Here’s how they can lend a helping hand:

  1. Understanding your pet’s mind: These experts are like pet psychologists. They get inside your pet’s head to understand why they’re acting the way they are, whether it’s chewing furniture, being aggressive, or peeing indoors.
  2. Custom solutions: Once they figure out the root cause, they’ll create a tailored plan to fix the issue. No one-size-fits-all here; it’s all about what works best for your unique furball.
  3. Training tips: Animal behaviourists are like personal trainers for your pets. They’ll teach you effective training techniques to reinforce good behaviour and eliminate your dog urinating inside.
  4. Communication: Sometimes, our pets have trouble communicating their needs or emotions. Behaviourists can help you understand what your pet is trying to tell you, so you can respond appropriately.
  5. Peace in the home: By working with an animal behaviourist, you can bring peace and harmony back to your home. No more torn-up couches, constant barking or wee where it shouldn’t be!

Insurance for your pawsome pup

So now you know a little more about how to stop your dog peeing inside, let’s move on to how you can protect their well-being further. A dog insurance plan is a financial safeguard for pet accidents, illnesses, third party damage and more.

Why not give your dog the protection they deserve so you can enjoy every best friend moment, free of financial worry?

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