My husband shared your column about the owner of a Dachshund and Dachshund mix whose dogs peed in the house within a half-hour of being brought in from outside. I reminded him that our Dachshund pees when his routine is upset, like when we pet-sit our children’s dogs or go away on a vacation. Any suggestions on how we can combat this?
—Joy Cruess, Columbia, Maryland
It’s not uncommon for dogs to relieve themselves in inappropriate places when they are anxious and stressed. Assuming he is neutered (since not being neutered can lead to inappropriate elimination as well):
1) He may be peeing to gain some control over the changes in his environment, which happens when you leave or when your children’s dogs come to visit.
2) Dogs also pee to communicate to other dogs. He may be peeing to let the visiting dogs know everything in the house belongs to him, which can be a more difficult problem to address.
What to do to combat stress peeing
- Maintain your dog’s regular feeding, sleeping and play routines when you leave or company comes over,
- Add a few more potty breaks to his schedule. Most dogs want to urinate after eating, sleeping or drinking water, so treat your dog like a puppy in training when his routine is altered.
- Your dog may also benefit from some anti-anxiety treatments during times of stress or change, including using a plug-in pheromone, which mimics a mother dog’s smell and calms some dogs down; putting an Anxiety Wrap® or ThunderShirt® on your dog – they aren’t just used for storms; or talking to your veterinarian about the temporary use of anti-anxiety medications to help your dog when his routine is interrupted.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to email@example.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal