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How to Stop a Dog From Urinating in the House: The Definitive Guide

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
April 26, 2022
5 min read
How to Stop a Dog From Urinating in the House: The Definitive Guide
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, and you’re cleaning up around the house. You gather dirty laundry and scrunch it up into basketball-sized missiles, headed straight for the hamper.

You aim, shoot and score. Swoosh!

As you celebrate your slam dunk, you see your pup peering out from behind the clothes hamper. Aw, he’s come to cheer you on!

Only he’s doing a special victory dance of his own: he’s lifting his leg and peeing on the hamper!

Not again! This isn’t the first time he’s peed on the hamper or other things inside the house.

What gives?

Assuming you have properly housetrained your dog, they may be peeing inside because they are excited, anxious, or fearful. They may also have mental or physical problems causing them to urinate inside, or they may be marking their territory.

In this article, I will explain why your dog may keep peeing on stuff in the house. I will also tell you how to stop your dog from peeing on furniture.

You’ve just cleaned your whole house only to see your dog leave a big puddle on the floor. No doubt this can be frustrating. Allow me to help you get to the bottom of your pup’s pee spree.

Here we go!

Table of Contents
Why Dogs Keep Peeing on Stuff in the House
How to Stop Your Dog from Peeing on Furniture
A Messy Situation with Simple Solutions

Why Dogs Keep Peeing on Stuff in the House


So, Fido’s peeing indoors?

Yep…and you feel super disrespected and frustrated about the whole thing!

Understandable. But your pup’s intention isn’t to be a pest (promise!)

When your dog pees inside and on your hard-earned furniture, it’s anything but personal. But there is a reason why they are doing this.

Let’s take a few of the most common causes:

They’re Excited

Funny as it sounds, your pup may be doing something called “happy peeing.” This is a behavior that dogs usually grow out of, and it’s more commonly exhibited in puppies.

Your dog may get excited and “happy pee” when they are overjoyed to see you come home from work. They may also do it at the sight of a new toy or person.

Usually, happy peeing doesn’t last forever and is not a sign that something is wrong with your pup. As the name would suggest, they’re just…well, happy!

Your Dog Is Anxious or Afraid

It is possible that your pup is peeing because something startled them, making them feel anxious or afraid. This kind of peeing could be triggered by a loud clap of thunder, an unexpected knock on the door, or even the booming sound of your voice as you discipline them.

If your pup is peeing out of fear or anxiety, they may exhibit other symptoms like restlessness, loss of appetite, or generally unsettled behavior. This is especially likely if your dog has been rescued from an abusive environment. In this case, they may be doing something called submissive urination, which could be a trauma response.

There’s Something Wrong Mentally

Your pup may be peeing on things inside the house because they face cognitive decline or coping with a change in the home.

Older dogs may pee inside because they’re suffering from doggy dementia. This condition can cause them to pee at any old time and place as they lose control over their mind and faculties.

Your dog may also pee inside because they are feeling off about a change in their environment.

Have you recently moved or brought home another animal? Has the family been added to by birth or subtracted from as the result of a death? If so, your pup may be picking up on this. Dogs are more sensitive than you think!

It’s a Health Problem

There are many health reasons that your pup may be peeing on things inside the house.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Incontinence
  • Physical side effects of certain medications
  • Arthritis and other forms of debilitating joint pain
  • Liver Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Prostate Issues
  • Infections of the urinary tract or kidneys

They’re Marking Their Territory

This is most common in adult male dogs who have not yet been neutered. Your dog may be peeing on things inside the house literally just to make it clear that “hey, this couch…it’s mine!”

Lack of Proper Housetraining

If your dog’s housetraining process was interrupted or incomplete, this might be why they are urinating inside.

This can happen if your family has moved, added another animal to the mix, or endured a major change in the household that pushed potty training to the backburner. As a result, your dog may never have truly gotten the process under their belt, so they are more prone to peeing inside.

How to Stop Your Dog from Peeing on Furniture


As your pup lifts their leg inside, you may feel the rage bubble up or just go straight into freeze mode. It is easy to feel powerless to change this situation. But it’s definitely possible to stop your pup from peeing on furniture and other household items.

Here are a few simple steps to take that can help:

Get Your Mind Right

Calming down and controlling your reaction can go a long way in helping your dog to stop peeing inside.

Keeping a level-headed composure may be all it takes to deescalate the situation. If your pup is peeing out of fear, anxiety, or excitement, any over-the-top gestures or tone of voice may just make everything worse.

Also, you want to refrain from encouraging them to pee inside by giving them too much attention, positive or negative. Staying cool as a cucumber will allow the moment to pass without the added drama of heightened emotions. This reduces the risk of further triggering your pup to pee more.

Get Your Pup Checked Out

Accidents happen. But if your pup is peeing inside consistently, there very well could be a physical or emotional reason why. Taking your dog to the vet can enable you to treat or rule out any health issues which may nip the whole issue right in the bud.

Your vet can also determine if there is something wrong with your dog mentally and recommend a treatment plan. This could involve taking your pup to a trainer, especially if the underlying reason is that their original potty training was never properly completed.

Keep Your Home Clean

If your pup has previously urinated inside your home, the spots they have peed can serve as “hotspots.” They may be attracted back to these pee places time and time again.

It is important to thoroughly clean, sanitize, and deodorize any place your pup has peed so they won’t be tempted to pee there in the future.

In some cases, covering a piece of furniture, your pup has previously peed on or keeping them away from it entirely may be the only thing that deters them.

Stick to a Schedule

Making sure your pup eats, exercises, and goes outside daily may help your pup stop peeing indoors.

If your pup is confident that their basic needs will be met each day reliably, they may be less likely to feel skittish and pee out of anxiety. Knowing that they will get his predictable daily walks and potty breaks can create the reassurance your pup may need to stop peeing inside.

A Messy Situation with Simple Solutions


I won’t sugarcoat it: there’s nothing pleasant about it when your dog can’t seem to stop urinating in the house. It’s smelly. It’s confusing. It can be a hard situation for both of you.

Your pup can likely sense the tension in the air as his urine streams freely. And you probably just want to enjoy a happy, healthy dog and a clean home.

Your pup may be urinating inside due to fear, anxiety, and other emotional and physical problems. But, on the other hand, they may be just marking their territory. Or maybe they never quite got house trained properly.

Whatever the reason your dog is peeing indoors, with a few deep breaths, vet trips, and a heaping dose of patience, your pup peeing inside can be a thing of the past.

And you can get back to a urine-free love story with your furry best friend!

Potty TrainingDog PeeDog Training
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