If you think that spaying your dog will automatically eliminate any indoor accidents, think again -- even a spayed dog can urinate in the house. The reasons vary widely, from medical conditions to behavioral problems to simply not being able to hold it in very long. If your pooch continues to eliminate inside the house, it may be for one of these reasons, and her urination could be indicative of a serious problem.
Spaying and Spraying
While spaying your dog is generally a reliable way to stop her from territorial urine marking, it isn't a foolproof method. The older your dog is before you spay her, the more likely she is to keep up her old marking habits afterward. Environmental factors can influence her to keep marking, too. For example, if you introduce a new animal into the home, she may feel compelled to mark what she considers her territory. If the other animals in the house are still intact and only she is fixed, that could also compel her to keep marking -- to really lower the odds, you may have to get everyone fixed.
You may not respond to emotional distress by soiling yourself, but dogs are different. Different types of stress can cause your dog to pee wherever she stands, so if she continues to go in the house under the same circumstances every time, it could be how she copes with stressful situations. Separation anxiety, for example, can make your dog eliminate in the house. General response to fear, like in a thunderstorm, can also compel your pooch to lose control of her bladder, whether or not she's spayed.
An incontinent dog could be an unhealthy dog -- a multitude of health problems could be causing her to urinate in the house. She could simply have a weak bladder, for example, or have suffered a physical trauma that compromised it. Her bladder could be infected or inflamed, as well. Even health problems like cancer, kidney stones and spinal cord issues can cause your dog to go in the house, so if it's a lingering problem, consult your veterinarian.
Holding It In
A dog can only hold it in so long. If your dog is going in the house, she may just need to go outside more often. This is especially true of smaller breeds, who have smaller bladders, and older dogs, who have weaker ones. Try taking your dog outside for more frequent potty breaks -- it could be all she needs to stop her habit of letting loose inside.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.