You may have witnessed it or just heard of it happening. Everything is seemingly normal and then the dog starts peeing. She hasn't suddenly forgotten all of her potty training; your perfectly trained pup might suddenly let loose in an inappropriate situation for a number of reasons. Consult your vet because most of the time the condition can be treated with medication or modified training.
Submissive urination goes back to your dog's instinctive behavior. In a pack, a dog who wants to show himself to be submissive will lower himself and urinate. If your dog exhibits this type of urination behavior, she is trying to let you know she is surrendering to your authority. Your dog might also display submissive urination when confronted with an aggressive dog or if she finds herself in a situation that frightens her. The immediate way to deal with submissive urinating is to remove your dog from whatever is causing her fear or stress. Retraining her to show submission by sitting or lifting her paw on command can be an effective long-term strategy.
Excited urinating is more a matter of lack of control rather than a behavioral issue. It happens most often in puppies because they don't quite have bladder control down pat yet and if something causes them to become excited, whatever their little urinary tracts are holding can leak out in drips or a full-blown stream. Most puppies outgrow this messy and exasperating habit, but there are a few who don't. Working with your excitable peeing pup to get her used to the situations that most frequently cause the problem will help. You can also talk to your vet about medicinal treatment if the problem is more than just a nuisance and persists long past puppyhood. Phenylpropanolamine has been used with mixed results. Although it doesn't always cure excited urinating, it's worth a try for enduring urination problems.
Urinary Tract Problems
Problems with your dog's urinary tract or bladder could cause her to suddenly urinate in inappropriate places and settings. Infections, tumors or stones could interfere with your dog's normal elimination, causing her to feel like she has to go when there's nothing in her bladder or making it difficult to empty her bladder entirely. The urine that is left behind might dribble out slowly even as she is walking or sitting still. Your vet can run tests to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem and prescribe antibiotics or other medications if it's an infection or stones that are causing the peeing problem. A tumor would need to be dealt with surgically.
Weak Bladder Muscles
If your dog's bladder muscles are weakened, she won't have the control she used to have and may suddenly start urinating improperly. About 20 percent of female dogs who are spayed lose strength in their bladder muscles in the year after their spay surgery and it just goes downhill from there, continuing to weaken as they grow older, according to Vetstreet. Over half of the dogs who experience incontinence as a result of their spay surgery do well on estrogen therapy and close to 90 percent respond to treatment with phenylpropanolamine, Vetstreet reports. Other treatment options include collagen injections around the bladder muscle, and if all else fails, there are surgical procedures you can discuss with your vet.
- VetInfo: Causes of Urination Problems in Dogs
- PetPlace.com: My Dog Wets When He Gets Excited
- Vetstreet: What You Need to Know About Spay Incontinence in Female Dogs
- VetInfo: Urination, Submissive and Excitement
- Dog Obedience Training; Bill Vincent
- VetInfo: Treating Bladder Stones in Dogs with Allopurinol
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.