Your furry canine is an important member of your family, but sometimes it seems hard to love him when he has accidents right in the middle of your living room. Dogs potty indoors for a variety of reasons and you may be able to prevent it. However, if it continues to be a problem, take Fido to the vet for a checkup to rule out any medical problems.
Reward Good Behavior
Odds are you probably yell at Fido and get upset every time he wets on the rug, but do you ever let him know when he is going in the right spot? Getting angry with him each time he soils in the house can make him fearful of going in front of you. By the time you get outside, he's nervous and won't go potty. Rather than focusing on the negative, start rewarding the good behavior. When you take him on a walk, have a small "potty party" when he squats in the grass. Pat him on the head, get excited and give him a cookie. After all, he made you happy and you need to let him know. Eventually he'll learn that going outside gets him praise.
Plopping down a dish of food and a bowl of water allows your pooch to eat and drink all day long, meaning he'll also be going to the bathroom constantly. You'll have no idea as to the last time he ate food or took a gulp of water, which can be detrimental to potty training. While housebreaking, you'll need to monitor what goes into his mouth so you can figure out when he needs to go out. Put down a bowl of food and water, give him 20 minutes or so to eat and drink and pick it back up. He'll need lots of water throughout the day and you shouldn't restrict fluid intake, just put it out, let him drink and then take him outside about half an hour later.
Once Fido stakes his turf on your area rug, he'll continue to go in the same spot because it smells like a toilet to him. Even if you scrub and scrub to get the stain out, the area might smell familiar to him. Invest in a quality pet urine enzymatic cleaner, available at your local pet store. These cleaning solutions are specially designed to break up the enzymes in urine that keep Fido coming back. After a thorough cleaning with the right product, your barking pal will be less inclined to use your rug as his potty.
If indoor accidents continue to be a problem, minimize the areas he has access to. Working on your computer in the office gives Fido the freedom to roam and have accidents all over the house. Instead, lock him in the room with you so you can keep an eye on him. Watch for visual cues -- he'll let you know when it's time. When Fido gets the urge, he'll paw at the door or stand right in front of it. He may also stare at you, grab his leash or start barking. In his own way he's simply letting you know that he can't hold it any longer.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.