Puppies pee when excited, that's a fact you have likely have learned as you have embarked on the puppy owning adventure. But what triggers this behavior? What's the difference between excitement urination in dogs and regular urination. Most of all, what can you do about it? Veterinarian Dr. Ivana shares her insights on excitement urination in puppies and dogs.
When greeting a puppy that is happy to see you, you can expect few things such as licking, tail wagging, and yes, even making a small pee puddle.
It is common knowledge that puppies pee when excited, but did you know that the excitement-triggered peeing is an actual condition, scientifically termed as excitement urination? In this article, we will primarily talk about excitement peeing in puppies.
Excitement Urination: Just a Phase of Behavioral Issue?
Excitement urination is equally common in both male and female dogs. To be more accurate, the condition is usually present in puppies and dogs less than one year old.
Do puppies grow out of peeing when excited? The good news is that most dogs, as they go into adulthood, outgrow this behavior. The accent of this statement is put on the word most. In some dogs, excitement urination remains an issue throughout their entire lives.
It is also worth mentioning that outgrowing this behavior does not happen overnight. A puppy or dog that peed whenever someone entered the door will not stop peeing in that context (or any other exciting context) all of a sudden.
However, any decreased frequency of excitement urination episodes should be considered progress. Eventually, if you tackle the issue correctly, the peeing will become extremely rare or completely absent.
Excitement Urination vs. Normal Urination
Differentiating between excitement and normal urination can be challenging, especially for first-time dog parents. The best way of determining what you are dealing with is observing the circumstances or events that take place before the peeing situation.
A dog that urinates due to overexcitement is likely to wag its tail, hold its ears back, jump around excessively or whine in an attention-seeking manner.
On the flip side, a dog peeing because it needs to alleviate itself will do so without making a big fuss over the entire situation.
Importance of Ruling Out Medical Issues
If your dog is creating pee puddles, but they are not part of the submissive urination behavior, you need to call your trusted vet and schedule an appointment.
Sometimes, what you perceive as an accident and treat as a behavioral issue can actually be a sign of an on-going medical condition. Common causes of uncontrolled urination in dogs include:
·Urinary incontinence – many underlying issues can trigger this condition. A dog with urinary incontinence, simply put, cannot hold it and therefore passes urine without control.
· Urinary tract infections – these nasty infections are painful and lead to temporary loss of urination control.
· Dietary changes – the bathroom habits change if the dog is fed a different diet simply because the new diet may require drinking more or less water than usual.
6 Ways to Stop Excitement Urination in Puppies
There are several ways of helping your puppy overcome its excitement urination issues. Meanwhile, it is crucial to be consistent and maintain a quiet and calm demeanor.
If your puppy is prone to excitement urination, try the following suggestions.
Make Greetings Low-Key
Seeing you come back from work or entering the room after being absent for a while is the number one reason for excitement peeing in puppies. So, forget all about fussy greetings – no baby talks, no excessive cuddling, and no food offerings.
Just walk into the room, and ignore your puppy for a while. Once your puppy calms down, casually pet it and then once again redirect your focus to something else.
All family members and frequent guests should practice the low-key greeting approach so to be all on the same page.
Provide Frequent Potty Breaks
Taking your puppy on frequent potty breaks is a straightforward approach – your puppy cannot pee due to overexcitement or any other cause if it already peed.
The more you take your puppy outside to potty, the better chances it will have to alleviate itself outdoors.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Always praise or treat your puppy if it pees outdoors. The same rule applies for peeing on its pee pads or other peeing designated areas. If your puppy uses its bathroom place, it definitely deserves a reward.
The reward can be in the form of praise or a treat, depending on what motivates your puppy more.
In addition to helping with the excitement urination issue, this positive reinforcement technique will ensure your puppy grows into a calmer and confident adult dog.
Pee-Proof Your Home
Place newspaper and peeing pads in places where your puppy tends to pee. For example, if your puppy tends to pee by the entrance where it greets you, make sure to place pee pads there.
This is not an actual way of eliminating the problem, but it will make the cleaning process more straightforward and easier if accidents occur.
Forget About Punishment
Never scold, punish or yell at your puppy for making a pee puddle due to excitement. As mentioned, excitement urination is an instinct your puppy does not have much control over. Therefore, reprimands and punishments are useless.
In fact, reprimands and punishment can exacerbate the problem and make your puppy prone to submissive peeing, another form of peeing, but this time due to fear or anxiety. Based on which feeling triggers the peeing, the condition gets a different name.
Puppies tend to pee submissively in response to certain postures and behaviors of humans such as staring at the puppy directly in the eye, looming over the puppy or as mentioned, scolding the puppy or engaging in punishment-based behaviors.
Typically, puppies who pee submissively, will over roll over their side, showing their belly and peeing as a way of showing that they are no threat. This is called "inguinal presentation."
Clean Without Making a Big Fuss
If your puppy is overexcited and makes a pee puddle, clean the puddle without too much fuss. It is advisable to use an enzymatic cleaner that will eliminate the urine scent.
This is important because puppies are prone to peeing on the same spot, and if they can sense the smell of their urine at a particular spot, they will continue to pee there even when the peeing is not related to the excitement.
If the vet rules out the presence of an underlying medical condition and your puppy or adult dog continue to pee when excited, you should try some of the above-explained management techniques.
If you tried everything and neither of your approaches yielded results, do not hesitate to seek help.
There are licensed veterinary behavior specialists that can help you solve the problem. These specialists are trained to spot behavioral patterns that you can easily overlook as a dog parent. They can also offer useful solutions and guide you and your dog through the process.
About the Author
Dr. Ivana Crnec is a graduate of the University Sv. Kliment Ohridski’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia.