When dogs reach a certain age, around 6-7 months, it becomes quite common for them to urinate or defecate inside your household. This is not a serious issue, all dogs do it, one can easily learn to train one’s dog and avoid it creating a mess all over the house. Sometimes dogs are found to “litter” at inappropriate places and times. Before tackling into the situation one must first rule out any medical cause involved.
It is important to keep seeing your dog’s veterinarian from time to time to keep a track of its health situation. In some cases it is possible that your dog’s health can cause this inappropriate urination and defecation.If your dog was house trained before yet still continues to leave loose stool, it may be suffering from diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. Keeping a track of your dog’s diet is also essential. Sometimes what can happen is that changing your dog’s food intake can upset its stomach and cause it to leave stools around the house even if it is house trained. It is also possible that your dog is suffering from frequent “littering” due to unwanted side effects of certain medication it is taking. The age factor also plays an imperative role in a dog’s medical situation. Older dogs, typically 8 or 9 years of age, begin deteriorate in their health. Even being house trained, some dogs can develop physical weakness, arthritis or impaired brain functions which can cause the dog to urinate or defecate involuntarily.
Apart from medical conditions, psychological and social factors also play a key role in affecting a dog’s behavior inside the house. For such reasons, it is important to consider the kind of environment the dog is in and what kind of people it interacts with frequently. These external cases are of perhaps significance, as they can rule out even house trained dogs and are much more difficult to handle than medical cases.
Dogs can suffer from anxiety if, for example, a disliked individual becomes part of the household or if a close person to the dog leaves the household or becomes absent or there’s a new pet in the house. Dogs have a great tendency to develop attachments with people who take care of them and play with them. When such people leave their dogs or don’t become fully involved as they used to, dogs tend to become more anxious, and they might start littering around the house as a reaction. A good house training technique could be to indulge the dog with the new pet, or the new family member and make them interact quite often so as to develop a healthy and friendly relationship. During cases of anxiety, dogs tend to litter on furniture or specific spots. This might be due to restricting the dog in that specific area when he needs “to go”. This may make the dog believe that these spots are specifically for littering, if you don’t make it realize they’re not soon. You can move furniture around and keep your rooms closed. You can even perhaps place dog treats and eatables at these specific areas. This will help the dog understand that these areas are for eating food. Or you could place the dog’s sleeping mat or rug where it tends to litter. Dogs don’t want to litter where they eat and sleep. If, for example, your dog is keen on littering on your carpet or rug, you can make it understand that the place for littering is a litter box or the backyard by placing the litter box or a slab of backyard grass in its soil where your dog prefers to litter.
Some dogs fear of going outside and so, prefer littering inside the house. In such a case, it’s preferable to take long walks with your dogs in a peaceful area outside. Or play with it and spend time with it outside, to make it comfortable in the area. A short term solution can be spreading grass and soil on a plastic sheet and placing that sheet in your front porch or terrace or balcony until the dog becomes used to the new outdoors.
If you see your dog urinating or defecating in the house, you can snap your fingers, clap your hands or call out his name in loud voice enough not to scare your dog. Dogs are good at sensing emotions through your voice and gestures. You can take your dog outside by pulling its collar or by its paws, but do so gently so as not to startle the poor creature. You don’t want to punish it in any way possible.
Watch out for signs in your dog’s behavior whenever it has to go. Dogs tend to wag their tails in a specific manner or move around indecisively. Whenever you feel the dog needs to go you can take it to a small confined area where it can litter. If you live in an apartment or flat and don’t have easy access to a nearby lawn or park, you can make a confined area and place dirt and grass for the dog to go to. In any case remember not to punish or scare your dog. Just tend to it with love and care, and be patient. It takes time and energy, but everything works out in the end.