Have you ever had a pet that started having accidents in the home and thought, “He knows better and not to go in the house??” Messes can be frustrating for pet owners but we have some helpful tips when your furry friend forgets their housetraining!
First we need to establish why the accidents are happening. Are they truly toileting accidents which are typically one large amount of urine in few areas or is your pet scent marking which tends to be small amounts of urine in numerous different spots throughout the home. If you find your pet is scent marking in the home it may be due to ammonia, a common chemical found in many household cleaners. This chemical can trigger your pets to scent mark, using enzymatic, natural cleaners can help resolve this issue.
If you can determine it is not scent marking then the next step is to have a veterinary check up to make sure the eliminating in the home isn’t due to a medical condition. There are many different medical issues that can lead to housetraining problems like a urinary tract infection or gastrointestinal issues.
Once your pet is given a clean bill of health we can begin to explore their environment. Has anything changed recently in the home? Have you been away for an extended period of time? Dogs are sensitive to changes in their environment like moving, losing someone (human or animal), changes in routine, as well as new training tools like the addition of an underground fence and collar.
Next we can look for specific elimination patterns. When and where is Fido going? Does he always go during storms, when you come home or inside from being outside with out the pet, does he sneak off and go in the same area every time? Once you determine the pattern you can help change that situation and break the habit.
When in doubt always start from the beginning with training to help encourage appropriate toileting habits. Be attentive to your pet and have a consistent routine. If you are unable to give the time to your pet and watch for the potty dance then kenneling in a small crate, using leashes, and baby gates may be helpful as they tend not to eliminate in small spaces. Your pet will still need mental stimulation and adequate exercise while being confined to avoid destructive behaviors. Setting a schedule is important, at first going back to the basics take your dog out all the time and slowly go longer and longer periods of time as your pet gains control. Reinforce the good behavior and recognize when the bad behavior happens. Remember if the accident has happened while you were gone it is to late to reprimand your pet this negative reinforcement will only delay your success. Be patient with your pup and know that with consistent training and support your dog will get back on track with housetraining.