Your dog won’t pee outside. Frustration is high. You don’t know what to do. But you’re hopeful and know your dog won’t pee inside forever – there should be a way to fix it, right?
Well, it’s a problem that has many different reasons, so there are obviously many different ways to fix it. Some of them are easy fixes, things you can solve within a few days. Others will take weeks or even months.
Either way, you don’t have to stick with your dog peeing on the carpet or living room floor. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR DOG PEE OUTSIDE. And here, we’re going to teach you how, starting from why it’s even happening.
Keep reading and learn what we have to tell you!
7 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Pee Outside
Many things could make your dog more likely to pee indoors. The whole focus of learning why this could be happening is knowing exactly how you should proceed.
Anyway, here’s what to consider:
1. Severe Anxiety
Some dogs are nervous and fearful of minimal things. If there’s a stressor outside your home (an animal or scarecrow), your dog may be scared of the place.
What’s the result? It will obviously avoid going there. Thus, the dog will be more likely to pee inside.
Be aware that anxious dogs are more likely to have this kind of trouble. Identifying the cause of the fear and removing it is always the best solution. (it could be anything from simple smells and sounds to objects and people).
2. Untrained Dog
Dogs pee wherever they deem fit – and that can be anywhere. No pet knows that it’s wrong to pee inside… UNTIL IT’S TAUGHT!
If you haven’t taught your dog that peeing inside is not okay and that he should go out for that, then that’s probably the reason. It’s nothing a bit of training can’t fix.
3. Wrong Habits
Untrained dogs eventually learn their bad habits, and it’s hard to get rid of those. Peeing inside can become one of those habits if they do it for long enough.
This is also fixed via training, but it takes a lot more consistency and time. Teaching a dog bad habits can be surprisingly challenging.
4. Indoor Marking
Both female and male dogs like to mark their territory. It’s an innate thing of most dogs to pee in places they spend a lot of time around. This ends up in peed carpets, and wooden floors as the dog are maybe looking to spread its scent.
Teaching a dog not to do this is pretty tough, as dogs do it instinctively. But you can decide to neuter or spay the dog. This will stop their desire to mark their territory.
5. Seasonal Changes
Some dogs suffer when the winter arrives due to the freezing temperatures. Other dogs get annoying skin conditions when the heat of the summer hits. And in some cases, even the pollen created in the spring or the bugs eating fallen leaves in autumn – they can all make your dog less likely to go out.
Pay attention to whether your dog tends to avoid going out when a specific season arrives. Most likely, there’s something related to the environment the dog doesn’t like. Thus, it prefers to do everything indoors.
6. Old Age
Just like old people, dogs also age and have a more challenging time moving. This could affect their desire to walk out and do their thing.
Senior dogs will often avoid getting out if that means feeling pain from joints and bones. It’s hard to force them in that case. Luckily, you can always make it easier for them to reach the outdoors (more on that later).
7. Health Issues
The final reason a dog is deciding to pee indoors could be a disease. Things that affect their mobility, urinary system, or even their metabolism could be enough to make a dog more likely to pee inside.
Here are some conditions to consider:
- Visual Decline – This could be either because the dog is getting old or suffered an accident. Either way, a dog that is not seeing well will also struggle to go out. It may decide to pee inside if going out is too hard.
- Arthritis – It’s hard to know when a dog has arthritis until it already struggles to walk and move. Especially when cold seasons arrive, the dog will be less likely to move around due to the pain.
- Muscle Lesions – Did the dog get recently harmed in one way or another? Are all its legs fully functional? Do you notice the dog hurt in any way? A superficial muscle lesion that causes a bit of pain could make dogs unlikely to go out to pee.
- Infections (UTIs) – Dogs with UTIs will pee too much and too often, often with signs of blood in the liquid. If they hold the pee, the area may hurt a bit to the point of not wanting to go pee outside.
- Incontinence – Some dogs simply have no way to hold their pee for enough time. You’ll notice dogs that pee out of excitement and fear are more likely to suffer from incontinence. This often happens to old dogs, though.
- Kidney Issues – It’s known that people with kidney issues (like diabetes) tend to struggle to hold their urine. The same happens with dogs, which could force them to pee inside.
- Cognitive Decline – There will be a moment the dog won’t be mentally fit to follow their routine. This could be due to old age or mental issues, making it hard for the animal to pee outside.
- Mental Disability – Anything from depression and mood disorders to PTSD could be making it hard for the dog to go out. Dogs that have been abused are often less likely to go anywhere by themselves.
So, have a better idea of what makes dogs more likely to pee inside? Then let’s show you how to fix that…
How to Make Your Dog Pee Outside?
With a better idea of what could be causing your dog to pee indoors, it’s time to learn how you can stop that from happening. And luckily for you, there are many ways to do that depending on what is causing the issue – check them up:
1. Get Rid of Distractions
Anxious and energetic dogs will get distracted with pretty much anything. Even the littlest thing could prevent them from taking a pee outdoors peacefully.
If you don’t want them to get distracted, then remove every single distraction in the place. Say you want the dog to start peeing in your lawn, but it constantly gets distracted by the ceramic gnomes nearby.
The solution would be straightforward: remove the gnomes and see if the dog finally pees without problems.
ALSO: Consider training your dog to feel at ease in the place you want it to pee on. Making the dog feel at home is essential unless you want him to hold pee until coming back indoors.
2. Reward the Dog
Don’t hesitate to reward your dog with a good treat, a pat on the head, and encouraging words. Sure, your dog may not realize you’re congratulating because of the pee – but over time, it will become a habit.
You can consider dogs intelligent enough to eventually realize that treats, pats, and congratulations come from peeing outside.
BY THE WAY: Do exactly the opposite when he pees inside. Without using physical violence, call out your dog so he understands that peeing indoors is not allowed (close to the mess, of course).
3. Make it Easy to Go Out.
This goes both to dogs struggling to go out because of physical disabilities (like arthritis or bone/muscle issues) and dogs who may have a hard time going through doors or up/downstairs.
The best way to make it easier for your dog to access the pee area you want is to open entrances, build ramps, and get rid of obstacles. Anything that could make it harder for your dog to go into the peeing place should be off the place.
CONSIDER THIS: Dogs need grippy surfaces to walk on and harm-free areas to go through. If they feel insecure or pain when going to the peeing place, that’s something you need to fix.
4. Use Play as an Excuse
Every dog likes to play. And when it comes to playing, few environments are better than outdoors. If you have a large lawn or patio, you can use play as an excuse to force the dog to go out. In the process of playing, drinking water after some exertion, and resting for a bit – the dog will likely want to go pee.
The play could be the perfect excuse to get your dog to do that. And if you do it consistently, the canine will eventually internalize the activity and go out to pee as a habit.
WORTHWHILE ALTERNATIVE: Leave the dog out for a few extra minutes or hours. That obviously forces the animal to go to the bathroom outside.
5. Train for Peeing Outside
Go through the basics of potty training with your dog. If you haven’t trained it before and have the time to do so, consider following these tips:
- Take the dog out on a leash. Walk around until it smells other dog’s urine or grassy areas. These places may push the dog to pee.
- Always praise your dog in different ways when it pees outside. Like said before, congratulating dogs works wonders.
- Take the dog to pee consistently. If you make going out to pee a habit, the dog will internalize the experience and know EXACTLY why you’re going out next time.
As simple as doing these three things will be enough to train your dog. Of course, exceptions apply. In those cases, the solutions below may work better.
6. Try a Bell or Signal Method
Dogs can also learn signals. They can relate cues like sounds, words, or even objects with going out to pee. If you repeat saying, making a sound, or showing something to your dog before going out to pee, it will eventually learn and know precisely what you want.
One of the best methods is to ring a bell or a whistle at a specific time every day. As you repeat the same thing daily and take your dog out to pee, the animal will eventually realize what it’s for. Finally, it may even go out by itself to pee.
TO THINK ABOUT: Some people place ring bells at the dog’s reach so the animal can use it to tell YOU when it wants to go out to pee/poo. After learning what the bell is for, the dog may use it this way.
7. Get Rid of Indoor Smell
If your indoors smell like pee, your dog is more likely to pee there than outdoors. That’s why you must clean everything in your house if you want to keep your dog from peeing inside again.
The best solution for that is to use an enzymatic cleaner. It works well on hardwood, ceramic, and carpet floors. The enzymes clean the pee smell and bacteria almost thoroughly, so your dog won’t get the idea again.
WHAT ELSE TO KNOW: Don’t forget to use vinegar and chlorine to make the places your dog likes to pee in less appealing.
8. Use Pee Training Sprays
We told you to take your dog out and go near areas where other dogs pee and poo. Well, a pee training spray is pretty much the same thing – but you’ll have the pee/poo pheromones in your hand.
This makes it possible to spray an area in your garden or lawn where you want the dog to pee. If it finds the pheromones compelling enough, your dog will likely decide to use that area as a bathroom.
LOOK OUT: Not all sprays get the job done as you may expect. Some dogs won’t like the smell or find it less than appealing, so don’t fret if it doesn’t work.
9. Get Pee Pads
Similar to pee sprays, these pads work like the perfect alternative to peed grass. While the pee pads themselves don’t have any pheromones, they look like the ideal peeing area. And believe it or not, that’s enough to make dogs pee on it.
Pee pads are often multi-layered pieces of paper that work almost like a diaper but directly on the floor. Trying to push your dog to pee there usually works, so you get twice the benefits as it’s also an easy place to clean.
Why is it effective at taking your dog to pee outside? Because you can take the pad outside once your dog gets accustomed to it. Once outside, your dog will look for it to pee. Eventually, you can take the pad out of the equation, and the dog may start peeing in places like the pad (grass, most likely).
THERE MORE: Pee pads are cheap and disposable. You won’t have to worry about spending a fortune or cleaning stuff when you use one.
10. Hire a Professional
If none of the methods above seems like an ideal choice (or you tried them and didn’t work), then don’t hesitate to hire an expert.
Dog trainers will not only teach your dog the ways of peeing outside, but they will also show YOU how to train your dog.
They know how to handle different breeds, personalities, and ages. It doesn’t matter what your dog is, how old it is, or how it behaves – a professional will make it happen and teach you how to proceed going forward.
DON’T RUSH: Dog trainers can be expensive, so it’s worth considering whether you actually need one. Before you go and hire an expert, try our methods above that are way cheaper and easier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes. Dog’s urine contains nitrogen and tons of different bacteria. Nitrogen itself can be pretty damaging as it may burn the grass. And bacteria may cause other types of damage to the plants when the pee stays for long.
If your dog is peeing in the same patch of grass every day, there’s a chance that patch will eventually die.
Dogs like to mark their territory. If you let your dog spend time on the bed, it will eventually believe the place is theirs. And sure enough, they will want to mark it with their scent. Medical conditions, anxiety, and nervousness also cause this issue.
Yes. Pee contains high amounts of ammonia that travel through the air. This ammonia can harm your lungs and cause a burning sensation. Breathing this ammonia-filled air for a long time will eventually cause an infection or simple throat, lung, or nose damage.
A healthy dog shouldn’t pee less than 2 times a day and no more than 5 times a day. If you see your dog peeing more than this, there’s probably a deeper issue happening (check with a veterinary).
Start with identifying the reason, which may range from physical problems to mental issues like fear of going outside. If it is physical, consult a vet, and if the problem is mental, try to fix it by stimulating it. Also, review the housetraining process, and change it as required.
Last, eradicate any existing smell of dog pee from your house, as they like to pee at some place where they have peed before inside the house.
Instead of forcing, try to train your dog to pee outside. Begin by taking them outside daily and at regular intervals. Select a specific spot, and gradually form a habit of them peeing in that spot only. Reward them for successfully peeing at that spot. Be patient with them.
Your dog is probably anxious and afraid of going outside, probably due to some bad experience in the past. It is also possible that it has some ailments that cause it discomfort while relieving itself. Besides, if your dog is too young, it is probably unable to understand your commands.
Dogs mainly refuse to pee because of urethral obstruction caused by stones or crystals, prostate diseases, urinary tract infections, bladder distension, and compression from trauma, injury, and lesions.
Besides, neurological disorders like dysautonomia, surgery-related complications, anatomic problems, and scar tissues on the bladder can also make them refuse to pee.
Get Your Dog to Pee Outside Now!
You don’t have to conform if your dog won’t pee outside. With the methods and recommendations above, you should be ready to teach your kid the ways.
Our methods may take a few days up to several weeks. But they work. If you follow them to the letter and put in the work and time, fixing a dog that won’t pee outdoors won’t take much of anything else.
So, are you ready to fix your dog’s peeing habits? Get to work then!
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
Apart from writing on Canine Weekly, I share my views on Twitter and Linkedin.