Remember that time that you got so excited you piddled on the floor? No? While urinating out of sheer joy is not something humans normally do, many dogs pee when excited on a regular basis. While it may seem like a strange behavior, there is a method to the madness and, as usual, Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care has the answers.
Why Dogs Pee When Excited
Dribbling urine when the excitement ramps up is a surprisingly common dog behavior, but there are actually a few different reasons behind why it may be happening. Understanding the cause behind the problem is the best way to try and prevent yourself from mopping your floor everyday.
Dogs pee when excited because:
Immaturity — A full bladder and a dog who isn’t full grown are just a bad combination! Because a puppy may not have precise control of their lower urinary sphincter, an exciting event can be a challenging time to keep the urine where it belongs.
Submissive behavior — Many times, dogs pee when excited in an attempt to demonstrate submission. A meeting with a new person, an exuberant new dog friend, or an unfamiliar situation can lead a dog to feel it needs to demonstrate its submissive status. In the canine world, this means urination.
Lack of housetraining — Some pets have a harder time than others with potty training. Many dogs, even older ones, may urinate when excited simply because they haven’t mastered making it outside. It can be hard to hold urine during times of excitement under the best circumstances, but for pets who are still learning this is perhaps the most difficult challenge.
Avoiding a Puddle
While many dogs pee when excited, that doesn’t mean that you must simply accept your fate as a canine lover. Oftentimes the dreaded puddle on the floor is completely avoidable, especially if you can get ahead of the situation.
If you have a floor-peer, be sure to:
- Avoid yourself or houseguests getting down on the same level as your pet until a potty break has been had.
- Discourage people from greeting your dog with loud, exuberant baby talk and rough petting.
- Do not make direct eye contact with your dog as this is a sign of dominance.
- Teach your pet to sit calmly and wait for interaction, and reward good behavior!
- Give your pet a little time! Most true “excitement peeing” is a maturity issue that puppies grow out of. Encourage frequent potty breaks, especially before stimulating events, to minimize its occurence.
- Don’t punish your pet for piddling. Excitement and submissive urination are not voluntary, and you may make submissive urination worse with reprimand.
Sometimes inappropriate urination can signal an underlying medical issue. If peeing on your floor is a new problem, or if it seems worse or different than normal, call us so that we can check things out and assess the problem through diagnostic testing. Problems such as a urinary tract infection, kidney issues, toxin exposure, and even diabetes could affect a pet’s urinary habits.
Just because your dog has a tendency to leave a trail of dribble now and then doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of urine-soaked carpets. Like so many things when it comes to our canine friends, understanding why the behavior happens goes a long way to helping prevent it from affecting our lives.