There is nothing better than an excited pup waiting at the door, eager to greet us when we get home. While our dog’s happiness warms our hearts, the joy can quickly fade when you step into a puddle of urine. This isn’t something to get upset about, and it’s actually quite common.
So why do some dogs pee when they are nervous or excited? Does it come down to the breed? Or is it related to certain learned behaviors? You may be surprised to learn that there may actually be a few reasons why a dog may piddle during periods of nervousness or excitement.
Still curious to learn more? In this article, we will discuss the details of this strange behavior in our canine friends and help you figure out how to stop it.
Is it Normal For Dogs To Pee When Excited?
This may not be a desirable behavior, but it is not uncommon. It commonly occurs in dogs that are both shy or lacking confidence. It’s most common during periods when they are overwhelmed with emotions. It can also be a sign of underlying health conditions, meaning you should always pay close attention if it does occur.
Inappropriate urination can have multiple causes, ranging from behavioral issues to developing medical conditions. This behavior may be “normal” for some pups, but there is always a way to resolve the behavior.
Peeing Behavior in Males & Females
Inappropriate urination is equally common in both male and female dogs. While the dog’s sex doesn’t seem to be a factor, it is much more common in young dogs than in old dogs. This can be due to not being properly potty trained. It could also be due to a lower confidence level. And lastly, it could just be that your pup hasn’t learned how to control their bladder when they are overwhelmed.
Why Dogs Pee When Excited or Nervous
To best address your dog’s inappropriate urination, you must get to the root of the cause. To help you better understand your canine friend, let’s discuss the many reasons why your canine companion may pee when they are nervous or excited.
They Are Submissive
If your dog always urinates when you are in a dominant position, your pup is likely experiencing submissive urination. This dominant position could mean you are standing above them during the interaction or even using a stern tone with them. This can be because your dog is naturally shy, not properly socialized, or even being inappropriately disciplined.
Submissive urination will often be accompanied by fearful body language such as a tucked tail, pinned-back ears, or any other form of submission. Most dogs will grow out of this behavior as they begin to develop a more confident attitude. However, if their submissive urination continues with no end, they may require training to help kick this habit.
They Are Overly Excited
Some dogs simply cannot help themselves when they become overly excited. Some excited pups will pee each time their owner walks in the door when they meet new people, or even when greeting new furry friends. Excited urination is not fear-based like submissive urination, and you will not see fearful body language when this happens.
This is another type of inappropriate urination most common in young dogs and will often resolve as they get older. This is also most common when a pup has not had a potty break in a while, as this makes it harder for a dog to control their bladder.
They Have Separation Anxiety
Some dogs with separation anxiety will be so overwhelmed when you finally walk in the door they experience inappropriate urination. These pups may be so stressed in the time you are away, causing them to be overcome with nervous energy when they are reunited with their owner.
If your dog is peeing inappropriately due to separation anxiety, you will likely see other signs of stress in your canine friend. They may turn to destructive behavior, howl when you are away, or whine uncontrollably when you step in the door. It may be ideal to invest in a dog crate good for your anxious pup.
They Have a UTI
If your dog suddenly begins to pee when nervous or excited, it may be experiencing a UTI or other urinary complications. Sudden onset of inappropriate urination should always be taken seriously, as this means your pup had already mastered controlling its bladder. This is especially worrisome in older dogs that have never struggled with housetraining. This usually means something is making it challenging to hold their pee.
If your dog is urinating inappropriately due to a UTI, there are some other symptoms you may notice. They may be peeing more than usual, peeing small amounts multiple times, urinating around the house, experiencing strong-smelling urine, and even having blood in their pee. If your pup is suddenly peeing each time they get excited, it’s time to visit your veterinarian for a urine check.
They Struggle With Incontinence
If your senior pup begins to dribble urine throughout your home, they may be struggling with incontinence. Similar to humans, dogs can begin to have a hard time controlling their bladder as they age.
This can make it difficult to refrain from urinating when they get excited, especially if they are not getting enough potty breaks. If your pup seems like they are having a hard time holding it, it’s time to speak with your vet.
They Are in Pain
Dogs can do strange things when they are in pain. A painful pup may experience heightened anxiety due to their discomfort, leading to many potential changes in their behavior. Dogs can experience pain due to several reasons, each of which will come with its own set of symptoms.
If your dog is suddenly experiencing inappropriate urination, along with any other changes in their behavior, they may be experiencing some type of pain. It’s best to contact your veterinarian for further advice in this situation.
Other Medical Conditions
There are many types of medical conditions in dogs that can cause a dog to urinate more than usual. They may also experience other abnormal urinary habits. This can be due to conditions causing a dog to drink more, which puts a strain on their bladder, or even those affecting their kidneys.
If this is the case, a dog will usually begin to experience inappropriate urination suddenly. They may display other changes in behavior as well. Their urination may not only occur when they are excited or nervous but rather around your home and at any time.
If you think an underlying condition is the cause of their peeing, it’s best to contact your vet for further advice. Your vet can perform diagnostics to get to the root of the issue. they will then determine the best plan of action going forward.
Stopping The Behavior
We may love our canine friends, but inappropriate urination habits can get old quickly. Though many dogs will outgrow this behavior eventually, there are ways to help your pup kick this habit for good.
Treat the Underlying Medical Issue
The first way to ensure your dog breaks this habit is by ruling out any underlying medical conditions. Training will not help if they are actually struggling with any urinary complications and will just make the issue drag out even longer. The best way to rule out any potential health complications is by visiting your veterinarian.
Redirect Their Excited Energy
If your dog’s inappropriate peeing only occurs at a certain time, you can attempt to redirect their excitement at that moment. For example, if your dog pees each time you walk in the door and crouch onto the floor to greet it, you can try immediately walking to its favorite toy and engaging in play.
You can also do this by immediately giving it a treat. You can also walk directly outside with it to allow it to pee before the big greeting. All of these avoidance tactics should help keep your pup’s attention on your actions and make them less likely to piddle indoors.
Understand Their Triggers
Another way to help your dog stop peeing when they are excited is by understanding their triggers. Pinpointing their triggers will help you better understand your pup and also help to bring an end to the behavior. Every dog is different, so it’s up to you to analyze their behavior to determine what causes them to inappropriately urinate.
Desensitize Their Triggers
Once you are aware of your dog’s triggers, you can then desensitize them. This will help bring an end to the behavior. For example, if your dog only pees when meeting new people, you can address this behavior by offering more socialization.
The more they interact with new humans, the less likely they are to be overwhelmed with excitement and unable to hold their bladder. If your dog has a specific trigger, desensitization can help make inappropriate urination less likely going forward.
Build Their Confidence
If your dog pees any time they are nervous, they may need a confidence booster. Insecure dogs often benefit from obedience training, as it helps to build their confidence in their own skin.
You can help prevent nervous peeing by teaching commands such as sit, lay down, stay, come, shake, and any other tricks you are interested in. Learning basic obedience commands can make a world of difference for an uneasy pup.
Avoid Any Negative Reinforcement
It may be frustrating to step in a puddle of urine each time your dog is excited or nervous. But it’s important to avoid punishing them in any way. Negative reinforcement can be confusing for a dog in this situation, especially if they are truly having a hard time controlling their bladder.
Punishment is especially dangerous for dogs already struggling with confidence, as this can knock them down even further. Helping your dog ditch their inappropriate urination may take time, but it’s important to practice patience throughout the process.
Excited or submissive urination is a common struggle in our canine friends. The important thing is to remember to be patient with your pup. Avoid disciplining your dog too harshly, and reward good behavior with positive reinforcement techniques. By sticking to these steps, you can slowly put an end to your dog’s inappropriate urination.