Do you sleep with your dog in your bed? Are you fond of cuddling her on your sofa? Do you wake up with a strong pee smell around you in the morning? Do you see a wet patch on your couch and a satisfied look on your dog?
Do you ask yourself, why does my dog pee inside the house, especially on my furniture?
This article will discuss the normal peeing habit of dogs, possible reasons why your dog pees on your furniture, and some tips on how to handle your dog’s untimely peeing habit.
How long can my dogs hold their pee?
Generally, puppies can hold their pee an hour for every month old they are. So, if she’s a month old or younger, your dog can hold her pee for an hour or less. As she grows older, she will be able to control her bladder.
Dogs can hold their pee for up to 8-12 hours when they become adults. The length of time that your dog can hold its pee depends on several factors such as breed sex, mental and physical conditions, and training.
For example, your dog will be able to hold her pee for a long time if:
- she is potty-trained;
- comes from the big or working breeds; or,
- is physically active.
She will need to pee often, if she is:
- not trained yet;
- from a small breed;
- sick; or,
Allow your dog to pee at least three to five times a day. Like humans, if she holds her pee for too long often, your dog will be at danger of developing medical circumstances such as urinary tract diseases (UTI) or bladder problems.
Why does my dog pee on my bed and couch?
Research on dog behavior is still incomplete. However, here are some possible reasons why your dog likes to pee on the furniture inside your house:
1. Medical reasons
Observe if your dog suddenly begins to pee on your bed or couch even if she’s been potty trained. This behavioral change may mean that she has urinary tract infection (UTI).
Other signs of UTI are a sudden change in the amount of urine (either too much or in dribbles), blood in the urine, constant licking of genitals, fever, or lethargy.
UTI can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog. She will probably whine whenever she pees.
Other medical reasons for the new behavior could also be other illnesses like bladder problems, diabetes, or parasites.
In particular, a dog with diabetes will be thirsty all the time, lose weight, vomit, or become lethargic.
2. Territory marking
All dogs are territorial by nature. They want to announce to the world that they own a spot and that no other animal on this territory should trespass. This behavior is mostly acquired by male dogs, but some female dogs also display it.
Your dog could be marking her territory. You’ll know this is the reason if she pees in several parts of the house, including the couch and the bed.
Marking is the way your dog leaves its scent on certain spots to claim it as its own. She might think this is important especially if you have other pets in the house. She requires to do this, assert and affirm her right to be part of your house.
She might also want to mix her scent with yours, especially if you’re spending a lot of time on the bed or sofa. Young dogs are inclined to do this because it makes her feel safe to mix her scent with yours.
There is a canine behavior called “submissive eliminators,” according to research. If your dog has such behavior, it will show very submissive actions such as peeing when anxious, excited, or scared.
Anything could trigger her submissive behavior of elimination like a new person coming into your home, or you’re screaming at her. If the behavior is triggered, she will most probably go to a spot in which she feels secure, like your bed and couch, and pee there.
4. Boredom, attention-seeking, or stress
Your dog could be bored and wants you to play with her.
A trained dog may learn that she will be scolded if she pees in strange places. If your dog is feisty and cheeky, a little scolding will mean nothing, and she will continue to repeat the habit whenever she gets bored or is looking for attention.
On the other hand, your dog could also be stressed from something new happening in her life like:
- you are absent for a long time;
- she has new caretakers;
- there is a new member of the family, whether a new pet or a new human;
- there is a change in her scheduled potty breaks or exercise routine;
- she is a new house or neighborhood.
Stress could start or even aggravate an existing behavioral condition like peeing or defecating in unwanted places.
How do I stop my dog from peeing on my furniture?
Here are some tips on how to handle your dog’s habit:
1. Consult your vet
Observe if she is exhibiting signs of UTI or other illnesses. If she does, bring her to the vet immediately so that you can start her medication and treatment.
Make sure that she has plenty of opportunities to pee. Also, see if her food is high in salt.
If marking is the issue, you might want to explore spaying or neutering your dog.
An animal with no training will simply follow her instincts. So, without training, she will pee anywhere she wants any time she wants. You’ll need to start training her where and when she should pee.
If you have trained her before, then you might need to go back to the basics.
Don’t punish her if you catch her in the act of peeing on your bed or couch. Do not yell or push her nose into the pee, especially if she is a submissive eliminator.
Punishing her will create a vicious cycle of punishment and anxiety for you and your dog. The more you punish her, the more she becomes anxious. The more nervous she becomes, the more peeing occurs.
Instead, interrupt her with a loud noise. Then take her outside or put a pee pad near her so she can continue peeing. Praise her and give her a treat if she finishes peeing in the proper place.
If you feel overwhelmed or do not have the time to train her, hire a trainer’s services, or enroll your dog in a training school. Conduct research in your area on dog trainers or dog schools. Get your vet’s recommendations.
A trainer or school will make sure that your dog learns how to behave properly and will allow your dog to socialize with other dogs and humans.
3. Regular schedule
Keep her potty breaks periodically. All dogs have fairly precise biological clocks. If your dog understands she’s going to have a schedule she’ll learn that she needs to keep her pee until her next potty break.
Also, having a regular schedule will make her feel safe because she knows what to expect within the day.
Having irregular schedules or changes to her schedule could stress your dog. As stated above, stress is one reason why your dog would want to pee anywhere.
Change her routine slowly if you have to. Make sure that your dog trusts and has accepted a new caretaker if you have to be separated from her for a long time.
On the other hand, make sure that the person who will take care of your dog in your absence will not yell at her or punish her.
4. Exercise and other stress relievers
Keep your dog active physically and mentally. Take a walk. Play tug. Visit the park. Swim in the pool. Engage in any form of physical activity.
In this way, she does not get bored, she gets the attention she craves from you, and her stress level goes down.
If your dog is worried about separation, leave a piece of your clothes in the area where she has access to. Doing so will make her feel secure, she can smell your scent even though you’re not together. Also, smelling your clothes will possibly help alleviate her need to seek out your scent on your couch or bed.
5. Use deterrents
Spray your bed or couch with scents that your dog hates like citrus smells or apple cider or white vinegar. You can create a homemade spray by combining two tablespoons of vinegar with 1 ½ cup of water and a few drops of orange essential oil.
Also, if the conduct is all about marking, she will keep asserting her land by peeing at the same place she’s marked. You must make sure she doesn’t smell her pee again. Clean up her mess with an enzyme-based cleaner. Enzymes will remove any odor trace on any surface in your home.
Try using Sunny & Honey’s Pet Stain and Odor Remover. This product removes all odors and even the toughest stains that your dog’s pee might leave on your furniture.
If you leave her alone for a while, block your couch, bed, or other areas where your dog pees. Use baby gates and close all doors, especially the one that leads to your bedroom. In this manner, you will restrict the areas that she can get into. Set up a crate or a pee pad where she can do business instead.
Your dog has several reasons why she could be peeing on your bed or couch. Observe her and be firm about the rules about peeing. But don’t punish her. Like other dog behaviors, you can train and correct her habit with love, patience, and positive reinforcement.