You can envision the scenario. You just arrived home and your dog is excited to see you. As you bend over to pet her, you see her squat and you don’t even have to look to know she has urinated on your floor. Sometimes she will even step in it and smear it around before you can stop her.
If your dog is not an adult, she might do this because her bladder sphincter (the muscle that helps her hold her urine) may be immature. She could be able to outgrow this problem as her bladder and associated structures grow and become stronger.
For some dogs urinating in this way is a submissive gesture to indicate to you that your position in the family hierarchy will not be challenged. Submissive postures usually include crouching (to make herself appear non-threatening), with a pulled back face and laid back ears. Some dogs will even roll over to present their belly to reaffirm that they are not a threat.
Whatever the cause for your specific dog, you can help minimize the issue by keeping risky situations low key. When you first come home don’t greet her enthusiastically. Make a ritual of doing other things before you acknowledge her. For example, you come in the door, glance at her, but instead of squealing in delight and talking in a high pitch, you might step back outside and call her quietly. Squat down on the grass or sidewalk (a more pee safe area) and quietly call to her to come. As she approaches, ask her to sit and give her a reward. It will require a little planning on your part to have safe, healthy reward options handy, but it will effectively distract her and give her an opportunity to do something (sit) that you can praise her for.
As her confidence that she can please grows, her urination will be more likely to fade. Even if her bladder is just not able to hold it when she is excited, you can decrease her excitement level with this easy substitution.
A little forethought can save your floor, your dog’s peace of mind, and your sanity.
Do you love dogs? Find me on Facebook at Kathryn Primm, DVM.
Note from the Editor: We recommend also investing in your dog’s urinary health. We feel it’s important and that’s why we developed the Project Paws® Urinary Support with Cranberry Plus D-Mannose – a treat dogs love that actually helps your pup’s body maintain a healthy urinary tract.
This is a great supplement for dogs who have had a UTI or other urinary problems. It should not be used in place of going to the vet.