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Accidental Urination versus Urine Marking in Dogs

Potty training teaches dogs where to urinate and poop so they don’t cause a mess inside your home. Thankfully, dogs have no trouble picking those lessons up. They will patiently wait for you to let them out so they can handle their business.

So, what does it mean if there’s urine inside your home? Is that an indicator that your pet’s potty training lessons didn’t stick, or could it be an example of urine marking? You must be able to differentiate between the two because they require different solutions.

Learn how urine marking and accidental urination differ by continuing below.

Check the Amount of Urine

You can tell if your dog or puppy marked or accidentally urinated based on the amount of liquid present.

A dog marking their territory will only leave a small amount of urine behind. The puddle will be noticeably smaller than they typically produce during outside walks.

On the other hand, a dog who can’t hold any longer will release a lot of urine. You’ll likely spot or step into that puddle while walking around your home.

According to PetMD, puppies need to urinate every two to six hours. The site also says adult dogs should urinate every six to eight hours. Make sure your pets have ample opportunities to urinate if you want to prevent accidents inside your home.

Inspect Where Your Dog Urinated

The location of the urine is another clue that can differentiate between marking and accidental urination.

If your dog is marking, you’ll likely find splashes of their urine around different parts of your home. You may find some near your front door, kitchen, and other random spots. Furthermore, dogs usually choose to mark vertical surfaces with their urine.

Marking dogs may also target the same spots. Once they’ve marked a spot, you should continue checking it for more urine.

Dogs aren’t picky if they are desperate for relief. Any spot in your home will do if they simply cannot hold their urine anymore.

Observe How Long Your Pet Urinated

Your dog’s urination length will also indicate if they are marking or relieving their bladder.

Urine marking doesn’t take long. Your pet may only urinate for a few short seconds to leave a clear mark.

In contrast, accidental urination takes longer. It may even take longer than your dog or puppy’s normal bathroom trips because they have to let out plenty of urine.

Consider Your Pet’s Age

Age is another factor you must consider while trying to understand your dog’s recent episode of indoor urination. Puppies and senior dogs are the ones most likely to urinate indoors accidentally.

A puppy may urinate indoors because they haven’t received adequate dog training. Meanwhile, health problems may cause senior dogs to urinate inside your home.

If you have an adult dog urinating all over your home, they are likely marking their territory.

Note Your Pet’s Habits

Your pet’s habits can also indicate whether they are urinating naturally or marking their territory.

Some pets habitually mark their territories whenever they encounter other animals. If your dog engages in marking whenever they return from spending time outside, they are likely reacting to other animals in your neighborhood. They’re marking their territory now to keep potential intruders at bay.

Marking may also occur if you recently brought a new pet into your household. Your old pet may react to the new arrival by marking their territory. The marking issue may persist until you’ve properly socialized your pets.

Evaluate Your Pet’s Health

Finally, you can differentiate between urine marking and accidental urination by evaluating your pet’s health. Health problems, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes can cause urination issues in dogs. Take your pet to the veterinarian to ensure that their recent bout of indoor urination is unrelated to any of those issues.

Urine marking and accident urination are two different issues that require different solutions. Identify your pet’s problem first in order to address it effectively.

Do you need help with accidental urination or urine marking? Visit our dog training page for more information.



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