Unfortunately, lots of people mistakenly assume their dog is naughty when they wet themselves at home.
But in reality, random accidents can be a sign of something more serious, including ill health and anxiety.
Canine behaviourist Adem Fehmi has partnered with natural dog food brand Barking Heads to share the reasons our pets may pee or poop around the house.
Adem told The Mirror : “Dogs can urinate or defecate in the home for a number of reasons. Whatever the reason, it is important that we as owners stay calm, avoid punishing our dogs, and take positive steps to overcome the issue.”
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While you may think toilet training is just for puppies, older dogs rescued from kennels or abroad may need to learn this too.
Adem advises creating a safe space for your dog, such as a puppy crate or pen. This area should predominantly be used for sleeping or resting rather than playing.
Next, create a routine for your day that includes rest periods, playtime, nutrition and toilet breaks. As soon as your dog has woken up from their snooze, take them outside or to your designated toilet area.
Keep an eye on any signs they might want to go again, then repeat the process.
If your dog has an accident, don’t panic or make them feel bad. Remember, the more consistent and clear you are, the quicker your dog will learn where to go to the toilet.
Elderly dogs may start to lose the ability to hold their bladder or bowels like they used to, and need some extra care and attention given to them.
You should always visit your vet to rule out any underlying causes and, if nothing is found, it is important to adjust your day to your dog’s needs as a senior.
Reduce the amount of time they are left alone and try to offer and encourage them to toilet outside regularly.
Using washable vet bedding on top of their usual bed can also be useful in this instance.
If your usually well-toilet trained dog suddenly starts having accidents inside, it is always important to head to your vets to get them checked over.
It could be a sign of a nasty bladder infection or more serious illness, so it’s well worth a visit.
Toileting inside can be caused by stress or anxiety – either fears and phobias or separation-based anxiety.
If you believe your dog is suffering from anxiety, it is important to seek behavioural advice from an accredited behaviourist and put a plan in place to work through this positively.
It is also important that whilst you rehabilitate them, you do not place them in situations where they feel anxious or scared.
For dogs with separation anxiety, this might mean finding an appropriate pet sitter or day care provider until the issue is resolved.
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