When Your Old Dog Starts to have Accidents

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Published: 07th November 2012
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As dog owners, we’ve all had our experiences with accidents in the household. But now that our dogs are a little older and have passed their potty training tests with flying colors, we expect our house to stay potty-free.

So what happens when an adult dog starts to have accidents again? This is something that tends to surprise many owners because it always appears when least expected. The first time might simply be a mistake or accident that resulted from strange circumstance or even an upset stomach or illness. But, when it seems as though you’re going to have to start potty training all over again, there are some things you’ll need to consider first.

Changing things up

Change has always been a dog’s weak point. As creatures of habit, often the smallest changes can cause stress or confusion. For this reason, consider that there are many rather common, but regularly overlooked, conditions that we often encounter.

Any change in the house can hike a dog’s interest. Furniture rearrangement does happen, and oftentimes it can result in curiosity. Furniture like couches, chairs, and even desks can cover things once hidden from your dog. Consider an old accident that was forgotten underneath the couch or even something that simply smells similar. Not only may a dog be curious or confused about the shift in scenery, but it may reveal a few things from the past as well.

Keeping their schedule

A change in schedule is possibly the most prominent cause for adulthood accidents. Feeding, watering, and even play time all influence your dog’s urge to potty. When these “appointments” are thrown off-balance, potty time will need adjusting as well. In some cases, altering a dog’s diet can also lead to upset stomachs, vomiting a yellow bile, and diarrhea.

These changes can all stem from vacation or even vacation’s end as children go back to school. These types of changes can be radical and affect a dog emotionally. They may become depressed or confused about the change. This can result in anxiety and occasionally lead to accidents. Don’t get mad at them because they’re not doing it on purpose, they’re just trying to cope with anxiety. You can discuss anxiety relief solutions with your vet. With today’s advancement in technology, there are plenty of anxiety relief solutions that are not pharmaceutical.

Adding new friends to your household

One thing never to be overlooked is that the introduction of a new dog or pet into the home will very easily influence your dog’s habits. You may be puppy-sitting for a friend for the week, having some house guests over, or you may be adding a new member to your family.

Adding another dog into your household equation can affect your dog’s habits in numerous ways. They may feel uncomfortable or even somewhat jealous of the other dog, resulting in marking (even neutered and spayed dogs can mark). At the same time, the other dog may present a few bad habits of their own. You may have to work with them together to correct any bad habits.

Then there is always the over-excited dog condition. This occurs primarily in younger dogs, but adult dogs can still get excited as well. This can be something as simple as getting home and your dog is so happy to see you- and they really have to go. In these cases, it may be a good idea to utilize an indoor potty where they can regularly relieve themselves.

Special situations

Diseases and conditions such as diabetes and even hormonal incontinence can also result in accidents. Diabetic dogs of all ages can experience issues with bladder control and often need to eliminate more often than normal. Some spayed middle-aged dogs can develop incontinence as their estrogen levels drop significantly after being spayed. This hormone actually helps to tone the urethral sphincter which controls the flow of urine.

There may even be side-effects of certain medications that can cause a dog to get the urge to potty more often. Always discuss these types of scenarios with your veterinarian.

Even though your dog has already been potty trained, that doesn’t mean there won’t ever be an accident again. But, as long as you know what to look for and what steps you can take to help your dog cope with the situation, you can get your friend back on the right potty track.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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