Why is my housetrained dog suddenly having accidents?
When you notice a sudden change in your pet’s elimination habits, the first step is to visit your veterinarian. Problems such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease, bladder stones, and gastrointestinal diseases can lead to inappropriate urination or defecation (in other words, changes in where and how often your dog goes). You veterinarian will perform a physical examination and may recommend a urinalysis, fecal examination, or x-rays to help determine exactly what’s going on. Once a medical explanation for the problem has been ruled out, it’s time to look at behavioral causes.
Unfortunately, there are many potential behavioral causes: insufficient housetraining, separation anxiety, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, submissive urination, excitement-related urination, and urine marking to name a few. If your dog is less than a year old or has just recently joined your family (within the last few months), the first step in resolving behavioral issues is to make certain that you have appropriately housetrained him. If you suspect the problem is associated with anxiety, it’s very important to seek the help of a behavior specialist as soon as possible.