When a pet decides to urinate somewhere that he or she isn’t supposed to, it can be very frustrating. It is even more frustrating when you are pretty sure that they are doing it to mark their territory. After all, your pet probably has nothing to defend from roving packs of enemy dogs.
Long Animal Hospital wants to help pet owners understand more about why your dog marking his territory is a natural thing and what you can do to prevent it from affecting your relationship.
When a pet is urinating inappropriately, it is always best to start at the beginning. While we may jump to thinking a dog marking his territory is the reason for your woes, there are other causes as well.
In the case of behavioral urination problems such as urine marking, medical conditions should be ruled out first. A physical examination, urinalysis, and sometimes other diagnostics such as blood work, x-rays, ultrasound, and urine culture may be necessary to rule out underlying issues.
This is especially important if the urine marking behavior is a new thing as this is indicative of some change in your pet’s medical status.
A correct diagnosis is essential for our veterinarians to do our best to help your pet.
How to Curb Your Dog Marking His Territory
Once medical causes for inappropriate urination are ruled out, a behavioral history can help us determine the cause of your pet’s urination. While a dog marking his territory may be the underlying issues, ruling out things like separation anxiety are essential to success.
Once it is determined that territorial marking behavior is at the root of the problem, there are some things that definitely can be done to curb this issue.
Because this is a somewhat natural dog behavior to stamp out another dog’s scent, it is likely to persist to some degree. That doesn’t mean that you need to tolerate your pet urinating in your home, though.
You should :
- Consider spaying or neutering your pet to decrease the hormonal drive to mark (this fixes the issue in about half of cases)
- Clean indoor areas that your dogs marks with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all trace of biological matter and scent
- Block access to trouble spots while working on the issue
- Decrease stress in the home with environmental enrichment techniques and pheromones
- Work on training your dog to perform other tasks when marking instincts are high (such as on a walk)
- Prevent other dogs from frequenting the outside of your home when possible
- Supervise your pet indoors to prevent problems
- Consider talking to us about anti-anxiety medications if the problem is persistent
When your dog is marking his territory in your house, it can be quite a difficult thing to combat. We are here to help you find out what the problem is and to troubleshoot it as much as possible. In most situations there is a solution that is livable for everyone involved.