My Dog Is Peeing Everywhere
When adult dogs begin to urinate inappropriately, either in frequency or location, it is usually a sign of illness. The problem is that the mere thought of chronic illness and the potential costs associated with the care and treatment of it is often enough cause for owners to give up on their dogs and offer them for adoption, or worse.
What to Look For
Although a dog that is peeing everywhere is usually unwell, the first things to rule out are reasons other than illness. As mentioned in “My Dog Is Always Thirsty,” a dog that's drinking more water will usually be peeing more often. So start by looking for reasons why your dog would drink more water than usual, such as pregnancy or changes in diet, weather, or exercise routine.
Next, check your dog's temperature. See “How to Check Your Dog's Temperature” [not available online] for instructions on how to do this. Then collect a sample of your dog's urine in a clean container. See “My Dog Cries Out When He Tries to Urinate” for advice on how to obtain a urine sample.
What to Do
Ask yourself the following questions to try to figure out what might cause more urine to be produced or prompt the urge to urinate more frequently:
- Is your dog an intact male? If he is, it is possible that he has perceived a need to mark his territory. This could be a response to a nearby female coming into “heat.” Or your dog may have an enlarged prostate gland causing difficulty maintaining a substantial stream of urine. This could cause the need for more frequent urinations and even some leaking of urine. Your vet should be able to confirm or rule out these possibilities and give you some advice on how to either treat or manage them.
- Is your dog an intact female? If so, she might be pregnant or coming into “heat.” The hormonal changes related to the estrous cycle are often associated with frequent urinations, and not all dogs are capable of holding it in until they can get outside. Alternatively, your dog might be pregnant, and the space occupied by the fetuses is leaving less room in her abdomen for urinary bladder filling. This would result in more frequent, low volume urinations. Pregnancy can be diagnosed by X-ray, ultrasound, or palpation, depending on how long ago your dog conceived. These reasons for urinary problems are usually treated by waiting them out, but your vet may be able to suggest some better ways to manage them for your individual dog.
- Does your dog have a fever? If so, she might be suffering from an infection, particularly a urinary tract infection, which would cause both a feeling of urgency and an increased thirst. See your vet for immediate treatment.
- Is the urine an unusual color? Very pale urine could mean that either your dog's kidneys are not functioning properly, or that she is drinking so much that the kidneys are being overloaded. Dark or bloody urine could mean a urinary tract infection, crystals or stones in the urinary bladder, blunt trauma to the abdomen, or even a mass in the bladder. See your vet right away if you notice this.
When to Get the Vet
Excessive and inappropriate urination is serious, not to mention inconvenient. If you can't come up with an easy explanation for it, the first step is to bring a urine sample in to your vet (in a clean container) to be analyzed. Follow up with your vet's suggestions without delay!
Text © 2007 by Robert D. "Jake" Tedaldi, D.V.M.