Most dogs wear their emotions on their sleeves. You know your dog is excited when you see that wagging tail, those big eyes, and the ears raised and alert. Unfortunately, you might also see a little puddle. It's no good if your dog pees when excited, so we've got some tips for curbing this behavior.
The first step is identifying the cause of your dog's inappropriate urination. In some cases, there could be a medical condition, like a Urinary Tract Infection, in which case your pup should see a vet. However, most cases come from stressors in the dog's environment or incomplete obedience training, which you can easily remedy at home. We've got all you need right here, so join us!
Why Do Dogs Pee When Excited?
Many pets have trouble controlling their bladder, especially young dogs. It's such a common problem for puppies that vets have a term for it — "submissive urination."
The canine world has strict power structures, with "alphas" controlling the pack. Submissive dogs pee to show any alphas in the area that they know their place and aren't a threat. When you adopt a puppy, you become the alpha in their life. This comes with the benefit of their deep love and loyalty, but it can also come with occasional puddles of dog pee.
Submissive urination is typically a sign that the pup is nervous or frightened by a certain scenario. They often display fearful body language like lowering their body and tucking in their tail. Common causes of nervous urination include a change of living space, new people or pets in the home, and separation anxiety when their alpha (you) leaves them.
Sometimes, your dog's inappropriate pee when they're excited might have a medical cause. This is a fairly common issue for senior pets. If your dog was properly potty trained with no problems for years, and then, all of a sudden, they lose control of their bladder, it's probably a medical issue.
To be clear, excitement urination in puppies is a natural, age-related behavior, so you don't need to rush to the vet (it can still help to give their clinic a call for advice, though). The real cause for concern is when an adult dog has control over their bladder but suddenly loses it.
If your dog shows this abrupt change, it's a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up. Here are the most common medical causes of inappropriate urination:
Inappropriate urination in dogs might occur if their diet has a lot of sodium. When your dog's level of sodium gets too high, they can suffer from an electrolyte imbalance called hypernatremia. It makes your dog extremely thirsty, leading them to drink more and subsequently pee more. A low-sodium diet can restore their electrolyte balance and get their drinking and peeing back under control.
Urinary incontinence is the medical term for involuntary peeing. There are several causes of incontinence, including infections, congenital defects, and nerve damage in the bladder or urinary tract. A telltale sign of incontinence is when dogs urinate in their sleep. If this happens regularly, take your pet to a vet to determine the cause of the issue.
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra. There are many causes of UTIs, but the most common are e. coli and streptococcus. Vets typically prescribe short-term antibiotics to treat UTIs, and they have a very high success rate.
Is Excitement Urination Common?
Submissive or excitement urination is a very common issue for puppies. Their animal instincts tell them you are an alpha figure, so they pee to show they know their place. It is not common for adult dogs. They should grow out of this behavior after the age of 12 weeks.
How To Stop Dogs From Peeing
As we mentioned in the last section, submissive pees are a very common behavior for some dogs when excited. Though most pups typically grow out of this behavior by the time they are three months old. There are a few things you can do during this time to help stop submissive urination and make sure they grow out of it by adulthood. Here are some keys to help you out:
Don't Punish Them
Punishing submissive urination can make the problem even worse. Remember, your dog is probably peeing because they're nervous or afraid of something. Yelling at them when they pee will only reinforce their fears.
If your dog urinates where you don't want them to, try not to react noticeably. Keep calm and quiet. Avoid eye contact when you approach the pup since this can make them more fearful. If you have visitors in your home, tell them to avoid eye contact with the dog and approach them slowly. If the alphas in the house (the humans) stay calm, it helps the pup relax as well.
Obedience training teaches your puppy where to pee and where not to pee when excited, or calm. Most dogs struggle to control their bladder before the age of 12 weeks, so potty training will be very challenging for puppies under that age. Most trainers agree that the perfect time for potty lessons is between 12 and 16 weeks.
A professional dog trainer can be very helpful, but it's essential that you take a hands-on role in your puppy's training as well. If you just leave your pup with the trainer, they will learn to obey their commands, but not your commands. Most trainers work with the dog and the owner together. This is great because, in addition to teaching important lessons like where to pee, training strengthens the bond between dogs and their owners.
If you need to leave your dog unsupervised for a while, you don't want to return and find puddles on the floor. Instead, you can keep them in a crate or kennel while you're out. When you do it correctly, crating can be a positive thing for any pup, but it can easily go sour if you take the wrong approach. With that in mind, we have a few tips for you.
Make sure you get a crate that is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down in. Place a dog bed and blankets in the crate to make it a comfortable place to sleep. Do not use crating as a form of punishment. The ideal crate is a safe space for nervous dogs to retreat and find safety in stressful situations.
Keep your dog's environment and routine as consistent as possible. Sudden changes like moving the furniture, changing their food, or having houseguests over can all increase your dog's distress and make excitement urination worse.
How To Calm An Excited Dog
The best way to stop accidental pee when excited is to get to the root of the problem. There are many ways to calm a nervous dog, and it never hurts to ask a vet for advice on the issue. To get you started, here are some time-honored tips for calming down your dog:
Desensitization training helps your dog grow accustomed to scary situations. Instead of avoiding potential stressors, expose your dog to them in calm, controlled environments. For example, if your dog seems to fear other animals, try taking them to the dog park once or twice a week to meet other dogs.
If your dog is highly excitable, they might have a lot of pent-up energy. Try taking them on longer walks or increasing the number of walks they take each day. If your dog can release its energy in a productive setting, like exercising, they won't be so on-edge and excitable at home.
Pheromones are substances that animals excrete to mark their territory. These days, you can buy synthetic pheromones at most pet supply stores. The most popular type, DAP, replicates the natural pheromones that mother dogs release when they nurse. A DAP diffuser can help a dog feel safe and calm, reducing the risk of nervous peeing.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound present in hemp plants. It interacts with receptors in your dog's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to deliver numerous therapeutic effects. The ECS regulates vital functions like immune response, mood, memory, sleep, appetite, digestion, and more. By supporting this system, CBD can achieve great benefits, including:
- Calming nervous and fearful dogs
- Relieving discomfort and aches
- Improving sleep
- Aiding appetite and digestion
Submissive pee doesn't alway occur when your dog is excited. In fact, sudden urination is typically a response to nervousness or physical discomfort. CBD offers relief from these very same issues. It also supports homeostasis, the ideal balance of internal processes. This makes CBD a great remedy for short-term issues like inappropriate peeing as well as something to support overall wellness in the long term.
Where To Purchase CBD Products
If you're looking for the best CBD for dogs, congratulations! You already found it! We here at HolistaPet offer the highest-quality hemp products for pets (including cats and horses) based on the principles of natural, organic wellness.
Check out our store page to find great deals on CBD oil, dog treats, shampoo, and more! For dogs with submissive urination issues, we highly recommend our Calming CBD Treats, which have the added benefit of L-theanine for maximum soothing effects.
Final Thoughts — Dog Pees When Excited
Many dogs pee when they get excited. It's one of the most common problems for any pet owner, but that doesn't make it less annoying. The most important thing is to stay calm while you and your dog navigate this issue together. Panicking and punishing them will only make matters worse.
Stopping urination from over-excitement takes time. Be patient, especially with puppies, and give them lots of positive support when they pee outside. CBD treats make a great reward for good behavior in addition to supporting long-term wellness.