It would be wonderful to imagine that once a dog is potty trained, they are forever potty trained. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact many dogs in various stages of their lives will regress to having accidents in the house. If handled correctly, this is only a mere stepping stone that is easily fixed with the proper attention and care.
If you have a younger pup that’s just hitting their teenage years (anywhere from 4 months to 3 years old), they may start throwing fits as their hormones kick into gear. Much like human teenagers become rebellious, so, too, do your teenage pets. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for them to begin peeing inside again. Remember, don’t get angry. It’s highly likely that the behavior of going outside isn’t nearly as ingrained as you assumed. Should your testy teenager start using the floors as their own lawn, start over with the potty training. Keep a schedule and enforce the rules like when you did when they were a puppy. In only a few weeks, they should be back to behaving correctly.
If your adult dog starts having accidents, the first thing you need to do is have them checked out by a vet. Urinating in the house after a lifetime of going outside might point to something wrong with their kidney’s or bladder. If there does happen to be a medical issue, follow the instructions of your vet. If your vet gives your pup a clean bill of health, it’s time to figure out what caused the problem and how to fix it.
Older dogs get used to routine, much like humans do. They expect food at a certain time, they expect you home at a certain time and they expect to be taken on a walk at a certain time. Sudden changes in this schedule can throw off their own expectations, resulting in a dog that doesn’t know when the next time it will see green grass again and can’t hold its bathroom accordingly.
Like the teenager, you’ll need to once again assert the potty training rules. Take them out about 20 minutes after they eat and stop leaving food out for them. By controlling when they eat, you’ll have more control over when they need to head outside.
Purging the Home
One final thing you’ll need to be on top of is keeping your house clean of scents. A dog’s urine and feces leave behind an odor that often tempts them into going to the bathroom in the same area again and again and again. As soon as you find an accident inside, clean it up with an odor removing cleaner. Because dog urine contains ammonia, make sure the cleaner you use does not contain this ingredient as this can actually encourage them to soil the area further rather than deter them.