Almost nothing makes a pet owner’s heart fuller than the enthusiastic way that their dog greets them when they return home. That is, unless their pup’s hello is accompanied by a puddle of piddle. 

Thankfully, Blue Valley Animal Hospital has the tools to help you navigate submissive urination in dogs so that your homecoming can remain happy. 

Out of Control Urine

Submissive urination in dogs tends to be seen in puppies or adolescent animals and results in unexpected (and unwanted) urination, sometimes when you least expect it. 

Submissive urination tends to happen when your dog is overstimulated or fearful. It is simply a loss of control that is involuntary. It is also a fairly normal behavior, especially in young animals.

Pet owners often become a little befuddled when it comes to differentiating a true house training lapse from submissive urination issues. Context is key here. Excitable or submissive urination in dogs tends to occur when:

  • Something stressful or scary is happening
  • The dog is being scolded or reprimanded
  • A greeting is occurring
  • The dog is being approached by another person or animal
  • The pet is doing something exciting or high energy
  • Overexcitement occurs
  • During rough play

Noting when the urination is happening can help you to understand if it is related to a submissive urination issue, if you need to work on housebreaking more, or if there may be an actual medical issue. If you aren’t sure, give us a call so that we can help to evaluate the situation. 

Stopping Submissive Urination in Dogs in Its Tracks

If you have a dog who has a problem with submissive urination, it can be very frustrating. All the sweet puppy kisses in the world don’t make cleaning up urine any more fun.

So what is an exasperated pet owner to do?

First, remember that your pet can’t help it when he or she urinates. It is important to not reprimand them for submissive urination. In fact, this can make the problem even worse. 

Help your pet build the confidence and self control needed to build bladder control by:

  • Building positive experiences with new people, places, and pets slowly
  • Allowing your pet to calm down a bit before interacting on return home
  • Praising confident behavior such as approaching a person voluntarily
  • Not allowing visitors to force interaction on a timid pup
  • Getting down on your pet’s level to greet 
  • Limiting intense, high-energy games to the outdoors

With a little time and positive reinforcement, most submissive urination in dogs resolves on its own. 

If your pet continues to have issues into adulthood, or if the urination is accompanied by other symptoms, we would recommend bringing your pet in to see one of our expert doctors. We are happy to help rule out other potential medical issues and assist in navigating the issue. 

Submissive urination in dogs can put a damper on pet ownership, but thankfully with a little understanding most of it can be avoided. We hope our hints will help you to enjoy your dog, urine-free.