It is frustrating to see your fully potty-trained dog peeing or pooping in the house again. Housebreaking regression after neutering or spaying is normal. This is a process where the veterinarian surgeon will remove the specific reproductive organs of dogs, restricting their sex drive.
This process has multiple benefits, but your dog may go through a phase of potty training regression after neutering or spaying. Let’s discuss this matter in detail.
Is potty training regression normal after neutering or spaying?
Neutering or spaying may affect potty training, but this regression is usually temporary. Your dog will start peeing or pooping anywhere in the house because of the pain, discomfort, or hormonal changes caused by the surgery.
But don’t worry. You won’t have to start potty training from the beginning. Just getting back to the basics for a few days will do.
Possible reasons behind this potty training regression?
There are a few possible reasons behind housebreaking regression after neutering or spaying.
1- Hormonal changes:
The most prominent factor that may cause this regression is “sudden hormonal changes due to neutering.”
The procedure causes the removal of specific reproductive organs of the dogs that cause them to lose their sex drive. This can be hard on the dog initially. Some dogs may even go nuts after the surgery.
These hormonal changes may cause behavioral changes in the dog, such as peeing or pooping in the wrong area.
2- Pain or discomfort:
The second apparent reason is pain or discomfort caused by the surgery. For example, the animal may be experiencing swelling around the genitals. Due to this discomfort, your dog may lose control over his bladder.
Surgery is a stressful procedure. So much machinery around in a strange place may put the dog under stress, just like this scenario puts a human under pressure.
Stress, fear, or anxiety are the common causes of potty training regression in puppies and dogs.
How to deal with housebreaking regression after neutering or spaying?
Now, let’s move on to this article’s primary purpose: what to do when your dog is going through potty training setbacks after the surgery.
1- Talk to the vet; ask about the recovery period:
Talk to the vet surgeon and ask about the estimated recovery period. It should be around 2-4 weeks. Be ready for at least this time frame, and don’t lose your patience. Do not yell at the dog for the potty accident as it’s not his fault.
Don’t forget to ask the doctor what your dog should eat and how much water he should drink. Dogs also experience difficulty in pooping after the surgery, so it is best to feed them the right food prescribed by the doctor.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here.
2- Confine him using a playpen / Provide him with a calm space:
When he is having potty accidents in the house, it is best to confine him to an area where he can spend time comfortably. The floor must be easy to clean. For example, it should not be carpeted.
Confining in a playpen is a good idea as it gives him enough space and comfort to move around.
You should also put on a recovery suit on your dog that can protect your dog’s wound too. And a recovery cone, of course.
Calm the dog:
Try to keep your dog calm and relaxed. You can use ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit.
Do not let your dog jump or run:
Running or jumping can cause damage to your dog’s wound, so avoid it.
3- Get back to the basic training:
Waiting for recovery and getting back to basic training is the only thing you can do. Know his usual routine. Write down the schedule and keep track of the potty accidents.
Take him to the potty spot on the leash when it’s time to go to the toilet.
Getting back to basic potty training is so crucial because dogs forget quickly. If you don’t take him outside frequently, he may forget his training and make a habit of peeing and pooping in the house.
If your dog is trained to use the grass but is still not recovered enough to walk outside, you can order natural dog grass from the porch potty and keep this grass near him.
The scent of the grass will invite your dog to pee on it, and it will be easier for you to re-train him to go outside and use the grass.
The doggy diaper is also something you can use but I don’t recommend them as they will cause a “more severe” potty training regression.
4- Use an enzyme cleaner:
This point is a crucial part. Having potty accidents after neutering is normal, but you must clean up the mess immediately with a good enzyme cleaner. Dogs pee where they smell pee, so if you do not clean it properly, he will continue going there even after his recovery.
Enzyme cleaners clear the urine smell completely. Here’s the list of best enzyme cleaners for dog urine.
5- Check with the UV light for urine stains:
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. You need to clear the urine smell completely to prevent your dog from peeing there again and again.
You can check with the UV flashlight to find out the hidden stains of the urine.
6- If it doesn’t get okay in 1-2 weeks:
If your dog doesn’t feel well and starts going out on his own, you should talk to the vet. There is a risk of UTI after surgery.
If your dog has recovered from the surgery but still didn’t return to the proper potty habits, you must double-check the potty training. He might need a follow-up with the training.
Make sure to put your dog on a fixed schedule.
Check out the step-by-step guide to potty training your puppy.
Does neutering help with potty training?
Suppose your dog was not yet fully potty trained. In that case, neutering might actually help with potty training because it reduces urine marking, which is usually a common hurdle in a puppy’s potty training.
Dogs like to mark every other object in the house, and the remaining urine smell there causes them to pee on that spot again.
Does neutering make a dog pee more or less?
Yes, it is common for a dog to pee more or less after neutering or spaying. This is because of sudden changes in the body. Swelling around the genitals is also a cause.
It is usual for a dog to go through potty training regression after spaying or neutering. This can be because of possible pain, discomfort, or stress.
You must confine your dog to an easy-to-clean area and take him to the potty spot in time. Fixing your dog’s schedule is so important. Waiting and getting back to the basic training is all you can do.