You must be really frustrated. Aren’t you? Your potty-trained dog is peeing in the house after vacation. You are already tired and want some rest, and now this! Frustrating! I know!
But, again, this is a normal part of dog parenting. Normal but hard. But the good news is that this potty training regression is reversible with a little effort.
There are several reasons why your dog started peeing in the house again after a vacation.
1- Change of schedule
The schedule change is the most common reason behind your dog’s potty training regression.
Either you took him with you or left him with someone; it’s hard to manage a regular schedule. You can understand that this is just for a few days, but your dog can’t.
A schedule change can put the dog under stress. Moreover, his routine or pattern of doing things can also be disturbed.
Because of these reasons, your dog might be peeing in the house again.
2- He just forgot
Dogs are very forgetful. They will quickly forget their habits and other stuff and start to live like they were never trained. It’s just a normal part of dog brain development.
Because of being away from home, he may have forgotten his potty spot and started peeing and pooping inside.
3- Urine marking
Your dog might feel insecure about his belongings because of a change in his environment. So he will start to urine marks inside the house to let everyone know that this area belongs to him.
Urine marking is an normal dog’s instinct. Learn more about it here.
If the amount of dog urine is small when he pees inside the house, it’s more likely urine marking.
4- Peeing out of excitement
Dogs pee out of “everything.” Out of fear, out of stress, and out of excitement too. Is he excited after coming back home?
He might be peeing out of excitement. A dog peeing out of emotions is called submissive urination.
If your dog was with you or out of the house, he might have come in contact with germs/bacteria, causing a urinary tract infection.
If your dog is urinating more frequently, he seems to be in pain while urinating, or if you see blood in their urine, it’s best to check with a Vet.
What to do if a dog is peeing in the house after vacation:
Except for UTIs, the solution to all the other reasons will be the same.
“GET BACK TO THE BASIC TRAINING METHOD”
- First, be patient and let your dog relax, too—no need to yell at him.
- After that, confine your dog to an area where the floor is easy to clean (for example, a tiled floor). You can use a playpen to confine him.
- Play with your dog there and offer treats.
- Put your dog on a schedule, just like he had before going on a vacation.
- Follow basic potty training like taking him to the potty spot on a leash when he needs to go.
- You can read the complete potty training process here.
- Treat when he pees outside and ignore when he does it inside. (ignoring doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean). Don’t pay any attention to this behavior.
Clean up – Clean up – Clean up
Look! Dogs pee where they smell pee. So, your dog mustn’t smell the pee inside.
It is a very common cause of potty training regression in dogs. Our dogs are not sensitive enough as dogs’ noses are!
Even if you can’t smell it, your dog can. So, the best way is to use a UV flashlight.
Turn off the lights in your house and use the UV light to check every area of the place that your dog has ever visited.
If there are stains, you will see them.
Now take an enzyme cleaner. (Always choose the enzyme cleaner suitable for the surface you are using it on.)
You can find the list of enzyme cleaners according to the surface type here.
Spray the enzyme cleaner over the stain and let it sit for some time. Then use a paper towel to remove it.
Clean the area with wet clothe and then vacuum it.
Check with the UV light again to ensure the stain is gone.
Can It be attention-seeking behavior?
If you didn’t take your dog with you and he was craving your attention, yes, it is possible.
Say, you were away, and when you came back, you were tired. You didn’t pay any remarkable attention to him. You went to sleep.
He peed, and there you were, yelling at him or talking to him. He thought this was a great way to get your attention, and now he is using “pee” to signal you, “Come! Talk to me”.
The best solution to this problem is to talk to him politely at first, confine him, and give him something interesting, like a treat or an anxiety-killing / stress-relief toy.
(chewing and licking act as a stress relief for dogs)
If you catch an accident afterward, do not pay any kind of attention at all. Just clean up and leave. Then, come back later to talk to him.
Any kind of attention, positive or negative, can just increase the problem.
And yes! Don’t forget to follow the basics of potty training even if your dog is not peeing in the house.
Following up is super important when it comes to potty training.
If your dog started peeing in the house again after a vacation, it could be because of a changed schedule, common regression, marking, excitement, or a UTI.
Just don’t pay attention to bad behavior. Instead, follow the essential practices of potty training, and don’t forget to clean up.
If you think it’s UTI, you must visit the vet ASAP.