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Why Does My Dog Pee When I Come Home? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Dog peeing in balcony near AC unit

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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One of the best parts of owning a dog is that you can always count on them to show you love and attention as soon as you get home. However, the excitement can be ruined for both of you if your dog has a habit of peeing as soon as you walk in.

Fortunately, the solutions to this problem are usually simple once you determine what the problem is. Here are the four main reasons your dog may pee when you come home and how to correct them.

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The 4 Reasons Your Dog Pees When You Come Home

1. Excitement

If your dog is really excited to see you when you get home, it could prompt a tinkle. Some dogs have bladder weakness and less control over urination, especially if they’re older or struggle with health problems, and they may pee a little from the excitement. Though this expression of love can be annoying, it’s important to never scold or punish your dog when it happens. If you do, you could create a cycle of submissive urination that’s difficult to break.

The best way to correct this is by staying calm and “ignoring” your dog until it calms down instead of getting excited along with it. Keep your voice soft, avoid speaking loudly or behaving boisterously, and avoid eye contact. Take your dog out as soon as possible to pee, then you can feel free to be just as excited as they are about your reunion.

germna shepherd dog playing outdoors with its owner
Image Credit: Zozz_, Pixabay

2. Emotional Distress

Some dogs struggle when their owners are gone all day, often peeing out of relief when their owners return home. This level of emotional distress is abnormal and could get worse over time, eventually turning into separation anxiety. It’s important to correct it early.

The best way to help a dog with distress is by making your home comfortable for them while you’re gone. Your dog may struggle with anxiety while you’re away, whether from loud noises outside or from boredom. Be sure to leave your dogs with enrichment during your workday, such as chew toys or puzzle toys, and turn on the TV or music for some ambient sound.

3. Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is a common—but difficult—problem to fix. This is when your dog pees as a sign of deference to you. This is also seen often in dogs that were abused previously. Unfortunately, that’s what makes it so challenging to correct. You can’t scold, yell, or otherwise punish your dog for peeing since it only makes the behavior worse.

Submissive urination is something that many dogs will outgrow. If your dog is a puppy or younger adult, it may just take time before the submissive urination stops. If your dog is already mature and it’s still happening, just be patient and keep things positive. While you don’t want to reward the behavior, reacting negatively will only make your dog more afraid.

dog pee on wooden floor
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Separation Anxiety

Anxiety is a legitimate issue for many dogs. For some, anxiety can lead to urinating in fear, and the symptoms can be worse with separation anxiety. This is a fear that comes from the fear of being separated from their owners. It can manifest in different ways, such as destructive behaviors, escape attempts, or a loss of bladder control.

Like emotional distress, the best option is to ignore your dog when you first arrive home and take it outside as soon as possible. While you’re away, leave your dog with ambient noise and toys, such as challenging puzzle toys, to keep it occupied. When you are home, be sure to give your dog plenty of bonding time with you.

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If your dog loves you so much that it can hardly contain itself when you arrive home—literally—it’s a double-edged sword. The love and devotion is wonderful, but it can get messy and frustrating if you’re always dealing with pee puddles. Hopefully, these possible causes and tips will give you some ideas to correct this behavior.

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