Living with dogs is the best way to experience unconditional love and commitment, because dogs don’t waver in their dedication to their owners. Certain parts of owning a dog can be challenging when your dog acts in a way that frustrates you. If your dog is one of those that create a mess in the house—whether you’re there or not—you’ll love these tips on how to curb this action.
Dogs that mess with your house’s order and cleanliness are quite common, but you don’t have to surrender yourself to these circumstances. Your dog’s behavior could be caused by factors you can control. Browse through this list and determine ways of helping your dog as well as yourself have a less troublesome future.
Types of messes
The most common way dogs mess up owners’ houses are by leaving their urine or stool inside. You’re probably aware that dogs also leave a mess behind by doing the following:
- Shedding fur on carpets and furniture
- Chewing household or clothing items
In this piece we’ll mostly discuss the aspect of dogs leaving their urine and stool inside, but the reasons for other types of behavior can be closely related.
Reasons dogs make a mess inside
Don’t think your dog is unable to learn rules and skills simply because it keeps messing inside your house. Your dog is intelligent enough to understand what you demand of it, but its reasons for not obeying could stem from some serious problems. Luckily most of these problems can be managed when you identify them.
Your dog’s health plays a huge role in how it acts. It may have the desire to make its mess outside, but medically it may not be possible. Does your dog suffer from one of the following?
- Old age: As your dog gets older it may simply not have control over its bowels and bladder anymore. When it needs to go out, it may realize it too late and the mess will be made inside before it reaches the door.
- Diseases: Some diseases have a direct effect on your dog’s bowel movements. If your dog’s colon or intestines are inflamed, your dog will be uncomfortable. It won’t want to leave the comfort of your home or it may not reach the door in time. Possible diseases include:
- Parasites and worms
- Food allergies
- Bowel cancer
- Inflamed bowel diseases
- Diet change: Dogs’ digestive system can react when a new food is introduced to its diet. A dog may not have complete control over its bowels while the digestive system adjusts to the new texture and nutritional format of the food.
Your dog’s behavior is sometimes a way of communicating. Before you think your dog is simply behaving badly, consider one of the following reasons for its messing in the house:
- Age: A young puppy may not know how to ask to go outside.
- Change: Dogs don’t like change in schedule or location. If your personal schedule has changed or if you moved to a new place, your dog may make a mess inside the house due to the stress it experiences. This is your dog’s way of expressing its distaste and stress in the circumstance.
- Stress: Dogs are sensitive to the stress around them. If your household is going through a tough time with a lot of conflict between family members, your dog will pick up on it. Its behavior may change and messing inside the house could be one of the ways it expresses its unhappiness.
- Frustration: Your dog may communicate its frustration by acting out of the ordinary. Frustration is caused by a lack of exercise, socialization or attention.
What dog owners can do
You may recognize your dog’s behavior in one of the scenarios mentioned above. There is the possibility of your dog being naughty. In these cases you need to follow these guidelines:
- Scold your dog whenever he misbehaves. It needs to associate negative experiences with messing inside the house and positive memories with doing it outside. Rewarding your dog when it does mess outside is the best way of making it a future habit. Conversely, yelling at them long after they make a mess inside (such as when you come home from work) can confuse them about what they’re being punished for.
- Leave a door open so your dog can easily get outside. Your dog may experience stress if it wants to go out and doesn’t know how to signal you. If they make a mess when you’re gone for long periods of time you might consider getting a dog door.
- Affirm your authority. You need to take charge of every situation so your dog knows you’re its pack leader.
In other scenarios mentioned above you need to consider the following actions before simply scolding your dog:
- Make sure your dog knows the rules before you start punishing it. Your dog wants to please you, but if it doesn’t know what the rules are, it won’t know how to make you happy. Patience is key to establish excellent communication between you and your dog. Look for typical behavior your puppy or new dog exhibits before he wants to go out. Pretty soon you’ll know when it wants to go out and it will be able to signal you if necessary. Typical behavior includes:
- Restlessly pacing the room
- Flapping ears
- Walking with tail tucked in low
- If you suspect your dog is suffering from a disease, take it to your vet so you don’t scold it for something it doesn’t have any control over.
- Make sure your dog has a healthy, happy lifestyle which includes lots of exercise. It’s your responsibility to keep your dog healthy and stimulated. Increase its exercise levels and see what effect it has on its behavior. This plays a huge role in whether your dog chews your personal items. It could be a way of asking for attention.
- If your dog needs time to adjust to change, scolding it for bad behavior could make the situation worse. Your dog may feel embarrassed at disappointing you, which increases stress levels and may not stop the behavior. Include all possible factors in your analysis of the situation and start with coaxing before you turn to punishment.
Your dog’s behavior is closely connected to its medical and emotional wellbeing. You can make your dog happier and see the result in its changed behavior. This in turn will make your role as a pet owner even more rewarding.