Q: My rescued dog of a year occasionally pees on my other dog’s bed. Twice I’ve returned home to find her lying in my other dog’s bed after wetting it. She has her own nice bed which she doesn’t pee on. What’s going on here and how can I stop her from doing this?—Peeved in Pittsburg
A:If people are stressed or upset, we can talk things through. We can make ourselves feel better by yelling, crying … or eating ice cream. Dogs? They pee.
Are you catching your dog in the act? Are you 100 percent certain it’s her? Or are you coming home just to find her lying on a wet bed? First, determine the true culprit.
Next, rule out any physical problems. Whenever a dog is peeing in an unusual place, it’s best to take her to the veterinarian to make sure it isn’t a physical issue, like a urinary tract infection. If the vet gives her a clean bill of health, there could be several reasons why your dog is peeing on the other dog’s bed.
She could be trying to claim it as hers. Maybe one dog peed on the bed at one time, and now the other dog is simply peeing in the same spot. Dogs also pee because they’re stressed, like during thunderstorms or when left alone. The rescued dog may also have learned the behaviour in her previous home. For example, if she was kept in a small room that had a bed in it and she was not given sufficient potty breaks, she learned to eliminate on beds, because she didn’t have a choice.
There could be other reasons, but the real issue is to stop the peeing! Limit your dog’s access to the beds to times when you can supervise her. Clean the bed with an enzymatic cleaner specifically made for pet messes.
Start housetraining from scratch. You need to teach her that you only want her to eliminate outside. Supervise her closely, give her more frequent potty breaks, and reward her every time she eliminates outside. As she progresses, slowly increase her freedom and access again to the beds.