The biggest question I get in my business is, “Why is my dog peeing in the house?”
I have pondered this question myself and wondered what I could do to change the outcome. So here is my story and why I created the P-Suit® dog diaper and have been selling it for over 5 years.
My Experience with Dogs Peeing In the House
I am the mother of 3 dogs. Godzilla is a chihuahua mix and is my oldest. He is pushing 17 years!! Thank goodness for the P-Suit® dog diaper, as he is incontinent now. We take him out 4-5 times a day and he still fills two Tena® heavy #5 disposable pads a day. We got him when he was 10 weeks old and he was by far the easiest puppy to ever train. I would take him outside and tell him to potty and he would squat. The two years we had him, I never had a problem with indoor dog peeing. Now the cat, that’s a different story!
I loved having Zilla and thought it would be wonderful to get another dog. So we added Eddy, a male chihuahua mix too and found out right away, he would do submissive urination. Eddy is now 14 years old and is still a submissive dog. He outgrew his submissive peeing. But not before it created a HUGE problem.
I noticed it on my white kitchen tile, little drips of pee. I had 2 dogs–it’s bound to happen! I would clean it up right away but it never dawned on me to check the legs of my furniture, drapes or kitchen cabinets. It wasn’t long before the drips turned into dried puddles of yellow ickiness.
What I found that night using a blacklight was even more astonishing. The drips and puddles left vertical stains on my furniture, cabinets and drapes. Busted! I had a problem. Eddy’s submissive peeing turned into territorial marking. To compound this problem, Zilla was marking on top of Eddy’s pee spots, and it quickly escalated into a pee war!
I panicked at first, thinking this was going on for how long? Nevertheless, it had to stop immediately.
Solving My Dog Marking Problem with a DIY Approach
The most obvious thing to do to stop the behavior right away was to go out and buy belly bands. Nothing would stay on my dogs.
As a DIY girl for years, I decided to pull out the sewing machine. I made a contraption that worked but looked a little weird and had straps and buckles. It wasn’t the best, but it worked for a bit. I continued to tweak it until I came up with something that looked good, was comfortable for my dog and worked! Our business has gone through many name changes, Three Naked Dogs, Ruff at Home, and now Barkitwear®. The suit started out as a marking garment called Markitwear. With the demand for a waterproof diaper, we made changes and call it the P-Suit® dog diaper.
Why I Think Dog Peeing May Be More Than a Training Issue
My problem is over and now we are able to relax with our dogs and live a nice life without worrying about this issue. And we decided to add another wonderful dog to our family–a pug named Lola–who does not pee in the house.
I want to mention that I took Eddy and Godzilla to the vet to make sure they were both in good health. I also hired a dog trainer who came into my house and right away said Godzilla was the top dog over me. I was then told not to let him sit in my lap–ever. Not let him on the couch, the bed or did I mention my lap? I know why, he needed to not be higher than me. Training them not to lift their leg in the house was interesting. I needed to keep Eddy and Zilla on a leash at all times in the house so they would not be able to sneak off and lift their legs. I tried that for two weeks. I struggled with not letting them sit next to me on the couch, on my lap or in my bed.
I then struggled with why I had dogs. My dogs are under 20 pounds. Little guys. I don’t mind them on my couch or my bed and most of all I don’t mind them on my lap! If that was the lack of training I was not doing, then I guess one could say I could be part of the problem. Yet, I know a lot of people who allow their dogs on their furniture, beds and laps who do not pee in the house. I am pretty sure that behavior is not the reason why dogs pee in the house.
I have read that scent marking and urinating is a form of communication in the animal world. More research is needed to explore the possibilities of this of behavior. This makes me think a bit. Why was Zilla impossible to walk? He had to stop and smell every fire hydrant, telephone pole, mailbox in the neighborhood. Why did he have to smell everything but my other 2 dogs did not? Do dogs have a skill set? Do some gather information while others protect their homes? Do single dogs in families forgo their dog responsibilities? Or do they take on more? I would imagine there are many variables to an individual dog’s behaviors and not one.
I will close with a story that I hope that will set the theme of this post:
I have a friend and customer whose name is Tamra. Her oldest dog is a male and his name is Toto. Toto never had any marking issues in the house…..ever, even after they got a second dog named Dot . Then one day Tamra noticed the drips on the floor. Soon, she found yellow ick dried puddles and the vertical staining on furniture and drapes. She was beside herself and knew who to call! “Cathy, why would Toto be doing this unusual behavior?” I’m not sure Tamra, did you buy new furniture? Rug? Did someone bring a dog to your house that would trigger territorial marking? “No” she said. I fitted Toto in a P-Suit® dog diaper to stop the peeing. She soon realized that he would bark at the new neighbors dog next door when the new neighbors let the new dog out. Talk about protecting his home and his family!!
Dogs are amazing creatures and have a non-verbal way of communicating. Well, except for barking or whining, but you know what I mean–a way of communicating to us.
Dogs Might Be Getting a Bad Rap–Cats Do It Too!
The second most common question I get is, “Can I use the P-Suit® with cats?” Which brings me back to my cat story. She used a litter box every time she needed to potty. She was also taken to the vet to make sure she did not have any health issues. Yet, every time I would pull out the suitcase to go away, she would pee on it, or something very close to it.
I am pretty sure she was trying to tell me something!