Having a dog throughout their adult years is an experience filled with bonding and great memories, but as the dog gets older, things may begin to change. Dogs are more likely to suffer from certain medical conditions as they age. Your once house-trained companion may start to have accidents in the house again and this is frustrating for both the dog and the owner. Follow these tips if your older dog has begun having accidents in the house to address the problem while keeping your dog as happy and healthy as possible.
Don’t Get Angry
Yelling and punishing your dog for having an accident won’t help the situation. In fact, it will stress the dog out which can actually result in more accidents! Stay calm, clean the mess, and remind yourself that adult dogs who were previously house-trained don’t just start having accidents for no reason. Your dog likely already feels ashamed for having an accident without you punishing them for it.
Determine the Cause
Next, you need to contact your dog’s veterinarian. An adult dog starting to have accidents again may be a sign of a serious medical condition that needs treatment. Infections, kidney disease, dementia, arthritis, and many other conditions can result in accidents in the house. The vet will run tests and do an exam to determine if there are any medical issues present. Lifestyle changes, such as the addition or loss of a family member, moving houses, or a new schedule can also play a part in accidents for older dogs.
Treatment and Prevention
Follow your veterinarian’s advice to address any medical issues that could be causing the accidents. You should also consult with a dog trainer to discuss ways you can improve your home and routine to accommodate an older dog. Increasing the frequency of walks, offering a pee pad for quick relief, and modifying the entrance and exit of the home to make it easier for an older dog, will all encourage your dog to not have accidents in the future. An experienced dog trainer will also teach you more about using positive behavior reinforcement instead of punishment to correct the behavior once the medical issues have been addressed.
Contact Canine College for Training Assistance
Working with a veterinarian and dog trainer is the best way to ensure your dog is receiving all the help it needs and living out the last years of its life with pride and dignity. Remember to remain patient and loving to your dog while working to overcome and find solutions to avoid accidents in the home. To learn more about dog training services or to schedule a consultation with an experienced dog trainer near you, contact Canine College today!