Why Does My Dog Pee Next to the Pad?Should I Be Concerned?
Many dog owners prefer to take their dogs outside to answer nature’s call and relieve themselves without making a mess inside the house, but it’s impossible to take them out at all times. That’s why many dog owners invest in doggy litter or pads to give them a place to go indoors.
Many dog owners invest in “pee pads” or “potty pads” to provide their dog a designated place to relieve themselves, especially when weather conditions are adverse, if they’re too sick to walk their dogs or if they’re not present. Having a pad around is a pretty helpful thing and does require some training.
However, even though many dogs have been housebroken and trained to use the pad, they sometimes end up urinating next to it instead of on it – leaving dog owners to wonder, “why does my dog pee next to the pad?”
After all, no likes to walk in their home after a long day of work, only to find that there’s a mess waiting for them to clean up, thanks to their dog, especially if it’s next to a clean, dry, and unused pad!
Why My Dog Has Started Urinating Next to the Pad?
Animals are usually compelled by specific issues to do things out of the ordinary. There must be a reason why your dog is urinating next to the pad and not on it – and care must be taken to avoid those reasons.
So what does peeing outside the pad mean?
Your Dog Has UTI
Urinary Tract Infections are common in dogs and is one of the number one reasons dogs pee in inappropriate places. A UTI can explain why your well-trained dog has been peeing outside the pad for a few weeks, so it’s important to rule this out.
Take your dog to the vet and get it tested for UTI. Luckily, they can be treated with a prescription that the vet will give to you. Usually, it takes only a few days for this problem to go away. In a few days, your dog should return to its regular urinating habits.
Your Dog Has Urinary Incontinence
Usually common amongst older dogs, urinary incontinence is when your dog leaves urine puddles around the home, especially if there’s a clean pad around for it to use. Sadly, dogs have no control over incontinence, although it does help to consult a vet.
Urinary incontinence can be treated with medication in young adult dogs. However, if your dog consistently pees next to the pad and nowhere else, you’ll have to speak to the vet to learn about this mysterious behavior.
Your Dog Has Behavioral Problems
Like humans, animal shave temperaments, too. You’ve probably seen that in your dog too – animals can be very expressive about their moods, likes wants and so on. Urinating next to the pad instead of on it can also be a sign of behavior issues.
If you recently brought a new pet home or moved homes, your dog’s probably struggling to the new change or environment and is acting out by peeing in inappropriate places. A little bit of retraining can help reverse this behavior!
There could also be other issues that are making your dog urinate next to the pad instead of on it. As mentioned before, this is one-way dogs express that there’s something wrong with them and need attention. Some issues that can cause your dog to act this way are the following.
Old-Age and Senility
Dogs that are old and weak usually have little bladder control and also exhibit less dynamic behavior than the younger ones. In old age, it is common for dogs to run into urinary issues, especially when it comes to relieving themselves.
Dementia in Dogs
Some dogs may suffer from dementia due to old age or a brain injury resulting from an accident. Dementia may make it tough for them to remember new training, like using the brand new pad you placed indoors, so it’s a better idea to stick to stuff they know like going outside to answer nature’s call.
Kidney Issues or Failure
Unusual urinary behavior like excessive peeing, not peeing, peeing away from the litter, peeing away from the pad, and so on, can also be symptomatic of kidney problems in dogs. It’s best to speak to a vet when you notice unusual behavior like this all together to get a better idea of your dog’s physical health.
When dogs are in heat, they can get a little too territorial and begin to urinate in places to mark their territory. If you’ve noticed that your dog pees next to its pad during the “in heat” season, then this calls for retraining your dog to manage its behavior.
It Feels Anxious or Stressed
Dogs can act out by peeing inappropriately if they’re feeling anxious or stressed. Usually, this happens when there’s a new pet at home or if you’ve moved homes. An uncomfortable environment can unsettle your dog, and they may act out by relieving themselves in weird ways!
Discomfort Using the Pad
Some dogs don’t prefer to use the pad at all. Sure, they understand that it’s a symbol of nature’s call, and that’s why they pee next to it – not on it. Try experimenting with different brands and types of pads to see which one your dog is happier to use and which ones are a no-no.
A Temper Tantrum
Some young dogs have pretty feisty personalities and can throw temper tantrums. These don’t always look like excessive barking, chewing, or hyperactivity – the temper tantrum can also culminate into weird behavior like peeing next to a clean pad or litter instead of on it.
Either way, speak to your dog’s vet or a professional trainer to figure out the reason behind your dog’s behavior. It’s not smart to ignore behavioral or health issues.
Be sure to watch this video on why dog is peeing in the house away from pee pads.
How to Stop Your Dog from Urinating Next to the Pad?
Are you tired of cleaning up after your dog when it’s done making a mess? Luckily, there is a way to put a stop to the inappropriate peeing.
Now that we have answered your question, “why does my dog pee next to the pad?” here’s what you can do to stop it from peeing next to the pad and leaving random pee puddles around the home.
Increase Potty Breaks or Walks
Perhaps your dog is expelling too much urine because it’s not getting enough time outdoors to relieve itself. Try increasing potty breaks by adding another slot in the middle of the day or around the time your dog goes and pees beside the pad.
This way, you’ll be able to figure out whether it was the lack of potty breaks that led to such behavior or if there was another underlying reason.
Re-Train Your Dog to Use the Pad
Perhaps it’s time to retrain your dog. Many well-trained dogs end up doing whacky things, leaving owners to question what’s going on. Retraining your dog to use the pad is an excellent way to curb such behavior.
Try the usual 1 – 3 short sessions a day, coupled with treats and positive reinforcement, to train your dog to use the pad.
Keep the Area around the Pad Clean
Usually, animals pee outside their litter or pee pads because the area the pad/litter is placed in smells like urine. This makes the animal feel that it’s dirty and unusable, and they pee next to it, creating another mess altogether!
Keep the area where you’ve placed the pad very clean. Make sure it doesn’t stink of old urine, and the pad itself is sanitary and changed regularly to encourage your dog to use it.
Use a Larger Pad Indoors
Another way to curb this issue of peeing next to the pad is to get bigger potty pads for your dog. You can also double them up and place one on the exact spot your dog goes to pee in, too.
By increasing the area of your dog’s pad, you’re encouraging them to use that only to relieve themselves. This trick has worked out for a few dog owners, and then they slowly switch back to using one pad when the dog has adjusted.
Change the Placement of the Pad
Sometimes, changing the placement of the litter or pad can make a huge difference. Perhaps your dog is peeing next to it instead of on it because it feels uncomfortable taking nature’s call in that particular spot.
Some dogs can be super picky like this, so perhaps try to experiment by placing the pee pad here and there and observing which setting makes your dog happier and more comfortable.
Enlist the Help Of a Professional
You can even speak to a dog trainer or a behaviorist to help you understand the root of the problem. Professionals have the skills to understand animal behavior, which can help your dog to do better.
If your dog’s urinating habits don’t seem to be reversing, ask your vet for recommendations on trainers or behaviorists so that they can help you figure out how to tackle this problem.
Find out Your Dog’s Triggers
There’s probably a reason why your dog has started peeing outside the mat in the first place. Is it stress? Is it a medical issue? Is it physical discomfort? A way to tackle this issue is to highlight the triggers that promote this behavior.
When you figure out the triggers, you’ll know how to go about it. Perhaps it’s related to stress or some other changes, but by finding out what the triggers look like, you can help your dog avoid such situations.
Here is a video on how to train your dog to properly pee on a pee pad.
How Often Should Your Dog Pee, Anyway?
On average, dogs need to relieve themselves 3 – 5 times a day. Even vets advise dog owners to keep the gap between bathroom breaks short. It is recommended to space each potty break 6-8 hours apart.
Another way to tackle urination issues is by understanding how often your dog should go out to pee. So here’s a brief know-how about this issue:
1. Consider Your Dog’s Differences
Every dog is unique, which means so is its body and its needs. Many individual factors can also determine the frequency, volume, and instinct to urinate in dogs. First and foremost, you will consider your dog’s:
- Size and Weight
- Food and Nutrition
- Amount of Water Intake
You will also consider how your pet’s living. Is your dog living indoors or outdoors? If your dog’s living indoors, then they’re bound to a schedule of walks, which are only possible if a human is around. However, if your dog lives outside, like in a kennel or the garden, then there’s no dependency on a human to go for potty breaks.
2. Consider Your Dog’s Age
A dog’s age is critical, especially when it comes to an understanding of its body and behavior. A puppy is different than a juvenile dog, and that also differs from an old dog or a senile one.
Depending on what age and stage of development your dog is in, the efficacy of potty training and the ability to control their bladder is determined. A young dog can be trained much better and will retain commands more than an older one will, so perhaps there won’t be many mishaps with an adolescent or adult dog around.
However, if you have a puppy or a young dog that is very excitable, you may run into incontinence. If you also have an old dog, you may encounter the same problem. It’s tough to get a young dog’s attention to impart training as it is hard to teach an older dog new tricks – it takes time, patience, and will result in accidents!
3. Consider Other Physiological Things
As emphasized before, every dog is different. Other health factors like the following can also determine the need to urinate and behavior associated with it:
- Your dog is overweight or obese.
- Your dog is on medication that makes them frequently pee – this can get overwhelming for your dog, which is why it may relieve themselves in inappropriate places.
- Your dog has certain health conditions like diabetes.
- Your dog’s routine may not be the best – your dog may have relieved itself outside in the morning but may have drunk more water afterward on a particular day, prompting it to urinate.
In other words, there are tons of ways of looking at your dog’s instinct to urinate and that, too, frequently and in inappropriate places.
A Word of Caution
Dogs peeing next to the pad instead of on it is not as severe as a dog peeing more than it usually does. There are certain conditions, however, that are alarming and need a vet’s attention immediately.
To understand a dog’s health, vets and other professionals do observe their behavior, which pertains to food, digestion, urination, and excrement – the digestive process is very telling of how well your dog is doing and how great its health is.
However, as mentioned before, there are sure signs that can cause alarm and immediately require a vet’s attention -- some of them look like the following:
- You observe your dog straining or showing discomfort while urinating.
- Your dog makes sounds of pain while it urinates or expresses worry when it’s time for a potty break.
- Your dog’s urine hasn’t been consistent in color, especially if it borders around very dark to red, which is not good.
- A sudden and noticeable increase in the number of times your dog goes to pee, even though its water intake and diet are still the same.
- A sudden and very apparent decrease in your dog’s urination, although its food and water intake are still consistent.
When it comes to animals, the best advice is to speak to a vet if you don’t understand what’s going on. Animal behavior is always depictive of health or stress issues, so be wary and vigilant.
Your young puppy may want to pee more than your friend’s puppy, while your adolescent dog drinks x liters of water while your friend’s dog drinks y liters of water. Comparison will only cause confusion, so take it easy; dogs also have differences like we do! As long as those differences aren’t indicative of a health issue, your dog’s good.
Other than that, now that you know the answer to “why does my dog pee next to the pad?” try these tips to curb your dog from peeing next to the pad or around the house! A little bit of patience, some training and time will help correct your dog’s behavior soon enough!
Paul Cook is an avid pet and animal enthusiast. He spent much of her childhood on a small farm in rural Iowa. When in high school, Paul nursed an entire box of newborn, and recently dumped, kittens back to health, and successfully found homes for all of them. He’s presently the dog-dad of nine beautiful dogs, Bruno, Lester, Sandy, Bailey, Dio, Pat, Max, Brutus, and Nora. In his career life, Paul has 20+ years of writing experience as a content writer and content collaborator across a host of verticals. When he is not writing, he is spending time with his dogs.