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Dog Urinating and Defecating in the House

by Eileen
(Philadelphia, PA)

I am trying to figure out if my dog even has incontinence or what is going on. He has (with the exception of a single night)continued to sleep through the night without accidents. But during the day he is urinating in the house while we are out and right in front of us without making any gesture that suggests he needs to go outside.


It seems very random. Sometimes he also drinks a lot of water. Otherwise his habits don't seem different. Recently I watched him defecate outside. Then when he came back in, he defecated again right on the kitchen floor in front of me.

Do you think this could be canine cognitive dysfunction?



Vet Suggestion for Reader with Dog that Urinates and Defecates in the House


Hello Eileen,

Dogs with cognitive dysfunction can become incontinent, but they are also usually affected in other obvious ways, such as wandering, becoming lost in familiar environment, acting confused and/or anxious, etc. Before coming to the conclusion, that your dog has canine cognitive dysfunction, you and your veterinarian will need to rule out several other conditions that fit better with the symptoms you describe.

If your dog were my patient, I’d start with a physical exam and unless a significant problem was obvious, I would then run a blood chemistry test, complete blood cell count, urinalysis, and fecal exam. The physical and results from this basic work up could reveal or help rule out a urinary tract infection, gastrointestinal parasitism/infection, organ dysfunction, endocrine disorders, and other disorders that cause incontinence in dogs.



Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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