Temecula Valley Animal Hospital

Health Tips for Your Pet

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Why Your Dog is Marking Territory (and What to Do About It)

So what’s up with Fido urinating all over the place? It can be frustrating to deal with a dog that has the occasional accident. But once you catch on to the fact that he’s doing it on purpose, you might become desperate for a solution. If you suspect the frequent urination stems from a desire to mark territory, here’s what you need to know.

Get a checkup first. Never just assume that your dog is simply marketing territory! If the behavior is new and started suddenly, it could be a sign of a urinary tract condition. Come see us first, so that we can rule out painful and dangerous medical conditions. Then, if we determine the cause of the problem is behavioral, we can help you figure out a solution.

Other behavioral concerns. Aside from simple territorial marking, some dogs exhibit frequent urination due to anxiety. If the problem seems to be happening when you’re gone to work, for example, separation anxiety might be the cause. If there have been other changes within the household, solving that situation might help to ease the behavior.

What to do about territory marking. But if we do determine that the behavior is just run-of-the-mill territory marking, take these steps to address it:

  • Spay or neuter your dog (this works in about half of cases)
  • Block access to spots your dog seems intent upon marking
  • Clean those areas with enzymatic cleaner to completely remove the scent
  • Work on methods to decrease stress in the home
  • Keep other dogs outside of your home and ask neighbors to prevent their dogs from wandering into your yard or using it for bathroom breaks
  • Consider anti-anxiety medication
  • Consult a behavioral specialist/professional dog trainer

Again, it’s important to avoid diagnosing your dog yourself, because certain medical conditions can quickly become dangerous if not identified and treated. So if your dog has suddenly started marking his territory, do call us first. After ruling out medical problems we can help you decide what steps to take next.

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