If you are having trouble with housetraining your dog, the quickest way to get around the problem and make a diagnosis is to know your pet’s history. Knowing how your dog has been acting at home yields important information to the veterinarian and helps narrow the diagnosis. Here’s how you can help:
1) For urinary accidents, note if your dog is wetting more often; producing normal, smaller or larger amounts of urine; dribbling while walking; leaking while relaxed or sleeping; or wetting when excited or scared.
2) For fecal accidents, take a sample to the veterinarian. If your dog defecates in front of you, doe she appear to be straining or pooping while he’s walking upright? Look at the stools: Are they loose, runny, firm, hard, blood or mucousy? Are stool volumes less or more often than normal? Is your dog defecating more often?
3) Report any changes you’ve noticed in your dog, such as increased drinking or vomiting; reduced or increased appetite; weight, skin or coat changes; lethargy; panting; anxiety; fear; lameness or difficulty getting up; or reluctance to play or exercise.
4) Think about any changes or new events in your dog’s life that preceded or coincided with his housetraining accidents. A new member in the household? A change in diet, supplements or medications? A frightening event? Be sure to report anything new to your dog’s veterinarian.
Mistake: Do Not Withhold Water
What goes in must come out, so some dog owners might find it tempting to simply reduce the amount of water their dog drinks or withhold water completely at night or while they’re absent.
This could be a very dangerous thing to do. There are medical issues such as kidney problems or urinary tract infections where the dog actually needs to drink more water. Withholding water from a dog with low-grade kidney problems might lead to life-threatening kidney failure.
Depriving a healthy or ill dog of water could also lead to new or worse pre-existing problems. That said, there are some young dogs that just love to drink water, so they wet far more often. In those cases, restricting water to some extent is the only way that the dog can be a happy, functional member of the family. Unfortunately, many dogs do not outgrow this.
If you suspect that your dog is lapping up water because it makes him happy to do so, discuss your suspicions with your veterinarian and get a veterinary exam to rule out any conditions that could cause increased thirst.