Why Does My Dog Pees In His Crate?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 12/24/21 •  6 min read
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Dog Pees In His Crate

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Is your dog peeing in his crate? That’s not a fun problem for you or your dog. But rest assured, this can be a common problem. It may only occur a couple of times; however, there are dogs that seem to really have trouble holding it while in the crate.

So, what causes a dog to pee in his crate? We’ll take a look at the issues that can cause this problem.  We’ll also explore some ways to keep him from urinating in the crate. Let’s get started!

Why Does My Dog Peen in His Crate?

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons a dog might pee in his crate.

1). Medical Problems

It’s possible your fur baby could be suffering from a medical condition, which is causing him to urinate in his crate. The problem could be a urinary tract infection (UTI) or another health issue. There are even some back problems that can cause a dog to have urination and even pooping problems in the crate

So, the first place to start with your dog’s peeing in the crate issue is to visit the vet. The goal is to have your dog checked for any underlying health issues that could be causing the problem. If the vet does find a medical issue, then they will treat the issue, which may cure your dog of his peeing in the crate.

Before you visit the vet with your dog, you may want to make a note of some symptoms your dog may have:

Your answers to these questions may help provide the vet with clues as to what’s going on with your canine companion.

2). The Crate’s Size

If the vet has determined your dog is healthy and has no underlying medical conditions, then the next thing to consider is the size of your dog’s crate. If a crate is too big, a dog may be using a corner of the crate for peeing. This is a fairly common canine problem.

The crate needs to be large enough to allow your dog to stand up and turn around. However, it shouldn’t be much larger than that. While this may seem cruel, your dog really will feel better. And he may stop peeing in his crate. Dogs really do prefer to go outside to pee rather than urinating where they live or sleep.

Changing over to a new crate that’s the right size may not cure the problem, however. This may be because your dog is already habituated to peeing in his crate. Getting the right size from the beginning is crucial to avoiding this problem in the first place.

Another issue is dogs that are very small. For some reason, these dogs seem to pee in their crates more often than other dogs. No one really knows why.

Dogs from puppy mills or those who have been rescued may develop the problem of urinating in the crate. These dogs may be used to living in cramped quarters and using a small part of their space as a bathroom. This is because they had no choice in the matter. They may not have been allowed to go outside of their crate.

3). Take Your Dog Out More for Potty Breaks

Some dogs may have trouble holding it in their crates because they have tiny bladders. This is a common problem with puppies, young dogs, and small dogs. Puppies and younger dogs may not have yet developed strong bladder control like older dogs. The issue here may be your schedule.

The way to fix this issue is to take your dog out for more potty breaks. Puppies, six months old (or younger), should be taken out about every six hours to pee. Be sure to spend plenty of time out with your dog, ensuring he has time to find the right spot(s) and get his business done.

If you have to work and are unable to take your dog out of the crate during the day, then it may be helpful to hire a dog walker. They can come when you’re at work and make sure your dog gets a nice, long walk in the middle of the day. This may be all your dog needs. He may stop urinating in his crate when he has the opportunity to go potty in the afternoon.

4). Add a pee pad to the crate: this does work for some dogs. This is because dogs would rather pee in a specific space than where they sleep. Pee pads, combined with a crate divider, may help your dog pee on one side of the crate only.

If none of these solutions stops your dog from peeing in his cage, then he may have a behavioral issue.

What About Behavioral Issues?

It’s possible that your fur baby could have a behavioral issue, and this is why he urines in his crate. One of the most common problems is separation anxiety. Some dogs are born with this issue, while others may develop separation anxiety. The condition can be caused by major changes in a dog’s life, such as losing a loved one, losing a close canine companion, moving to a new home, or even the addition of a new baby or spouse.

To ease your dog’s condition, you can try to spend more time with him every day. Take him on long walks and ensure he’s tired out while you’re away. This may help your dog sleep a good portion of the day. You might also try giving him a treat when you leave. This way, your fur baby may develop a positive association with your leaving each day.

You can also give your dog toys to play and interact with while you’re gone each day. You can try something like the Kong or an IQ Ball, which provides plenty of entertainment and distraction.

If these methods don’t help, then it’s time to see the vet. Your vet may have already ruled out an underlying health condition but may not have diagnosed your dog with separation anxiety. If the vet diagnoses your dog with this condition, there are prescription medications or OTC supplements that may help. Your vet will be the best person to make this determination.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!