Q. Why is my male dog recently peeing on the furniture?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Sudden changes in behavior or habits such as suddenly having accidents can sometimes have a medical basis behind them. Common causes such as urinary tract infections may cause a dog to begin urinating in the house, going more frequently, or having cloudy or blood-tinged urine. It is always a good idea to schedule a wellness exam with your local vet to check for any health issues prior to looking for behavioral ones.
If your dog checks out healthy, other things could be causing his change in behavior. If he is not neutered and is reaching puberty (usually around 7-8 months of age, though it does vary by breed), he may be starting to have a marking behavior. This is when a male dog lifts his leg and leaves just a little bit of urine behind to mark that he was there. Neutering can sometimes help stop or decrease the behavior though it may take several months for results as it takes some time for the surge in hormones to leave the body. Stress, or anxiety if another dog or person in the house may also make the behavior appear as a dog tries to claim his place in the household, or if he is stressed out by another pet.
Be sure to also clean any accident areas with an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners are designed to break down urine particles and remove scent, making it so your dog cannot smell where he has had an accident before. This can sometimes prevent dogs from repeatedly urinating on an area they had staked out before.