Why did my dog pee when I was playing with him?

It can be concerning and frustrating when your dog pees during play. However, there are some common reasons why this may occur and steps you can take to help prevent it from happening again.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to why your dog may have peed when playing:

  • Overexcitement or lack of bladder control
  • Submission or fear
  • Marking territory
  • Medical issue like UTI
  • Lack of housetraining

While peeing during play is not unusual, especially in puppies, it’s important to understand the cause so you can take steps to reduce incidents in the future.

Why Did My Dog Pee When Playing?

There are several potential reasons your dog may have peed when you were playing together:

Overexcitement and Lack of Bladder Control

For many dogs, especially young puppies and dogs who lack bladder control, peeing when playing is often simply due to becoming overexcited. Playing raises your dog’s heart rate, increases blood flow, and can stimulate the need to pee. Puppies under 6 months in particular often leak urine when playing or greeting you due to immature bladder sphincter control.

Even adult dogs that are highly excited during play may accidentally leak urine. Some dogs just have less bladder control than others due to age, genetics, or medical issues. So if your older dog or a dog prone to incontinence pees during play, it may simply be a lack of sphincter control.

Submission or Fear

Dogs may also pee during play if they become frightened or wish to show submission. This is especially true if you are playing roughly, yelling, or if there is another more dominant dog involved. The peeing is your dog’s way of showing they mean no threat and want to avoid conflict.

Puppies may submissively urinate when playing with adult dogs, children, or rambunctious humans. And dogs who were previously punished or abused may pee out of fear if play gets too intense for them. Watch your dog’s body language closely for signs of fear or anxiety if this is a possibility.

Marking Territory

Some dogs, especially intact males, may pee during play as a way of marking territory. Your backyard or home is your dog’s territory, and playing excites them to want to mark that space. Neutering your male dog can help reduce this urge to mark.

Medical Issue

In some cases, a medical issue like a urinary tract infection (UTI) could cause your dog to pee accidentally when excited or playing. UTIs cause inflammation and a persistent urge to urinate, so play just exacerbates that need. Other medical issues like diabetes, bladder stones, urinary incontinence can also lead to peeing during play.

If your adult house-trained dog suddenly starts peeing when playing, have your vet check for a UTI or other medical problem. This is especially important if the peeing is accompanied by other symptoms like frequent urination, blood in the urine, or straining to pee.

Lack of Housetraining

Finally, some dogs may simply pee inside while playing due to incomplete housetraining. If you have a new puppy or an adopted adult dog struggling with potty training, playing excitedly inside can cause them to forget and accidentally pee inside. Going back to basics with housetraining is key in these cases.

What To Do If Your Dog Pees While Playing

If your dog keeps peeing when playing or gets overexcited, here are some tips:

  • Take your puppy or dog outside to pee before play sessions.
  • Watch for signs they need to pee like circling, sniffing, or heading to the door and take them out immediately.
  • For puppies, limit play to short 5-10 minute sessions then take them out again.
  • Avoid rough, intense play that overly excites your dog.
  • Use calm verbal cues like “settle” to bring excitement levels down.
  • Consider crate training your dog or puppy to teach bladder control.
  • Clean all accident areas thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner to remove smells.
  • Continue consistent housetraining until your dog can control their bladder.
  • See your vet to rule out medical issues like UTI or incontinence.

When To Call The Vet

While the occasional peeing incident during play may just be excitement related, contact your veterinarian if:

  • Your adult housetrained dog starts peeing frequently during play
  • Your dog is straining or crying when trying to pee
  • You notice blood or strong odor in your dog’s urine
  • Your dog tries to pee very frequently with little output
  • There are other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or appetite loss

These could all be signs of a UTI, bladder infection, kidney disease, or other medical issue requiring treatment. Catching problems early is important, so don’t hesitate to call your vet with concerns.

How To Prevent Peeing During Play

While some excited peeing may be inevitable in young puppies, there are steps you can take to minimize peeing during play sessions:

Stick To A Schedule

Puppies do best on a predictable schedule, with set times for eating, playing, training, and going potty. Take your puppy outside on leash consistently after wake-ups, meals, play times, and every 30 minutes to an hour at first. This structure helps them learn to hold it.

Use Crates

Crate training gives dogs a safe, cozy space to settle in when you can’t actively supervise. Crates prevent indoor accidents and teach pups to control their bladders.Limit crate time to avoid accidents. Praise and reward your puppy for using their crate.

Limit Water Intake Before Play

Restrict access to water at least an hour to two hours before play periods. This gives their bladder time to empty a bit first. Ice cubes or access to small amounts of water are OK. Just remove the water bowl during playtime.

Play Outdoors

Take play sessions outside in your secure, fenced yard whenever possible. This allows your puppy or dog to pee as needed outside rather than inside. Outdoor play also provides plenty of fresh air and room to run around and burn off energy.

Invite Frequent Potty Breaks

During indoor play, pause to take your puppy outside every 5-10 minutes initially. As they gain control, gradually extend playtimes up to 15-20 minutes indoors, followed by a potty trip. Frequent breaks teach them to hold it during playtime.

Stay Calm

Roughhousing, yelling, wrestling, or intimidating your dog can cause submissive peeing. Even hanging over your pup may be scary. Get on their level and use soothing tones to make playtime feel safe.

Clean Messes Properly

Use an enzymatic cleaner to fully remove urine smells after accidents. Residual odors can attract dogs back to the same pee spot. Vinegar, soap and water alone won’t do the trick. Invest in a good enzymatic cleaner and be sure to apply liberally.

When To Be Concerned About Excited Peeing

While puppies may grow out of play-peeing as their bladder control develops, it’s time to be concerned if:

  • Your adult dog starts peeing frequently during playtime
  • A puppy over 6 months old still consistently pees when playing or greeting
  • You notice other signs of potential illness like blood in urine or straining
  • Your dog seems anxious, fearful, or submissive when peeing during play

Any sudden inappropriate peeing or other potty issues in an adult dog should be evaluated by a vet. Contact them right away if your dog’s peeing seems abnormal or concerning.

The Takeaway On Play Peeing

While it’s common for puppies and some adult dogs to pee a little when overly excited during play, ongoing or excessive peeing may signify an underlying issue. Pay close attention, clean up properly, schedule potty breaks, use crates, limit water, play outside, and see your vet if problems persist. Consistency, positive training, and medical treatment if needed can help minimize excited peeing during play.

Leave a Comment