Pet Behavioral Problems

My Dog Won’t Pee!

Why won’t my dog pee?! If your pooch is reluctant to pee, there could be many reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Your dog has a UTI or other infection, and peeing hurts.
  • Bladder stones or a similar obstruction are blocking your dog’s urinary tract.
  • Your dog has been scolded for having an accident in the house and thinks that all elimination is bad behavior that will get them in trouble.
  • Your dog is picking up the scent of another dog’s urine. Dogs pee on top of one another to denote that they’re in a pack, and warn potential rivals that they have strength in numbers. If your dog smells another pack’s urine, they will steer clear.

The first thing you need to do is work out if you have a “can’t pee” or “won’t pee” situation. In other words, is the reason physical or psychological?

Table of Contents:

Physical Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Pee

If your dog is visibly straining to pee, this indicates that they want to but there’s some physical reason that they can’t.

Straining to pee is never normal behavior, so will indicate some kind of problem – often cystitis or a blockage caused by a kidney stone.

Cystitis is often accompanied by blood in your dog’s urine, so consult a dog urine color chart if you’re not sure what’s normal and look out for a pinkish hue.

If there’s little or no pee at all, even after straining, your dog’s urethra might be blocked by a urinary stone – which can be very serious, because it prevents the bladder from emptying and can cause waste material to “back up”.

So whether you suspect cystitis or a blockage, consult your vet quickly so your dog can get the appropriate treatment and go back to peeing freely!

My Dog Isn’t Peeing After Surgery

It’s important to assess what kind of surgery your pup underwent as many surgeries, including spaying and neutering, will leave your dog with a tender groin area, making it unpleasant to try to pee.

Of course, depending on when your dog last peed, and how much water it drank leading up to surgery will account for why it might be having trouble peeing after surgery. It could just be that your dog isn’t hydrated enough to pee just yet.

You could also try to encourage your dog to pee through a method called “expressing.” Simply place the palm side of your fingers around the bladder, and gently press in to encourage urination. Be careful not to press directly with your fingertips, as that will apply too much pressure and you might not be able to assess where the bladder is located.

dog pretending to pee

Behavioral Reasons For A Dog Not Peeing

My Dog Won’t Pee Outside at Night

Trying to assess the reason why your dog wont pee outside can be tricky. How old is your dog? If it’s still a puppy, then part of the potty-training process involves getting your pet to understand when, where, and sometimes even how to pee!

Have you moved? Sometimes pets need time adjusting to a new home before they can feel safe and comfortable enough to get back to their normal routine, which could have included peeing outside.

Fear and lower nighttime temperatures might also contribute to why your dog is cautioning against peeing outside at night. Your dog may be afraid of the dark or it may even become unfamiliar with the outside environment at night.

What’s more is that your pup could simply be temperature-sensitive and finds the cool nighttime breeze to be unbearable. Try going outside at night with your dog to provide comfort for it while it tries to pee. This may take some time getting used to, but eventually your dog should be able to go outside at night to pee once it gains some confidence.

My New Rescue Dog Won’t Pee Outside

Since we’re talking about a newly adopted pet here, it’s best to get a professional opinion from a veterinarian. You never know what the root cause of this behavior could be, so a vet’s diagnosis could save you time and frustration in the long run.

Secondly, when your dog finally does decide to pee or poo outside, reward it well with lots of pats, positive vocal reinforcement, and treats. I know that this may seem impossible, but your pet has to go at some point, so spend a bit of extra time outside with your pet and consider how it takes in its surroundings when outside.

Take it to a place with fewer distractions that it likes to sniff around in, as this might be a good spot for your pet to (eventually) urinate or defecate in. Now, don’t forget those treats! You don’t have to reward your dog every time, but positive reinforcements will help teach your dog that it is safe to pee outside.

Dog Won’t Pee in the Morning

If your dog isn’t peeing in the morning, she might be putting it off with intentions of being fed first. A lot of the time, your pup just want to be fed before it gets let outside.

So, this may mean trying out a different routine, where you feed your pet before letting it go outside to pee. Try this rotation out for a bit and see if your dog will pee after eating. A simple restructuring to match your dog’s needs could cause this problem to disappear!

You might also want to try carrying your dog outside to help encourage it to go potty. But remember, the best bet is always to check in with your veterinarian first to see if there is any particular reason as to why your dog won’t go pee in the morning. A vet’s professional opinion will likely tell you to wait.

dog peeing on a brick wall
Potty Breaks Are Important

My Dog Pretends to Pee!

It’s possible that your dog might be pretending to pee in order to trick you into feeding it. Other reasons as to why your dog pretends to potty might actually be territorial. Dogs will often urinate where another dog has been in an effort to communicate on territorial grounds.

Sometimes, a dog might be unsure where to leave a mark, and so they mimic the position needed to urinate, without actually urinating. So, it could very well be that your dog isn’t actually pretending to pee, its just trying to decide where to mark its territory.

Observing how your dog pees can better help you determine what is real and what is an attempt. Once you’ve found out what to look for when your dog actually pees, try praising your dog with pats and treats: this will help him realize that actually peeing is a good thing.