Why Does My Dog Pee Upstairs? [9 Causes & 11 Solutions]

Why does my dog pee upstairs

Adopting a dog can be challenging, especially during their puppyhood before they are potty trained. If you’re curious about why your dog pees upstairs but not downstairs, there are several reasons why this may happen.

Dogs may pee upstairs due to enticing odors, territorial marking behavior when bringing a baby or another pet, overhydration, urinary incontinence, behavioral issues, medical concerns, stress, anxiety, confusion about where to urinate, or a lack of house training.

In this guide, we’ll explore the nine main reasons behind this behavior and possible solutions. It’s important to note that both normal and abnormal circumstances can influence this behavior, but identifying the exact cause can help you address the issue effectively.

9 Reasons – why does your dog pee upstairs?

Have you ever spotted that your dog sneaks upstairs to pee or found a urine puddle upstairs? If so, you know how it feels.

We can expect this behavior not only from puppies but also from adult dogs.

So, here are 9 reasons why they would do that.

  1. Some scents attract dogs to pee.
  2. Territory marking when you bring another dog or toddler.
  3. Overhydration.
  4. Urinary incontinence.
  5. Behavioral problems.
  6. Medical Conditions.
  7. The dog is confused about where to urinate.
  8. Stress or Anxiety.
  9. New move

1. Some scents causes dogs to pee

Certain enticing smells may influence your dog to pee upstairs.

Using ammonia-containing products to clean the upstairs floor will attract your dog to pee there, as the odor of ammonia is one of the main enticing scents that can influence dogs to do so.

The odor of another canine’s urine or even a cat’s pee could also attract your dog to leave its own scents. This is one of the reasons why do dogs pee on the same spot.

Suppose your dog accidentally urinates upstairs because of the excitement you get when you play with him. If you don’t clear that spot properly, the dog will feel the odor of that spot, and that will deliberately lead him to urinate there!

2. Territory marking when you bring another dog or toddler.

As most of us are aware, dogs have a natural tendency to pee to mark their territory. If your dog sleeps or stays upstairs, he might feel to protect its domain.

This situation can often happen when something happens that can be a challenge to them.

If a new toddler, dog, cat, or another pet in the house can take the attention away from the dog, It is normal for something like this to happen.

But it is crucial to correct this behavior as soon as you spotted it prior to things get worse.

Don’t worry, we gonna look into the solutions under the solutions. But for now, let’s head over to the following reason.

3. Due to Overhydration.

Suppose the dog sleeps or stays upstairs most time of the day. So, we can expect such accidents due to overhydration in your dog.

That’s why you need to supervise the water intake of the loving pooch, which means either too little or too much water intake. Both can cause trouble.

Feeding salty foods and several health issues can lead a dog to drink a massive amount of water. If your vet confirms that the dog hasn’t any health issue that causes overhydration, then probably you need to reconsider its diet.

In fact, removing the water bowl around 1.5 hours prior to bedtime also can reduce accidental peeing in the night.

Recommended reading: Read this to understand how should Doberman’s daily water intake be?

4. Due to urinary incontinence.

Although this issue is commonly associated with old dogs, in some cases, this terrible circumstance is possible even for a young adult dog.

This often issue can happen due to a weak bladder, and that’s why this problem is common among senior canines as their bladder muscles getting weaker, leading reduction of holding time.

Suppose your dog stays upstairs most time of the day and suffers from urinary incontinence. So, this can be a reason why your dog pee upstairs (even it wanted to go outside)

So, if your dog is still young and you noticed that he urinates unknowingly, it’s time to meet the vet.

Recommended reading: Do Dobermans Pee A Lot? [Complete Guide]

5. Behavioral problems.

If your dog habituates peeing upstairs quite often and tries to act innocently whenever he encounters your face, it knows that behavior isn’t something he is supposed to do.

But, anyways, it intentionally does that.

More importantly, you need to understand that punishing isn’t a solution for this. Instead, you gotta go through a specific training method which we gonna discuss under the solutions.

This issue is often referred to as marking behavior in dogs, especially in males.

Although this marking behavior is triggered by dogs’ sex hormones in the first place, Failure to attempt to correct this behavior can exacerbate a behavioral problem.

By the way, here is how to keep your dog from pooping on the couch.

6. Some dogs may pee upstairs due to medical conditions.

Again, let’s say your dog spends most times of its day upstairs. It will often urinate there due to a lack of ability to control the bladder.

There are several medical reasons why dogs can’t control the bladder including,

  • Bladder stones.
  • Tumors.
  • Adrenal gland problems.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Liver or kidney disease.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Diabetes.
  • Brain diseases.

Since prevention is better than cure, I recommend that you check to see if the dog has been exposed to any of the health issues that may be causing this problem.

By the way, here is why do some dogs pee before going outside.

7. The dog is confused about where to urinate.

This is one of the significant reasons that many dog parents cannot realize. If we look at the issue from the dog’s point of view, it can ask you to go outdoors to pee during the day by exhibiting relevant signs.

Why would they do that? A house-trained dog is well aware that it isn’t allowed to pee on the place where he trained, probably downstairs.

But, what if we think about the night?

At night, there is no one to take him out, and it knows that he cannot pee downstairs. So, the chances are, it may go upstairs to urinate because he thinks that place is okay to pee.

8. Stress or Anxiety.

Stress and anxiety do not just affect people. Dogs are also prone to these psychological issues due to different reasons, often because of the blunders of dog parents.

If your loving pooch started to urine upstairs out of nowhere, observe whether the dog is under some sort of psychological issue.

9. Your dog may pee upstairs because of a new move

Even though we discussed stress or anxiety, I would like to say this as a specific instance because it really makes sense.

Did you move to another house recently? Moving between houses can increase the stress level of your dog up to some extent.


Although humans can easily adapt to new environments, dogs cannot do so. It takes time.

Therefore, moving to a new home can also be considered a cause of this problem.

Apart from these reasons, some dogs tend to pee indoors after being in a dog daycare center for several consecutive days.

How to keep your dog from peeing upstairs? 11 solutions

Training your dog to go outside when it needs to pee, or if the dog house a trained dog, retraining him to do so will require a little bit of effort on your part with patience that can be appreciated.

Here, I’m gonna reveal to you 11 tips to get rid of this issue.

  1. Fix a baby gate.
  2. Clean the carpets and the floor.
  3. Take the dog outside when it needs to pee.
  4. Stick with a schedule and praise.
  5. Don’t use ammonia mixed products to clean the floor.
  6. Set up a pee place.
  7. Spray water.
  8. Clean the litter box.
  9. Use a pee pad.
  10. Hire a dog trainer.
  11. Vet checkup.

1. First thing first. Fix a baby gate if your dog used to pee upstairs.

This is the very first thing you should do prior to eliminate its bad behavior.

If the dog does not urinate downstairs, this problem will suddenly disappear right away when fixed the dog gate.

Some people find this dog gate a huge inconvenience. Excuse me? Can this inconvenience compare with a stinky carpet?

A built-in swing gate also could help.

You can hang a little Christmas bell: After using the dog gate or the baby gate for several days, if you wanna ensure whether this behavior is still in the dog, get a rope and hook it across the path to the stairs with several Christmas bells. Then you will hear when the dog sneaks up to the upstairs. By doing so, you can take the necessary actions to correct this issue. Often disturbing with a firm “No” command could help.

Suggested reading: Here is what to do if your dog knocks down the baby gate.

2. Clean the carpets and the floor.

As we discussed earlier, dogs prefer to come to the place where they urinate earlier for the same business. The odor particles will give your dog the direction to find out the place.

By cleaning the carpets upstairs extremely well by using an enzymatic cleaner could give better results. In fact, cleaning a carpet with steam can have far more results.

You can protect the furniture and other belongings from marking with the help of dog pee spray.

3. Take the dog outside when it needs to pee.

You need to take the dog outside whenever it needs to pee. So, you should observe the signs to figure out whether the dog needs to go potty.

Here are the common signs.

  • Whining.
  • Circling.
  • Going toward the door.
  • Sniffing around
  • scratching the door.
  • restlessness
  • squatting

So, whenever you observe these signs from your loving pooch, take it immediately outside with yummy treats. Praise him just after peeing outdoors.

Likewise, you need to observe the appropriate occasions in order to correct this behavior. That’s why you need an incredible amount of patience.

Here is whether a dog can pee and poop at the same time.

4. Stick with a schedule and praise to avoid his peeing behavior upstairs.

You need to pay attention to the stations or times when the dog wants to go outside. Then do it again and again, then develop it up to a schedule.

Probably, your four-legged friend will need to go outdoors for potty work once morning walks, after lunch, evening, and prior to the bed.

5. Don’t use ammonia mixed products to clean the floor.

Some people used to use ammonia mixed products to clean the floor. If you are also one of them, I need you to stop that if you really wanna get rid of this unwanted behavior.

That’s just because ammonia can entice dogs to pee in the places where ammonia is available.

6. Set up a pee place.

Sometimes, just setting up a place can be used to pee whenever the dog needs it, even at night. Don’t take this too seriously. Setting up something like a litter tray would be sufficient. (It’s precisely the same as what we give cats)

You can keep this litter tray outside during the day and use it whenever the dog needs to pee. Take the dog outdoors and encourage it to pee on that litter tray.

Praise the dog with tasty puppy treats if he follows the exact guidelines of what you want.

When everything goes smoothly, consider moving the litter tray indoors.

7. Spray water.

You should never ever punish the dog in order to eliminate bad behavior. Set up a spray bottle with water and spray it to the dog whenever he attempts to pee upstairs.

By doing so, you can discourage the dog from this unwanted behavior. (Use the “No” command while spraying the water)

8. Clean the litter box.

Ensure to clean the litter box more frequently (obviously, the area around the box).

Don’t forget the cat’s litter box. Because we don’t wanna let them feel any kind of odor that can entice that bad behavior,

9. Use a pee pad if your dog used to pee upstairs.

This is so obvious and much more useful.

If the pee pad is original and well branded, the dog cannot pass it without peeing on it. HEE HEE

10. Hire a dog trainer.

If you do not see any success in doing these things alone, consider hiring a dog trainer.

They have been specialized to solve any kind of dog problem for many years.

11. Vet checkup.

Don’t forget regular vet checkups. This is because the dog may have the aforementioned health problems.

Training an unhealthy dog to stop peeing upstairs is just the only time-consuming task. Instead, try to figure out if there are any health-related concerns. If so, take the appropriate actions.

Suggested Reading: Why Does The Dog Always Pee In One Person’s Room?


Some dogs are in a habituate of peeing upstairs and not downstairs, and the dog’s parents are curious to know why this happens. So, in this comprehensive guide, we discussed why some dogs pee upstairs with 9 different reasons and possible solutions for them. Hope you found this helpful. Have a nice day!

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