Why Do Dogs Pee Before Going Outside? [5 Causes + Solutions]

Why Do Dogs Pee Before Going Outside

When your dog starts urinating before going out, it can be frustrating, as it requires extra cleaning.

However, is this something to worry about? Could it be a health problem? Let’s find out in this article.

A dog may pee before going outside due to excitement, being inside for too long, submissive urination, UTI, or lack of bladder control. Solutions include carrying the dog outside, using a potty bell, frequent potty breaks, calming the dog before going out, using a pee pad, building confidence, and consulting a vet.

Identifying the exact cause is crucial to address the issue. So, let’s dive in and find out more.

What causes your dog to urinate before going out?

When my Doberman was young, she could hold her bladder for a few hours, but as soon as I was getting ready to take her out, she couldn’t.

Literally, she started to pee inside just a few drops, and if for some reason I was late, she would definitely start urinating inside the house.

But, when we were outside, she started sniffing the ground and went to her usual spot. Eventually, I identified her problem and resolved it immediately.

If you’re facing a similar issue, here are the common reasons. Please go through each one and try to figure out what yours is.

1. Excitement.

If a dog pees before going outside, one of the major reasons is the excitement, especially can be seen among young puppies who aren’t adequately trained and socialized.

Think about whether this only happens in the morning or every time you take her out.

If it only happens in the morning, her excitement level is a bit lower. However, if this occurs every time, you gotta put an extra effort into training her.

When you’re about to take the dog outside for potty, she sees your body language, hears the tone of voice, and she can predict what’s gonna happen.

Although she is excellent at holding it for a few hours, this movement makes the dog so excited, resulting in peeing inside before going outside.

2. Being inside too long.

Although a dog needs to go outside every 6-7 hours at a minimum, it depends on many factors, including age, mental health, physical health, the season of the year, and many more.

Therefore understanding how long mainly your dog can hold the bladder is extremely important when addressing this issue.

You know what? Some dogs urinate only once, twice a day, due to both ordinary and abnormal reasons.

So, you seem to have no idea how often you need to take your dog out.

Being inside too long makes them really uncomfortable, resulting in peeing inside before going outside due to the high excitement level.

This is a natural phenomenon, and the only way to fix it is to understand a little more about the dog.

3. Submissive urination.

The next most suspicious cause is submissive urinating behavior. Typically this behavior can be seen among dogs when they are anxious, scared, or excited.

Usually, submissive urination is one of the reasons why do dogs pee on themselves.

This is common among newly adopted dogs and puppies during the first few days. Please don’t kneel and cower over your loving pooch, as it only reinforces this behavior.

Consider being a little bit aloof, and making sure she is comfortable with your presence is the first thing to do.

By the way, I’ll discuss how to solve this submissive urination under solutions.

4. Urinary tract infection.

If the dog pees inside before going outside, it can be a UTI (urinary tract infection) condition. By the way, dogs with UTI issues tend to exhibit the following symptoms.

  • Sniffing and licking around the urinary opening area.
  • Bloody urine.
  • Scratching the door more often.
  • Inside accidents.
  • Fever.
  • Whimpering and whining while peeing.

In general, female canines are more likely to develop UTIs. However, Cushing’s disease and chronic kidney disease increase the likelihood of developing UTI conditions.

If the dog is well house trained and suddenly starts to manifest this odd behavior, perhaps she is trying desperately to hold it.

However, the triggers like your body language, voice help her to predict that this is the potty time, increasing the excitement level. (If there was no UTI problem, she would be able to hold it even with a high excitement level)

Check if dribble is all over the place without just a puddle. If so, our suspicion is largely correct.

5. Lack of bladder control.

The next most possible reason is your dog has a weak bladder. Even though puppies often have this, over time, they become just fine.

With regards to lack of control over the bladder in adult dogs, that can be due to several health issues.

Here are some of them.

  • UTI
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Urinary stones.
  • Diseases that cause excessive water consumption.
  • Spinal injuries.
  • Anatomic abnormalities.

Note that these can also occur among puppies.

Suggested Reading: How to transition puppy from litter box to outside?

What to do if your dog pees before going outside?

Whatever the reason, urinating inside is disgusting to most dog parents. Frankly, it’s so smelly. Let’s look into what should you do in order to address this issue.

1. Carry the dog.

If your dog always starts peeing before going outside, identify the instance where she is starting to urinate. Then immediately pick her up.

But, make sure not to confuse her. You should give clear signs that you are about to pick her up.

Then go outside immediately. Most dogs do not urinate when picked up by their owners. But, they may start peeing as soon as they hit the ground.

I know this isn’t a long-lasting solution. But, it can buy some time for you until this behavior gets corrected.

2. Use a potty bell.

The potty bell is one of the handy inventions. If you’re still unsure how often you need to take the dog outside, consider training her to ring the bell whenever she needs to go out.

Here is an awesome training video for you.

3. Take her frequently outside.

Once the dog is fully trained to use the potty bell, make notes in your head about the times she needs to go out.

Going out the first thing in the morning, prior to bedtime, and after every meal are pretty much obvious. You need to identify the times between those moments.

4. Praise outside.

If your dog pees before going out, click a movement where she didn’t urinate inside and offer plenty of yummy treats.

This also applies when carrying the dog out without allowing her to drip inside the house.

5. Teach the dog to stay calm and less excited.

We discussed that the number one reason for this issue is high excitement. Therefore, you need to train the dog to be less excited be calm.

So, at the end of the training, the dog should understand that the leash means “Be calm.” Also, understand that your tone, voice everything affect this.

Consider petting her a little bit before going outside. Just sit on the floor beside her and start cuddling with gentle and long strokes.

If the dog seems to be a little bit calm and relax, keep petting her head, ears, tails, and paws. However, you gotta be nonchalant and control yourself without showing enthusiasm.

Gradually stop cuddling and pretend her it’s not a big deal. Then slowly take her outside without manifesting a joy or excitement whatsoever.

Repeat, Repeat and Repeat. Be consistent.

I’m sure she will be okay over time. If you do a good job, you will be able to take her out directly, even without petting or pretending to stay calm.

6. Use a pee pad.

I highly suggest keeping a pee pad as a training aid if your dog pee before going outside.

First, train her to pee on the pee pad. Then slowly move it to the door. Remember, this might take several days. Eventually, move it outside and keep it there.

At the end of the day, the dog will realize exactly where to pee on.

7. Increase the confidence.

As I mentioned earlier, lack of confidence or submissiveness at you is another reason for this issue. Therefore working on building her confidence is a good approach.

Here are some suggestions that are worth considering.

  • Feed the dog via food puzzles.
  • Involved her in nose work.
  • Provide a people socialization.
  • Give basic obedience training.
  • Agility training.
  • Playing fetch.
  • Gradually introduced to new situations, people, places.

8. Consult your vet.

As I mentioned earlier, this can happen due to many health problems. Fortunately, you now know the symptoms associated with those health problems.

If you observed that something has gone wrong with your dog, please see your veterinarian.

9. Hire a dog trainer.

If you feel the above training methods are beyond your control, consider getting help from a professional dog trainer.

Things to be aware of.

There are a few other vital things you need to be aware of.

Clean the pee spots: Ensure to clean the pee spots with an enzymatic cleaner to prevent future intentional urinations on those spots.

When putting on shoes: As I mentioned earlier, some cues make your dog so excited. Putting shoes is also one of them. Therefore, consider putting your shores before taking the dog out of the crate.

Be patient and consistent: Being patient and consistent is so vital when addressing this issue. Because this can never be solved overnight.

Inform others: When you’re well aware of the timings, ensure to inform your family members to take her out at the right time whenever you aren’t at home.


Many dog parents desperately seek to find out the reasons for their dogs’ urination behavior prior to going outdoors. We’ve discussed 7 common reasons for that, along with 7 solutions that actually work. Hope you found this helpful.

Note: If you have experienced a solution that works well for you, please consider sharing it with us in the comment section, as it will undoubtedly help future readers.

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