Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Dog House/Crate Training

Question from Nancy from Linwood:
In July we rescued a terrier puppy mix with a long history of abuse and neglect. He is now a year old and is healthy and playful. He wets his crate almost everyday while we are at work. He is crated from 9:40 am to 4:30 pm. Do you think that is too long or could it be taht he has never had to hold his urine before? It does not seem to bother him that he is laying on a wet bed.

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
You do not mention whether your dog has accidents only during the daytime or if he is is also urinating in his crate overnight. If he in fact does not have accidents overnight, he is physically capable of holding his urine for 7 hours and that is not an unreasonable length of time to expect him to be able to wait.

Crate training usually works on the principle that most dogs do not want to lie in or be near their urine or feces. If your crate is much larger than your dog, try using a divider to limit his space. Take him out before work and be sure he has plenty of opportunity to empty his bladder. Provide some water during the day, but not a huge bowl.

If the accidents persist and they are occurring only during the day, you may also want to try leaving him in a small room without carpet (kitchen, laundry room) and leave out "wee wee pads". If he is having other accidents around the house or seems to have frequent attempts to urinate outside, a urine sample should be examined at your veterinarian.

Posted September 28, 2007

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