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Posted on 08-06-2015
You may have noticed when walking your dog that they have the tendency to stop frequently to pee. This isn’t always a sign of a urinary tract infection or health problem - it’s called urine marking. This phenomenon is often more common with dogs who are not spayed or neutered yet, but almost all dogs do it at some point in their lives. Dogs do this when they are in new environments or smell new and unfamiliar scents, such as what occurs when they are on a walk.
Dogs are drawn to other dog’s urine markings, and evidence shows that from sniffing, these dogs can determine a lot of characterizing information about the other dog including age, gender, and social status. So in a way, it’s the dog equivalent of checking their messages or reading the newspaper. Urine markings also serve as a reminder to a dog that they have been in that place before.
Dogs often “overmark” or urinate in a place where another dog has urinated before. If your dog has ever urinated inside your house, it might be due to overmarking. If your dog smelled another dog or something unfamiliar on your coat or shoes and you leave them on the floor, they may be inclined to urinate on them as a way to mark their territory.
Be careful to monitor your dog if their behavior does become unusual. Some dogs also urine mark when faced with major anxiety. If you believe that your dog is doing so due to anxiety, assess whether there is anything new or stressful in your dog’s life. New furniture, the death of another pet, or a traumatic encounter with another dog on a walk can lead a dog to change their behavior and begin urine marking. While this phenomenon can be a frustrating one, it’s just instinctual behavior for your canine.
To speak with a veterinarian at Phoenix Veterinary Center, please call us at 602-559-5500 or book online.
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