My Potty Trained Dog Is Having Accidents- 9 Reasons

When your dog is young and you are potty training him, the occurrence of accidents is normal and acceptable. But when a potty trained dog is having accidents you must be worried. You will have a lot of questions wondering what might have triggered the accidents so that you can find a solution.

A potty-trained dog will have accidents because of incompetent house training, medical issues, separation anxiety, bad timing, change of diet, and failure to clean the accident spots properly.

Reasons why Your Potty Trained Dog Is Having Accidents

Incomplete House Training

The first thing to consider is if your dog is fully house trained, this is mostly for adopted dogs from rescue homes. If this is the cause, you will have to start potty training him like an eight-week-old puppy. This includes frequent potty breaks, rewarding him with treats, and being on the watch always.

Your dog will get the skills after sometimes depending on your consistency and the individual dog.

Medical Issue

If your dog is fully house trained and is causing accidents, you should take him to a vet for a checkup. Some health issues can make your dog cause accidents like:

  • Kidney diseases.
  • Diabetes.
  • UTIs
  • Cushing’s disease.

Before finding your solution for the accidents, ensure that your dog is in good health.

Separation Anxiety

If you have noted that your dog only has accidents when you are not around, it might be because of separation anxiety. The best way to know if that is the cause is to set up a camera in the room that he is left and watch his reactions the next time you leave him.

A dog with separation anxiety can be treated by crate training. Putting your dog in a crate makes him feel like he is in his territory he cannot spoil the crate. Also, the crate makes the dog unbothered by the activities going on in the house and will hardly notice when you are gone. If this method fails, contact your vet for advice.

Change in Environment

Your dog will be greatly affected by any changes that happen in their day-to-day life or environment. If you renovated your house/moved to a new one or added/removed another pet from your house, your dog will be greatly affected and will take time before he adjusts. At this time you should be considerate to your dog.


How many hours did you leave your dog without potty break services? This question is overlooked by many dog owners and they quickly jump to conclusions that their dogs have a behavioral or medical issue. If you left him for more hours than he is used to, you will find an accident in your home. However, if the hours you left the dog alone were not many, you should look for a solution like ensuring that your dog has visited the potty area before leaving.

Change of Diet

If you abruptly change the diet of your dog, it will interfere with the digestive system and the excretion time too. If you intend to change your pooch’s diet, it should be in a systematic way. You should add a small amount of the new food to the usual food, if you notice any adverse effects, stop feeding him the new food. If there were no side effects, double the portion of the new food in the next meal. Follow that formula until you completely change the diet.

You should also have a regular feeding schedule, this will help you to estimate when your dog will need to visit the potty area.

Failure To Clean The Accidents Spots Properly

Dogs tend to relieve themselves in the exact place that they had done it before. They have noses that can smell the slightest smell of the poop or pee that was not cleaned properly. Ensure that you clean the spoiled place immediately before it is absorbed by the surfaces.

Also Read: Whole House Smells like Dog Urine What Do I Do?

Cognitive Dysfunction

 As dogs get old, they develop a disease called cognitive dysfunction (CDC). This disease makes the dog lose memory and forget everything they had known including potty training. They can also get lost in places they are familiar with, gaze in space, and become restless. 

He is Under Medication

If your dog is under medication, it is likely to cause accidents. If you buy medicines from the stores, you should read the precautions on the leaflets. The suitable thing to do is to take your dog to a vet or buy the medicines under his instructions.


Your potty-trained dog can have accidents because of many reasons. The best thing to do is to know if he is healthy before finding another solution. Importantly, never scold, punish, or mistreat your dog after an accident. Use positive reinforcement to make him understand where he should do his business. 

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