Why is My Dog in Heat Having Accidents? 4 Prevention Tips

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

As a dog owner, I know how frustrating when your dog pees randomly in the house. But is it really random, or is there something else going on?

Why is my dog in heat having accidents?

A dog in heat undergoes hormonal changes that may have an impact on its behavior, such as a heightened drive to mate and mark its territory. This may result in changes to your dog’s elimination behaviors, such as an increase in frequency and home accidents.

While this behavior can be particularly frustrating, we should all try to understand why this is happening and how to solve the problem, and that’s what you will take away from this post.

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Common Behaviors of a Female Dog in Heat

I have personally observed the range of behaviors that might appear when a female dog is in heat, specifically the estrus phase, especially during my days as a vet tech.

In order to properly care for their dog and avoid any inadvertent breeding, dog owners must be aware of these habits.

  • First is the increased vocalization of female dogs during their heat cycle, such as whining or howling.
  • Additionally, they could become more attention-seeking, clingy, and appear to demand more of their owners. (They might also start ringing the bell more to go outside if you have one).
  • Some females will also experience a change in their appetite, eating more or less than usual.
  • As they attempt to entice male dogs, female dogs in heat frequently display an increase in urine marking.

This can cause issues for you, so it’s crucial to carefully watch your dog’s behavior and remove any markings as soon as possible.

Other obvious signs of estrus include a vaginal discharge that smells like a male dog scent, standing while holding the tail to one side, sniffing around other female dogs, digging at or rolling in dirt or grass, and pacing or closely following a male dog.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why does my dog cuddle my shoes?

What are the 4 stages of a dog in heat?

Dogs in heat experience four different stages. Below are the 4 stages of a dog in heat.

  • Proestrus – The stage when the female first comes into season, which is when she bleeds. This stage can last from 5 days to 12 days, depending on many factors, including breed and size.
  • Estrus – The stage where ovulation occurs, but the egg hasn’t reached full maturity yet.
  • Diestrus – The stage when the egg that was released during ovulation reaches full maturity and attaches to the uterine wall.
  • Anestrus – The stage occurs after birth occurs, but before ovulation occurs again.

Potential Risks and Complications of a Dog in Heat

For a dog in heat, there are a number of possible issues that can come up. These include:

  • Unwanted pregnancies: The likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy is the most evident risk faced by a dog in heat. If your dog is not spayed or if she is not kept away from male dogs while she is in heat, this has a very high chance of happening.
  • Vaginal bleeding: Your dog may experience vaginal bleeding during the heat cycle, which can occasionally be heavy. This can represent a lot of discomfort (and mess) for both the dog and the owner as a result of this bleeding.
  • Infection: Infections of the reproductive system, such as pyometra (a dangerous uterine infection) and cervicitis, are more likely to occur in dogs in heat.
  • Unwanted attention: Every dog owner knows that the heat cycle of a female dog means that she will be attracting attention from male dogs in the area. It is important to know, however, that this attraction can be dangerous to the dog and must be avoided. Not only can there be potential aggression and injuries, but you also do not want your girl to mate randomly, do you?

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Why Do Female Dogs Pee Inside When in Heat? 5 Reasons

Why Do Female Dogs Pee Inside When in Heat

You probably know by now that your dog behaves somewhat differently when it is in heat. She’s probably a little off during this time, not like the usual sweet girl that you have come to know.

And one of the most frustrating things is that they seem to forget all the potty training they had and now they treat the inside of the house as its toilet.

What’s going on exactly?

1. Marking its territory

Dogs may use scent to communicate with other dogs through marking.

By doing so, an intact female dog is trying to entice suitors by dispersing pheromones or other sexual smells.

This would account for why female dogs mark and urinate on things wherever they go, sending a loud and unmistakable signal.

2. Hormonal changes

A female dog’s body experiences a number of hormonal changes during the heat cycle that can have an impact on her behavior and physical health.

The hormone estrogen, which is created by the ovaries and delivered into the bloodstream, regulates these changes.

Estrogen stimulates the bladder and increases urine frequency as one of its effects.

This is because estrogen encourages the synthesis of the hormone vasopressin, which aids in water retention in the body.

As the body works to remove extra water from the system, increased vasopressin production might cause a rise in urine frequency.

3. Stress

A female dog going through her heat cycle may find it stressful because her body is changing and she may feel uneasy.

Changes in behavior and bathroom habits are only two examples of how this stress might show itself.

An increase in urine frequency is one way that stress can affect a female dog that is in heat.

It can activate the bladder, thus increasing the frequency of the dog’s urination.

And because of the need to go more often, it results in accidents inside the home.

4. Pressure on the Bladder

During the heat cycle, your dog’s uterus is growing as it gets ready for ovulation and fertilization.

As a result, there is increased strain on the bladder, resulting in more urination.

This can cause them to pee inside the house.

5. Medical condition

A medical condition like a bladder infection or incontinence can also be the cause of your dog occasionally urinating indoors when in heat.

An infection of the bladder or urinary system is referred to as a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection.

It is a common problem in female dogs, particularly those who are in heat, and it can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as increased urine frequency, soreness or discomfort when urinating, and house accidents.

Another probable reason is incontinence, which is the inability to control one’s bladder.

This can be brought on by a variety of conditions, such as hormonal imbalances, muscle weakness, and neurological problems.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Is my male dog affected by my period?

How to Prevent Accidental Dog Urination From Happening in the Home? 4 Ways

How to Prevent Accidental Dog Urination From Happening in the Home?

Accidents from dogs in heat can be prevented, and here are some steps you can take.

1. Confine your dog to a secure area

When your dog is in heat, it’s a good idea to keep her confined to a safe space, like a crate or a small room, to help prevent accidents.

This will lessen her tendency to roam around the home and mark her territory.

It’s critical to pick a space that is both roomy enough for your dog to move around freely and small enough to keep her from wandering too far.

Just make sure she doesn’t enough wiggle room to escape!

2. Take your dog outside more

No, your dog is not likely to have forgotten its training, but she’s just going through something that makes her behave a bit differently.

So instead of cooping her inside, you can try to take her out for potty more regularly.

I would recommend that you double the frequency when your dog goes into heat, especially during the first few days of the heat cycle, when she is most likely to experience an increase in urination.

3. Use a dog diaper

Another option for reducing accidents within the home is to use a dog diaper.

They are made to absorb pee and feces and stop messes and odors, exactly like how a human one works.

Dog diapers come in a variety of styles, including reusable and disposable options, and they are very easy to use.

4. Consider spaying

If you have no intentions of breeding your dog, you might want to consider spaying her.

It does have a number of other benefits such as a lower risk of cancer, no unwanted pregnancies, and very likely no more accidental peeing in the house.

But of course, be sure to discuss with your veterinarian about the potential pros and cons before making your decision.

Do you know what does it mean when your dog poops twice in a row?

Can Heat Cause Incontinence in Dogs?

Incontinence, also known as loss of bladder control, is a condition that affects the urinary tract.

Dogs with incontinence will usually display symptoms of wetting themselves, urinating in inappropriate places, and having difficulty holding their urine.

This condition is mostly seen in older dogs, but you should not immediately rule it out even if you have a younger one.

Heat does not cause incontinence, but it can aggravate the condition and make it worse for dogs if it’s already present.

Do you know how long can a Dachshund hold its bladder?

Is My Dog in Heat or Has a UTI?

It can be challenging to distinguish between a female dog in heat and one who has a urinary tract infection (UTI), as both have somewhat similar symptoms, such as increased frequency of urinating and house accidents.

However, there are some telltale signs that your dog has UTI, such as the following:

  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Straining to pee
  • Blood in the urine
  • Strong or unusual urine odor
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Tips for Managing Your Dog’s Heat Cycle

Managing your dog’s heat cycle is important for both of your well-being.

Here are 3 simple tips to help you manage your dog’s heat cycle.

  • Track your dog’s heat cycles on your phone or calendar. Record the day your dog’s heat cycle began and set a 6-month reminder with a 1-week warning.
  • Keep dog diapers on hand if you have an indoor dog or don’t want bleeding messes. Have them handy so you are prepared when the need arises
  • If your dog has trouble getting along with other dogs or pets in the home while in heat, consider separating them until she is done
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my dog suddenly having accidents?

Some factors to take into account are poor cleaning up of prior mishaps, changes in environments, marking territories, or not being taught the right way. Once the root of the issue has been found, you should take your dog through a housetraining refresher to get it back into the habit of going outside to relieve itself.

Do dogs have bladder problems when in heat?

Yes, dogs can suffer from bladder problems when they are in heat as there is increased pressure on the organ. It is important to monitor your dog during this time and help her avoid unnecessary accidents.

Why is my dog peeing blood while in heat?

Peeing blood while in heat is a common complaint from pet owners, and this could be due to vaginal bleeding during this time. However, there are some medical conditions that can cause bleeding too, so a check with your vet should be done if it persists.

What are the first signs of Pyometra?

Pyometra is a serious infection of the uterus that can occur in female dogs that are not spayed. It is characterized by an accumulation and leaking of pus in the uterus and other signs include a bloated abdomen, increased thirst, vomiting, and weakness.

In Conclusion: Why is My Dog in Heat Having Accidents?

As a dog owner, you can contribute to the comfort and health of your canine companions throughout the heat cycle by being aware of potential accident causes and implementing preventive measures.

Never scold your dog out of frustration as this will only cause more harm than good.

With the tips in here, you will definitely be able to ride through this smoothly.

Continue reading more about other dog behavior such as why is dog grabbing other dogs’ neck and shaking, why is my dog humping my arm, dog struggling to poop after spaying, and many more on our blog.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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