Dogs, like other pets, are highly adorable and are often referred to as “humans’ best friends”. A new puppy or dog at home means everyone is in for a lot of fun, exciting times, and beautiful moments. Well, until you realize how tough it is to properly train and take care of a puppy or an untrained dog.

Stains on the floor and rugs, hair stuck on rugs, little spills, occasional mistakes or accidents, repeat offenses, etc. are some of the not-so-pleasing experiences that come with having a pet. Of all these, none seems to be as annoying as having dog pee on rugs, sofa, throws, beds, and other items.

If you’re a dog owner, you’d probably know how it feels and how difficult it is to get rid of the strong odor from dog pee out of rug or carpet. But the good news is, you can prevent it from happening. One way to start is by learning the best area rugs to buy as a dog owner.

But in this guide, we will unveil all you need to know and teach you a few tricks on how to prevent your dog from peeing on rugs, should you have bought your rugs already. First, why do they pee on Rugs?

baby and a puppy lying on a rug

Why Dog Pee on Rugs

As a dog owner, it can be pretty annoying if everywhere at home has a urine smell. However, before you get mad at your little friend for peeing on the rug, you must understand that there are peculiar reasons for this behavior. Here are a few:


Like babies, puppies are more likely to pee around carelessly than adult dogs due to the inability to hold urine in their bladder for long. And since they don’t know what or where is right or wrong, they just let it out whenever they get the urge.

Potty training is the best way to curb this. Like you’d teach an infant, carefully train your poppy to use the potty or go outside to pee whenever it feels the urge. Puppies are pretty smart and you’d be amazed at how fast they learn.  

Lack of Potty Training

If you happen to adopt a dog that grew up outdoor or in a kennel environment. Possibilities are that it was never potty-trained or the training lessons weren’t adopted by the dog. So don’t be too surprised if you see your new grown dog peeing indoors. It is especially common with dogs or puppies with unknown histories.

However, if your dog was initially housetrained and still pees around, then, it would be appropriate to see a veterinary doctor and be sure it is not a medical condition, urinary tract infection, or some physiological disorder.

Separation Anxiety

Your dog may develop separation anxiety when they are unusually separated from you or family members around them. Your dog may urinate anywhere in your room if it develops separation anxiety.

Here’s an instance: You suddenly have to be away from home for a long time, or you suddenly have to go to school for a new semester or go on a vacation for some weeks. Your dog may develop this strange behavior while you are away. Seek the help of an animal behaviorist to help address the issue.

Routine Changes

Dogs, like many animals, are smart and can be conditioned to follow a certain routine or activity.  When you make your dog stick to a certain peeing routine or schedule, it will religiously follow to the latter until you change things yourself. For instance, if you usually take your dog outside or the bathroom at certain times in the day to urinate, after a while the dog will get conditioned to the routine. But a change or disruption in the routine can make your dog pee on your rug.

Changes at Home

Dogs often get used to peeing in a certain part of the home, usually outside or the bathroom. Any changes made to that part of the house may get them confused, leaving them with no option but to urinate wherever they deem fit.

For instance, you may have recently renovated your house, or perhaps, relocated to a new house or environment. To avoid indiscriminate peeing, you’d need to get your dog accustomed to the new environment, so they can find their way to the convenience whenever they need to.

A Veterinary doctor examining a dog that pees on area rug

Medical Issue

If your dog is old enough to find its way around, potty trained, and you haven’t made any recent changes to your home or routine but still pees around, you may need to visit a vet to ascertain whether there’s a medical problem with your dog.

Your dog would pee on the rug if it’s suffering from certain diseases, urinary tract infections, bladder dysfunction, or some other health abnormalities. Some dogs experience hormonal changes, while some old female dogs lose estrogen as they age.

Cognitive issues due to aging and kidney problems could also be the reason your dog is peeing on your area rug.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Peeing on the Carpet

Dog sitting on a potty pad to avoid peeing on a rug

Once you’ve figured out the reason for your dog’s misbehavior, the next thing is to take practical steps that will make it stop urinating on your rug and get used to relieving itself in the appropriate place(s).

Train or Retrain Your Dog

If you have a puppy or grown dog that has not been previously potty-trained, you can train it to urinate outside or in the bathroom whenever it feels the need to. Also, if your previously trained dog suddenly begins to pee around due to one or more of the reasons listed above, you can retain it so it can get accustomed to the new routine.

The scheduling method, kennel method, potty pad method, and so on, are some of the most common techniques you can use to encourage your dog to relieve itself the right way.

Take Your Dog outside Regularly

If you notice your dog has been peeing on your rug recently, another way to fix the problem is to take the dog outside regularly or at intervals. For example, you can schedule to take the dog outside every hour or two to relieve itself. The time interval may increase as the dog grows older and it will learn to hold the urine until it is outside the house.

A dog owner training their dog and taking it outside regularly to avoid peeing on rug

Keep a close watch on Your Dog

Watch your dog closely and never let it out of your sight, especially if it’s a puppy or a new dog that’s still getting accustomed to the smell and layout of your home. Keeping a close eye on the dog will let you know when the dog is about to urinate, so you can take it to the puppy pad or outside.

Doing this will help to condition the dog to pee where you want and save you the stress of getting dog pee out of your rug, throws, floor, or sofa.

Give the Dog Regular Potty Breaks

A dog would not pee in an area where it sleeps or eats. However, it may be left with no option but to urinate in its crate, kennel, or play area if it is confined there for too long without break. Give your dog frequent potty breaks to avoid making indoor urination a habit.

Use Carpet Sprays

While an effective way to get dog pee stains and odor out of your rug or carpet is through rug sprays/cleaners,  they also help to train dogs to refrain from peeing on rugs. Commercial rug sprays and cleaners contain ingredients like lemongrass whose smell is strong enough to eliminate the strong odor of your dog’s urine while also discouraging the dog from peeing in the area in the future.

Use Special Repellant

There are many repellant products you can buy online or from a pet store. Dog repellants are substances or products (mostly liquid) that helps to prevent dogs from peeing in a particular place. Most repellants contain certain compounds with smells that repel dogs. Dogs have a very strong sense of smell (several times better than humans), so they’d steer clear of any area where they detect a foul odor.

Here are a few of such compounds and substances:

  • Vinegar – Vinegar solution will not only eliminate urine odor from the rug if your dog had already peed on it, but it will also deter the dog from urinating on it another time. Dogs do not like the acidic smell of vinegar and will try to avoid it as much as possible.
  • Lemon Juice – While many people find the lemon scent very appealing, most dogs find it rather repulsive. All you need to do is mix some lemon juice in water and sprinkle it on the affected area.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol is another effective repellant you can use to get the odor from your dog’s urine out of an area rug. While keeping the dog away from the spot, alcohol will also act as a disinfectant against bacteria and microbes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What smell do dogs hate to pee on?

Dogs do not like to pee in their crate, kernel, play area, or eating area. Additionally, dogs will most likely avoid places with a strong odor

Does pepper stop dogs from peeing on rugs?

The smell of pepper is pleasant to most people, but dogs don’t find it appealing and won't pee on the rug when there’s pepper on it.

Home remedy to stop dogs from peeing on a rug?

Lemon juice, pepper spray, alcohol, vinegar, baking soda, etc. are effective home remedies.

How can I stop my dogs from peeing on the rug?

You can stop can keep a close watch on the dog, give it potty breaks, take it outside regularly, or use repellant.

What can I use to stop my dog from peeing in the house?

You can use some of the training methods listed above or use some of the repellants mentioned to prevent your dogs from peeing in the house.

Bottom Line?

It can also be very frustrating if your dog urinates on the rug or somewhere within your house. However, rather than punish or scold your dog, try to find out the reasons for such behavior. Then, take the necessary steps to prevent the situation from reoccurring. And if it all fails, it may be time to see your veterinarian.


April 26, 2021 — Ademola Ademiluyi