If you’re wondering “Why is my 4-month-old puppy still having accidents?” then you must be at your wit’s end. Puppies, like newborn babies, need a lot of time and dedication in order to learn potty training.
If your puppy is still having accidents at 4 months old, then this may be concerning to you. It’s important to look into the reason behind this behavior.
Some of the reasons a 4-month-old puppy is still having accidents can include health issues, inadequate training, a recent change in habits or surroundings, or separation anxiety. Look into these issues with great care so you can intervene accordingly.
Keep reading below as we go through each reason. Maybe you will notice your puppy’s behavior in the information below.
Before scrolling down this guide “Why Is My 4-Month-Old Puppy Still Having Accidents,” check out: Why Is My Six-Month-Old Puppy Peeing in the House Again? and Why Is My Newborn Puppy’s Poop Green?.
4-Month-Old Puppy Potty Training Schedule
Your canine partner should be able to retain their bladder for around one hour for every month of their age. This is a general rule of thumb. The majority of puppies are adopted when they are between two and three months old, at which point they are able to go between two and three hours without needing to relieve themselves.
Some estimates include an additional hour when calculating their age in months; nevertheless, the exact number will vary based on the individual dog. Since it’s not an exact science, you shouldn’t expect an extra hour of pee-holding just because your baby turned a month older.
Take them out after meals, and after vigorous play when they might be drinking more water. Create a schedule for potty breaks and meals for your puppy. Use guides such as their age, how long you think they can hold it, your schedule, and their feeding times to estimate their needs.
When it comes to bladder control, puppies under 16 weeks of age are rather helpless. However, they are still capable of learning the rules, so start teaching them right away, and you’ll see rapid improvement once they reach this age.
Naturally, the first thing that will run through your head is whether you should wake your puppy up in the middle of the night for potty training. Puppies are actually able to keep their bladders open a little bit longer while they are sleeping.
However, for puppies younger than 4 months old and even some who are a bit older, you will still need to get up once throughout the night to take them out. Be sure to gently wake up your dog four to five hours after his bedtime.
Even if you don’t think they want to go outdoors when they wake you up in the middle of the night, you should still take them there.
Reasons Why Your 4-Month-Old Puppy is Still Having Accidents
Ranging from health issues to needing more training, you will find reasons why your 4-month-old puppy is still having accidents below.
If your dog was previously well-behaved around the house but has started having accidents, you should consult your vet first.
This is because many common diseases and medical conditions, such as urinary tract infection, bladder stones, chronic renal disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and prostate or bladder tumors, may lead dogs to have accidents within the house.
In the event that your dog does have a medical condition, you may not be able to stop the accidents unless you address the root of the issue. Whenever possible, a medical diagnosis should be ruled out before any training or behavior adjustment is attempted.
Puppies and young dogs commonly have accidents inside the house because they are still learning proper bathroom etiquette and may never have been fully housetrained.
Regardless of how old your dog is, you’ll need to “go back to basics” and treat him or her as if he or she were an 8-week-old puppy with no potty training. This involves regular trips outside, the use of potty training rewards, and close supervision within the house at all times to eliminate the possibility of accidents.
Crate training may ease the transition to a new routine for certain dogs. Most puppies and young dogs can learn new commands after only a few weeks of persistent training.
A Recent Change to Your Habits or Surroundings
Dogs, being creatures of habit, are susceptible to being disoriented if there is a shift in their regular schedule or environment. This may take place when the owner’s work schedule shifts or when a member of the household moves out (for example, when a child leaves for college).
In addition, it is essential to be aware that housetraining a dog is highly dependent on the environment in which they are being trained. Even if they are aware of the guidelines in your home, there is no guarantee that they will follow them when you go to the homes of friends or relatives or if you have recently relocated and are staying in a new home.
Every time you go to a different location, make sure to review the fundamental housetraining principles with your dog. For instance, make numerous trips outside for bathroom breaks, and make sure to keep a careful eye on your dog whenever he is indoors until you are certain that things have returned to normal.
Accidents in the house are a common symptom of separation anxiety. The most common sign that separation anxiety is the cause is if your dog only has accidents when you’re not there. If you think your dog’s accidents happen when you’re not home, you can put a camera in his or her room and watch it on a monitor when you return.
If your dog is nervous or upset, you should be able to tell just by watching the video. A lot of animals with separation anxiety require prescription medicine, so if this situation seems familiar, it’s advisable to discuss it with your vet.
To ease the burden of cleaning up after your dog when you get home, confine him or her to a room with hard floors. You might also try giving your dog a reward that will last for a longer period of time whenever you leave the house, for instance, a Kong toy that has been frozen with canned treats or peanut butter placed inside of it.
Having something to occupy your dog’s time and provide it with interactive toys and positive associations with your absence will help ease its anxiety.
Tips for Preventing Accidents
Since you now know that it’s quite natural for a puppy to have accidents due to his or her weak bladder, we can move on to discussing how to keep your new pet from soiling the house.
Clean Your Space Properly
Using the proper cleanser on your dog’s messes is the first and most important step. Use a good enzymatic cleaner. Because even if you use an enzyme-free cleanser and can no longer detect the urine’s odor, your dog still can.
Your dog may be enticed by the lingering odor to defecate in the same location if it always does so there. For this reason, you should utilize enzymatic cleaners, as they are able to effectively break down odors and ensure that your dog is no longer able to smell them.
Determine in Advance When Your Dog Needs to Go
Even though your puppy may take you by surprise when she suddenly squats inside the home, you should be able to anticipate what she needs at least half of the time.
You should anticipate that your puppy will need to use the bathroom immediately after they wake up (both from naps and nighttime), after they eat or drink, and after they have been playing.
Your puppy may have to go potty if he or she experiences any sort of excitement, such as when they see you or one of your loved ones. In addition to these regular bathroom breaks, your puppy may also show you additional cues. Your puppy is ready to go potty when she begins to sniff, circle, or hunch her back.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Puppy
Even if your dog is showing progress with housetraining, it is still not time to let her run free. It’s not unheard of for a dog to go a week or more without having an accident, only to have those accidents come back later on (this is a sign that your dog isn’t completely house trained yet).
It’s wonderful news if your dog has very few accidents in the house, but you shouldn’t let that lull you into a false feeling of security. If you offer your puppy greater freedom or if you pay less attention to her, you run the risk of missing the signs that she has to use the bathroom, which will result in another accident.
You shouldn’t ever leave your puppy alone in the house, and they should always be in the same area as you. One of the most effective methods of toilet training, according to a number of owners, is to attach a leash to their canine companions and keep them close to them while they work.
If you keep a close eye on your puppy, you will either be able to recognize the cues that indicate she is going to defecate or you will be able to stop her while she is already in the process of doing so.
Set a Timetable
Keeping to a routine allows us to get more done in less time. Dogs are routine-oriented creatures, so even though a puppy doesn’t have any work to do, it still benefits from having a set schedule. Your puppy needs a schedule for eating and going outside to relieve herself.
Your dog will appreciate the predictability that routines provide. Establishing a pattern can help your dog know when to expect to go potty outside as she learns this important skill from you. Your dog’s routine should naturally mesh with your own.
Obviously, you’ll have to take your puppy outside more often when she’s a puppy, and you should always oblige your dog’s requests to go outside. Your dog will require less supervision as she ages, but a routine can help her bathroom breaks and mealtimes fit more easily into your day.
Praise Your Dog If He Does His Business Outside
Isn’t it great whenever your dog goes outside to relieve herself? That sigh of relief is one that all of us can relate to. And you should make it more fun for your dog to do it outside than indoors.
Treats and games are great for this sort of thing. If your dog is driven by food, give her a treat each time she relieves herself outside in the yard. After she has finished her business, you can either toss a toy for her or play a game of tug if she is more driven by play.
No matter what kind of reward you decide to give, you shouldn’t do it in the middle of a bathroom session. If you distract her with a treat before she’s done, she might not finish until you get back inside.
Avoid Bedtime Hydration
Puppies often have accidents while sleeping, and you shouldn’t worry if yours does, too. It’s been known for some puppies to “wet the bed” while they snooze.
You can help lower the risk of this kind of accident by avoiding giving them anything to drink for about two hours before going to bed. Taking your dog outside to use the bathroom before bed is a must.
A 4-month-old puppy may be peeing in the house for a number of reasons. First, take them to the vet to rule out health issues dealing with the bladder. If the cause isn’t a health issue, the cause may be separation anxiety or a change in their household or routine. It’s normal for puppies to go through regression with housetraining so look for ways to continue or improve their training for their age.
Generally, a puppy should be able to hold it for as many hours as they are months old, but the amount of time a puppy needs between potty breaks depends on the individual dog. However, they should also go out as soon as they wake up, after meals, and after any vigorous activity. Puppies can hold it longer while sleeping, but a 4-month-old puppy should be taken out once in the middle of the night.
If a puppy is peeing every 20 minutes, it’s time to take them to the vet. There are a number of bladder-related illnesses that your puppy might have, ranging from a urinary tract infection to diabetes, and more. A rule of thumb is that young puppies should be able to hold it for as many hours as they are months old.
Conclusion For “Why Is My 4-Month-Old Puppy Still Having Accidents”
If your 4-month-old puppy is still having accidents around the house, your first line of action should be to consult a vet to rule out any health issues. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to address other reasons such as insufficient training.
After determining the root cause of your puppy’s accidents, you can get them what they need and create a potty training schedule based on their age to get back on course with potty training.
If you find this guide, “Why Is My 4-Month-Old Puppy Still Having Accidents,” helpful, check out:
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Learn more by watching “Stop Accidents Indoors With THIS Puppy Potty Training Plan” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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