Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dogs that mark with urine in the house

Hi Terry,
I have a pet sitting problem that maybe you have encountered. I am boarding in my home and they ALL want to "mark" all over my house! All the owners say they NEVER do that but yet they all do! Do you have ANY suggestions? Thanks - I'm at my wit’s end.

Lynne Batlan Levine
Little Monsters Pet Sitting
New York

Dear Lynne,

I've had this problem!

The first thing I do is take new arrivals STRAIGHT OUTSIDE on leash; no pausing to chat with the owner–we chat outside. Then all the dogs can mark and get acquainted or re-acquainted to their heart's content. I've even had females pee when they first come in- Excitement? Marking? Who knows? They don’t come inside until they have gone potty.

Then I supervise. I have blocked off the hallway to the bedrooms and back of the house. They have to stay in the open living room/office/kitchen area with me. I use baby gates and ex pens to block access. There is a dog door or I leave the door open with a hanging screen so they can go in and out. If I leave, they are in crates or outside if I don’t trust them.

I have a couple of dog guests who are going to mark no matter what. They can't come inside unless they are on my lap or in a crate. A wire crate in the main room near me works fine- we all watch TV together, etc. and they are part of the action without "privileges."

Most dogs (all but the terrible twosome) figure it out after I yell at them once while I catch them in the act. If you find it later, there’s no point in discipline. Some dogs need to be reminded every time they come over. I never hit or chase, but I will shout “NO!” and escort them outside to finish their business.

I separate the gang for feeding, and take them out immediately after meals. One of my guest dogs pees in her bowl to mark it after every meal (see photo above). I have never seen another dog do this! She’ll even go pee in another dog’s bowl (that belongs to the dog she lives with). She eats her meals outside!

I have washable slipcovers, washable dog beds, ceramic tile floors and no rugs. I clean after an incident (notice I didn’t say “accident”) and then rinse down with Nature’s Miracle or some other enzymatic odor remover that I let air dry.

I have never tried this, but you might want to invest in doggie diapers for your markers.

Hope this helps! Good luck with your new pet sitting business!

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Cynthia said...

If you don't have doggie diapers or belly bands, Swiffer Wet Jet sheets work great, too. Just put 'em on their belly and wrap a towel around them. I bought a long strip of wide velcro, but clothespins work too. Shoulda charged extra for that guy, he was a lot more work ... cms

Terry Albert said...

Great idea- I never would have thought of this! Yes, they are way more work when you have to watch them every second...and clean up after them five times a day.