Even the best-trained cat and dog has a toilet accident now and again, but the way a pet owner deals with the problem will determine how frequently this occurs. If your pet begins to suddenly go to the restroom indoors, there are several steps you should take to prevent this from occurring again.
Caught in the Act
If you happen to catch your cat or dog in the act of going indoors, you should try to stop it from going further inside, then rush him outdoors right away (or to the newspaper if the pet is paper trained).
Startle your pet a bit when you catch it going. This act will not psychologically harm your pet, but it will actually cause its sphincter to close temporarily while you get it outside. If the pet is small, you may want to pick it up and carry it outdoors.
After your pet has finished the toilet business where it is supposed to, be sure to follow up with plenty of praise and clean up the mess the pet made inside. It is not a good idea to scold the pet, as this will not help prevent future accidents from occurring and may actually upset your pet.
On the Sly
If you did not catch your pet in the act of going, you should simply clean up the mess without making a big deal over it. Take your pet outside and encourage it to go. Give it about 15 to 20 minutes to take care of its business. If it does not go, bring it back inside and resume your normal schedule. Be sure to praise your pet extensively when it goes outside. You might also need to keep a closer eye on your pet to see if it is having problems with emptying.
Causes of Indoor Elimination
If your cat or dog is beginning to have frequent accidents inside, you may need to consult your veterinarian. There are several possible causes of indoor emptying from pets that are housebroken. Some of these causes are:
- Change in diet
- They are eating garbage or because of certain medications
- Kidney failure, diarrhea, constipation, diabetes and anal sac inflammation are other health issues that can cause a pet to have accidents
- A dog experiencing separation anxiety or feeling anxious because of a new pet
They are feeling submissive. For the dog, this type of urination is almost meant to show that he or she is not intending to be threatening. Submissive urination is also a common occurrence with some dogs if their owners yell at them. For some pets, however, it is just a bad behavior that needs to be corrected.

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