How to Stop Dogs From Peeing on Carpet or Rugs?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Have you ever felt frustrated by the all-too-familiar sight of your dog’s accidents on your rugs?

Well, you are not alone.

It can be annoying to step onto a damp patch when you return home after a long day. But not anymore. 

I will give you a complete guide on why your dog pees on the rug and some easy-to-follow tips and techniques to prevent your dog from peeing on the carpet.

Let’s dive in.

Quick Summary

Determining why a dog is peeing indoors is the first step to resolving the issue. Common causes include a lack of potty training, changes to the home or routine, and stress or anxiety.

To stop dogs from peeing on rugs, allow your dog regular potty breaks and crate him when you’re away. Keep a close watch, use enzyme-based cleaners, and commercial carpet solutions or repellents to stop your dog from peeing on carpets.

Proper potty training will teach the dog to go to the bathroom outside and should be carried out regularly and consistently. Using positive reinforcement methods and rewards will encourage the dog to go in the correct place.

Why Do Dogs Pee Inside?

A person pointing at a rug that is been peed by a puppy

Before you get angry at your puppy for peeing on your precious rug, you must understand why your dog behaves as such.

So first, let’s explore why your dog pees on the rug.

Age of Your Dog

Puppies cannot hold urine in their bladder for long like older dogs. So they let it out whenever they feel the urge, regardless of the place. 

You must potty train your pup correctly to resolve this issue. Generally, puppies should be fully house-trained while they are 6-8 months old. But every dog is not the same. Some may take longer and some less. 

Be patient while house-training your pup. Establish a routine and give frequent potty breaks. 

Lack of House Training

Suppose you bring a new adult dog with an unknown history to your home and notice it peeing inside despite being an older dog. Then, you must understand your dog is not potty trained or has yet to adopt the training. 

But there’s nothing to worry about. Dogs can be house-trained at any age. Select a suitable training program or a trainer and complete the potty training.

Changes to the Home

a puppy is sitting next to a dirty rug that has been peed on

Generally, dogs are habitual of peeing in a particular place. It might be in the bathroom or outside. If you suddenly change your household setting, the dog will get confused.

So it will pee anywhere it deems fit. The same can happen if you move to a new home. Therefore, if you have made any changes at home or shifted to a new place, familiarize your dog with the new settings.

Changes to the Regular Routine 

Dogs are intelligent animals. They get conditioned to follow a specific routine when you make them stick to a schedule. If you change your dog’s schedule suddenly, your dog might urinate on your rugs.

Development of Separation Anxiety

Dogs develop separation anxiety when they are away from their owners for an extended period. Separation anxiety can make your dog urinate inside your home on the rugs. 

If you go on a short vacation or have to stay away from home for a long time, you might face this issue with your dog.

If you suspect anxiety or emotional stress is the reason for your dog to pee on the rugs, take him to an animal behaviorist. 

Source of Communication

Do you know that dogs urinate as a form of communication? Seeing other dogs in their territory, a female nearby, or simply the smell of other dogs can trigger your dog to urinate inside deliberately. This behavior is typical among dogs of 1-2 years of age.

Dogs can also urinate on your rug when they are intimidated, scolded by you, or over-excited.

Having a Medical Issue

Urinary tract infections, bladder dysfunction, hormonal changes, and other health abnormalities can lead your dog to pee on the rug. Some dogs face cognitive issues due to aging and kidney problems, which leads them to pee on the area rug. (1)

Therefore, if your dog is potty trained, accustomed to your home, and you haven’t made any changes to the routine, then the reason for peeing inside can be a medical problem. It’s advisable to take your dog to a vet.

Methods to Stop Your Dog From Peeing on Rugs

a puppy using a pad for potty break

As you know the reasons behind your dog urinating on the rugs, now let’s look at how you can overcome this issue.

Allow Your Dog Regular Potty Breaks

Not giving enough potty breaks is one of the main reasons for your dog to pee on the rug. Even fully house-trained dogs will pee inside on rugs if you lock them up for too long. 

Take your dog outside every few hours. Set a reminder on your phone if necessary. Follow this until your dog learns to hold the urine till it goes outside. Stay outside with your puppy to ensure he has emptied the bladder. Praise him after that. 

Most of the puppies and dogs show pre-potty signs. You must get accustomed to them to recognize if your dog wants to pee. 

Crate Your Dog When You Are Home Away

Dogs are less likely to pee in places where they eat, and they don’t like to stay close to dog pee odor.

Therefore, your dog is less likely to pee inside if you keep them in a confined space. 

So next time you go out for a couple of hours, keep him inside the crate. But don’t leave him inside the crate for more than a few hours. 

Don’t have a crate yet? Check out our guide on the best dog crates here.

To train your dog with your bought crate in a matter of days, take a look at our expert guide here.

A Fluffy Dog sitting inside the Kong dog crate

Keep a Close Watch on Your New Pet

If your dog is a new family member, keep your dog in your sight until it gets familiar with the house’s smell and layout. 

If you ignore your dog, it might pee anywhere it likes and make it a habit. By keeping a close eye, you can identify when your dog wants to pee and take him outside or to the puppy pads.

Use Enzyme Based Cleaners 

Enzyme-based cleaners contain particular bacteria. These bacteria produce enzymes that can neutralize urine odor.

Enzymatic cleaners remove the urine odor from your rug so your dog doesn’t pee in the same place repeatedly.

Talking about that, why do dogs pee in the same spot repeatedly?

Dogs have a strong sense of smell. So when potty accidents occur, and you don’t take any action to remove the residual urine odor from rugs, dogs consider the spot a bathroom sign.

Spraying an enzyme-based cleaner will break the peeing cycle on the same spot. Plus, you should consider using this while potty training, too. 

Spray a Commercial Carpet Solution

Commercial carpet solutions contain ingredients such as lemongrass and cinnamon. These ingredients can remove the pungent odor of pet urine from the rugs and the stain. 

The pungent smell discourages your dog from peeing in the same spot again, making the carpet unattractive for the dog. Therefore, using rug sprays is an effective and easy way to prevent future accidents. 

Use Repellents

Repellents are the products that stop dogs from peeing in specific places. Repellents are primarily available in liquid form.

You can get it from a nearby or online pet store. Let’s look at some of the common repellents. 

Alcohol: Alcohol is an effective repellent. Firstly, it removes the strong odor of dog pee from your rug and keeps your dog away from that spot. In addition, alcohol acts as a disinfectant and destroys the bacteria and microbes in the affected area.

Lemon juice: Most dogs can’t stand the acidic smell of lemon juice. Dilute freshly squeezed lemon juice with water. Then sprinkle it over the area rug your dog likes peeing on. The scent can deter your dog from urinating on the rug.

repellents that are used to stop dogs from peeing on rugs

Vinegar: Similar to lemon, vinegar also has an acidic smell. Dogs try to steer clear of this smell as much as possible. So, a vinegar solution can remove the foul odor of old urine if your dog has already peed on the rug. Additionally, it repels dogs from urinating on the same rug again.

Baking soda solution: Baking soda solution doesn’t give a strong odor to discourage dogs from peeing. But it can remove the urine smell of previous accidents, reducing the chance of your dog peeing on it again. 

Caution: Avoid using ammonia-based products for cleaning. Here’s why. 

Ammonia is a component of urine. When you spray ammonia-based products onto a rug, you allow your dog to consider it as the bathroom. 

A helpful Tip: You can use a black light to spot residual dog pee stains. Once you spot them, mark the area with chalk. Clean them properly with the lights on. 

Train Your Dog Properly 

dogs been trained to pee on peeing pads

If you have a new dog or a dog that has yet to be potty trained, you must train it to urinate outside when needed. If you have already trained your dog and it suddenly starts urinating inside, retrain it. 

The potty pad, kennel, and scheduling method are standard training techniques to prevent dogs from indoor urination. Use positive reinforcement while training. 

Reward your pup with dog treats or verbal praise for good behaviors and ignore the bad behaviors.

Crate training your puppy will also help in preventing indoor potty accidents. Give your dog frequent potty breaks throughout the day, especially after meals. 

Getting rid of any lingering dog pee odor is crucial to training your dog not to pee on rugs successfully. 

Tackle the Underlying Cause

Sometimes, the reason for your dog to urinate on the rugs can be stress, anxiety, or hormonal changes. Some dogs get stressed or over-excited upon seeing a new guest.

Young dogs can get intimidated by specific body postures and voice tones of people. You must identify the cause of the problem and address it accordingly.

Other guides and tools you might need when training your dog:

Let’s Prevent Future Accidents

Two pictures of a dog sitting on a dirty rug

Age, lack of potty training, routine changes, anxiety, or certain diseases can be the reason for your dogs to urinate on rugs. As a pet owner, this can be an annoying issue. But with proper actions, you can tackle this issue quickly. 

First, identify the root cause behind your puppy’s behavior and address it accordingly. If your pup lacks potty training, then train it. If you suspect any medical issues, take your pup to a vet.

If your puppy is new to your home, let him get accustomed to the home settings. Along with this, use repellents and commercial sprays to repel dogs from urinating on the rugs. 


An effective home remedy for stopping dogs from peeing on rugs is to use alcohol, pepper spray, lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda.

No, you should not punish your dog for peeing inside. Instead, train them to go outside by using positive reinforcement methods.

To stop your dog from peeing on rugs, you can train it, spray repellents on the rugs, and use an enzyme-based cleaner to remove the odor and stain from any previous accidents.

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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