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Inappropriate Elimination (both Canine and Feline)… Yes, there is a solution, and no it’s not taking him or her to the local animal shelter!

Now, some might argue that “inappropriate elimination” isn’t a medical issue. Instead, it reflects an owner’s inability to train their pet correctly. But here are times when an animal’s physical and mental health will come into play, which is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss precisely what inappropriate elimination is. After all, this “medical issue” is one of the leading causes of folks giving their pets up for adoption simply because they don’t know what to do with them!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Inappropriate elimination defined

Inappropriate elimination is also known as incontinence. Unless the puppy, kitten, dog, or cat has not been housebroken, it usually indicates something more profound. And here is where we run into trouble. Is your dog or cat urinating and defecating all over the house because you haven’t taught them better? Or is there an underlying condition causing your pet to produce too much urine, drink too much water, or affect your animal’s healthy kidney function?

It is for this reason…

If you have eliminated all other explanations, you should take your animal to the vet now. This is because inappropriate urination or inappropriate defecation can also sometimes be indicators of separation anxiety. Some dogs will knowingly poop on the rug when their parents are not home, but this is because they have an upset tummy caused by being alone. And this is certainly not something you should shame them for; it is lovely. Your pup pooped on the rug because he loves you so much!

House soiling can also…

Be a symptom of a urinary tract infection, in which case your vet can prescribe medication that will help. Ensure your animal has plenty of fresh water, and wait it out…  Bladder Stones are another possible outcome, but your veterinary surgeon can guide you through the treatments for each of these underlying medical problems.

And this is where…

A vet’s experience and training will prove helpful. You see, a vet will usually only consider your dog or cat’s inappropriate elimination a health issue if it is abnormal for their behavior. Behavior that may include:

  • Marking their territory,
  • Submissive urination,
  • Or you could simply be keeping your pet locked up in the house for too long, expecting them to “hold it” well beyond their capabilities.

This is why only in very, very rarely is unwanted elimination a symptom of cognitive dysfunction. But in such cases, inappropriate elimination is a genuine medical condition.

Most Commonly Affected Breeds

All breeds can be affected by this disease at one point or another. It is common in younger dogs and cats who are still learning to become house pets. It is also important to remember that some breeds are prone to things like Cushing’s Disease, which can lead to this condition as a symptom. Ask about its family lineage and history for the best insight into whether your pup or kitten will be at risk.

Treatment Options

First, your vet will want to ascertain the problem and if behavioral training can help you get them out of the habit. The likelihood is that your vet will want to perform a series of blood tests to ensure that this condition is not symptomatic of anything else. Your vet may also believe that this condition is simply a normal part of growing up or growing old and may merely suggest how you can change their living situation to minimize the “inconvenience” of their condition.

Which reminds us…

Now that we’re talking about treatment options, it’s important to remember that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them. This is why if you feel like your pet may suffer from inappropriate elimination syndrome (or any other health issue), you will want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!


An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs! This is also why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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