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If a housetrained dog is suddenly having accidents at night in the house, it's time to examine the current situation. Before you jump to any conclusions, consider whether there have been any major changes in your dog's life, schedule or routine. For instance, has there been the addition of a new pet or child in the household? Or perhaps your dog is not given an opportunity to go outside as he previously had. Also, make sure that your dog is healthy and not suffering from any medical conditions that would cause him to have accidents.
If you've ruled out his environment, it may also be possible that your dog has matured and is marking his territory. Unfortunately, his territory includes your house.
The key is to address the situation promptly before it becomes an ingrained habit. You can do this by securing your dog in a crate overnight. Few dogs will soil the area where they live and sleep. Be sure to take your dog outside as late as possible before bedtime and immediately upon waking up. If your dog alerts you that he needs to eliminate in the middle of the night, do take him outside. After several weeks of crating, you can begin to leave your dog out of the crate at night to check on his progress.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|