Have you noticed that your dog isn’t peeing where he is supposed to be peeing? When you let your dog outside to do his business, does he head straight for your outdoor furniture instead of the nice lawn meant for peeing on? What can you do to prevent this behavior?
You may be asking yourself how to keep dogs from peeing on your outdoor furniture. There are many solutions, including using deterring scents or sprays, purchasing a dog pee pad, gating or otherwise retraining your dog, or deep cleaning your patio furniture with a dog’s sense of smell in mind.
But why might your dog be peeing on your outdoor furniture in the first place, and how can you find a solution that works best for you, your dog, and your household? Let’s discuss this idea more in-depth so that you can stop this process before it gets worse!
Why is My Dog Peeing on My Outdoor Furniture?
Your dog may be peeing on your outdoor furniture for a number of reasons. While it can be a very frustrating occurrence, it is important to understand why your dog might be doing this before punishing your dog.
Dogs are very social creatures as well as territorial; they may not understand that what they are doing is wrong or upsetting to you. Causing them more distress by punishing them while they are in the act of peeing on your outdoor furniture may cause more anxiety and trouble in the long run!
If you notice your dog peeing on your outdoor furniture, it may be because of the following reasons:
- Your dog or another dog has marked their territory there already. If your outdoor furniture already has the scent of dog pee on it, there’s nothing stopping your dog or another dog from marking that spot again and again. You will most likely not know that this has occurred, but if you catch your dog lifting his leg to pee on something that shouldn’t necessarily be peed on, it’s a safe bet that he is trying to reclaim his territory!
- Your dog is feeling anxious. Dogs often pee when and where they shouldn’t if they are suffering from some form of anxiety. Separation anxiety is a common issue in many dogs, especially dogs that are improperly exercised, left alone for long hours, or victims of abuse. There are many other signs that your dog is experiencing anxiety, but peeing on furniture may very well be one of them.
- Your dog has not been trained not to pee on furniture. Dog training can be exhausting, especially if your dog isn’t particularly motivated. But have you ever trained your dog not to pee on the furniture? It feels like a given that, once your dog knows where they should go, that is where they will always go. However, a dog may consider testing the waters, or rather your patience, especially if you’re not observing them outside. They may pee on your outdoor furniture because they simply think it is okay, or have seen another dog do it already.
- Your dog is older or may be having incontinence issues. As our pets age, it can be harder for them to always go where they should or where they used to. If your outdoor furniture is near your home or back door, it may be the easiest location for your senior dog to pee on. This may also be true if your dog is experiencing bladder trouble or issues of incontinence. They may be finding some comfort in your outdoor furniture and choose to pee there.
7 Ways to Prevent My Dog from Peeing on Outdoor Furniture
While it can be very frustrating to have your dog peeing on your outdoor furniture, there are many steps you can take to prevent this behavior in the future. It is always best to stop this action from occurring as soon as you realize it is happening; dogs can struggle to break habits!
No matter what, if you catch your dog peeing on your outdoor furniture, don’t punish them. If you are able to calmly redirect their marking behavior while it is happening onto a more appropriate spot, such as your lawn, this is the best step you can take.
In addition to redirecting your dog in a positive way, here are seven steps you can try to keep dogs from peeing on your outdoor furniture.
One of the most common things you can do to prevent your dog from peeing on your outdoor furniture is by utilizing a spray or scent that deters dogs. A dog’s sense of smell is everything to them, which is probably why they are peeing on your outdoor furniture in the first place- they smell another dog’s marking already!
There are many commercial grade deterring sprays available at your local hardware store or pet store. This is a common enough problem with puppies that your local pet store might be your best bet at finding an effective spray.
You can also homemaker a spray of your own with many different spices, liquids, and essential oils. It is important to keep in mind that some essential oils are not safe for dogs to inhale or ingest, such as tea tree oil. Always make sure the scent you have chosen is safe for any pet to sniff!
Common deterring scents include:
- Any and all citrus scents, including fresh or essential oils
- Any and all pepper scents, including fresh or ground spices
- White vinegar
- Many herbal scents, such as mint, rosemary, or thyme
- Strong chemical smells, such as commercial cleaners or beauty products
Keep in mind that you will need to reapply these scents should it rain or snow. You should also note that many peppers can be harmful to your dog’s nose, so use sparingly at first, or stick to safer options such as citrus.
2. Deep Clean Your Outdoor Furniture
Your dog is only marking your outdoor furniture because it has no doubt been marked already. Given the territorial nature of dogs, one of the easiest things you can do to prevent them from peeing on your outdoor furniture over and over is to deep clean everything.
Use a strong commercial strength cleaner, or something with a deterring scent built-in, such as white vinegar. Clean every bit of your outdoor furniture with the product and hot water, and allow the furniture to completely dry before letting your dog near it again.
3. Take Your Dog to Pee Before Letting Them Near Your Outdoor Furniture
Sometimes your dog might be peeing on your outdoor furniture simply because they have to go! Taking the time to walk your dog so that they pee elsewhere may be all you need to do to stop them from peeing on your outdoor couch or patio set.
This can be more difficult if you aren’t at home but you still want your dog to have access to your backyard while you are at work. You may consider a few other options on this list if you don’t have the time to walk your dog before they have access to your patio furniture.
4. Place a Dog Pee Pad Nearby
Doggy pee pads aren’t just for puppies! Every dog needs to know where it is appropriate to do their business, and sometimes purchasing a pee pad can solve this issue. This can either be a section of real grass in your backyard, an artificial grass pee pad, or a fabric pee pad.
There are many reusable and easy to clean options so that you don’t have to purchase disposable pads. You can check out our list of some of the best dog patio potties here for further ideas.
5. Gate Them Off
Sometimes a dog will not be deterred. You may have tried a few other options on this list already, to no avail. What else can you do but figure out a way to gate your dog off from your patio furniture? While this option may not work for all of you, it might be worth trying.
You may consider building a separate fenced dog run for your pup, which would prevent them from accessing your patio furniture in the future. Otherwise, a simple gate surrounding your patio or deck may be enough to dissuade your dog from reaching your outdoor furniture.
6. Use Positive Reinforcement When Your Dog Pees Where You Want
No matter the age of your dog, it can be important to remind them of when they are doing well, or remembering their training. Potty training usually happens at such an early age that your dog builds the habit and rewarding them is forgotten.
However, if your dog begins peeing where they shouldn’t, it may be time to return to the basics. Rewarding your dog when they pee on your lawn or a place that is always appropriate is a good idea, and may be enough to stop them from peeing on your outdoor furniture.
7. Associate Your Outdoor Furniture with Food
Dogs don’t like to pee where they eat or drink- so why not make your outdoor furniture a place where your dog gets fed? Placing your pet’s bowls on or around the outdoor furniture may discourage them from peeing nearby.
This may not work if you have multiple pieces of furniture, unless you want to set up multiple bowls of food or water. You may even find that the scent of your dog’s food near your patio set is enough to keep them away, but often the desire to mark territory outweighs this plan!
You may not know exactly how to keep dogs from peeing on your outdoor furniture, but hopefully one of these ideas gives you a good starting point. No matter what, your dog is only a dog- they should be treated with patience during this process. You can train your dog to do what you want, including leaving your outdoor furniture alone!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.