Ask the Pet Expert

Ask the Pet Expert (Photo via stock.xchng / May 3, 2013)

Our elderly dog, Katie, and our "granddog," Lacey, have been best buddies for many years. Whenever we've gone away, Katie has stayed at our daughter's house with Lacey and has been a perfect guest. Lately, however, she urinates several times during each visit, even after being taken outside. She has never urinated in our house or in any another house she's been to in all the years we've had her. What do you think could be happening with her, and is there anything we can do to prevent this behavior from occurring?

Although the behavior change could be caused by stress and/or aging (she just needs to go more frequently), I would rule out any medical issues right away by taking Katie to your vet so he/she can diagnose whether it's a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, kidney issue, etc. Take note of whether she is drinking more water so you can give your vet a complete list of symptoms.

The other thing to consider is whether Katie was on a new medication at the time she was staying at Lacey's house. Some medications, such as prednisone, cause increased thirst and urination. If your vet rules out a medical cause for the new behavior, I suggest reaching out to a professional trainer for an evaluation. You can find one in your area at http://www.canineprofessionals.com.

This week's expert is Pauline Houliaras, certified professional trainer/behavioral consultant and president of B-More Dog. Send your questions to sun.unleashed@gmail.com.