Every night, as soon as I turn off the last light in the house, if I've forgotten to take the dog (a 13-year-old miniature dachshund we obtained from a reputable breeder 11 years ago) out immediately prior, the dog will wake up within an hour and indicate he has to go out.

If I do not take him out, he will urinate on a bathroom throw rug. Occasionally, he will try to drink / lick up whatever is caught in the carpet fibers. He has water and food available to him and he seems to eat well.

We have a dog door, but he conducts this business after the house is shut for the night (we live in an area where many other types of critters could potentially enter said door when it is not monitored). He uses the door just fine; the problem is that he urinates inside while we're all asleep, and he has to go because we either went to bed earlier than normal, or we just forgot to take him out before bed.

I don't think he's ashamed of having done what he's done, but he could be; I suspect he is bored.

Why is he doing this? He doesn't do this when he goes in the grass; he doesn't even turn around to acknowledge it when we're outside; granted, it's already soaked down, but it should smell the same.

It's not his going inside that concerns me; I understand why that happens. It his post-business cleanup / drinking that is baffling. Why does he do this?

  • Pee is too much but i have seen dogs licking ground water and bathroom corners. Its mostly due to thrust. Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 20:22
  • 2
    My Shih Tzu did this when she was a puppy and she had accidents in the house, I am glad that stopped.
    – Taryn
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 22:03
  • Wow thanks, everything you described "non stop wandering""stop & stare" and now the latest is drinking her own or the other dogs urine off the concrete patio. I thought she was just getting senile because she is a few months shy of 16. But literally every symptom you mentioned she has. I was told by the vet she most likely was suffering from doggy dementia but it would be wonderful if I could get my pre-senile dog back after a round of medication. Time to take her back to the vet with a print out of your post in my hand. Thanks for the 411
    – user2712
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 6:17

4 Answers 4


Why is my dog drinking his pee when he urinates inside?

Dog's drinking urine can be a sign of a few different things:

  • health problem
  • behavior problem
  • improper housebreaking
  • a simple stage that some dog's go through as younger dogs and it passes naturally

This answer is linked with this post How should I correct my dog when I catch him drinking his urine?.

The inside of your home is the den and pack animals naturally like to keep their dens clean. They will want to relieve themselves as far away as possible from where they eat and sleep.

From wolfcountry.net

During nursing the mother will clean the pups and stimulates them to urinate and defecate by licking the genital region. She swallows all of their excretions, keeping the birthing area clean and odor-free.

In wolf packs the entire pack protects the mother and the den and help to raise the puppies.

Given he doesn't do this when he is outside, I wouldn't regard it as a problem, per se, he is doing what comes naturally and cleaning up.

Why a Dog Laps Its Own Urine

One reason is that urine doesn't absorb into linoleum, tile or finished wood like it does into dirt, grass and concrete. It remains pooled on the floor, tempting the dog's curiosity. Another reason is that, while a dog may not be housebroken, it may still know that urinating inside is forbidden. It will lap up its urine to hide the evidence.


You've stated your dog came from a reputable breeder, implying he was well cared for as a pup; so it's unlikely this is caused from the syndrome of dogs in confined spaces learning to eat and drink their own waste.

Given the information that it only happens when you forget to take him out at night or when go to bed early (so he has to hold on longer overnight) I would say it's just your dog trying to fix up fix mishap and no great problem.

My suggestion is that the cause of the problem sounds like:

  • He needs to be taken out more frequently.

A couple of causes include:

  1. Dehydration. If your dog isn't getting enough water, then he may resort to the urine as a means of hydration. Make sure lots of water is available to him, perhaps even put out extra dishes in places where he may tend to do this act.

  2. Urinary tract infection. You can't really diagnose this, you'd need to bring him to see the vet.

  3. Bad early conditions, such as puppy mills, can result in this.

  4. He'll outgrow it... Some dogs do it for a while and then stop.

The thing is, it may be worth taking him to the vet to see if 1 or 2 is a problem just to be safe. The vet may have additional advice as well.


This is more common in dogs from puppy mills or other mistreated litters. Many times the litters will get divided up and put in small plastic tubs with holes poked in the lids. All they have to eat and drink some days is what is their crate. Sadly that is often their own poo and pee. They can develop a preference for it.

It also happens if nose rub is used frequently to "correct" indoor potty issues. The dogs have to get it off their nose somehow and the only way they have is to lick it off. This can also cause them to develop a preference for it.

If you see him doing it and do not correct the behavior then the behavior will persist. Since you did not have him as a puppy it is hard to say what the actual cause of his behavior is. But you can train him to stop.


Nope... He most likely has Cushing's disease.

Basic symptoms include: excessive thirst, excessive urination, and constant wandering around and around and around and around. I mean NON STOP WANDERING! Which, by the way increases caloric output.. and you know that means a subsequent need to increase the caloric intake (i.e. eating like a pig!).

Other symptoms are: drinking their own urine, and one very bizarre symptom which I refer to as the 'Stop n Stare'. While wandering they just stop... and stare! I liken it to myself running out the door to work and stopping in my tracks to think "Uh oh... I'm forgetting something, I just know it". This is constant.

By the way, the stop and stare, and the urine drinking, are never listed under Cushing's symptoms but I have now had 4 dogs with the disease and I'd swear under oath it is an ominous sign!

Google it; I can almost guarantee he has it.

Also, lock the dog door during the day and watch how often he 'asks' to go outside. If he has it you'll be stunned at how often he's asking to go potty.

Dachshunds & Beagles are notorious for developing Cushing's. My 21 year old beagle has Cushing's, both his mom, dad, and sister had it. As well as a 17 yr old dachshund I cared for last year. I'm VERY well versed in the disease!

You can ask your vet to run an 'Alkaline Phosphate' (referred to in medical field as an 'Alk Photos' (pronounced Alk Fos), just tell em that you suspect Cushing's. It's a cheap lab test which will give you an idea as to whether or not you're on the right track. I asked my vet, he ran it 'against his better judgement' and the test results were so high they wouldn't even register. The vet said "you're absolutely right" and we did more testing to determine which kind of Cushing's he had. I'd been convinced of my dogs diagnosis for months, he literally had every single symptom.

After 41 days of medication it was like we'd gone back in time 5 years!

Keep us posted

  • 7
    If two of those symptoms are not listed anywhere, as you claim, how can we really be sure that they are specifically a signifier of this disease, and not something else? Can you back up your claim?
    – user53
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 14:50
  • It looks like the adrenal gland is affected by the disease. So maybe if your dog is prone to urinating when they get excited, it could explain the urinating indoors part. But I'm not convinced that it's what's happening here. It was mentioned that he has water and food available, so he doesn't need to drink his urine to increase his caloric intake.
    – Spidercat
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 20:19
  • 2
    This dog has been diagnosed by the vet as having Cushing's disease. He is the second one I have had with Cushings, but the first to drink his own pee. This answer can be improved by external references.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 12:28

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