Skip to Content

Why Does My Dog Pee on Curtains? (and How to Stop it)

Why Does My Dog Pee on Curtains? (and How to Stop it)

Our dogs often use the bathroom in places where they should not – such as our homes. Curtains seem to be a favorite spot for a dog to relieve itself.

Dogs that urinate on curtains are sending a message to the humans within their pack. The dog is marking his territory, just as any other canine would do in the wild.

While you may not know of all the reasons behind your dog’s urine on drapery, there are some likely possibilities. If the act of urination has become a habit, your dog may be looking for attention or anxiety relief.

Why does my dog pee on curtains?

Understanding the act of spraying urine in various locations around your home is paramount to stopping it. A dog will not urinate in an area that is not outside of his territory unless he is feeling threatened or extremely anxious.

Peeing on your drapery is no exception. Your dog has chosen the curtains as his mark for one of three reasons:

  • Mark the draperies as his territory (he probably will not stop until you take action)
  • Feels threatened by someone or something else in the home
  • Very anxious about an outside stimulus.

Your reaction to your dog’s urination on curtains will affect him. If you act angry and scold your pet, it may increase the frequency of this behavior. If you ignore this act, it could also increase its frequency, but other things can be done to put an end to this habit.

One of the most common reasons a dog urinates on draperies is because they need to be let outside more often, especially after eating and drinking. If he does not have a preferred spot to relieve himself, he will use whatever is available. So try to take your pet to the area you want him to use when it is time for his bathroom break. Walk your dog around the yard several times a day, as well as immediately after he has eaten or drank anything.

Your pet may also be trying to send you a message about someone or something in your home that makes him uneasy, such as an additional pet or even a new member of your family. In this case, it would be best to remove whatever triggers his anxiety from the area where the curtains are located until the issue has been resolved.

Stress could also be a factor if your pet has just been neutered or there have been changes in his daily routine.

How to stop a dog from peeing on curtains?

Inappropriate urination can usually be traced to home training issues, so the first step is to take your pet for a thorough veterinary exam. He may have a urinary tract infection or a more serious disease that requires urgent medical attention.

Once it has been determined your dog does not need emergency care, there are several things you can try for yourself at home before calling in a professional. You will be surprised how easy it is to address this issue with just a few of these tricks up your sleeve.

Neutering your pet will help with marking behavior and it may help with anxiety-related problems as well. It is best to contact your local veterinarian for more information about this procedure and its possible benefits to your dog.

You can try having another person occupy him while the draperies are being cleaned or purchase an enzyme cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle which can be used on upholstery fabrics without damaging them. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before applying it to any surface since some fabrics cannot withstand this solution and may require professional dry cleaning.

Try to isolate your pet while you clean the draperies, or confine him in a small area while determining where he relieves himself. Once you discover the cause of his anxiety or territory marking, remove it from his environment and do not allow him access to this area again until the problem has been resolved.

Professional training may be needed if the above methods do not help. The best way to stop your pet from urinating on curtains is through positive reinforcement training which can be performed by a professional trainer in your area.

If you know your pet is nervous around other people and animals, do not allow strangers into your home until the issue has been resolved.

How to get rid of the smell of dog pee from curtains?

Dog urine has a particularly potent smell that many find objectionable, and if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, he will probably have this scent on him at some point. There are several things you can do to fight this odor, but it requires using the right surface treatment.

This also applies to upholstery fabrics that cannot withstand a regular application of enzyme cleaner or steam clean. It must be dry cleaned by professionals or at least carefully spot-treated with an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle before being disinfected and deodorized.

Enzyme cleaners like Nature’s Miracle work best because they come in both spray and wipe forms and most effectively break down uric acid crystals. Chemicals like vinegar may temporarily kill the pungent odor of dog pee but will not get rid of the persistent, unpleasant aroma. If you have any questions about using enzyme cleaners, always carefully read the instructions printed on the product’s label.

White vinegar works well as a fabric refresher when placed directly over where your pet has urinated and allowed to sit for 15 minutes before being blotted up with paper towels or other absorbent material. This may need to be done several times until you are certain no more urine remains on the surface. It should leave behind little or no scent other than that of clean cotton or linen since there are no toxic chemicals involved in this process. Utilize vinegar for repeated applications without diminishing its effectiveness.

For wood or other porous surfaces that cannot tolerate vinegar, hydrogen peroxide is the best option for removing dog urine which has penetrated into fine detail areas of your draperies or furniture. Keep in mind that this substance will not only eliminate any scent left behind by the urine but could bleach some fabrics if applied directly to them. You can also use a cotton swab with hydrogen peroxide to clean hard-to-reach stains on upholstery fabric.

Commercial enzyme cleaners are one of the most effective ways to get rid of dog pee smell from curtains. They quickly break down uric acid crystals completely, making it effortless for you to deal with this particular issue without having to use any extra detergents or additives.

Some fabrics are not suitable for using enzymes to clean the urine splatters, whether because they are too delicate or cannot tolerate high concentrations of enzymatic cleaner without being damaged by it. In these cases, you may have to use a more traditional cleaning product to eliminate the smell of dog pee while also disinfecting the fabric for your pet’s further protection while relaxing on draperies or upholstery.

You can always call on a professional cleaner to handle those fabrics that are too delicate or old to deal with a complicated cleaning method. 

Why is my dog marking all of a sudden?

Review the following questions before assuming your pet is just randomly marking his territory:

1. Is he neutered or spayed? Animal sterilization is proven to reduce the urge of your pet to claim his home turf.

2. Is your pup on anti-anxiety medication? Dogs who suffer from anxiety typically mark as a way to reduce their tension.

3. Has there been a change in routine that may upset your pet, such as a new baby or visitors? Has someone recently moved into the household who might be a threat to him? Any change in the house can make pets anxious, leading to increased marking behavior.

4. Does anything look different to him-such as furniture rearranged, new drapes, carpeting replaced?

5. Do you tend to leave your dog alone for a long time? Pets who are left alone for a long time tend to mark their territory to alleviate anxiety.

6. If your dog can see another dog outside through your window but cannot get at it, he may try to mark his territory by urinating on the window from inside the house.

7. Is he younger than a year old? If so, ask yourself if you moved recently, as it might have confused him-he’s still marking his new territory because he can’t figure out where one home ends and another begins yet. Most dogs seem to settle into their new homes after they are a year old. So they don’t continue to mark as much as they did initially after moving in with a family.

8. Does your pet come to the door to greet you when you return home? He might be marking if he seems anxious or overly excited when you get home and starts urinating on things, such as curtains near the doorway.

How do you stop a dog from marking?

Does your dog mark inside the home only when you are not around? If so, it may be an attention-seeking behavior. Try to pay more attention to your pet while at home or put him in another room when guests come over. Play with and pet him more often to use up some of his excess energy. If your dog is marking to get attention, he will stop once attention-seeking becomes the more rewarding behavior.

If your dog marks outside, look at his living area to see if he has enough room to move around, get outside to go to the bathroom, and rest. Confining your dog to the same spot for too long may cause territorial marking indoors to get out of his own space for a while.

Anxiety-related marking may require your veterinarian to prescribe medication to help calm your pet and reduce his anxiety so he won’t continue to mark.

Consult with a qualified animal behaviorist if all else fails. Some veterinarians also have had experience with animal behaviorists and can refer you to one they’ve worked with before.