My Pet World: Cats are more sensitive to sound than humans

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Published in Cannabis Daily

A dog urinates in the house because of a physical condition that prevents him from making it outside or because it’s a bad habit. What you describe falls into the latter category, and rather than take the time to correct the behavior, she has accepted it.

I am not sure you will be able to convince her to work with him, but if she wants to change the behavior, she should get an enzymatic cleaner to clean the areas where he repeatedly relieves himself inside the house. Enzymatic cleaners eat up the biological materials that contribute to the odor and that cause a dog to repeatedly go back to the spot.

Next, she needs to note the time of these accepted “accidents” and anticipate his needs by letting him outside to relieve himself beforehand. It helps if a dog can learn what “go potty” means. She can teach it by saying the words when her dog relieves himself and then praising and giving him treats afterward. Training requires a commitment from the owner – and the more committed, the better the results.

Dear Cathy,

Our dog suddenly refused to walk on shiny wooden floors after wearing a cone for days after a procedure. We noticed him bumping into things. Since removing the cone, he stays on the carpet or rugs and whines and cries as he wants to join the family. Heartbreaking as this is, he is the sweetest pup who loves to be in the middle of the family. Any suggestions?

— MaryAnn, Roslyn, New York

Dear MaryAnn,


Dogs use their toes and nails to grip the ground or carpet. Floors make that problematic, and it’s not uncommon for dogs to develop a fear of slick floors. If he slipped or fell while wearing the cone, he may have hurt himself (or scared himself), and he remembers that feeling. Unfortunately, dogs can develop fears from such encounters.

Rebuild his confidence by getting a few carpet runners to help him transition surfaces. Make sure his nails are kept trim and consider getting nail grips for him to wear to improve his traction on the floor.

He can also be led around the house on a leash while wearing the nail grips. Gently encourage him to transition from rug to floor to rug again by spraying small dollops of whipped cream (from a can) across the floor for him to follow and lick up. Licking is a self-soothing behavior that can help relax and distract him. Praise him as he licks up the whipped cream and goes from one surface to the next. Try this for a few weeks, and let me know if he improves.

(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)

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