Porky & Buddy’s Pet Health

Dear Buddy:

Whenever I come home, my puppy, Lola, pees. I thought she was housetrained, as she does ask to go out, but then she’ll squat and pee right in front of me. I have tried scolding, but she still does it. What can I do?


Dear Anna:

This is a common behavior with young puppies. It is known as “submissive urination.” Being submissive to the “master” during greeting is often accompanied by a dribble of urine. It’s really important to understand that Lola is not misbehaving. She is trying to be really really good! This kind of behavior is most common in young dogs, but may persist into adulthood. It usually will resolve on its own, however, as the urinary sphincters mature and Lola gains confidence with her role in your household. In the interim, keep greetings brief and calm; maybe even ignore her for several minutes just after you arrive. Make sure there is no eye contact. This will limit her feelings of being threatened. Avoid petting her on the head, as this is a dominant act on your part and could trigger the urination to show she’s not challenging you. Petting is also a form of praise and we don’t want to praise the urination.

Whatever you do, don’t punish or scold. It makes her even more submissive and will only exacerbate the problem. If you could redirect your puppy upon entering the house, (for instance, have her fetch her favorite toy,) she won’t be in that submissive position and she can’t fetch and submissively urinate at the same time. Once Lola is feeling successful and confident, she probably won’t feel the need to urinate in order to impress you. I hope this helps. Let us know.

Dear Porky:

My cat has just had kittens. I wanted her to have the experience of just one litter, but I know that spaying is important, so when can I get her spayed?


Dear Jon:

Thanks for writing and thanks for (eventually) spaying your pet. It is the best thing for your pet’s health and well being. It would be best, if possible, to wean the kittens by about 6 weeks then let the mother’s milk dry up for about 10 days. This means all kittens should not nurse during those 10 days because nursing stimulates the milk production and you want her to be dry for the surgery.

That was the easy part. Now wait a minute while I climb up on my soapbox. It is a myth that there are physical or psychological health benefits to allowing a companion animal to have “just one litter” prior to having her spayed. Just the opposite in fact. And if you think just one litter won’t matter, consider this: One unspayed female cat having just four kittens a year and just two females per litter, can be the cause of over 10,000 kittens being born over the next seven years. Dog and cat overpopulation is a national tragedy. Millions of dogs and cats are killed in shelters, hit by cars, or die on the streets and back roads simply because there are not enough homes. Some people assume that it is “okay” to allow their pet to have one litter of kittens or puppies as long as they find a home for each offspring. The fact is, there are too many homeless animals and even if you find a home for all your pet’s puppies or kittens, you are still taking homes away from other companion animals. Also, it is difficult to ensure that each offspring you place will have a lifetime home and not be responsible for producing “just one more litter”. In the blink of an eye, your “one litter” can easily become hundreds of animals – all in need of a permanent, loving home. Thousands of healthy puppies and kittens are euthanized every day in this country and each one of those little ones came from”just one litter.”

I’m sorry to yell at you. I know you thought you were doing the right thing, but, in fact, you were not. So to atone for the error of your ways, make sure that all those beautiful kittens are spayed and neutered by you, before you find homes for them. That will make both you and me feel much better.

Another way you can assuage your guilt is to come and adopt a new (already neutered) pet at the “Howl”a ween Adoption Party on Wednesday, October 25th, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Oswego Elks Lodge, 132 West Fifth Street in Oswego. In addition to pet adoptions there will be lots of fun activities. A Pet Halloween costume contest, Dan the Snake Man, children’s activities, snacks, a cash bar, raffles, and more. The party is free and open to everyone but it would be great if everyone brought a donation of Purina Cat/Kitten Chow and/or clumping kitty litter. And kids need to bring their parents!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.