How to Stop Dog Peeing in Car

It’s so frustrating! You’re just trying to take them somewhere, but every time you do your dog pees in the car. Why do they keep doing this? Why does your dog pee in the car? What scents deter dogs from peeing in the car? And what should you do when your dog peed on your leather car seat, or alternatively when your dog peed on your cloth car seat?

Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about this obnoxious, smelly issue. And we’ll of course cover what you’re most interested in: how to stop your dog from peeing in the car. This will all soon be a thing of the past. Keep reading below for our article “How to Stop Dog Peeing in Car!”

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Peeing in the Car?

How to Stop Dog Peeing in Car

To get your dog to stop peeing in the car, get a snug car crate for them to ride in and place a comfy blanket in there. A quiet toy for them to chew on will also help. Dogs pee in the car most often due to anxiety, so this closed-in feeling will help them feel secure and will shield them from all of the unusual sights and sounds.

Dogs will also pee in cars due to territorial marking reasons rooted in dominance if they’re smelling people or other dogs they’re not familiar with. A crate will also help in this situation as they won’t want to mark inside of their crate.

You can dissuade your dog from peeing in the car also by making a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray it where your dog keeps peeing in the car and wait about an hour. The smell will go away, but your dog will still be able to pick up the scent and will be deterred from that area.

The mix is safe for both leather and cloth car seats, but if your seats are leather you should use a conditioner after as the mix can dry them out a bit.

But while these steps will get your dog to stop peeing in the car, you need to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, training difficulties) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Okay, how do I make these changes last then?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog pees in the car and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog peeing in the car ever again!

Why Does My Dog Pee in the Car?

Your dog pees in the car most likely due to anxiety, with overexcitement and territorial marking prompted by dominance also being possible. When it’s because of anxiety, your dog is peeing in the car because they get stressed out about what’s going on and where they’re going, and all of this worry makes it difficult for them to control their bladder.

Overexcitement can also cause dogs to pee in the car because they get too stimulated by all the new sights and sounds, and the possibilities of where they’re going (like the park). This also makes it difficult for them to control their bladder.

Territorial marking (which is rooted in dominance issues) will normally come into play only if there have been other dogs or strangers in your car recently. Your dog will then pee to leave their scent and warn these outsiders that they protect this area. If they’re experiencing anxiety in addition to this, they’ll likely leave large amounts of urine as they then have trouble regulating the amount they mark.

Anxiety, however, would be the most probable of all of these as riding in the car can be a very stressful experience even for very brave dogs. (You may even see your dog poop in the car.) There’s so much going on, and they might be going somewhere that worries them like the vet. But while it is a common thing for dogs to experience, it’s not something you can let continue.

In addition to not wanting your dog’s suffering to go on, you also want this handled immediately because they’ll soon be misbehaving in related ways (if they’re not already). It won’t be long before you find your dog is urinating in the kitchen, urinating on your laminate floors, or urinating on your deck.

To stop your dog peeing in your car while also getting to their problem at its root, go back to the first section now.

What Scents Deter Dogs From Peeing in the Car?

Vinegar is a scent that deters dogs from peeing in the car. You can make a mixture of 1 part distilled white vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle. Apply it around your car and wait about an hour with the windows down. The smell will go away as far as you’re concerned, but your dog (who has a very strong sense of smell) will continue to be able to detect it and will be deterred.

This mixture is safe for nearly all fabrics including leather. If your seats are leather, however, you should use a conditioner after as the mix can dry them out a bit. It’s important to note, however, that this method should be used cautiously, as it may make your dog not want to get in the car altogether.

The more long-term solution is behavioral training (which went over in the first section), and while you’re working on that you can transport your dog in the car only while they’re in a crate that isn’t overly large. They’ll feel safer and less anxious in a smaller area, and also less likely to pee if there’s no room for them to get away from it afterward.

Dog Peed on Leather Car Seat, What Do I Do?

If your dog peed on your leather car seat, soak it up as quickly as possible. Next, put a teaspoon of dish soap into a quart of warm water. Use a wire whisk to whip everything up so that there will be plenty of suds. You then should apply this to your leather seats using a microfiber cloth. Don’t pour it directly onto your seats as you don’t want them getting too soaked or soapy.

Apply gently and then wipe everything clean with a damp rag. You can then finish up by patting the spot dry with a clean cloth. Roll your windows down and allow everything to air dry for an hour or two. Once the spot has completely dried, use a leather conditioner to refresh everything.

Dog Peed on Cloth Car Seat, What Do I Do?

If your dog peed on your cloth car seat, soak everything up as soon as you can. Fill a spray bottle with cool water and then spray where your dog peed on your car seat. Blot everything up with paper towels unit the spot is dry. In a bowl, make a mix of 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, and 1/4 cup mild, bleach-free dish soap.

Use a wire whisk to whip everything up so that there are plenty of suds. Next, take a clean cloth to gently apply this frothy mixture to your dog’s pee spot. Work the suds into the spot using an old toothbrush. Scrape everything up using a spatula, and then clean up anything that’s left with a damp rag.

Sprinkle baking soda onto the spot while it’s still damp from the cleaning, and allow everything to sit for about two hours. This will help get rid of any remaining dog pee smell in your car. Finally, vacuum everything up and you’re finished.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to your car not smelling like your dog’s pee, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck, and thank you for checking out our article “How to Stop Dog Peeing in Car.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.