Do dogs pee when scared

Do dogs pee when scared

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Do dogs pee when scared?


Yes dogs do this sometimes. I've known plenty of well-socialized dogs that are so scared their bladder would burst if they didn't pee. I have never seen a dog go into this state because of fear of an attacking predator. I am pretty sure most humans pee more when scared or threatened than when not. I don't know the answer to your specific question.

You should be able to find a vet or pet shop that will be able to answer that, though.


My ex-wife was a veterinary surgeon and I recall her saying that the opposite is true. The more aroused the animal is, the more likely the animal will be to hold it. So a dog going into 'pee mode' would be the calmest dog I ever saw.

I'm not sure of the science behind it, but it's worth a try.


I also wondered this and wanted to see if someone else had had experience with it. I found out this can happen.

For a study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare and Science they took eight cats (in a shelter) and trned them to sit on a chr with their leg in a bucket of water. Then when they were calm and relaxed they released the leg.

They measured the amount of urine released when they were calm and compared this to the amount released when they were scared. They found the amount of urine released in response to being scared is roughly a third to a half of the amount of urine released in response to being relaxed.

The objective of the study was to assess the extent to which, in the

cat-chr test, cats release urinary samples when they are calm, as

opposed to when they are startled or otherwise stressed.

(my emphases)

A quick youtube search for cat pee shows that they do in fact release urine while being calm. However, I have not found anything specifically with the amount of urine released.

I cannot attest to the amount of urine released because I have not done the experiment myself. However I hope this helps anyone interested in finding out.

Source: (J Appl. Anim. Welfare Sci., 2014 Jul,38(4):343-9. Published online: 6 April 2014) doi: 10.3233/JAS-141034)

Edit: I think this article might shed some more light. I will keep looking.

Edit: I found this link which shows that for dogs the same idea holds true. They don't release as much urine when calm as they do when stressed.


I haven't seen this described as an involuntary response, but there is some evidence in the dog world that an increase in "urine marking behavior" (urine on the floor) indicates an increase in anxiety. For example:

Rattenbacher, D. J., &, D'Ambrosio, R. C. (2005). The canine urine mark: An indicator of an animal's internal state. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13(3), 187–196.

There was also a study that observed cats in a cat-chamber to see how much they urinated while they were calm, compared to how much they urinated when startled. The answer seems to be "not much." However, it is a small sample, they weren't able to detect a statistical difference, and the sample size was very low.

The most likely explanation for the cat chr is that it is testing an owner's response to an animal's behavior - i.e. the cat may be anxious and trying to get your attention. They may also see how "well behaved" the animal is and therefore interpret that as being calm.

Also, the cats may actually be trying to tell you that they are comfortable, or at least that they aren't overly anxious. There have been some interesting experiments where cats (and other animals) have demonstrated what we might call behavioral flexibility. For example:

Gosling, S. D., &, Blanchard, R. C. (1999). The "feline" cognitive map: A test of the species concept. Behavioral Processes, 54, 35–38.

Here, cats were tested on a visual task. Some cats were presented with two boxes, one with a blue dot inside, and the other box with a red dot inside. In some conditions, the two boxes were in the same location, and in other conditions they were switched. A few different behaviors were observed. In the conditions where the boxes were in the same location, some cats looked into the blue box, some looked into the red box, and some looked in both boxes. These cats were "selective" looking. In conditions where the boxes were in the wrong locations, some cats looked in the appropriate box, and some looked in both boxes. These cats were "dopamine-activated" looking, and they did this regardless of which color box was in which location. In this case, the ability to switch between two different behaviors is consistent with the idea that cats are "cognitively flexible."


Category:Animal cognition