Why Would a House-Trained Dog Start Pooping in Your Home?
A perfectly house-trained dog does not guarantee you will be spared cleaning up accidents in the house for your dog's lifetime. There are many things that can happen, from both a behavioral and physical perspective, that may burst your bubble of thinking your dog will never have an accident in the house again. If you have owned a perfectly house-trained dog up until now, you have some investigative work to do in order to figure out the trigger. Together, we will look at some potential causes for out-of-the-blue bowel movements in your home.
Important Questions to Ask
While obviously, you cannot ask your dog what he is up to, you must turn into some sort of detective to figure out what may be going on in Rover's life. Following are some questions you should ask yourself before pointing your finger and accusing poor Rover of soiling your beloved carpet or couch.
1. What are you feeding? Any recent diet changes?
If you are feeding cheap foods from your supermarket, these will yield more frequent and bulkier bowel movements. For this reason, a premium dog food, even though more expensive, is much preferable, since more nutrients are absorbed and there is less waste. This means smaller stools and on a less frequent basis. Sudden diet changes may cause an upset stomach and a sense of urgency especially, if you have switched to a lower grade food rich of fillers and grains.
2. How is your dog's health? Have you checked for parasites?
There are some disorders which can cause an increase in bowel movements. Some intestinal disorders may cause a sense of urgency with frequent stools which may be hard for your dog to hold on to until he is let out. Intestinal worms are also a cause for more frequent bowel movements and something that should be ruled out. All dog owners should have their dogs' stools checked for parasites at least once a year.
3. Is your dog suffering from separation anxiety?
Some dogs do not do well when they are left alone. Consider your dog a separation anxiety candidate if you come home from work and find messes around the home. To confirm your case, record your dog's behavior when he is left alone: whining, pacing, barking, howling, panting, digging, and pooping are all potential signs of separation anxiety.
4. Is your dog starting to get old?
Some dogs as they age develop a condition known as ''canine cognitive dysfunction'' the dog version of Alzheimer's disease. Affected dogs may have a hard time in several tasks, and potty training is one of them. Your dog may forget how to go outside or give you signs he needs to go.
5. Any new stress, recent changes, new dogs, new family members?
Anything stressful added to a dog's environment may cause a regress in house training. It is not unusual for a well house-trained dog to have an accident in a new home briefly after moving. A dog may even be upset if a new dog is added to a home, or if there are guests or a new baby. Scolding the dog for these accidents will only worsen the anxiety the dog feels.
6. Are you leaving him too long inside?
This may be obvious, but it is certainly worth mentioning. If you are at work all day and make it late, it is not your dog's fault for soiling in the home. Dogs should not be left at home for too long, and if this is your case, you are better off hiring a pet sitter or a dog walker so your dog is free to go outside as needed. Rest assured, if your dog is well house-trained he will have tried to keep it as long as he could but arrived at some point, where he couldn't keep it any longer. He is the last to be blamed in such scenario.
These are a few things that may be going on in your pampered dog's life. Never scold your well house trained dog for soiling in your home: very likely there is something going on and it is definitively not done out of spite.
For Further Reading
- Dog Upset Stomach Home Remedies
Learn some easy and effective home remedies to treat your dog's upset stomach, fresh from your kitchen's pantry!
Questions & Answers
We have recently adopted a dog, she is lovely and seems to love it here. About a month in, she started pooping in the house; usually in my daughter's room or my office. We take her out often, and she will be outside with us for a good long time and then still come in and go poop. How do I stop this behavior?
I have a seven-year-old dog; he is trained on the pee pad. He has been peeing and pooping on the pee pad since we got him at three-month-old. Recently, he started to poop in my bedroom or my sons' bedroom. He has a pee pad in the usual spot all day long. It's been going on for over three weeks now. How do I stop it?
It could be stemming from a health disorder such as joint pain or a UTI. (Dogs associate the pee pad with pain.) It could also be a behavior issue, (stress, anxiety, fear). It may help to have a health check-up and determine if any changes may have caused stress or fear (loud noises, new people moving in, etc.) If none apply, you may need to go back to basics and restrict his space to the area where his pee pad is, and praise or reward him for using it. Only once he reliably uses the pee pad for several days, you can then give him more freedom. Make sure the area he poops in is cleaned well with an enzymatic cleaner. Alternatively, you can try to keep the bedroom doors closed and see if he goes back to using the pee pads. Pheromone plug-ins may help ease anxiety.
My dog has a doggie door; he can basically go in and out whenever he wants. Why has he started pooping in the house?
There may be several possibilities. For instance, perhaps something in the yard startled him enough to make him not feel comfortable going out. Is your dog a senior? If so, consider a potential beginning of cognitive dysfunction. At times, there may be medical reasons. Are there any new diet changes? Is there any chance he got worms? Anything that may cause an increase in motility/diarrhea can cause accidents. Can it be the doggy door malfunctioned and he got caught? Where is the poop exactly? If it's near the door, there may be chances he made an "attempt" to go out but was unable to which may point to a medical problem.
My dog is a year and a half old, and I clean his litter pan monthly. With the same litter in the same place. This time though, he decides to poop all the way across from the litter pan for no reason. Why would he do this?
I have a Great Dane. He is six years old. Why would he start pooping in the house?
If your Great Dane was always remarkable in the potty training department, and now is having accidents, it may be that there's a medical problem at play. Six years old is considered senior age for a dog. Maybe he has joint pain or some digestive issue. Are there any changes in his surroundings? He could be scared of something outside, or he could not want to go outside due to unusual weather.