Why Your House-Trained Dog Starts Pooping in the House and How to Stop It

Updated on November 25, 2019
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Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Dog suddenly poops in house.
Dog suddenly poops in house.

If your dog is pooping inside the house after being outside, you may be wondering what is going on in his head. The issue can surely be frustrating, especially when you spend a lot of time outside waiting for your dog to potty only to come back inside and witness Rover having an accident right after coming through the door.

Dr. Amanda Nascimento, DMV, MVSc, PhD explains, "Dogs can’t talk to us to tell us what’s wrong, so we have to look at their behavior and other signals that may alert us. Often these signals are in the form of changing their routine or doing something that is not at all in their character. If a dog is suddenly pooping in the house, he may be signaling that something isn’t right. This can be stress-related or related to other health issues."

In order to better understand the dynamics taking place, it helps to put yourself in Rover's shoes. There are many things that could be causing this behavior, both behavioral and physical, and therefore, you may need to do some investigative work in order to figure out the exact trigger.

Following are some potential causes for dogs pooping or peeing after coming inside.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Pooping in the House?

Dogs that are fully housetrained may suddenly start soiling in the house due to medical conditions or due to stress and anxiety. If medical conditions are ruled out, examine whether you have recently moved, changed schedules, or are leaving your dog at home for a longer period of time than he is accustomed to.

Dogs poop and pee through loss of control when they feel scared or extremely stressed out. Identifying and removing environmental stressors will eliminate this behavior.

1. Overstimulation During Potty Time

In many cases, the problem of a dog peeing or pooping after coming inside may stem from the environment outside the house. The area designated to go potty may be too over-stimulating or distracting to the dog.

After all, how many times has it happened to you that you were outside among company or having a blast shopping that you felt an irresistible urge to go only once you insert the keys and turn the door knob? Dogs can be similar.

Why Does This Happen?

Dogs who don't get enough time outdoors will get distracted once they are let out. After being enclosed in the home for most of the day, they can't wait to sniff around and romp to get rid of pent-up energy.

With all this sensory overload and excitement to stretch their legs, they get distracted to the point of forgetting that they need to go potty. Only once they're back inside do they realize the urgency and have an accident right on the spot. This can be often seen with puppies.

How to Deal With It:

Make it a routine for your dog to potty first thing outside before playing. Avoid talking and interacting with your dog when he is sent out to potty, let him concentrate on sniffing around. If you play in the yard with your dog, play after he has gone potty. If feasible, take your puppy or dog out when it's quiet. If your dog gets distracted by neighbors, wait for the neighbors to be inside.

Don't let your puppy back inside unless he goes potty. Once he goes potty, calmly praise (making sure you don't interrupt him) and reward him and let him spend sometime in the yard, playing and exploring before going back inside.

Encourage your dog to go potty BEFORE allowing play time.
Encourage your dog to go potty BEFORE allowing play time.

2. Fear and Anxiety

If your dog is scared of something in the yard or something he encounters during walks, he may not feel comfortable enough to do his business. Perhaps there are too many noises or perhaps other dogs and people make him feel on edge. When dogs are not comfortable, they will hold it in until they are relaxed again. When a dog is over threshold, going potty is the last thing he thinks about because he may be fearing for his life.

At times, dogs who live in yards surrounded by invisible fences, also known as electric fences, may get so fearful of the shock, they are terrified of being outside near the perimeters, so they'll just stick to porch area with a worried look on their face. These dogs are often referred to as "porch sitters."

Why Does This Happen?

Going potty puts a dog in a vulnerable position. First of all, it takes time, which can make a difference when every second counts. A dog who senses danger will typically want to be on all his four legs ready to spring into action.

On top of that, dogs who pee or poop leave traces of themselves behind, which can put them in a vulnerable position if they feel threatened by something.

Fearful dogs want to hide as much as they can, becoming small and almost invisible, and therefore, they may not want to leave traces behind (their urine or feces) that may attract predators. Of course, nowadays, there are no predator animals hunting them down as it happened in the past, but those instincts may still prevail.

How to Deal With It:

If you have recently rescued a fearful dog, it may be worth it to temporarily train him/her to use pads inside until he/she has adjusted to the changes and has more confidence.

Take your dog outside when things are quiet, if feasible (e.g. avoid going out when the trash truck is around). With the help of a professional, you may want to work on desensitizing your dog to whatever he fears.

If you own an electric fence, you may want to take it down and invest in a true fence or walk your dog on leash to potty. It may take some time to undo the emotional damage. Be patient and use high-value treats.

3. Changes in Their Schedules

Dogs are creatures of habit and they may be used to going potty at certain times of the day and they love their routines. Puppies tend to naturally go potty a few minutes after eating and drinking, playing, or napping. Adult dogs tend to go first thing in the morning, at mid-day, early evening, and right before going to bed.

Why Does This Happen?

Have you ever felt the need to go to the bathroom right before an interview or an exam? A sudden change in their lives can cause anxiety, which may result in relieving oneself. Dogs are no different...except they are unable to talk. If your dog's schedule suddenly changes, it may cause your dog to relieve himself as a reaction to anxiety.

A change in schedule might also mean eat and drinking at odd times, which makes the bowel movement unpredictable. Without 24/7 access to the outside, a dog has no choice but to poop when he feels the unpredictable urge to go.

How to Deal With It:

Feeding puppies and dogs at established times of the day and keeping their routine the same translates to predictable "outings." This means that it's easier to predict when a puppy or dog will need to poop since he or she is being fed at specific times of the day.

You should also establish scheduled "potty times." This means taking your dog outside first thing in the morning, right after meals, and once before bed. Make it clear to your dog that he should do his business first before playing. Keep this schedule consistent, and you'll likely see an improvement right away.

4. A Poor Diet

Feeding cheap foods from your supermarket may yield more frequent and bulkier bowel movements. For this reason, a premium dog food, even though it is more expensive, is preferable since more nutrients are absorbed and there is less waste as a result. This means smaller stools and on a less-frequent basis.

Sudden diet changes may also cause an upset stomach and a sense of urgency, especially if you have switched to a lower-grade food with lots of fillers and grains.

What to Feed Your Dog:

Dogs prefer eating real food, and if you have the time to make homemade food, try making easy healthy homemade dog food recipes that are vet-approved.

If you are feeding kibbles, be sure to educate yourself on how to select high-quality dog foods by reading the labels. As a rule of thumb, go with natural, organic brands whenever possible. Most commercial brands contain fillers, meat or fish by-products, animal fat, liver meal, BHA, BHT, and other chemicals and additives. Stay away from these!

5. Not Cleaning Up Accidents Thoroughly

Dogs have a natural instinct to relieve themselves where they have done it before, so if your pup can smell his urine/poop, he will recognize the area as an acceptable potty area and will relieve himself there again.

How to Clean Up Dog Urine or Poop Smell for Good

  1. Spray the soiled area with distilled white vinegar.
  2. If the area is carpeted, wear latex gloves and work the vinegar deep into the carpet fibers.
  3. Blot up excess liquid with a paper towel.
  4. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the area, making sure to cover the entire area. Again, if the area is carpeted, work the baking soda into the carpet fibers with your fingers.
  5. Let the baking soda sit for at least 1 hour.
  6. Vacuum the area to remove all traces of baking soda.
  7. Follow with a commercial dog stain and odor cleanser if necessary.

Alternatively, Nature's Miracle is a wonderful product known for eliminating traces of odors courtesy of its enzymes.

6. Substrate Preference

This is a little-known fact, but puppies tend to form a substrate preference by the time they are 8.5 weeks old. This simply means that puppies develop a preference for a surface to use as their potty and become so accustomed to a certain surface area that they have a hard time eliminating on new surfaces.

Why Does This Happen?

So if a puppy was trained to pee on paper indoors and then is adopted in a new home where the puppy is expected to pee on grass outdoors, the puppy may seek out surfaces other than grass. This means the puppy will hold it while outdoors and then use the carpet once back indoors.

The same goes for older dogs. If your dog is used to eliminating in a kennel or somewhere enclosed, it will take some time for her to get used to using soil or grass during potty time.

How to Deal With It

It's a good idea when adopting a puppy from a pet store, rescue, or breeder, to ask exactly what surface was used to let the puppy go potty. If the puppy was trained to use pads or newspaper, you can gradually transition the puppy to grass by taking a piece of newspaper or pad outside and encourage the puppy to use it. You can then gradually remove the newspaper or pad or reduce its size so more grass is available. Do this repeatedly until the puppy learns to potty exclusively on grass.

7. Suffers From Separation Anxiety

Some dogs do not do well when they are left alone, but most dogs do not do well being left alone for long periods of time (4 hours or more). 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. Signs of anxiety and distress include whining, pacing, barking, howling, panting, digging, and pooping.

Why Does This Happen?

Dogs are social animals. When they are left alone, they may feel abandoned and don't understand the reason why. This causes nervousness, which leads to urinating or defecating. Some dogs may even suffer from coprophagia, which is when they eat their excrement in order to hide the evidence. Obvious signs of this are bad breath and possible traces of poop left on the floor.

How to Deal With It

Try not to leave your dog alone for more than half a day. If it can't be helped, have a neighbor, family member, or friend visit during the day to feed and walk the dog. You can also use a service like Wag Walking where you hire someone to visit your house during the day to take your dog on a walk.

Be sure that when you are at home with your dog that you give her plenty of exercise and mental stimulation in the form of games and outdoor play. You can also try leaving your dog a yummy bone to chew or hide treats around the house so that she has something to occupy her while your away. Check out this additional tips for helping dogs with separation anxiety.

8. Dog Is Too Old

Some dogs as they age develop a condition known as ''canine cognitive dysfunction,'' the dog version of Alzheimer's disease. Effected 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.

Some dogs may not have cognitive dysfunction, but may not be able to hold it in.

How to Deal With It

  • Limit your dog to only a few areas of the house. If you can limit her to an uncarpeted area, that would be preferable.
  • Cover the areas where your dog has access with pads.
  • Don't punish or yell at your dog. She can't help it. You will need to have patience and give her support. Clean-ups are a must at this stage of her life, and you shouldn't expect her to do better.
  • Use doggy diapers if it's a serious problem, but ask your vet before you purchase diapers. Some dogs may find it so uncomfortable that they hold it in when they have to go, which is harmful to their health.

Did You Know?

60% of dogs between the ages of 11 and 16 will have some signs of cognitive dysfunction according to one study.

9. Recent Changes, New Pets, or 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.

How to Deal With It

Scolding the dog for these accidents will only worsen the anxiety the dog feels. The best thing to do is to set a routine after something new is introduced. Feed your dog at regular times every day and take him outdoors to potty before or after each meal. She will soon get used the routine, and the accidents will stop.

Also, make sure to give your dog time to adjust to changes. Pheromones plug-ins, Bach flowers, and other calming aids can help during transitions. If your dog hates going out to potty when it rains, you may find this article helpful:

10. Being Inside for Too Long

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.

If your dog is well house-trained, he will have tried to keep it in as long as he could but just couldn't keep it any longer because you were away for too long. He is the last to be blamed in such a scenario.

Never scold your well house-trained dog for soiling in your home.

Is Your Dog Revenge Pooping?

Dogs don't think poop is yucky, and they don't understand that humans dislike cleaning up after them. So the concept of pooping out of revenge is a human concept. Dogs are pure.

Rather than taking it personally, examine reasons why your dog may be more comfortable relieving herself in the house. Often times it's as simple as not wanting to go outside during a rainy/snowy day or during a thunderstorm.

11. Medical Conditions

There are some disorders that can cause an increase in bowel movements. Some intestinal disorders may cause a sense of urgency with frequent stools, making it hard for your dog to hold it in. 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.

Possible Medical Causes:

  • Intestinal worms
  • Parasites
  • Pain squatting
  • Pain lifting leg
  • Bladder infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver diseases
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Addison's disease
  • Dietary allergies or reactions

What to Do

If you suspect a medical problem, see your vet right away to rule out medical causes.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • My dog is almost three and recently he has started pooping in the same spot some time during the night after his last walk, why?

    If your dog has been perfectly housebroken until now, you should consider medical reasons. Increased motility can cause accidents as it happens with diarrhea and some other digestive disorders. Other things that come to mind is that he might be stressed or perhaps he isn't pooping during the day as he normally should. Clean up the spot with an enzyme based cleaner and perhaps see whether placing some object over that spot (chair, furniture, large box) may prevent him from pooping there, but first things first, a vet visit may be in order.

  • My two-year-old dog recently started going to the bathroom whenever he has to, no matter where he is. The door will be wide open, and he will go pee in the living room. We moved into this house and gained another dog at the same time, but that was five months ago; this behavior just started about a week ago. I work from home. I'm going to make him an appointment with the vet tomorrow. What might be his reasons for doing this?

    You are doing the right thing by seeing the vet to help rule out medical problems. Behavior-wise, several things may be going on: it could be that something in the yard has scared him or he doesn't want to pee or poop in the same areas your other dog goes, or he has associated the yard with something unpleasant. Some dogs may pee and poop in the home suddenly out of stress, or they may see that it brings the owner's attention and the dog may be craving that.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    There are chances that she may feel somewhat uncomfortable outside, or perhaps there are too many distractions going on, and she can't seem to focus enough to relax and poop. Pooping in dogs requires them to be a bit in a vulnerable position, and it requires a bit of concentration. It could be she wasn't well housetrained in her previous home too.

    In any, case, it's important to make sure she has ample of opportunities to poop outside. Taking her on a walk may help as motion helps trigger dogs to have a bowel movement. It also helps to feed her on a strict schedule so that she poops predictably at a certain time and you can take her out at that time.

    If she fails to poop outside, make sure you keep her nearby the door in an unobstructed view area so she can't sneak in a bedroom or behind some furniture to poop. Keep an eagle eye on her. This way you can promptly escort her out as soon as you notice some pre-potty signs (circling, sniffing, lowering her bottom).

    It may help, if she has an accident, to collect the poop and place it in the designated area, you want her to poop outside. This way she can smell her poop there and hopefully help her recognize where her new "bathroom" is.

    Also, never punish a dog for pooping inside the home. This only leads to dogs associating pooping in front of the owner as punishment. This means the dog will always sneak in a secretive spot to poop so that the owner won't see them poop. This may also interfere with pooping outside in front of the owner.

  • 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.

© 2011 Adrienne Farricelli

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    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      19 hours ago

      Alice, at your dog's age it would be important seeing the vet especially since this is so out of character for your dog. Perhaps she has joint pain or some GI disorder.

    • profile image

      ALICE m HOOVER 

      7 days ago

      my dog is 13 years old and has never had any potty issues in the house last few nights she has been going poop in the house for some reason and I don't know why or what to do

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 weeks ago

      You're very welcome. Let me know if you are still facing issues with your dog having accidents in the home and we can do more troubleshooting ;)

    • profile image

      Abby 

      2 weeks ago

      Okay! Thank you so much! We will make sure to try that.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 weeks ago

      Have you removed the bell from the door? If she is afraid of it, then that alone can make her wary of going outside. Can she be afraid of something outside? A vet visit can also be helpful to rule out a possible UTI. I would go back to basics and supervise her all the time (unless when crated) and praise reward for going outside.Make sure to clean up any accidents with an an enzyme based cleaner.

    • profile image

      Abby 

      2 weeks ago

      Hey! We have a female teddy bear dog that we adopted from other owners when she was one, about six months ago. At first she was good about going outside and then she started going in the house about six weeks ago. She will go in spirts where she is good for 3 days and then she will poop in the house for 3 days. We have tried bell training but she is afraid of the bell. She has also in the past few days been starting to pee in the house as well. Thank you for your help! Any ideas are greatly appreciated!!!!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 weeks ago

      Lori, it may very well be that the pressure along with the energy demands of the pregnancy which can sometimes affect the intestinal flora. Of course, only your vet can tell you with certainty. I know some dogs when pregnant may benefit from the addition of some fiber to their diets, ask your vet though for specific recommendations.

    • profile image

      Lori 

      2 weeks ago

      Will a pregnant dog start pooping in house if close to her due date she has about two weeks to go so im wondering if its not a pressure thing thank you for your help

    • profile image

      Catherine 

      6 weeks ago

      We adopted a 5yo dog, he is amazing!!!! He recently started to poop at the same spot at night (around midnight) even if we put him often during the day. We didn't change his diet. We dont know how to deal with that ..

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Puppy mom, is your puppy neutered or is he intact? Here are some tips for the excitement urination when there are guests. Tossing treats to the ground when they first come in may also help remove the focus from the excited greeting. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Stops-Dogs-From...

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi Mariah, lots of possibilities of things that may be going. Can she be eating kitty's food or poop? Sometimes these dietary changes may affect the dog's gut and cause increased bowel movements or more urgency. Perhaps she goes in the yard, but rushes because she wants to be back inside quick to be with kitty or is worried about kitty getting possession of something?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Susan, If your dog is hiding in the kitchen there is definitely something going on. Something must have spooked him. Please make sure you don't scold him for having accidents as that teaches dogs to go potty out of sight and hide. Make sure to praise him for going outside and give him a treat. You may need to troubleshoot what is causing him to hide in the kitchen.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Aaron, Dogs can certainly sense when there are major changes in their lives and some are very sensitive and can simply sense our stress or may not like furniture moved around and other things going on with moves and what happens prior to moving.

      It may help to make sure you feed him at the same time each day, and I always suggest praising and rewarding for pooping outside. You may also find it helpful training your dog to poop on command. You can find it here how to accomplish that:https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Train-a-Dog-to-...

    • profile image

      Aaron Lindsey 

      7 weeks ago

      Me and my Pit live in a motorhome and we moved about a week ago to a new town quit far away from where we did live. He has been pooping inside for about two weeks now. he started about a week before we left. I have not been getting on to him and I have been trying to set a routine. He is by my side all day and everywhere I go. How long will it take for him to stop this? Are there any other methods I can use to help him? If he doesnt get this under control very soon Im going to be the one needing help!!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      8 weeks ago

      Susan, It sounds like your dog may have be spooked by something or perhaps has something going on medically causing him to associate the outdoors with something unpleasant. It sounds like he doesn't completely empty his bladder. Here are some ideas; https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Why-Does-my-Puppy-Pee-...

    • profile image

      SusanMJordan 

      8 weeks ago

      I have. 3 year old Pomeranian we have had him for over a year now he always would go out side we have him on a schedule when he goes out the past few days he has been hiding in my kitchen and peeing and shutting in there after I've been outside with him I spend about 30 to 45 minutes with him outside and he will go but then he came back in and did more on floor there is nothing outside to distract him why is he doing this

    • profile image

      Puppy Mom 

      8 weeks ago

      I have a 6 month old puppy. We live in a condo so housetraining has been difficult, but we were getting there by keeping him a regular routine. Recently he has started pooping when he is somewhere that there is a carpet, even though he was doing so great, going weeks without an accident. Suddenly it’s three days in a row inside. I work from home 2 days a week and my husband brings him to work 3 days a week so he is literally never left alone unless we go out to dinner on the weekends. Is this just rebellious behaviour (he is ‘maturing’ elsewhere so perhaps it’s a burst of testosterone that is changing this behaviour?) Seperately, while he knows not to pee inside, he does turn on the sprinklers when anyone comes in the door, and seems unable to stop himself doing that. How can we help him? TIA

    • profile image

      Mariah Fleming 

      2 months ago

      My two year old female King charles spaniel has within the last two weeks started to poop and sometimes pee in the dining room. We don't know why, its so sudden. We've had her since she was only about a month, and she's used to us being away at work during the day, and when we get home we play with her and give her attention for hours. We got a kitten about three weeks ago, but she isn't stressed about her, she loves the new animal. We let her outside, and we'll watch her use the bathroom, then come inside and use it again. She's eating fine, drinking plenty of water, still energetic and playful, and her poop is normal looking. We don't know what to do.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 months ago

      Jen, with dogs kept mostly outdoors things get tricky. Firstly, outdoor dogs get used to peeing and pooping as soon as they feel the urge. They don't get to exercise much restrain as dogs kept crated or housetrained in general would do.

      Secondly, when a dog is kept outdoors and then indoors, one doesn't know when the dog pooped last. So if you let her in at 5 or 6 and she may have pooped last in the morning or early afternoon, and that's a very long stretch so she might need to go bad at 2-3 in the morning.

      It may help to let her sleep in the closed bedroom with you or give her a designated area with her bed. Your dog may perceive the area as a den and dogs are naturally inclined not to want to poop where they sleep so she may alert you, but it may take some time.

    • profile image

      Jen 

      2 months ago

      Hello! I have a 17 mo old female Newfie who finished her 2nd heat last week. Although she has been house-trained for nearly a year without issues, she is now pooping in the house almost every night (for the past week)!!! But doing so at 2 or 3 in the morning. She eats at 5 or 6 with a cookie or 2 as a snack to come upstairs at 8-9. She is out cold snoring by 9-9:30. She never "asks" to go out because she is mostly an outdoor dog as we live in VT on 5 acres, I put a GPS collar on her and just watch where she roams. I cordoned off where she was regularly pooping, only for her to pick a different spot. My next step is top trap her upstairs and hope she will bark to let me know she wants to go downstairs to poop! Any advice would be amazing--I brought her to the vet 3 weeks ago when she first started going into heat and there were no health issues. I know the heat part will be a beacon for some to say it's that, but the pooping at night has become more regular as her heat cycle was ending and has now ended!!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 months ago

      Elaine, do sorry your dog has been going through all that. If I recall well, pennies that were minted after 1982 are the problematic ones. Since this is happening just shortly after the hospitalization, it would be best to let the vet know so ensure her recovery is going as it should. It could be just the stress of all this, but there too can be a medical reason.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 months ago

      Stephanie, you can try walking him and not coming back in until he poops. Movement stimulates bowel movements. Make sure to praise and reward him with a treat for pooping outside.

    • profile image

      Elaine 

      2 months ago

      We have an 11 year old Bichon Maltese female dog. We have never really had any problems with her peeing and pooping in the house (only once in a while when she's not let out). She is the type of dog that is attached to my husband all the time. She has a bit of anxiety meaning when a storm is coming in and believe it or not has anxiety when someone is chewing gum around her (so now we don't do it). She just returned home from surgery after swallowing 2 pennies and not sure how she got them because she has never done this before and along with the surgery had to blood transfusions because the zinc from the penny got into her blood stream. She had a bland diet when she came home and I kind of kept up with some chicken and rice with her dog food and now she's peeing and pooping 2 hours later after she already went outside and did the same. So I'm not sure what is going on and how to correct this with her. It's happened 2 days in a row in our dining room that has hardwood floors.

      Is it from being away for 4 days, is it because she's older and the surgery sparked something, her bladder, maybe I shouldn't be feeding her the chicken and rice?

      Please help, Elaine

    • profile image

      Stephanie Desbiens 

      2 months ago

      Hi my 2 and a half year old dog suddenly started to poop in the house and I don’t understand why. We go outside and wait for him to poop and he doesn’t as soon as we come back in the house he poops on the floor. I don’t know what to do anymore

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 months ago

      Valentina, sounds like there might be an anxiety issue at play. Older dogs may like their routines and anything unusual such as having a friend over may cause stress. What happens if you keep your dog in another room or in a crate at a distance to enjoy a Kong filled with some goodies? What if you let your dog meet your friend outside and walk together and then come all back inside? Some dogs calm down a bit if they meet outside first. You may have to get help from a professional if this is an anxiety-based response.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 months ago

      Donna, there are supplements and medications to help with cognitive dysfunction. Melatonin can be helped for dogs unable to sleep at night. Your vet can prescribe some meds meant to help dogs with thi condition.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 months ago

      Kira, you need to see another vet if your current vet isn't helpful. There are medications for weak sphincters if this is due to her being fixed.

    • profile image

      Kira 

      7 months ago

      I have a 9 year old German Shepherd. She recently started having bladder infections and soiling herself.

      She has been fixed and ever since then, she started having serious bladder problems. She is on medication but they don't seem to help. She is an outside dog, we just bring her in when it's cold and rainy.

      I don't want to leave her outside this winter.

      The vet can't tell me what's wrong either. What should I do?

    • profile image

      Valentina 

      7 months ago

      My 10 years old dog poops whenever a friend comes into our house. I tried everything I could and it's not working. Please help me! Also, sometimes she doesn't want to go outside. She comes by the door and then leaves.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      7 months ago

      What or how do you deal with a dog with canine cognitive dysfunction? I have a pug that seems to have the symptoms of this. I have been taking to the Vet he has not mentioned this but, has brought up acupuncture not sure if that would work but, he was going to investigate.Any opinions would greatly be appreciated.

    • profile image

      Lee Y 

      9 months ago

      11yr rescue male Japanese will not alert for pooping or peeing, but dinner time, he is right there ready? Woke up early today, every day, 6 a, to take him out only to step in poop and drag it all through my bedroom, grrrr. Help

    • profile image

      Holly 

      9 months ago

      I have a 8 month old tea cup shitzue a Mini Australian Shepard and an old old shitzue. Well the little one is very bossy and temperamental she orders the older dogs around and we have tried to get a upper hand on this but she doesn’t seem to want to bend.... she’s boss that’s all there is to it...... well jude(the mini Australian is very skidish and scared of EVERYTHING well anyways he’s potty trained and so is she buy occasionally she will poop in the house why does Jude seem to poop in the house right after her??? And why and how do we get a hold and fix her bossing them around??? And is squirting them with water a good technique for training? A friend of mine said to do that and I’m not a big fan.

    • profile image

      Rae 

      10 months ago

      My almost 3 year old French bulldog has started pooping in the house after his breakfast and sometimes we find one in the morning. We have recently started giving him wheat free dog food along with his homemade food because he was looking very skinny. This is day two of the new feeding, and after his breakfast he goes and poops somewhere inside the house, straight after eating. I let him outside before he eats so he can go to the toilet, so I don’t understand the sudden urge to poop straight after his breakfast. He’s never done this before up until now. He goes for a long walk late at night before bed, and always goes to the toilet, so I’m confused as to why I’m finding another poop in the morning all of a sudden.

    • profile image

      Qwin 

      10 months ago

      My dog is one year old and housebroken. ( she pees and poops on the pad regularly, and she always happily come to us after that for reward ) She has little excitement pee issues since her puppy time, other than that she is very smart and she can hold her pee for hours if she is outside traveling.

      However, she starts hold her poop and doesn’t want to go when we take her to, but later on she would poop at the wrong place ( not the same place every time ) Sometimes on the stairs when she was rushing to follow us to upstairs!

      I am wondering what can we do? I feel it’s more mental issue but she is well-cared all the time.

    • profile image

      Joe 

      11 months ago

      My dogs would die before pooping in the house, but if I don't kenel them and leave the house for more than 10 minutes, when I come back they purposely pooped and peed. I literally know if they did it because they will be hiding in the corner trembling because they knew they did something bad...

      What gives? I hate leaving them kenneled when I'm gone, but it feels hopeless. Every time I think I can trust them, they let me down...

    • profile image

      PinotB 

      11 months ago

      My almost 4yr old house trained labradoodle has recently started pooping in the house again. In the bathtub, but still, in the house. He is also still pooping outside on walks, as per normal.

      Is it possible that he is pooping in the house again because my roommates 1yr old puppy is still pooping in the house? Her puppy has been pooping in the house for a year now (she’s very bad at training him properly) so I don’t understand why all of a sudden he has decided to poop in the house again himself.

      The last time he pooped in the house was when he had diarrhea and I can’t blame him for that, but that was over a year ago. Now he’s pooped normal solid poops in the house twice within a few weeks of each other. On Dec 21st and today on Jan 4th. While still also pooping on his walks every morning & night. Can anyone help me figure out why all of a sudden, and how I can curb it? Especially as he’s not pooping while I’m home so I can’t curb it on the spot. Please help!!

    • profile image

      Kirsten 

      11 months ago

      My fully house trained 1 yr old GSD recently started using the bathroom in areas my kids play and once on her dog bed in the car when we left her for a quick trip in a store. Can someone help me how to handle this.

    • profile image

      Emily H 

      11 months ago

      Our lab is about 10 years old. We never had a problem with him peeing and pooping in the house until recently. We let him out for a while and when he comes in, he pees and poops in the living room. There hasn’t been any big changes or new animals, and we just don’t know what to do.

    • profile image

      abigail 

      11 months ago

      we recently adopted a dog, she is 6 years old and house trained. when we were leaving the shelter there were of course other dogs and she didn't get along with them but we thought that's what all dogs did. so a few weeks ago my cousin and her service dog came over and we let my dog meet her, she was very aggressive towards the other dog, nervous, and jealous but the service dog has been here before so she may have thought "i was here first". that night my dog peed then after they left she pooped (keep in mind, she never did that for the month we've had her) i thought she was just stressed until every night after that day she has gone to the exact same spot where the service dog went to potty. then this morning she pooped again in the exact same spot she did the first time which was right beside her bed. you can tell she isn't herself anymore, i'm very concerned and i need answers plus solutions for when the dog comes back. i'm aware the service dog was drinking out of her bowl, chewing her toys, laying on her bed, and playing with me. so what could this be? me and my mom are desperate for answers. thank you.

    • profile image

      Andrew Pugh 

      12 months ago

      My 1 year old husky started peeing and pooping in the house everyday he goes outside more than normal he will go outside and use the bathroom then come back in and use it again he resentley chewed up our couch then peed on it. Hes destryoing everything including the carpet from mot only potty but chewing it up or just plain eating it he will sneek itno our room at night and get anything he can chew he ate my sons sock and pooped it out the next day and my wifes brand new never used boots he eats the insoles out of them. When we leave. We can only be gona not even 10 min and will come back and he would have got on the table and peed on it we are in desprate need of help with him his food and potty time has always been consistant but the past two weeks he has been out of controll

    • profile image

      Lisa 

      12 months ago

      My almost 2 year old dog is going into heat and is pooping and peeing in the house? Can someone offer me any tips on how to remedy?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      13 months ago

      So sorry to hear that, I hear you. White cider vinegar is natural and not harmful and does a decent job in removing smells, but enzyme-based cleaners may work better as they help remove traces of odor which often triggers puppies to potty where they've been before. Nature's Miracle is a popular product.

    • GeorgeLC profile image

      George Curi 

      13 months ago from Miami Beach, Florida

      My neighbor's dog poops in the apartment almost nightly and the stench is insufferable. I've talked to her about it many times, but she refuses to do anything. What are your suggestions? I read white cider vinegar is great to take away the smell. Is it harmful? My Mom has been very sick to her stomach for months now. Thank you.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      13 months ago

      Moving to another area, although short-lived, can cause regression in some dogs. At your pup's age though, it could be he or she is starting to urine mark or the pup may be having accidents due to stress. Clean up soiled areas with an enzyme-based cleaner, keep an eagle eye on your pup, take him out often, praise reward for pooping outside, and see if you can reduce stress from being in a new place.

    • profile image

      Duncan Dingle 

      13 months ago

      My lab pup is 8 months old and house trained. We are visiting at my daughters ans the pup is pooping quite regulary and sometimes peeing in the house. Please help. this is getting embarrising

    • profile image

      Andy Schutz 

      14 months ago

      Die Hard Poop Eater - Rescued a Beagle - Dachshund mix and she has been eating her poop since she got here 3 months ago. I checked for worms, used For-bid powder and put hot sauce on her poop, the latter worked but it does not teach her not to eat it. She gets sick at night when she eats alot. yuk!. Nasty aroma at 3am. She also tries to eat it before i get to her now cause when shd poops and tries, I tell her to drop it and most the time she obeys but she so loves that ......stuff. I think she was abused, poor thing didnt even know how to play. Any other thougts? I don't want to make her any more

      secretive about pooping.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      16 months ago

      Evike, a vet visit may help rule out certain medical conditions that may cause an increase in motility and therefore more accidents around the house. This would be a good start. Bring a fecal sample along. Other possibilities is your dog got scared of something outside. Being monsoon season, maybe he has become scared of thunder? or didn't like getting wet one day? May be doggy door flap moved with the wind and startled him? Many possibilities...

    • profile image

      Evike 

      16 months ago

      i have 2 shih tzus, 2 1/2 yrs old, brothers. no issues w/peeing or pooping as they are house trained. i have 2 doggie doors. leave them alone at night/during day..not for very long lengths. they sleep w/me. THIS week one of them pooped in the living room during the night 2x now. have NO idea why. it is HOT is Arizona and i have a covered patio. i've read all of the above and none apply. i am stumped :(:(

    • profile image

      Km 

      17 months ago

      I have a 3yr old chihuahua mixed with dachshund and he has been potty trained for almost 3yrs and all of a sudden he is pooping inside the house.

      He gets taken outside regularly and he poops just fine while on his daily walks but he still will poop inside the house. There has been no changes with surroundings or diet so I'm not sure what is going on with him.

    • profile image

      Linda Anderson 

      17 months ago

      I went on a ten day vacation without my dog now she is pooping in the house. I know it was separation anxiety but what can I do about it ?

    • profile image

      david asbury 

      18 months ago

      my dog is 9 months old and toilet trained I take her in the garden before bed and stay with her till she poos never been a problem, lately I can spend about 10 mins out there but as soon as she comes back into the house and my back is turned she poos it's happening frequently.

    • profile image

      Chelsye 

      18 months ago

      My dog Bella will be 3 on June 22. Just recently, she has been pooping in the house. I stick to a routine potty schedule but she is very distracted outside. There have been times I take her out and she will owe outside and poop in the house. She is house trained and just recently started this. Please help because I don't know how to stop this behavior.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      18 months ago

      It could be there's something outside that makes her uncomfortable or perhaps she's too distracted to do her business out. Make sure she goes before coming back inside. Try taking her on a walk before coming back inside.

    • profile image

      Joseph Gardiner 

      18 months ago

      after taking my 2 year old pit-bull outside she go's out and as soon as she comes inside she has a bowel movement inside, its like she is doing this on purpose .

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      20 months ago

      Donna, I would start with a vet visit to see if there's something medical going on. At 12, there are several possible medical problems causing this. It can also be a symptom of canine cognitive dysfunction.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      20 months ago

      My dog was a rescue dog at the age of 3, now nearly 12. She had "mistakes" early on , but it passed. Now she potties in the house often. Usually afterward she wants to be in my presence. She had a wellness check about 4 months ago, no issues. One big change has been the loss of my husband 5 years ago, and she adored him. I try to give her a lot of affection, altho she is a dog with attitude, it is on her terms. I do not know what to do, I can not keep cleaning up after her nearly every day.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      21 months ago

      I have a rescue dog who suffers from separation anxiety. I left him at my daughter's house (who has a dog that he knows and gets along great with) and he pooped in her bedroom and also peed in her dog's doggie bed. Usually never does this. Help

    • profile image

      Lola 

      21 months ago

      He can get out whenever he wants could it be his age

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      22 months ago

      Maybe try to keep him longer outside in the morning? Maybe he rushes for some reason. If you are feeding him right after, that may be a reason. Maybe try feeding him first thing and then taking him out? Another idea is seeing the vet and have a fecal test done.

    • profile image

      Sam 

      22 months ago

      So I have a two and a half year old Newfie. We adopted him about 4 months ago and he’s been great. Starting about a week ago, he started pooping in the house. It’s happened around 12/12:30. Normally he poops around 7am and 5pm. Today, I let him out in the morning, he took a normal poop, and then when we came inside and I fed him he pooped again this time inside the house. I have no idea what to do, or how to deal with it. I’m starting to lose my mind. They’re perfect poops, so it’s not like he’s got an infection, we changed his food completely two weeks ago, but he integrated it over the last month. So I have no idea why he’s doing it. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Charliefarley 

      22 months ago

      Hi greenspencer, our dog is doing exactly the same. Did you find any answers?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      22 months ago

      It sometimes can be the food. Premium foods make dogs poop less compared to the supermarket brands. What food are you feeding? Your vet has ruled out digestive motility disorders?

    • profile image

      Greenspencer 

      23 months ago

      We have a two year old poodle mix who periodically poops in the house even after being walked and having pooped within a reasonable time period (2 or 3 hours) and even when we are home! There have been no changes to food, our schedule, or the household. We are retired and home most of the time. He also poops outside. No signs of parasites. Help!

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      24 months ago

      My 6 year old hound mix..just got over diarrhea(yes i went to the vet and put him on meds.. Feeding him chicken and rice for now few more days then switch to his normal food. Yes he would leave a mess.. Today i found his poop in the living room not diarrhea thou.

      No worms where found thou too. Im most of the day..

      Maybe it is separation anxiety..

      But its un like him to to in the house. .

    • profile image

      Lucy 

      2 years ago

      My six-year-old Chihuahua terrier is just now starting to poop in the house and every once in a while peeing this is the first time ever since he’s been potty trained

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 years ago

      Caroline, it could be a sign of separation anxiety. I would record the behavior when you are away and see if shows signs of separation anxiety. Also, I would consult with a vet just to rule out medical problems.

    • profile image

      Caroline 

      2 years ago

      Why is my 3 year old dog holding her poop till I go to work and then poops in the house, and sometimes pee, what can be done for that my other dogs don't do it just her.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      6 years ago

      Yes, separation anxiety may be a cause for a house soiled dog to start pooping in the house, and older dogs at times get anxious when left alone often because their senses are declining.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      This is a wonderful article. We have adopted a dog (7 years ago) that has problems with separation anxiety. It was good to read this. Both of our dogs (adopted) have their difficulties.

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