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


You have noticed that occasionally your dog poops in the house, which earlier was not the case.

This happens after being outside, so you would be definitely wondering what the problem is.

This problem can make you feel frustrated as you regularly take your dog for a walk, spend a lot of time outside and wait for your dog to poop there.

However, after coming through the door, he does it in the house.

Unfortunately, dogs cannot tell us what the problem is and the only way to find out is to take a close look at their behavior and other signals.

You may notice some signals, such as the changed routine or doing something that is not in line with their character.

So, in case your dog is suddenly pooping in the house, you should check whether everything is all right with him.

Sometimes, it can be caused by stress or can be related to other health issues.

It is worth mentioning that there are many things that affect your dog’s behavior, both behavioral and physical.

We suggest that you do some investigative work in order to figure out what the problem is and here are some potential causes for dogs pooping or peeing in the house.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Pooping in the House?

If you have a dog that is fully housetrained and he suddenly starts pooping in the house this can be caused by medical conditions or stress and anxiety.

You need to rule out medical conditions.

Then, you need to think about whether you have recently moved, changed schedules, or your dog is left alone at home for a longer period than usual.

Dogs poop and pee in case they feel scared or extremely stressed out, and the best way to solve this issue is to identify and remove environmental stressors.

Overstimulation During Potty Time

The most frequent problem of a dog peeing or pooping in the house comes from the environment outside the house.

If you take your dog out to an area that is too over-stimulating or distracting to the dog, he may not finish pooping and peeing there.

Why Does This Happen?

You need to make sure that your dog gets enough time outdoors.

Once he is out after some time being inside, he will get distracted by many things as they are curious and can’t wait to sniff around.

Due to this excitement to stretch their legs and spend accumulated energy, they get distracted and forget that they need to go potty.

When you bring them back inside, they then realize the urgency and do it in the house.

This situation is often seen with puppies.

How to Deal With It:

You need to make it a routine for your dog to potty first once he gets outside and do it before playing. You can manage this by avoiding interacting with your dog when he is supposed to potty.

If you have a garden and you let him play in the yard, you should play with him after he has gone potty.

Another option is to take your dog out when the environment is not noisy so that he does not get distracted by neighbors.

The last option is not to let him back inside unless he goes finishes pooping and peeing, even though it takes some more time.

Fear and Anxiety

Another reason for this unpleasant situation can be fear and anxiety.

You have to pay attention to whether your dog is scared of something in the yard where he goes pee.

He may also come into something during walks which frightens him, thus making him feel uncomfortable.

Some of the possible reasons are too much noise or other dogs and people around him at that moment.

You have to know that when dogs are not comfortable, they will not pee and will hold it in until they feel relaxed again and that is the moment they enter the house.

Furthermore, those dogs who live in yards surrounded by electric fences can become fearful of the shock, and they would not feel comfortable in the yard, so they will not pee.

You will notice them just sticking to the porch area and people often call them “porch sitters.”

Why Does This Happen?

The fear for his life does not allow your dog to think about peeing, as the moment he goes potty puts him in a vulnerable position.

They are aware that peeing and pooping takes time, and if they can be attacked, every second counts.

If a dog notices danger, he would be on all his four legs and ready to react.

Plus, when dogs pee, traces of them are left behind, which can also put them in a vulnerable position and they do not want this to happen.

In case you have a fearful dog, do not get confused if he wants to hide.

He will not pee or poop outside as he may not want to leave traces behind, even though nowadays, there are no predator animals that can attack them as it happened in the past, but the instinct has remained.

How to Deal With It:

The most frequent peeing situations inside are with rescued and usually fearful dogs.

What you can do is temporarily train him to use pads inside until he has adjusted to the changes.

He needs to have more confidence, and until it is reached, you can take him outside when the environment is quiet and you can always ask for the help of a professional.

Owning an electric fence can be a real problem, so can take it down or walk your dog on a leash.

Patience is the most important characteristic in these situations as it takes some time to undo the emotional damage.

Changes in Their Schedules

Dogs like habits, so they are used to going potty at certain moments of the day and they really love these routines, so changing them can affect their behavior.

When puppies are in question, they go potty a few minutes after eating and drinking, playing, or napping, while it is quite different with adult dogs, that go in the morning, at mid-day, early evening, and right before going to bed.

Why Does This Happen?

It is sometimes compared to a human’s need to go to the bathroom before an interview or an exam, and if a sudden change happens in the lives of dogs, it can easily cause anxiety.

Pay attention that if your dog’s schedule changes, as a consequence, your dog may relieve himself as a reaction to anxiety.

We suggest that you do not make changes in schedule, meaning eating and drinking at odd times.

Also, not allowing your dog access to the outside for quite a while would cause your dog to poop whenever he feels the urge to go.

How to Deal With It:

What you can do is to feed your pet at established times of the day.

The routine of going outside has to be followed daily.

You can easily predict when your dog has to poop as you feed it at specific times of the day.

Scheduled walks for peeing and pooping mean that you take your dog outside regularly, first thing in the morning, right after meals, and once before bed.

If you keep this schedule consistent, an improvement will be noticed right away.

A Poor Diet

When people do not have much money, they tend to save on dog food and feed their dogs with cheap foods from the supermarket.

In many cases, this diet causes more frequent and bulkier bowel movements, thus more frequent pooping.

Our suggestion is to buy your dog premium dog food, which is more expensive but has more nutrients there is less waste, meaning smaller and not too frequent stools.

Have in mind that diet changes also cause an upset stomach.

What to Feed Your Dog:

You may have already noticed if you keep a dog for a while that dogs prefer eating real food,,

It would be ideal if you can make homemade food for your dog.

There are some easy healthy homemade dog food recipes that are vet-approved and your dog will love your meals.

Of course, you need to educate yourself on how to select high-quality dog foods, and our advice is to try natural and organic brands.

Do not buy commercial brands, due to the fact that they contain fillers, meat or fish by-products, animal fat, liver meal, BHA, BHT, and other chemicals and additives which are not good for your dog’s health.

Not Cleaning Up Accidents Thoroughly

Upon finishing peeing or pooping, it is important that you clean after your dog, as their natural instinct tells them to relieve themselves where they have done it before.

A dog can smell his urine or poop and will relieve himself there again.

How to Clean Up Dog Urine or Poop Smell for Good

  • You can spray the soiled area with distilled white vinegar to clean it well.
  • The carpeted areas have to be cleaned thoroughly, so our suggestion is to wear latex gloves so as to work the vinegar deep into the carpet fibers.
  • You should always blot up excess liquid with a paper towel and sprinkle a huge amount of baking soda onto the area, so as to cover the entire area. Just like with the vinegar, if the carpeted area is in question, you have to work the baking soda into the carpet fibers with your fingers.
  • Then, you should let the baking soda sit for at least 1 hour before you vacuum the area to remove all traces of baking soda.
  • The area can then be treated with a commercial dog stain and odor cleaner or alternatively, you can use Nature’s Miracle, a product known for eliminating traces of odors courtesy of its enzymes.

Substrate Preference

This is quite a typical situation with puppies that tend to form a substrate preference.

It usually happens by the time they are 8.5 weeks old and they simply have a specific surface that they use as their pott.

Being that they become so accustomed to that surface, in the majority of cases, they have a hard time eliminating on new surfaces.

Why Does This Happen?

In some cases, puppies are trained to pee on paper indoors, and when a puppy is adopted in a new home, new owners want it to pee on grass outdoors.

As it is not accustomed to it, the puppy may seek out surfaces other than grass, meaning that the puppy will hold it while outdoors.

The result of this is that it will pee on the carpet once it is back indoors.

The very same situations happen in the case of older dogs that are used to do it in a kennel or somewhere enclosed.

If you want to get the dog used to soil or grass, t will take some time.

How to Deal With It

The first thing you should do when adopting a puppy is to ask what kind of surface was used to let the puppy go potty, so as to find the same or similar surface for your home.

Also, there is a chance of changing the surface, but gradually, meaning that if the puppy was trained to use pads or newspaper, you can take a piece of newspaper or pad outside on the grass and encourage the puppy to use it.

The next step is to gradually remove the newspaper or pad or reduce its size.

You will have to have a lot of patience and do this repeatedly until the puppy understands that he/she has to potty exclusively on grass.

Suffers From Separation Anxiety

This would highly depend on the breed, but there are definitely some dogs that do not do well when they are left alone.

Better to say, the majority of dogs do not do well if left alone for long periods of time, meaning 4 hours or more.

If a situation with a mess in your house is typical when you come home, then consider your dog a separation anxiety candidate.

Yoru dog’s behavior will be totally different when he is left alone, which you can notice if you record it when you are out of the house and his/her signs of anxiety and distress will include whining, pacing, barking, howling, panting, digging, and pooping.

Why Does This Happen?

As you may already know, dogs are social animals and do not like when they are left alone.

In these situations, they feel abandoned and do not understand why is that happening.

Its nervousness sometimes leads to urinating or defecating.

Vets also mention dogs that suffer from coprophagia.

Those dogs that suffer from this illness eat their excrement in order to hide the evidence. O

You can notice that something is wrong with your dog by the dog’s bad breath and traces of poop left on the floor.

How to Deal With It

Our suggestion for pet owners is not to leave dogs alone for longer periods of time.

You can always ask a neighbor, family member, or friend to visit your pet friend during the day and feed and walk the dog.

There is also an excellent service like Wag Walking through which you can hire someone to visit your house and take your dog for a walk.

Furthermore, whenever you have time, spend it with your dog.

It is necessary that you give him/her plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.

You can play games both indoor and outdoor.

Some vets suggest that leaving your dog a yummy bone to chew or hide treats around the house would be beneficial being that the dog will have something to occupy him/her while the owner is away.

Dog Is Too Old

Older dogs may develop a condition known as ”canine cognitive dysfunction”.

This is the dog version of Alzheimer’s disease and you cannot expect them to do all the tasks that you have been used to.

Some of the possible situations are that your dog forgets how to go outside or how to give you signs that he needs to go out.

How to Deal With It

  • One suggestion is to limit your dog’s access to only a few areas of the house, and the best solution is to limit it to an uncarpeted area, if possible.
  • You should also cover with pads all the areas where your dog has access and never punish or yell at your dog.  Having patience and giving support to your dog are the most important characteristics, being that at this stage of life, doing better cannot be expected from your dog.
  • Another option is to use doggy diapers if the problem is that serious, but not without previously asking your vet. Some dogs feel uncomfortable when wearing them and that can be harmful to their health.

Did You Know?

According to some studies, 60% of dogs aged 11 to 16 will have some signs of cognitive dysfunction.

Recent Changes, New Pets, or New Family Members

Noticing that your dog is peeing and pooping everywhere around the house must be irritating, but this can be due to certain recent changes, such as new pets, or new family members.

A dog is used to its environment and sudden change may cause a regress in house training.

Even a well house-trained dog can have an accident in a new hose after moving, or it may feel upset if a new dog, guests, or a new baby are in its environment.

How to Deal With It

Our suggestion is to set a routine after something new is introduced, like taking him outdoors to go potty before or after each meal.

Also, you need to give your dog time to adjust to changes.

Being Inside for Too Long

You are probably aware of this situation, but it is still worth mentioning.

Being at work all day and not taking your dog for a regular walk may cause your dog to do it in the house.

If you must leave your dog at home for too long, it is better to hire a pet sitter or a dog walker who will take your dog outside as needed.

Even the well house-trained dogs will keep it as long as they can, and if you were away for too long, the dog should not be blamed.

Is Your Dog Revenge Pooping?

We know that cleaning after your dog can be troublesome and frustrating, but your dog cannot understand that you dislike cleaning up after him.

People who believe that dogs poop out of revenge are totally wrong and they need to examine reasons why the dog is feeling comfortable to relieve herself in the house.

You may notice that dog does not want to go outside during a rainy/snowy day or during a thunderstorm, so do not force him to do so.

Medical Conditions

Also, in some cases, medical disorders caused an increase in bowel movements followed by frequent stools.

Intestinal worms can also make it hard for your dog to hold it in, so we suggest that dog owners regularly check their dog’s stools 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

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