Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Dog Pooping in House: Causes and How to Correct It

Font Size
A
A
A

Whether young, old, or somewhere in between, a dog may start pooping in the house for a lot of reasons, from a change in diet to anxiety to illness.

Why is your dog pooping indoors? What can you do about it? And when should you turn to your veterinarian for help?

Recommended Related to Dogs

Urine Marking in Dogs

Some dogs scent mark by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces, usually while raising a leg. Both female and male dogs can urine mark. Dogs who urine mark might do so in a number of situations, including while on walks, when in their own homes and yards, and during visits to other locations. A dog must be at least three months of age to urine mark.

Read the Urine Marking in Dogs article > >

Why Dogs Poop in the House

There are a lot of reasons your dog may be eliminating inappropriately, but because serious illness or injury can be a primary cause, it's always a good idea to talk to your vet about the problem before attempting any at-home treatment.

Some common reasons dogs may poop in the house include:

Illness or Medication

Many medical issues can lead to inappropriate defecation, including anal sac problems, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal upset, arthritis, intestinal parasites, and dementia. Fecal incontinence, which can be caused by tumors, injury, spinal cord damage, or previous surgery in the anal area, can also cause your dog to poop in the house.

The medication used to treat certain conditions may also be behind your dog's accidents, so if your dog is taking drugs, talk to your vet about that medication's possible side effects.

Behavioral

If your pet is still a puppy, expect more than occasional accidents in the house. When dogs are young, they're still learning how to control their bowel and bladder, a skill they don't generally master until five or six months of age.

If your puppy is having trouble learning to defecate outside or in a designated area, strive for consistency, encouragement (never punish), and make sure they get outside frequently.

Along with youth, other reasons a dog may poop in the house include separation anxiety, a preference for certain surfaces (like carpet or tile), a change in schedule or in the household, even a dislike of rainy or cold days.

Diet

A change in your dog's diet -- a new food or a change in the amount of food -- can also cause a dog to poop in the house, especially if the dietary change triggers diarrhea. Also, some dogs just need to poop soon after they eat. If yours is one of them, you may need to feed your dog only when you're home to take him outside after he has eaten. 

Talk to the vet about your dog's diet; your vet may recommend switching your pooch to a low-residue or easier-to-digest diet to help with inappropriate elimination.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow