It can drive you crazy. Despite your best attempts to teach your dog to go outside you leave bed first thing in the morning and find.. ahem.. puppy brownies. So what can you do? In this article we are going to discuss some things that you can do to help discourage this behavior as well as go over a few reasons why your dog might be doing it. Let’s talk about why your dog poops in the house in the middle of the night.
Why your dog might be pooping in the house at night
There are a few reasons that can account for this type of behavior. If your dog is actually a puppy, for instance, and has not been properly potty trained yet then this is to be expected. If your dog is older, potty trained already, and is pooping in the house at night then there might be some other things at play here. Some common reasons that this can occur are as follows:
- Your dog could be stressed – If your puppy or dog is fairly new to the home there could be stress factors at play. Aside from the completely new environment, things as innocuous as an argument with your spouse can stress out your dog as they are quite sensitive to your emotions (some dogs will even let you know who they side with, by pooping or peeing under one person’s desk, for instance). In general this will pass but try to be aware of what occurred that day before the incident just in case it can be prevented.
- Your dog is too shy to ask you – A new dog or puppy may not know to scratch at the door or otherwise get your attention when nature calls and they REALLY need to go. This is another behavior that will pass in time but it might also be a good idea to make sure that if you are staying up late and doggy is doing the same that a late night walk is added to their schedule (especially for older dogs who are already potty trained but may have a weaker constitution.).
- Your schedule has changed – If your work schedule has changed then in all likelihood this means that their walking schedule has changed as well. Adjust accordingly as much as possible so that your dog doesn’t have to go for any long periods without a bathroom break. If the schedule change is temporary you might be able to arrange for a friend to help or a walking service that you trust.
- Your dog has medical reasons for this behavior – If your dog is already potty trained and this behavior is fairly new, it may warrant a visit to the vet. There are a number of medical reasons that this can occur and we’ll go over those in brief so that you know what to look for.
Your dog is waking up in the middle of the night to poop:Medical reasons
If it is not a matter of stress, schedule, shyness, or training then it could well be a medical problem that needs to be addressed via treatment or additional walking where treatment is not possible (such as with older dogs. that require extra attention due to existing conditions). Some medical factors include:
- Bacterial or viral infection – Dogs get sick just like we do and a virus or bacterial infection can cause pooping, diarrhea, and more. If the symptoms are new a trip to the vet is definitely in order.
- Cancer in the bowels – It is uncommon but with older dogs cancer is a possibility. Regular check-ups with your vet can help to spot this or to rule it out if your dog is suddenly messing in the house in the middle of the night.
” A good rule is ‘when in doubt, see the vet’.”
- Food allergies – Your dog might be pooping in the house at night due to a food allergy. Dogs are notorious for scarfing just about any snack that you feed them. If they got something new from your dinner or a new kind of treat that you bought them then the dog might have an issue with that particular food.
- Parasites – There are a number of worms and other parasites that can affect your doggy. If you are noticing worms in the stool then get your doggy to the vet right away. They won’t always be visible, however, so a good rule is ‘when in doubt, see the vet’. Your pooch will thank you.
How to stop a puppy from pooping in the house at night
Now if this is just a puppy, rather an older dogs issue, and you are wondering how to discourage pooping in the house at night then your best bet is crate training. Get a dog carrier, a wooden crate, or even an empty bathroom to use and simply place the dog there at night. Dogs won’t usually go to the bathroom in their sleeping space and you can take advantage of this behavior. Follow up by making sure that you always take them for a walk outside first thing in the morning and give them a treat immediately when they start to poop or pee outside. Your puppy will pick this up pretty quickly as long as the schedule for this is regular. After they’ve gotten the habit ingrained they will learn to ‘hold it’ as well for those occasional times when you are late coming home. Just be patient. They will learn.
Today we’ve discussed the primary reasons why your dog gets tempted to poop in the house while you are sleeping peacefully. Just remember that they don’t know all of the rules yet or that they might be sick before letting yourself get frustrated. Your furry friend loves you more than you can imagine and this phase will pass in no time!