Why Is My Dog Pooping In The House Even After Being Outside?

Guilty dog looking at you
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Dogs have many complex and gross pooping rituals that are difficult for us humans to understand. The inarguably worst dog pooping behavior is when they poop indoors. Why would they do this to you?

There are a variety of reasons your dog may do this. Buckle up, and let's talk poop.

Why do dogs poop inside the house?

There are a few different questions to ask yourself:

How old is your dog? If she's a puppy, she may simply not be housebroken yet. Young dogs having accidents indoors is common, and while annoying, it's nothing to worry about.

How recently did you adopt your dog? If you recently adopted an adult dog, she's likely somewhat stressed and not accustomed to her new bathroom schedule yet. In time, she'll learn the new routine.

Did this happen out of the blue? If your dog has always been house-trained and only recently started pooping indoors, even after going outside to use the bathroom, several factors may be at play. Your dog may be experiencing a medical issue, so it's always wise to call the vet before trying anything else. If your dog is elderly, he may be gradually losing control of his bowels. Senior dogs may need to be let outside more often to prevent accidents, as it becomes harder for them to "hold it in."

Small French bulldog indoors with destroyed toilet paper
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Is your dog stressed? Has there been a recent change that may disrupt your dog's life? For instance, maybe you started a new job with a different schedule, or adopted a second dog. These changes may contribute to stress and can cause your dog's pooping habits to take a weird turn. Stressed or nervous dogs sometimes poop on items that smell familiar, which, in a weird way, is soothing to them (but horrifying to us).

Is your dog under-exercised or under-trained? The term "behavioral house soiling" refers to indoor soiling that is not caused by a medical issue. If you've visited the vet and ruled out the possibility of medical issues, you'll need to examine other causes that could be contributing to their new behavior. Two major possibilities are that your dog needs more exercise or more training (or some combination of the two). Exercise and training provide stimulation and act as anti-stressors for bored or stressed dogs.

How to stop a dog from pooping in the house

If you have a puppy who's having accidents in the house: read up on house training, and make sure you're following all the appropriate steps. House training takes time. While it can be frustrating, having patience is key.

If you have an adult dog, and this behavior is new for them: the first step is to take them to the vet. You'll need to eliminate the possibility that this behavior is caused by an underlying medical issue.

If your vet determines that there's no medical issue, think about your dog's life and make a list of the reasons you think could be relevant to your dog's new behavior. Then, consult a trainer. They can help you work with your dog to eliminate this behavior.

Dog playing  with lavatory paper on bathroom floor
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In the meantime, if you catch your dog in the act of pooping inside, give them a strong "no" command (Like "NO" or "UH-UH"), and redirect them to go outside. When they poop outdoors, give them lots of praise, so they know they're doing the right thing.

A dog pooping in the house can be incredibly frustrating, but take heart knowing that it's fairly common and extremely treatable. You'll get there!