A smooth routine life begins with crate training, especially with new puppers. But it does come with many challenges of puppy pooping in crate. And one that tops the list is how to stop a dog from pooping in the crate.
As dog parents, you must agree with us that this feeling of pure joy and love comes when your doggo is fully trained and well-adjusted to life at home.
Pooping in a crate is not an uncommon problem and happens to the best of them but it should be alarming as pet behavioral psychologists don’t break it down as normal.
Need we say more? Here is an inspiring piece on how to stop your doggo from finding comfort in making this blunder from time to time.
Table of Contents
5 Major Reasons Why Do Dogs And Puppies Poop In Their Crates
Crate training is a real thing for dogs, especially the new puppers. It may seem like a harsh concept for people who are unaware of it but it does good for your doggo. We like referring to the crate as their private den.
One thing is for sure; dogs don’t like to mess up the places where they live especially with bowel movements. So when you find yourself coming across this problem more often, then know that something is up.
Need a low down on why this practice becomes a common sight? Here are five major reasons explored for you.
Dogs are like babies. They need to be properly potty trained. If you find your dog pooping in the crate more often, you can direct your thoughts to how well is your dog trained for answering nature’s call.
Puppies and cheesers are more prone to make such accidents. Puppies are developing muscles that help control bowel movements and up until the age of 16 weeks, they are still in the process.
On average, the number of hours a puppy can hold till taking a dump is related to how old he is. For example, a two-month-old puppy can hold on for two hours or so.
According to Old Dog Haven, senior dogs face weaker or damaged anal muscles or damaged spinal nerves. This physical change can result in more frequent pooping and urination in the crate.
II. Separation Anxiety & Other Forms
For us, anxiety may be more of an issue for your puppy pooping in the crate than training. Anxieties can come in many faces. There could be separation anxiety, trauma anxiety, aging anxiety, or fear anxiety.
Fear anxiety can be caused by disturbing sounds, new places, car rides, or new people. Even if the encounter is small, these stimuli can start building up anxiety.
Then there is aging anxiety. Dogs go through somewhat similar diseases like Alzheimer’s in old age.
The confusion and anxiety created due to this problem can make a dog poop and pee in their crate.
Separation anxiety is real and according to American Kennel Club, it affects approximately 14 percent of dogs.
This usually happens when the dogs are left alone for a longer period by their family. This also becomes a major cause of irresponsible pooping in crates.
Infections play a deliberate role in this whole scenario, that is if your doggo has any.
If you have ticked off all other reasons, this might be it. So as a responsible dog owner, it is best to get your fluffer thoroughly examined by a vet from time to time.
Digestive tract infections cause diarrhea. This uncontrolled and untimely ooze of loose watery stool can be caused by various viral and bacterial infections.
Parvovirus, Rotavirus, and Campylobacter are just a few culprits to name here.
At times, the parasites in the digestive tract damage the rectum muscles. Sometimes the reason could be as simple as a minor food poisoning or as major as some chronic illness.
In any case, it is best to seek professional help.
IV. Adequate Crate Size
Is the crate too big for your pup? Do keep this point in mind if your dog is pooping in the crate even though you’ve fully crate-trained your dog and show no sign of any bowel infection.
Because a simple thing like a dog’s crate size may affect the bowel movements.
The den should be cozy and at the same time big enough for the dog to rest and stretch easily. No more. If you provide your dog with a big enough crate to roam around, then be prepared for accidents to happen.
We know that doggos never soil the place where they rest. Call it instinct or a civilized thing.
A bigger place will be misleading for the poor soul. He might be tricked into thinking the lucky chap got his studio.
Your fur baby needs your time and patience. Dog parents are supposed to be responsible since they earn the title of parents.
If you leave your doggo in a crate for a longer period, accidents are bound to happen. And your doggo is not to be blamed for that.
It is a nature call. Even you as humans can’t hold it for longer periods. Then how would your doggo?
If you are leaving for the office or any other planned activity, don’t enclose your dog in a crate. Find alternatives like a dog daycare or a dog sitter.
Now that we know the reasons why a dog poops in its crate, let’s look at solutions to prevent the catastrophe.
7 Effective Ways To Stop A Dog From Pooping In The Crate
So what was the first reason why you opted for crate training for your doggo? Most will agree with us on the point that pooping accidents are the major reason for crate training.
It’s time to bring a positive change and stop your dog from pooping in the crate with these effective ways. Read, learn and conquer.
1. Is Crate Training A Good Idea For Your Doggo?
Not all dogs are meant to be trained in crates. This is something you should discuss with a professional dog trainer or an expert dog behavioral doctor.
Remember crate training for a puppy is more of an apt thing than crate training for an adult dog.
You can also observe your dog by giving it a few days in a crate. Some dogs don’t adjust well to confined places.
Instead of finding comfort and thinking it be their personal space, they may develop fears of loneliness and develop anxiety.
This can lead to loss of bladder control or diarrhea. And nervousness may cause your dog to poop regularly in the crate.
If these accidents become frequent, it’s time to analyze if your decision had a positive effect on your dog or a negative one.
Try giving the crate training a break to see what difference it makes. If there are signs of positivity, that’s your cue to stop putting it in a crate.
If you don’t see any improvement, carry on with your crate training and see other reasons which might be triggering your dog to poop now and then in his crate.
2. Make The Scenario Inviting
So you have finally decided to take crate training as a course of action to train your fluffer for living a healthy home lifestyle.
A crate should be a home for your pup, not a cage or a place where it thinks it’s being punished.
The best way to go about making the crate inviting for the pup. Leaving doggy toys inside can also keep him interested when you close the crate door.
This will make the dog less nervous and do lesser harm like soiling the crate.
3. Move On A Schedule For Potty Training
Expecting your dog to put a hold on nature’s call for the longest time is harsh. As mentioned before, the number of hours a puppy can hold on to its urge to pee or poop is directly proportional to its age.
A three-month-old puppy would be able to hold on for a maximum of four hours. Now that you have this useful information, schedule and potty train accordingly.
Make sure that your doggo is outdoors when it’s poopy time for him. Even after scheduling, if you notice an accident, your dog might be needing more frequent “out time”.
Having said that, schedule meal time for your doggo too. This will help in figuring out an estimated poop time for your dog.
Furthermore, we suggest that give your doggo the time to eliminate first thing in the morning.
Then keep up with it within an hour of every meal. Don’t forget one more time before bedtime.
4. Don’t Go Extra With The Size
Crate size matters a big deal. You are not doing your furry friend a favor by getting it a roomy crate. Think of the crate as an enclosed sleeping bed for your dog.
And honestly, it shouldn’t be bigger than that.
If you think that’s small, take your dog out often for stretching and exercising. The roomier the crate will be, the higher the likelihood of pooping accidents will be.
Generally, the dog will not poop where he sleeps or eat, so it will try to find a free empty space. If the dog’s crate has that space, the accident will happen there.
5. Remove Bedding For A While
You may be thinking why we are suggesting this. The thing is that dogs prefer eliminating porous surfaces. And bedding and blankets turn out to be ideal for them.
Also, a guilt-conscious dog will try to cover the poop or pee in the folds of the blanket, just to deceive its owner.
Try removing bedding for a while. This will make them understand that once the place is soiled, they will have nowhere to sit or rest.
And that, dogs do not do. The discomfort will bring about a positive change for sure.
Meanwhile, you can carry on with the practice of moving on a strict schedule of meal time and out time.
6. Seek Professional Help
So you are vigilant about the schedule, and the crate size seems perfect but the poor chap still having accidents has you bewildered.
Time to move on to the next step. Now, this is the best advice we would give to any dog parent.
Seek professional help if you find yourself lost or putting together clues. By that, we urge you to reach out to a vet for ruling out any health-related issue that might be causing your dog to make a habit of pooing in his place of sleep.
Sometimes the dog’s diet may have some ingredients that are causing them allergies. Pooping could be an allergic reaction to the food he is having. The vet can suggest food that may be lighter on the stomach.
In the same way, if your dog is showing signs of anxiety, you can reach out to dog behavioral experts.
Having a dog with behavior issues can be quite taxing for the whole family. Find one who is certified and uses positive training methods.
Separation anxiety is a real deal and common in dogs. This makes them do stuff that is out of the norm.
So if your already potty-trained dog is pooping in the crate especially when you are out for work or some other commitment, it may be a case of separation anxiety. You can use specialized toys to help them deal with separation anxiety.
7. Never Inflict A Penalty
Punishment is a language we are not familiar with so we will never endorse it. After all, it is called an accident.
And nobody, we repeat, nobody should be punished for any accident. Even if you do feel that it’s going to make things get in control…you are mistaken here.
Things will take the worst turn ever if you inflict a penalty on your doggo for eliminating in his crate.
The best way to deal with this kind of accident is vigilance, encouragement, and taking your doggo out more.
The best way to go about this is through positive reinforcement. Simply take out your dog, and clean the area with disinfectants to neutralize the odor.
Patience will take you a long way, especially with a new pup. For older dogs, there are always some underlying issues that are making them behave in this way. Find them and deal accordingly
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it normal for dogs to poop where they sleep?
No, not at all. A dog pooping at the spots where he eats and sleeps is the last thing to do for them. Unless there is a lack of training or any other underlying issue like diarrhea or anxiety that is making it do it. It is always better to see a vet if you find your dog in such a condition.
2. How long can a dog hold its poop?
The longest time adult dogs can hold on to their poop is 12 hours. But this is not considered healthy at all. Normally eliminating should be done an hour after taking a meal.
As we speak, this fact does not apply to young puppies. The amount of hours a puppy can hold on to its poop is equivalent to its age. A three-month puppy can hold for three to four-ish hours max.
3. What size crate should be ideal for preventing pooping in the crate?
Choosing a crate that is ideally sized for your dog depends on the size of your dog. The best way to go about this is to measure the height of your dog from the top of the head to the floor.
This will help you determine how high should the crate will be.
For the length, start measuring from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Now add 4 inches to the height and the length. This will be the ideal measurement of the crate you will get for your dog.
4. Is placing a puppy pad in the crate helpful?
Ideally speaking, placing a pee pad in the crate is not encouraged. It kills the whole point of training. This way you are telling your doggo that it’s ok to pee or poop in the crate.
And also it comes with the hazard of your dog chewing on the pee pad if left alone for a longer time as they are not pup-proof.
You can take aid from it during the night time though. We suggest leaving the crate door open so they may not have to sit in the soiled place.
Don’t kill that instinct which will help in letting go of pooping in the crate.
Training a dog or a new pup in a crate can be hard enough. And that too doubled up with your pup pooping in his resting place every time. Dogs tend to keep their den clean. Unless there is trouble in paradise.
There are numerous reasons which could point out this abnormal behavior of your fluffer. Once you know the underlying reasons, you can move forward with the right solution to put a stop to pooping in the crate.
Seeing a vet or a behaviorist will be the best way to move forward in scenarios like these.
They will help you find the right cause and give you the perfect solution for it because most of the time there is an underlying disease that is making your dog go through this phase.
Remember reaching out to the right people at the right time is of utmost importance.
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