When crate training their dogs, some owners start to encounter the issue of their pooch chronically pooping in the crate. This issue can be gross, annoying, and stressful to deal with. It may also be an indication that something is wrong medically or emotionally with the dog. Here are some techniques to try to help your dog stop pooping in a crate.
If your dog is chronically pooping in his dog crate, the first thing you should do is have a chat with your veterinarian. Especially if the stool is very loose, your veterinarian may find an underlying health condition that is causing your dog to ‘go’ more frequently than normal.
Once you’ve eliminated the possibility of a health concern, make sure you are doing your best to remain positive and encouraging. Also, you’ll need to keep on top of grooming the dog so he isn’t covered in excrement after exiting the crate. At the bottom of all of it, remember that your dog likely does not want to poop in the space in which he is confined.
Try to keep in mind that there is often a larger issue at play, and you just need to figure out where the problem areas are and address them. Remember to keep exhibiting patience and kindness with your dog, and good outcomes will undoubtedly follow.
9 Ways to Stop a Dog from Pooping in a Crate
Prevention over treatment is the best philosophy. Before crating your dog, you need to be responsible enough to ensure that you have let him go to the bathroom just before he goes into the crate. It is unfair to not allow your dog the ability to relieve himself and then get upset when the inevitable occurs.
2. Proper potty training
Before crating your dog for an extended period of time, make sure he already knows the ins and outs of when and where to go to the bathroom. Positive reinforcement works much better than punishing a bad deed. To properly train your puppy about going potty, watch our step by step video guide on how to housetrain a dog effectively.
3. Proper exercise
Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise before and after being crated. Exercise tires the dog out, and will prevent him from making a mess in the crate just for something to do. Regular exercise also helps the dog connect routines, and potty habits just fall in line with the other routines such as walks and meals.
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Make sure your dog isn’t releasing his bowels due to anxiety. Some dogs can’t be crated due to fear of confinement or solitude. Make sure Fido is not expressing distress when in the crate; if distress is present, that can easily lead to peeing and pooping uncontrollably. Diarrhea is one of the classic symptoms of anxiety in dogs.
5. Feeding times
Always feed your dog at the same times throughout the day, and make sure you are relating it directly to time spent in the crate. A lot of dogs tend to eliminate waste about 30 minutes after their meals, so you will want to refrain from putting your pet in his crate sooner than that post-meal. You should also refrain from keeping food in the crate until after you are confident your dog can “hold it” for long enough.
6. Proper dog food and treats
Make sure the food and treats you are feeding your dog are agreeing with his stomach. Some dog foods and treats may upset his stomach and can cause diarrhea. If you are leaving a peanut butter stuffed Kong in the crate, and your dog can’t stop pooping in a crate, that could be an indication that the peanut butter could be a cause.
Some dogs come to understand that they can poop in the crate and then cover it up with a blanket. If this is the case, and you’re using any type of dog blankets in his dog crate, you should remove the blanketing until the dog learns that laying in his own mess is not the ideal way to spend the day.
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Make sure your dog isn’t training YOU. Some dogs learn that after pooping in a crate, they are allowed out. If you suspect that this is the issue, consult a professional trainer and seek out methods to effectively discourage the dog from behaving this way. Positive reinforcement is highly recommended; punishment for the bad deed is not.
9. Health issues
If you have exhausted all the other techniques and possibilities, bring your dog to the veterinarian for a health check-up to make sure there isn’t a medical issue causing this problem. Your vet will also be able to advise you on food options if that might be the cause of what is causing the inappropriate pooping habits of your dog.