When crate training a dog, some owners find their pup chronically pooping in the crate.
There may be a few simple fixes to this, but this could also indicate something being wrong medically or emotionally with the dog.
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The first thing to do is pay attention to your dog's poop. For example, if the stool is loose, then the dog may have a health problem and may not hold it in.
Consult with a vet to find an underlying problem condition causing your dog to go so frequently.
If their poop is normal, then your dog pooping in the crate may be the result of improper training, incorrect dog crate size, instilling bad habits, or several other possible causes.
Below are the ten reasons why dogs do this and how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate.
10 Ways to Stop a Dog Pooping in a Crate
1. Proper Potty Training
Your dog might be pooping in a crate because they don't know any better.
Before crating a dog for an extended period of time, your pet needs to be housebroken and have the time they're used to going to the bathroom.
You can still use crates while you're in the process of house training a dog, but for only short periods of time.
2. Crate Stay Duration
Housebroken dogs have their scheduled times for bathroom breaks. When you crate your dog, make sure the time does not interfere with the dog's bathroom-walk schedule.
It would be best if you never kept the dog in a crate for too long.
Despite the myth, dogs are not denning animals, and some do not prefer to stay in them, especially for an overlong time.
The age of your dog will also be a factor here. Adult dogs can hold it in longer than puppies. The recommended maximum time for a dog to stay in a crate is up to 4 hours for puppies under 4 months old, up to 5 hours for puppies around 6 months of age, and up to 6-8 hours for adult dogs.
Plenty of exercise benefits a crated dog in more than one way. It tires out the dog, so they are less likely to whine, misbehave and poop in a crate; they go to sleep instead.
Regular walks, playtime, and exercise also help the dog's mind connect routines, and potty habits fall in line with the other routines such as walks and meals.
Other than any other health issues, the dog may poop in a crate because something causes him anxiety.
Crate anxiety is real, and not all dogs can tolerate crates due to claustrophobic fear of confinement and/or solitude.
After you place your pet in a crate, watch out for signs of stress.
If any distress is present, that often leads to peeing and pooping uncontrollably. Diarrhea is another symptom of anxiety in dogs.
5. Feeding Times
Routine is crucial for dogs, so feed your dog at the same times throughout the day, and make sure you are relating it directly to time spent in the crate.
Many dogs tend to eliminate waste about 30-60 minutes after their meals, so refrain from putting your pet in a crate sooner than that post-meal bowel movement.
It would help if you also refrained from keeping food in the crate until after you are confident your dog can “hold it” for long enough.
6. Dog Food and Treats
Please make sure the food and treats you are feeding to the dog agree with his stomach.
Some dog foods and treats may upset a dog's stomach, cause diarrhea or otherwise mess with a dog's bathroom schedule.
If you're leaving a peanut butter stuffed KONG toy in the crate, and your dog won't stop pooping in the crate, then peanut butter could be the cause.
Some dogs 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 dog blankets in your pet's crate, it's best to remove the blanketing until the dog learns that laying in its own mess is not the ideal way to spend time in a crate.
Even if you follow all crate training rules, make sure your dog isn’t training you instead (i.e., manipulating you).
Some dogs learn that after pooping in a crate, they are allowed out. If you suspect this to be the issue, consult a professional behaviorist to discourage the dog from this behavior.
You will use positive reinforcement and redirection, in this case, to stop a dog from pooping a crate.
9. Crate Size
It would be best if you chose dog crates based on a dog's age and size. Refer to a dog crate sizing chart to choose the right one.
The reason for this is because when a crate is too large, dogs may treat part of it like a backyard – poop on one side and sleep on the other.
Small crates may be uncomfortable and cause stress or anxiety in the dog, resulting in pooping.
10. Health Issues
If you have exhausted all the other techniques and possibilities, bring your dog to the veterinarian for a health check-up to ensure there isn’t a medical issue causing this problem.
Your vet will also advise you on food options if that might be the cause of what is causing the inappropriate pooping habits of your dog.
When Nothing Else Works
If you've ruled out that the cause is not medical and the above methods and techniques do not stop your puppy pooping a crate, the only way to solve this problem will be with training that requires more time and patience.
During this time, you may need some supplies to decrease the “damage” done by your dog's poop.
Get yourself some training pads to lay them out in the crate. This is a temporary solution but will help to deal with poop in the crate.
They're primarily designed for dog urine but can still help by absorbing some feces and locking in the smell, helping you to contain the mess and make the cleaning process easier.
An appropriately sized set of pet diapers can also help temporarily as they're commonly used in puppies and senior dogs with incontinence.
Note that most dogs will not feel comfortable wearing diapers, so this should only be used as the last resort and only for a short period.
A better solution than keeping your dog in a crate with feces is paying for a dog daycare.
If the reason you're crating a dog is that you're leaving the house, then leaving them in daycare while the puppy goes through basic training may be a more humane solution.
Similar to using dog daycare, if you can afford a dog sitter that can spend time with your dog and take them out for bathroom breaks while you're away is a much better solution.
You can book a dog walker for specific times during the day, and there's plenty of easy-to-use apps and services for your convenience.
Finally, a few tools that can help you temporarily deal with a dog pooping in the crate are trays that you can place in the crate (ideally with pee pads in them), and pet odor eliminators contain enzymes to discourage the dog from eliminating themselves.
Below are some of the best products for this problem.
|Replacement Pan for 30" Long MidWest Dog Crate||23,042 Reviews||Check Price|
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