Many of us may be familiar with adorably incontinent babies. But how upset would we be if they left their little surprises on the floor instead of in their pampers.
And how pleased are we when we awaken in the morning to find that our beloved dog is not quite as considerate as the baby? Why does he do it, and what can we do to stop it?
Why does my dog poop in the house At Night?
There are any number of reasons why a pet may feel compelled to leave signs of his digestive processes around the house for you to find, hopefully not by stepping in, the following morning.
The simplest answer is that when nature calls, your pet feels compelled to answer. It’s up to us to find out why the call is so urgent that the animal feels compelled to relieve himself in what we would consider to be an inappropriate manner.
Bear in mind that your canine companion does not consider his behavior inappropriate in the least, His body is telling him to do something, so he does it. There are no higher thought processes involved.
So, it’s often up to us to fathom how we can short circuit his urge to relieve himself, usually by understanding why the urge develops in the first place.
Perhaps you are feeding the animal a little too late in the evening. An overfull stomach and not enough time to process the meal before we retire for the evening may be the most obvious reason for this type of behavior.
And, we should also consider the fact that we may, indeed, be overfeeding him. Many of us equate food with love, but while there can never be too much love, there certainly can be too much food, especially late in the evening..
Perhaps your pup needs a bit more exercise to get the digestive process going. May be he has been lazing about the house a bit too much, instead of exercising in the yard or going on long walks.
An active dog is more likely to sleep through the night, without the need to relieve himself than an inactive one. An animal who sleeps soundly is unlikely to awaken as the result of the urge to defecate.
And when it comes to feeding, try to remember that treats are basically food items, even though your four-legged friend gobbles them up like candy. Maybe he’s had one too many of these too close to bedtime?
After all, these treats are subject to the same processes as the other nutritious items in his diet. What goes in must, eventually, come out. But hopefully not until his morning romp in the yard!
Some dogs, when they awaken with the urge to go, will bark or whine or otherwise inform their human companion that they require attention.
This can, indeed, be annoying. But is it more annoying than stepping in something unexpected in the morning? Only you can decide.
And some pups will hesitate to awaken a sleeping human. Whether out of consideration, trepidation, or training, and merely go about their business and return to slumbering peacefully.
In some cases, your four-legged friend may simply not know how to ask.
Why is my dog suddenly pooping in the house at night?
Stress can be a major factor. A new schedule, a new environment can lead to confusion and can cause this sudden behavior.
Of course, there can be medical reasons for the problem, as well. If the behavior is a new development, and the stool is runny of abnormal looking, and your four-legged has been exhibiting any other signs of abnormal behavior, a visit to the vet is a good idea.
It could be a case of parasites such as roundworm, hookworms, or giardia, or a bacterial or viral infection. It could even be cancer. And older dogs may suffer from canine cognitive dysfunction, a condition similar to Alzheimers in humans.
So, now that we’ve examined the myriad of reasons why your canine companion may poop in your house in the middle of the night, perhaps we should examine some ways to alleviate the problem.
How do I get my Pup to stop pooping in the house at night?
To solve the problem of nocturnal soiling of the house, some owners choose to crate train their dogs.
To put this practice in simple terms. A dog will naturally avoid soiling his immediate surroundings. This, of course, seems entirely logical. Who wants to sleep in a bed of their own feces?
By crating your pet for increasing periods of time, then immediately allowing them to relieve themselves outdoors, you are training them to control the urge to urinate or defecate as soon as the urge strikes them.
Some people will crate their pets for the entire night, and for their entire lives, while others rely on the training to allow the animal to go eventually spend the night out of the crate, perhaps even in the bed with them.
You can, perhaps, avoid a relapse to the night pooping behavior by closing the bedroom door. An open door may allow your pet to take advantage of another room, a space where he can easily make a deposit and leave to return to the comfort of your bed.
He will not consider this soiling the immediate area, and is very happy to come upon this solution.
You, however, will not be happy. So, if you have any doubts about your pet’s ability to control himself through the night, it is wise to close the bedroom door.
Another obvious answer to the problem is to avoid feeding your pup late at night. If there is food in his stomach, it will eventually make its way out of there.
And if he doesn’t have time to complete the process before bedtime, odds are greatly increased that you’ll have an unpleasant morning cleanup.
Some experts recommend not feeding your pet after five in the afternoon. This allows plenty of time for the process to reach completion.
Just remember that exercise will speed it along. Let him have a good run in the yard before bedtime, or take him on a nice walk.
A dog who gets enough exercise will have an easier time sleeping through the night, and avoiding the natural urge to defecate or urinate until morning. And, as an added benefit, he will be healthier all around, and far less likely to become obese.
The same can be said of you, as you well know, so why not join your pet in his exercise routine.
That being said, it’s easy to understand that if your pet is not given the opportunity to relieve himself in the appropriate manner when he should, odds are he will relieve himself when he shouldn’t.
As an added measure, your pup’s water bowl should be removed about one to two hours before you retire for the evening.
Any parent of a small child will tell you it’s not wise to give liquids to them close to bedtime. These parents may have to deal with wet sheets, but you will be dealing with puddles in inopportune places.
As I mentioned, some dogs may be reticent about waking their owners from a sound sleep. If you think this is a problem, there are ways to solve it.
Consider tethering your pet to your bed, close enough so that any whines of distress will wake you. If you are a sound sleeper, you might want to consider tethering him to your wrist or ankle.
Caution must be taken if you decide to go this route. Use a harness to secure your pet, not a collar. This will avoid and chance of strangulation, And leave a sufficient length of leash to allow your four-legged friend some measure of freedom, as well as yourself.
You really don’t want to be tripping over your canine companion or his leash in your effort to get him outside in time.
If your pup awakens you due to his need to relieve himself, bite the bullet, get out of bed, and take care of business.
And please don’t make him regret having awakened you by speaking harshly. This could make him regret doing it, and the consequences could be more midnight surprises, this time really close to where you are sleeping.
But you must tread a narrow course between not punishing him and rewarding him. If you praise him, and reward him, you may find yourself experiencing much more of these middle of the night bonding sessions than you want.
Also, remember that once your canine companion has soiled an area, he will be drawn to it again. This makes it very important to clean the area thoroughly using distilled white vinegar and baking soda.
This will discourage repeat offenses. And please remember, if you suspect your pet’s behavior is related to a physical condition, anything from roundworm to cancer to arthritis, please take him to a vet, as I am sure that your canine companion is as pained and uncomfortable with the situation as you are.
Now that you are aware of some of the causes of the problem, it should be easier to deal with it.
Hopefully, some minor behavior modifications, either on the part of your pup or yourself can provide relief. In the worse case, some medical intervention may be needed.