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Pooping in House


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How to Figure Out Which Dog is Having Diarrhea or Pooping in Your House

Published: October 16, 2016

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Whose poop is this anyway.

If you've got more than one dog (or cat) at home, odds are good that you've been faced with the "whose poop is this?" question at some point. Right? Whether you're needing to know because someone is having diarrhea, or because one of them is pooping on your carpets, figuring out which pet is having "bowel problems" is always the first step to figuring out why.

Fortunately there's a quick and easy trick to help you figure out whose is whose, and it involves something that you likely have in your home right now (or can very easily, and inexpensively, grab at the store). crayons!

How to feed your dogs crayons (this trick can be used with cats, too)

Using a vegetable peeler, make small shavings of different colored crayons —a different color for each pet. Mix a small amount of these shavings (about 1/8 tsp) into a small amount of wet food for each pet. Then separate your pets while they each eat their "colorful little snack” (watch to ensure that nobody is eating another's color-this will mess up your experiment). Then just keep an eye out for abnormal poops, the color of crayon in the poop will tell you whose it is!

INSET PHOTO: This "funfetti"-like poop wasn't the result of someone getting this tip horribly wrong. It was actually the, rather colorful, "end result" of a dog that got into a whole box of crayons! The dog was fine, and the family was in no danger of accidentally stepping on this bomb in the yard!

So, crayons are actually just one of the safe, easy, and not-too-messy ways to help you determine which of your dogs is having diarrhea or pooping in your home. If you prefer, you can also use a small amount (5-10 drops, depending on your dog's size) of concentrated gel paste food colorings (sometimes called "icing colors"). Just be aware that if you use these concentrated food colorings, they may stain your carpets! Alternatively, you can also use a small amount (about 1/8-1/4 tsp, depending on your dog's size) of regular, everyday glitter (VIDEO: the Saint Louis Zoo uses glitter!).

One important note should you elect to use the gel paste food colorings. at this time we aren't aware of any brands that contain the sweetener xylitol, but they could be out there, or could come on the market. Be sure to always read the label before using any gel food colorings for this trick with your pets. If you find gel paste that contains xylitol, please let us know and we'll add it to this list of over 700 products that contain xylitol. (In case you weren't aware. xylitol is VERY dangerous to dogs!)

Regardless of whether you use crayon shavings, gel food colorings, or glitter, you may have to do this for a few meals or a couple of days—depending on how frequently your pets "go" and how closely you're monitoring their stools. But these are all safe, sure-fire ways to help you figure out the "who," so that you can then focus on the "why."

Why your pet may be having 'bowel problems' or defecating where they're not supposed to

There are many reasons why a dog may be having diarrhea, or why they may be pooping on your floors.

Diarrhea can result from:

  • Dietary indescretion (i.e., eating, or being fed, things they shouldn't)
  • Infectious causes (e.g., viral, bacterial, worms, and others)
  • Hormonal conditions (e.g., hyperthyroidism, Addison's disease, and others)
  • Inflammatory reasons (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis)
  • And a host of other reasons
Defecating in the wrong place can also have a variety of causes, including:
  • Arthritis
  • Nervous system problems (incl., Canine Cognitive Dysfunction in dogs)
  • Stress
  • And many others

    Your vet truly is your best resource for working through the potential causes of your pet's diarrhea and/or inappropriate defecation. Don't make the (often incorrect) assumption that your pet is "doing it out of spite" or that it'll "pass"—doing so may just be prolonging your pet's discomfort.

    Please note: Unless otherwise stated, products, services, and/or companies mentioned, or links to same, are for illustration purposes only and their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from Preventive Vet. Additionally, we are NOT compensated if you choose to buy what we feature.


    How to Make It Stop

    The key to overcoming poop problems is to take care of the underlying cause. In most cases, this will put an end to unwanted accidents. With that being said, you may also have to do a bit of behavioral modification.

    The goal is to prevent accidents and develop new habits. Whether you're dealing with a new puppy or one that you've had for many years, these training methods can be an effective way to stop inside pooping.

    Create a Designated Pooping Space

    Ideally, you want your dog to poop outside. However, you may have to start small and work your way there. If your dog doesn't go back to pooping outside immediately, the best thing you can do is to control where they poop inside. Puppy pads are a great place to start. You can set the pad up next to the door and guide your dog in the right direction whenever you see them sniffing around.

    Many pads are scented to attract dogs . The scent is undetectable to humans but very enticing to dogs. As your furry friend gets used to going on the pad, you can slowly move it outdoors.

    Eventually, your dog will get the message that they need to do their business where you want them to. Of course, offer plenty of praise and treats to cement their skills.

    * If your dog is unable to go outside due to old age or medical problems you can consider a more permanent isolution like an indoor dog potty system

    Reduce Anxiety

    If the pooping issue stems from stress or boredom, that particular problems need to be dealt with first. The best way to deal with stress or depression is to shower your pooch with all the love they need. You should also provide them with plenty of opportunities to get exercise.

    Physical activity can distract them from their emotions. Take them on more walks and spend a little bit of extra time playing outside. This will strengthen your bond and help your dog get back to their playful self in no time.

    Keep your Dog Entertained

    If you're going to work or plan on leaving the house for an extended period of time, you should provide your dog with something that can keep them entertained.

    There's a wide variety of mental stimulation toys out there. These toys contain hidden treats that require chewing or rolling to get to.

    They can keep your pup entertained for hours on end. This will prevent accidents in your home and will make your dog smarter in the long run.

    Establish Verbal Cues

    Verbal cues can be used to let your dog know what is right and wrong. Dogs are fully capable of understanding simple phrases with the right training. Even older dogs can learn the skills they need to be successful. Every single time you bring your dog outside, say the same verbal command. Something as simple as "outside," will suffice.

    Over time, that cue will indicate that it's time to go do the deed . They may even start to head towards the door when they have the urge to relieve themselves. You can take this a step further by implementing another cue once they're in the designated pooping area.

    By saying something like "potty," your dog will know that it's safe to poop. With plenty of praise, these cues will be associated with pooping outside.

    Close Supervision

    Getting over an accident problem will require you to keep a close eye on your dog at all times. You'll need to prevent future accidents from occurring inside your home. The more times they can poop inside, the more they'll feel that its the right thing to do.

    You need to circumvent this by taking your dog out whenever they start to show signs that they're about to poop. This includes sniffing around and walking in circles.

    If you're unable to stay home all day, it may be a good idea to hire a dog sitter to watch them. It's important that your sitter uses the same verbal commands and training techniques as you do so that your dog doesn't get confused.

    Reinforce Training

    Sometimes, you just have to reinforce your past training methods. Dogs can lose track of the skills they learned as a younger puppy. This is especially true if the methods weren't strongly enforced or if they were exposed to another owner's techniques.

    To get your dog back on track, you'll need to dedicate some time for additional training. It's important that you use the same methods as before to avoid any further confusion.

    If you used crate training, take the crate back out and place their bed inside. Crates can be used to confine your pet when you're not home. The crate should be large enough to hold your dog comfortably. However, there shouldn't be any excess room.

    Crate training is only effective if there's not enough room to poop inside. When you get home, take them out to the pooping spot and provide a reward.

    Your dog should be able to pick up the training a bit faster the second time around. You'll be able to decrease the confinement time and let your dog out for longer periods of time over the course of a couple weeks. Once they've stopped pooping inside, keep your training methods up to ensure that they never lose the skills again.


    The first time your dog soils your house it creates a precedent – a bad precedent. Subsequent mistakes quickly reinforce the existing bad habit, making it even harder to break. The prime directive of housetraining therefore is to prevent your pup from making mistakes. This is particularly important during the first few days the puppydog is at home. Your puppy’s initial elimination sites will remain favorite locations for a long time to come.

    A not uncommon housesoiling case history comprises dogs which eliminate in the owner’s bedroom – daily! Now, I can understand an owner ‘slipping up’ and allowing the pup to have a messy mishap once in a while, but not every day! Why not just close the bedroom door and then housetrain the dog. Until a dog is housetrained, surely common sense dictates, it should not have the run of the house, let alone the bedroom! As a temporary solution, at times when you cannot keep an eye on your pup, keep it confined to a single room or an outdoor run.

    The purpose of long-term confinement is to confine the problem to a selected area. The owner acknowledges that the pup will need to eliminate sometime during the lengthy confinement period, and so the pup is confined to an area where urine and feces will cause the least damage and provoke the least annoyance, e.g., a utility room or kitchen with non-porous floors, which may be covered with newspaper. The pup soon develops a preference for eliminating on papers in the confinement area. Of course, eventually it will be necessary to break the dog of this habit and train it to eliminate outside exclusively. However, for the meantime, if ever the pup has the run of the house, but the silly owner is not paying attention (i.e., a physically-present but mentally-absent owner), at least the pup is likely to seek out its familiar confinement area when it needs to eliminate, thus causing the least possible damage and inconvenience indoors.


    You also need to consider whether your dog’s surroundings have changed to make it harder for him or her to go outside. If you’ve just moved, your dog may be confused about where they are allowed to poop. You should remind them by doing a few training sessions as if you were housetraining them for the first time. Reward them when they poop outside and bring them out frequently.

    Also, consider if a new appliance or source of noise is preventing you from hearing your dog ask to go outside. Or, if something is physically in their way. For example, if your dog normally scratches on the door to be let out, and you’ve put something in front of the door, they may not know what to do to signal to you that they need to go out.

    Lastly, also consider if there is a reason your dog may not want to go in the backyard. It’s not uncommon for dogs that got sprayed by a skunk to be scared to go outside, especially at night. Or, maybe a new pool or new garden bed is freaking your dog out. You may need a trainer to help solve this one.


    Watch the video: Dog Shits everywhere! pitbull (July 2021).