Potty training a puppy using a crate works just fine but can be frustrating if your little buddy keeps breaking the rules. However, that’s no excuse to be mad at the dog or instill discipline in the little creature. It’s a process, and the puppy is accustoming to all the changes in his surroundings.
As a result, he may find himself in the wrong most of the time and soil or pee in his crate. Apart from age, factors like the size of the kennel, medical conditions, poor potty or crate training, or a change in feeding schedules can also make your dog mess up. Before you seek guidance on how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate, you need to ensure that you’ve successfully potty-trained and crate-trained your pooch. That’s a prerequisite to achieving success in your endeavor.
Once that’s in check, talk to your vet or professional trainer as a dog peeing or pooping in his crate could be related to medical reasons, behavioral issues, or physical disorders. Also, you check for any changes in your dog’s schedules, including an alteration in mealtimes, modification of diet, or additional supplements. Here is a comprehensive list of tips to help you in reviving hygiene into your canine’s kennel.
Check out For Medical Issues
Before you beat yourself up or curse inwardly for the mess your dog creates, ensure that he’s not suffering from any underlying medical conditions. This step is critical if your dog started this habit after successful potty and crate training. Thus, ensure your dog isn’t struggling with urinary tract infections or any other medical condition that affects bowel movement.
Similarly, internal parasites like coccids, tapeworms, and giardia are prime culprits in puppies defecating in crates. While the parasites are different, they all cause diarrhea, which may make it hard for your pet to hold his bowel movements for long hours.
Even worse, studies indicate that puppies and any dogs below the age of 12 months can fall victim to internal parasites. As such, you may also want to ensure that your little furry friend is a member of any New Puppy Veterinary Project and receives all the suitable deworming medications. Now that your dog already reports issues with his bowel controls, you need to note the following and report to your vet for diagnosis and treatment.
- Any unfamiliar smell from the pee
- Frequency of crate accidents
- Traces of blood in the excretions
- Any new supplements or medications your dog uses
- If you’ve tampered with his diet
Is it About Crate Size?
Your dog’s crate should be big enough to allow him to turn around comfortably, sleep, and stand. Any extra space beyond that may encourage your puppy to turn a corner of the crate into a bathroom while sleeping on the other corner. Tiny, right? But that’s just what your dog requires.
However, crate sizing isn’t a turnkey solution to avoid your pup’s misbehaviors since some dogs will still soil and pee in their small crates. For example, a puppy mill dog may find it very convenient to turn a section of his crate into a bathroom since that’s what they’re used to doing. The same goes for tiny dogs with under-developed systems, any canine that’s already accustomed to the bad habit, and those with medical conditions.
Nevertheless, it’s generally functional for the majority of well-trained pooches. You may consider buying a crate with dividers for your young puppy, so you don’t have to purchase or change the kennels as the dog grows.
Monitor Feeding Schedule and Time for the Crate Accidents
The schedules you set for your dog may trigger peeing or pooping in his crate, especially at mealtimes. For instance, most dogs will take between 30 and 60 minutes after meals before using the potty. As a result, you should make sure that your dog relieves himself before confining him in the crate. Feeding times must be aligned with potty time.
Similarly, prepare to take your dog out of his kennel for potty breaks during the night if you started feeding meals later in the day, given that dogs take between six and ten hours to digest foods they eat.
If your pooch soils and wets his crate at night, you may want to monitor and spot the exact time this happens. You may want to segment the night into two, so you don’t have to keep waking and sleeping to monitor your dog all night. For instance, you may decide to check on him at 2 am and again at 4 am. If you wake up at 2 am and find that he did it earlier, the next day, you may wake up earlier than that, let’s say 1:30 am. The same applies to 4 am.
Once you know the exact time your dog messes the crate, you may consider waking up around that time daily and taking him out for potty breaks. It may be daunting to leave your sleep to accompany your dog to the bathroom daily, but I bet it’s better than cleaning the mess you’ll wake up to clean if he does his thing in the crate. However, don’t alter the meal times again as that will change his potty time, leading to repeat the process.
Adjust Expectations, Include Extra Potty Breaks if Necessary
After knowing your dog’s potty schedules, you can now take control and adjust your expectations. You’ll also notice that small puppies and tiny dog breeds need more potty breaks than adult and large dog breeds. That’s normal since small dogs have tiny bladders that can’t hold as much as their age mates but larger canines.
Similarly, puppies’ systems haven’t developed enough and may find it hard to control bowel movements. Thus, age is a prime factor in determining the solution to this problem, as a week-old puppy may require more frequent potty breaks than an adult dog. As a general rule, a dog’s age in months determines how many hours he can hold his bowels. For instance, a month old may require to use the bathroom after every hour, while a 12 weeks old (3 months) canine will need a three-hour potty schedule.
However, the rule doesn’t go past eight hours, even for older dogs. Similarly, your dog’s size also plays a role, as an adult Chihuahua may not compare to an adult Labrador. Consider 4 to 6 hours for the adult dogs and fewer hours for puppies and adolescent canines.
Ensure Dog Does Sufficient Exercises
A tired and happy dog will typically spend her time in the crate sleeping rather than destroying things, whining, peeing, and pooping. As a result, you may consider taking your dog for regular walks, exercise, and playtime to ensure she’s tired before confining. Similarly, exercising your dog activates his mind and helps him connect routines, including correct potty habits.
Use Treats to Emphasize Potty Training
Incorporating some treats into the process can help you with potty and crate training issues. For example, reward your dog with pleasant treats every time he uses the potty the right way— positive reinforcement is always the key in dog training. However, you’ll have to be keen and reward him immediately he relieves himself. That makes it easy for him to make the connections.
You may even have to follow your dog around with the treats, so you don’t miss when he pees or poops. If you do this right, you may start noticing your furry friend tricking you with squats when you’re walking. But wait till he poops or pees before rewarding as that will instill the discipline you’re desiring.
Check for Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety and isolation stress are some of the biggest culprits as long as dogs’ crates accidents are a concern. Your dog may feel scared every time you leave him alone and uncontrollably poop or pee in his crate. This can happen either every time you leave the house or at night since he doesn’t know you’re sleeping in a room inside the house.
You may consider setting up a camera and capture your dog’s behaviors during or before messing with his crate. Consequently, ask your vet or a professional trainer to help you monitor the movements to establish if it’s separation anxiety. Some of the signs to pay attention to include chewing or digging in the crate, pacing, or crying and barking for long.
Take note when your dog spends more than half of his time in the crate stressed and doing different things rather than sleeping or playing with his toys. If you confirm that it’s anxiety, you can move the crate to your bedroom to help your dog relax because he’ll sleep feeling your presence.
Beddings Can Be The Problem Too
Beddings enhance your dog’s comfort but can also be a source of your potty training struggles. Some dogs find it convenient to go potty in the crate and cover it with blankets. Coverage offers the comfort of keeping their sleeping area clean since their poop isn’t visible.
Similarly, some dogs view beddings as a no-pooping zone since it’s their sleeping space. Since this differs between dogs, you may want to adjust beddings in your pooch’s kennel and see if he stops, especially if he typically hides his mess under his blankets.
Consider Alternatives for Crating
You may want to consider available options if you don’t see any beneficial results after trying these tips. While the options may not provide direct solutions to your question of how to stop your dog from peeing or pooping in the crate, they may ease the burden that comes with cleaning the mess your dog leaves after messing in the kennel.
For example, if your dog has a medical condition that causes the problem, or you have a small puppy that needs frequent potty breaks, you may consider taking them to daycare if you won’t be home for long. Similarly, you may want to hire a dog walker if your pooch is quite shy or aggressive for the daycare. Again, a potty pad and x pen can also be an excellent solution for your young puppy or if you can’t afford doggie daycare.
Puppy training is a process, and your little furry friend may miss the point sometimes. As a result, maintain your temper and remain gentle with him. Avoid scolding or punishing him for peeing and pooping in his crate as such will either make him too scared or break the bond you’re trying to form. However, take action and work towards curbing the issue as soon as it arises.
Your pup is constantly learning new behaviors and developing new habits, and you’re responsible for reinforcing the good vibes and discouraging the wrong ones. Failure to address the mess you find every time you leave your dog in his crate will soon make it a norm, and you may have challenges truncating it in the future. I bet you don’t want your pup to grow up into an adult who constantly soils and pees on his crate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Help My Dog To Stop Pooping in His Crate?
The first step into finding a solution for this is understanding why your dog poops in his crate. It could be a health condition that requires a vet’s diagnosis and treatment, a behavioral disorder that a professional trainer can help with, or unsuccessful crate training. Knowing the reason behind your pup’s habit will help you in establishing an effective solution.
How Do I Prevent My Puppy from Pooping in His Crate at Night?
Small puppies typically need frequent potty breaks since their systems aren’t entirely developed to control the bowel movement for hours compared to adult dogs. As a result, you can consider monitoring his pooping patterns and create a potty schedule around the periods. Also, check for and treat medical conditions like diarrhea and parasitic infections as these are likely to cause loose stool, which is quite hard for your puppy to control.
What Smell Repels Dogs from Pooping?
House training a dog can be tedious, and until he grasps the idea, you’ll have a hard time monitoring his steps to stop him from soiling your favorite spots with poop. Thankfully, dogs hate the smell of products like vinegar, citronella, and citrus. As such, spraying a mixture of vinegar and water or citronella oil to the spots you don’t want your dog to poop will repel him. Vinegar is also helpful in neutralizing the odor and disinfecting the areas your pet stains.
Why is My Dog Suddenly Pooping in Her Crate?
While accidents may sometimes occur in your dog’s life, you need to take caution if you had previously potty trained your pooch to success and she suddenly started going the reverse. It could be due to health complications since most diarrhea-related issues make dogs lose control of their bowel movements. Similarly, you should check if there’s any significant change in your canine’s diet, mealtimes, or if she’s using any supplements. Seek guidance from your vet to rule out health conditions or a professional trainer to monitor and advise on behavioral changes.