After a long day, you come back to unwind and spend quality time with your dog. You open the door. You enter. Other than your excited fur baby greeting you, you’re also met with an unpleasant surprise of your dog’s poop littered in every corner. Yes, I’ve been there! It is worrisome and frustrating.
Why does my dog poop in multiple spots? Research has indicated that the reasons that your dog may poop in multiple spots are territorial marking and learned behavior amongst dogs. If your dog has a healthy diet and normal levels of physical activity and his or her poop is healthy, then these two are likely reasons.
However, as a concerned pet parent, I did come across multiple other reasons. These reasons are related to behavior, physical health, and mental health which could explain why your fur baby might be pooping in multiple spots.
Reasons Why Your Dog Poops in Multiple Spots
It can be a very unnerving experience for pet parents to suddenly see their little fur baby engaging in seemingly odd behavior like pooping multiple spots. It is just as worrisome with puppies. You’ll be happy to know that this isn’t uncommon. There can be multiple plausible explanations for this!
1. He is Not Potty Trained
One of the main reasons that your dog may be pooping in multiple spots may be the lack of potty training. Potty training puppies or older dogs is probably one of the biggest challenges that dog parents face. Some common issues make quite potty training difficult. These include lack of active supervision, lack of a confinement space, and missing poop accidents. These challenges can extend the potty training duration quite significantly.
2. Loose Stool
Diarrhea is a major symptom that dogs experience all through their life and it is often indicative of underlying health conditions in your dog. Diarrhea in dogs commonly happens as a result of overfeeding, food poisoning, pancreatitis, allergies, change in diet and ingestion of poisonous substances.
Dogs with diarrhea are unable to absorb water hence, the water is lost through their poop. This condition can indirectly cause dogs to poop multiple times in different spots and can lead to dehydration if left untreated.
It is common for dog owners to assume that dogs mark their territory through urination. But then did you know that pooping in multiple spots is another way in which dogs mark their territory?
Territorial marking is your fur baby’s way of communicating his/her territorial ownership and sexual availability to other dogs. Like urine, dog poop also has a strong smell. Since dogs have very sensitive noses, poop can be a way of establishing their territory.
4. Learned Behavior
One of the most important things that dog owners must remember is that active supervision and a solid confinement strategy are key to successful potty training. For dogs to acquire desirable behaviors, they need to be reinforced (or not) immediately after the behavior occurred. If you’ve missed out on poop accidents, your dog will not understand that pooping in multiple spots is an undesirable learned behavior. Dogs need to know what’s wanted and what isn’t.
5. Bowel Incontinence
There are two types of fecal incontinence in dogs. First, there’s sphincter incontinence. If your dog’s sphincter muscle is loose, your fur baby might be leaking small quantities of bowel in odd places without being aware.
If your canine has reservoir incontinence then he will also poop in multiple spots even though he knows he has to poop. In reservoir incontinence, your dog will be well aware of the fact that he needs to poop but isn’t able to control it.
6. Sensory Overload
Dogs can become suddenly overstimulated especially when they are bored or not given enough playtime which in turn can make them poop in multiple spots! Also, if your dog is in an environment where there are a lot of loud random noises, this condition is likely. So, your canine might end up pooping in multiple spots. A new addition to the family, a change of home, and lots of visual or auditory disturbance (like arguments) can also make your canine poop in multiple spots.
Just like us human beings, your little fur baby can also be prone to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or stress! Feelings of revenge may also be associated with anxiety in general and separation anxiety in particular. To show how upset they are with you leaving them alone for prolonged periods, your dog, out of anxiety, can poop in multiple spots! Restlessness in dogs is what makes them poop in multiple spots.
8. Cognitive Dysfunction
If your fur baby has been house-trained to not relieve in the house, then one of the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction is defecating or peeing in the house in multiple spots. If this happens, research has shown that it indicates that your dog may have lost his conscious or voluntary control of holding his bowel movements. They also lost the ability to let you know that they need to go outside of the house to pee or poop.
Amongst common digestive issues that fur babies may be dealing with, constipation is very common. A sudden change in your fur baby’s diet or not having enough nutrient-rich food in his diet or excessive consumption of human food can lead to your dog experiencing constipation. In such cases, it’s either diarrhea or constipation. It depends on your dog and what kind of food they’ve consumed (or not). So if your baby is pooping in multiple spots, think about diet regulation.
How To Potty Train a Dog That Poops In Multiple Spots
It is completely understandable that running around your fur baby with the poop scooper is not a pleasant experience. Cleaning their poop from multiple spots is definitely annoying. Potty training isn’t easy. It’s going to be challenging, yes. But it’ll be worth it.
- Check your canine’s poop for irregularities like blood, parasites, and loose stools. If you notice any of these three irregularities, contact your vet.
- Start looking into the possible reasons that this might be happening because there are different fixes for different situations.
- Having a designated pooping spot for your fur baby outside the house is essential. The area of the spot that you choose is dependent upon the size of your dog. The smaller the size of your dog, the smaller the designated pooping spot.
- Remember to check your fur baby’s food for fillers. A lot of dog food companies add a lot of fillers to their edible products. These fillers can contribute to your dog pooping in multiple spots. You can speak to your dog’s veterinarian about what ingredients to be on the lookout for.
- Train your fur baby to poop once a day and eat twice a day. It’s very important to have a solid confinement strategy for potty-training puppies.
- Active supervision is also essential to training your dog to poop in one spot. It’s essential to track every pooping accident that your dog has. If these accidents go unnoticed, it’ll take longer for you to train your fur baby.
Remember that if your dog has bowel incontinence, foods rich in grains and wheat can be inflammatory. A bland diet with vegetables and fruits is good for stomach issues.
If you’re a worried pet parent researching why your little fur baby is pooping in so many spots, you will naturally see several health considerations pop up in your search for an answer. It is naturally very alarming if your dog’s pooping habits suddenly change.
Remember that healthy adult dogs poop anywhere between 1 to 3 times a day. For puppies, it can be up to 5 times a day.
Healthy poop is chocolate brown in color. It’s firm, smooth to the touch, and easy to pick up and remove. Poop quantity should be more or less equal to the amount of food your fur baby is consuming.
So, when it comes to health considerations, the quality of your dog’s poop can speak volumes about what kind of health issues they may be facing. Aging is also an important factor.
Dealing With Anxiety In Dogs
As already mentioned, dogs, just like human beings, deal with stress and anxiety. Separation anxiety is extremely common in dogs. So, revenge pooping in multiple spots in the house is their way of expressing their restlessness. There are several ways to help your fur baby cope with anxiety in general. Here are some ideas:
- Make your dog engage in exercising. It can be a fun way for you and your little canine buddy to spend quality time together and ease their mind.
- Regular physical contact with your fur baby is very reassuring to them.
- If you’re going away somewhere for prolonged periods, it’s best to hire someone to keep your fur baby company to avoid restlessness or distress.
- Apart from these, time-out, swaddling your dog, and music therapy are also effective.
What does it mean when a dog walks and poops?
Dogs commonly engage in scent-marking behavior. That’s why your dog may be walking and pooping. He or she wants to spread their pheromones as much as possible and establish their territories. So when you see your dog walking and pooping, they’re scent marking!
Why do dogs poop in the same spot in the house?
Having a designated spot for pooping is a learned behavior in dogs. Canines will urinate or poop in a place that is familiar to them. If they’ve pooped or peed in that spot without any negative feedback in the past, they’ll keep doing it there.
Why does my dog walk in circles while pooping?
Dogs are highly intelligent. They understand that pooping is an act where they’ll be in a compromised position. That’s why your dog may be walking around in circles while popping. Another reason could be to get good footing and be aware of who’s around them.
All in all, when it comes to pooping habits in dogs, it is very important to keep an eye on any sudden changes in their pooping behavior. Remember that when it comes to your dog pooping in multiple spots, checking the quality of poop is essential. If possible you can even collect samples of your dog’s poop if it seems like it isn’t healthy poop. With adequate data about your fur baby’s pooping behavior, going to the veterinarian is your best call. Whether the reason is physical health-related or mental health-related, early intervention is the best way to go.