How to Stop Dog Pooping at Night? (3 Foolproof Methods)

Has your well-trained adult dog started pooping at night? Well, this isn’t uncommon as dogs can seem well trained during the day and then leave you a present at night.

If lucky, you may not discover the dog poop by stepping in it before wearing your shoes or socks.

But…

If not, I can only imagine the frustration and disappointment that you’ll feel in the morning. There is a solution to this problem.

Tips on How To Stop Your Dog From Pooping at Night

If your dog is constantly pooping at night, there are several strategies you can try to address this issue. Keep in mind that sudden changes in behavior might be indicative of a health problem. So, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinarian if the behavior persists.

Here are some general tips to help stop your dog from pooping at night:

1. Establish a Routine

Create a consistent daily routine for feeding, playtime, and bathroom breaks. Dogs often feel more secure and are less likely to have accidents when they have a predictable schedule. Here are steps pet owners can take to create a routine that encourages appropriate bathroom habits:

Regular Feeding Schedule: Feed your dog at the same times each day. This helps regulate their digestive system and makes it easier to predict when they might need to go to the bathroom.

Scheduled Potty Break: Take your dog outside for bathroom breaks on a regular schedule, including just before bedtime. Ensure that they have an opportunity to empty their bladder and bowels before settling in for the night.

Morning Exercise: Provide your dog with sufficient exercise in the morning. Physical activity helps regulate their digestive system and promotes a more consistent bathroom schedule.

Evening Exercise: A short evening walk or play session can encourage your dog to eliminate waste before the night.

Designated Bathroom Area: Take your dog to the same designated bathroom area each time. The scent will encourage them to go, and they’ll associate that spot with a potty break.

Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your dog when potty training, especially at the appropriate times. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce the behavior you want.

Limit Water Intake Before Bed: Restrict access to water a couple of hours before bedtime. This can help minimize the likelihood of your dog needing a potty break during the night.

2. Proper Training and Regular Workouts

Regular workouts and training are key to addressing nighttime pooping, particularly when they’re young. Proper training, particularly potty training, can help reinforce boundaries and great bathroom habits. 

Start by creating a reliable bathroom break schedule. This will guarantee that your dog gets more time to relieve itself.

Regular workouts can promote a healthy digestive system while reducing the likelihood of nighttime accidents. 

You can also engage your pet in daily workouts that can improve their health. A tired dog can sleep soundly all night long.

Positive reinforcement and patience are crucial in a successful training session. With time, your pet will be well-adjusted and house-trained. And when it does poop in the house while you potty train it, you shouldn’t scold it; instead, you should clean the waste.

You can clean it using an enzyme-based cleaner that can remove poop odor and stain. This will prevent your pet from repeating the accident in the same position. When dealing with a puppy, potty training is mandatory.

3. Use a Crate to Control Night Pooping.

When it comes to night pooping, a crate can be a game changer for anyone dealing with this issue. Crate training has to be a great experience for your pet. You should begin with picking the right-sized crate for your pet. and then introduce some of its favorite toys.

Whether it’s a rescue dog or a spirited pup, a right-sized crate can help discourage accidents. 

When crate training your pet, you should do the following:

Introduce the crate Gradually: Introduce the crate gradually and make it a positive space. Start by leaving the crate door open during the day. You can also place treats, toys, and comfortable bedding inside to encourage your dog to explore and enter voluntarily.

Associate the Crate with Positive Experiences: Feed your dog meals near the crate and place treats inside, creating positive associations. Gradually move the food and treats closer to the back of the crate over time.

Close the Door for Short Periods: Once your dog is comfortable entering the crate, start closing the door for short periods while you’re present. Gradually increase the duration as your dog becomes more accustomed to being confined.

Associate Crate with Sleep: Encourage your dog to enter the crate before bedtime by using a cue phrase like “bedtime” or “time for sleep.”

Nighttime Routine: Before bedtime, take your dog outside for a final bathroom break. Ensure they have the opportunity to eliminate waste. Then, place your dog in the crate for the night.

Be Consistent: Consistency is key; therefore, you should use the crate every night to establish a routine. Dogs thrive on predictability, and a consistent routine helps them understand expectations. But make sure you ignore the whining.

Morning Bathroom Break: As soon as you wake up, take your dog outside for an immediate bathroom break. This reinforces the idea that the crate is for sleeping, and they get to relieve themselves as soon as they are out.

How To Stop Your Dog From Pooping at Night

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Let’s find out the cause of the problem.

There is nothing more frustrating to pet parents than your nighttime pooping. Sure, you love your pet, but accidentally stepping in the dog poop every morning can affect your relationship. Picking up dog poops every morning or washing your shoes can leave you wondering how can you stop the problem?

Before you try any solution, you should first find out the cause of nighttime pooping. After all, there is no one-fits-all solution for dogs that poop at night.

There are several reasons why a dog poops at night, and addressing the issue involves understanding the underlying cause. So we have divided the causes of nighttime pooping into 2 categories (medical and behavioral reasons).

Medical Reasons

Several medical reasons can lead to changes in a dog’s bowel habits, including pooping at night. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Some of the medical reasons that may contribute to dogs pooping at night include the following:

Joint Issues

Your trained pooch may feel reluctant to defecate outside due to joint problems. Large dog breeds and senior dogs tend to have this issue which forces them to poop in the house. 

Most huge breeds, like Akita and German Shepherds, are prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis.

These conditions can leave older dogs in pain, and as they age, moving can become an issue. This will make it impossible for them to go outside at night to poop.

Food Intolerance or Diarrhea

If your dog suffers from food intolerance, you should take it to the vet immediately. Leaving it alone at night can result in it pooping in the house. Food allergies or sensitivities can result in gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and changes in bowel habits.

Your dog’s diet may need to be adjusted to address these issues. 

Other medical reasons that cause diarrhea include:

Gastrointestinal disorders: Various Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis, or other gastrointestinal problems can cause changes in bowel habits.

Parasites: Internal parasites, such as worms (e.g., roundworms, hookworms), can cause digestive upset and increase bowel movements. Some parasites are more active during specific times, which may coincide with nighttime.

Other Medical Reasons

Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, can cause digestive issues, including diarrhea. This condition may cause discomfort and increased bowel movements.

Inflammatory Conditions: Conditions such as colitis or other inflammatory conditions of the intestines can result in increased frequency of bowel movements.

Endocrine Disorders: Hormonal imbalances, like those associated with disorders like Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism, can affect a dog’s metabolism and digestive system.

If the cause of the problem is a medical one, a pet parent may have to take their pet to the vet as training cannot help. With the right medication, you can stop a medical cause of dog pooping at night.

Behavioral Reasons

Anxiety or Stress

Dogs can experience anxiety or stress, and this can manifest in various behaviors, including changes in bathroom habits. Changes in the household, new surroundings, or separation anxiety could contribute to nighttime pooping.

Most dog owners have confirmed that separation anxiety is the leading behavioral cause of nighttime pooping.

Not Fully Trained

Without proper training, your dog can start pooping at night and behave during the day. Your presence during the day can force them to poop outside, but in your absence, they revert to their instincts. 

You can treat this issue by training your dog properly; unfortunately, training adult dogs can be challenging.

Little-To-No Breaks During the Day.

If you don’t give your pet time to poop/pee during the day, then it can do that at night. It would help if you gave your pet ample time to relieve itself during the day to avoid accidents at night.

Communication Issues

If you are having an issue with communicating with your pooch, then it can suddenly start defecating in the house. It can also misbehave and may end up injuring itself. 

If that’s the cause of the problem, then it can disappear as your pet becomes more comfortable around you. This can be common among new dogs when being house-trained.

Other Methods for Stopping Your Dog From Pooping at Night

Monitor Diet: Pay attention to your dog’s diet and feeding schedule. Feeding your dog earlier in the evening may give them ample time for digestion before bedtime.

Limit Water Intake: Restrict access to water a couple of hours before bedtime to minimize the need for your dog to go outside during the night.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Space: Make your dog’s sleeping area comfortable and secure. Some dogs may be anxious or uncomfortable in their sleeping space, leading to nighttime accidents.

Increase Exercise: Ensure your dog gets enough exercise during the day. Physical activity can help regulate their digestive system and promote a more consistent bathroom schedule.

Consult a Veterinarian: If the behavior persists despite your efforts, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Some medical conditions can cause changes in bathroom habits.

Conclusion

Stopping nighttime pooping requires consistency, understanding, and patience. Instead of scolding your pet for doing it, you should first find the cause of the problem. And then pick a perfect solution for the problem.

If it’s medical, you can take it to the vet, but if it’s behavioral, then you may have to train it. A puppy may need to be potty trained.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most unique techniques for preventing nighttime pooping?

To stop this issue, you should use crate training, avoid late meals, and create a reliable bathroom schedule.

Can change in its diet control night pooping?

Yes, you can feed your pet easily digestible food, and always consult your vet to get a tailored diet plan.

Can crate training work for senior dogs?

Yes, training can work; in fact, it can provide a safe place to sleep. Make sure you pick the right crate size.

About
Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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