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Pooping in the house.

Species: Dog
Breed: maltese cross
Age: 1-2 years
Hi
Ipurchased a dog from a pet rescue organisation in Sydney just over three months ago and she has been a joy except for the fact that approx 1 week ago she started to defacate each night after she had been put to bed for the night. During the day she is outside a lot because that is where I spend most of my time and she is always around me. As I do not see her doing it it is very hard to controll. I have tried extra walking time, altered feeding times and even letting her outside during the night with no success. I have no intention of parting with this adorable little girl but at 71 years of age I am finding this problem very frustrating. She was introduced into my home that had another small 12 year old dog and feel she could be doing this because of jealousy. Please can you help me?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This sounds like a frustrating problem!

I have a few thoughts that hopefully will help.

First of all, are the stools normal? If it seems like the stools are loose, soft or if there is any blood then it may be that there is a medical issue such as intestinal parasites or something else that is irritating the intestines. If you think this could be the case then a vet visit is a good idea.

Even if the stool is normal it's a good idea to take a sample in to your vet to have it checked for parasites.

If it does seem to be a behavioural issue then what I find works best is to do crate training for a period of 1-2 weeks. To do this, what you would do is keep her in a crate throughout the night. It may seem mean, but remember it is only for a short period.

Dogs will very rarely mess in their crate. (If she does she needs a smaller crate.) So, crating her will retrain her that the only appropriate time to defecate is outside. Most dogs figure it out within about a week.

Another thought that helps some people is to remember to never punish her for defecating in the house. What often happens is that the pup doesn't know that she is being punished for defecating in the house, but simply for defecating. So then, when she is outside with you she won't defecate because she is afraid of the punishment she may receive. So, if you do see that she has pooped in the house, as hard as it is, ignore it. And, when she does poop in an appropriate place make sure you give her lots of praise!

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.