Does your dog always leave some (smelly) brownies on the carpet for you?
Or is this a new behavior?
Well, it’s truly a nightmare to all dog parents.
But whichever the case is, you might be wondering…
“What makes them do this?
And how can I put an end to this pooping frenzy?”
Keep reading to learn:
- 15 odd reasons why dogs poop on the carpet.
- Why you should be worried if they do this all of a sudden.
- Whether canines are doing this as a form of revenge or not.
- 15 tips on how to stop your dog from pooping on the carpet.
- Some of the effective ways to get rid of the smelly poop odor.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why is my dog pooping on the carpet?
- 15 reasons why your dog poops on the carpet (all of a sudden)
- #1: They can smell the past
- #2: It’s a surface they prefer
- #3: They lack housetraining
- #4: It’s distracting outside
- #5: They have a fear of outdoors
- #6: They’re stressed out
- #7: They have trouble being separated from you
- #8: They’re not feeling well
- #9: They don’t have many chances to go out
- #10: They’re suffering from fecal incontinence
- #11: They have dog dementia
- #12: They’re hurting somewhere
- #13: They have an irregular schedule
- #14: They like its texture
- #15: They want your attention
- How to stop your dog from pooping on the carpet? 15 tips
- #1: Find out the root cause first
- #2: Take them out more often
- #3: Stick to a regular schedule
- #4: Have a ‘no dog on the carpet’ policy
- #5: Train them that the carpet isn’t for pooping
- #6: Redirect them to poop somewhere else
- #7: Expose them to new surfaces
- #8: Watch and disrupt
- #9: Shower them with rewards
- #10: Crate train them
- #11: Make them stay beside you
- #12: Treat their separation anxiety
- #13: Avoid punishments
- #14: Put a doggy diaper on them
- #15: Wash your carpet thoroughly
- How to get dog poop smell out of carpet?
Why is my dog pooping on the carpet?
Your dog is pooping on the carpet because they can smell the traces of their old stools, lack house training, prefer its surface, or don’t go outside often. This could also be due to fear or anxiety. As well as aging, medical conditions, and injuries. While others might do this to seek attention.
15 reasons why your dog poops on the carpet (all of a sudden)
#1: They can smell the past
Does your dog keep pooping on the same spot of the carpet?
If so, it’s likely marked as their toilet area.
“What do you mean?”
Canines tend to poop or pee in areas that they previously soiled.
This is because their ‘doggy scent’ still lingers there. And it can’t be easily removed with soap or any regular cleaner.
So, even if you wash your carpet several times as hard as you can, your pooch could still detect their odor.
Then, it’ll prompt them to deposit their stools in that same spot all over again.
Well, it’s hard to beat a dog’s sense of smell. And this is because it’s 100,000 times better than ours based on experts.
Interesting fact: Did you know that bacteria from dogs’ wastes are one of the major air pollutants during winter? Yup. A study found that this is the case in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland. Researchers also told NBC News that they make up for 10% to 50% of airborne bacteria.
#2: It’s a surface they prefer
“Help! My dog seems to have accidents only on rugs and carpets.
If this is your case, they might have been trained before to only poop (and pee) on puppy pads. And this is more probable if they had a previous home.
Think about it.
Those thin sheets have a soft-top layer which can be similar to the carpet surface.
Also, they come in square or rectangular shapes too like rugs. And they’re laid on the floor as well.
So it could be that your pooch sees them as their old potty pads.
“Is this possible?”
According to vets, puppies will form a ‘surface preference’ as early as 9 weeks old. And this may continue until 24 weeks old.
So if they’re used to doing their business on a certain surface (e.g., grass, concrete), they’ll likely carry it as they grow up.
Then they’ll have a hard time pooping on a different substrate. This is because it feels and smells unusual.
#3: They lack housetraining
Your pooch might also have no idea that they shouldn’t poop on the carpet. Or in any part of your house.
This is a common situation in puppies. And also in adult dogs who didn’t have complete housetraining.
Aside from the fact that young pups are still learning, they can’t also control their bladder and bowels well. So the chances of carpet accidents are high.
But don’t worry. With the proper guidance, you can correct this habit.
We’ll get to this later. So stay tuned. 🙂
Note: PetsWebMD advises parents to start house training pups around 12 to 16 weeks old.
#4: It’s distracting outside
“Uh-oh. I forgot my (pooping) mission outdoors.
So, I’m just gonna leave this here, ‘kay?”
Does your dog poop in the house after going outside?
Because it might also be that they’re too distracted to do their business once they’re out.
Well, you can’t blame them. Especially if they only have a few chances of going outside to meet friends. And to sniff things up to their heart’s content.
So, your dog may forget about their main agenda – which is to eliminate. Then once they step foot on the carpet inside…
There goes the urgent need to poop.
There’s a smelly surprise waiting to be scooped on the floor.
#5: They have a fear of outdoors
Apart from being distracted, some dogs may also be scared to do their business outside.
This could be due to an object on your lawn. As well as strangers or other animals nearby.
As a result, they’ll hold their bowels for some time until they ease up. And they might be comfier to do it on the carpet inside.
So if your pooch is like this, they’ll refuse to go outside when it’s pouring. And the carpet may serve as their bathroom instead.
Wanna know more about this phobia?
Read this article next: 7 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When You’re In The Shower
#6: They’re stressed out
Is this the first accident of your pooch?
If so, there might be something wrong if they’re well house trained. And they suddenly poop on the carpet.
Some of the possible reasons are stress and anxiety.
Yes. Unfortunately, like us, dogs can also experience these things. And they may lead to depression as well.
“How is this connected to their bowel movements?”
I said earlier that dogs who feel unsafe might refuse to poop.
But in other cases, Fidos can also have an accident when they’re stressed. And their housetraining will be put aside.
This could be a result of moving houses too. As dogs take a longer time to adjust to a different environment.
Or this might also be due to a new member of the family. Say, another dog, pet, or even a baby.
What to do?
- Determine your dog’s stressor.
- Remove them from the area or avoid the trigger during walks.
- Bring your dog to a quieter and more peaceful area to poop.
You may also wonder: Why does my dog pee on me?
#7: They have trouble being separated from you
You always come home with dookies all over the carpet.
And this makes you think…
“Do dogs revenge poop?”
Dogs don’t poop inside out of spite. So, don’t take it personally.
According to PetMD, our furry friends can’t hold grudges. But, they can feel basic emotions like fear and joy.
So, your pooch isn’t mad at you for leaving them alone. And it’s not also their intention to make cleaning their mess harder for you.
If you want to read similar ‘pooping’ stories…
Check out this article: Dog Pooping In House On Purpose? 10 Revenge Poop Stories
So, why are they doing this?
For one likely reason – ‘separation anxiety.’
Based on ASPCA, house soiling is one of its common signs. And this will only be done while their parents are away.
Dogs who have this will also show destructive behaviors. Say, chewing on window sills, and even scratching the doors.
So, if your pooch has this, they’ll feel so anxious while you’re not around. Which will cause them to misbehave and have accidents.
For further reading: Why do dogs cry when you leave? & Why does my dog all of a sudden have separation anxiety?
#8: They’re not feeling well
If your dog poops on the carpet all of a sudden…
It could also be that they have a stomach problem.
This is more likely if they have diarrhea. And also, if they’re not their usual selves these past few days.
“What may have caused this?”
PDSA says that a dog’s stomach can be irritated due to:
- Food allergy.
- Intestinal blockage.
- Kidney or liver failure.
- Ingesting non-edible/toxic items.
Note: If your dog is showing these symptoms, bring them to the vet at once:
- Being less active.
- Reduced appetite.
- Showing pain in the abdomen.
#9: They don’t have many chances to go out
Besides the lack of housetraining…
Another common reason dogs do this is that they’re locked up in the house for long hours.
This leaves them no choice but to do their business inside.
“But why do they do it on the carpet?”
This could be a matter of preference. Or your dog can sniff the traces of their pee or poop on it.
Note: Some dogs might be able to hold their bowels for more than 8 hours. However, this doesn’t mean that they should always do this.
#10: They’re suffering from fecal incontinence
“I’m so sorry, hooman.
I just can’t help it.”
In simpler terms, this means that a dog can’t control their bowels anymore.
Based on vets, this could be due to:
- Spine/tail injury.
- Intestinal problem.
- Anal gland diseases.
But, this condition is also seen in senior Fidos. As they might have lost some strength in the muscles responsible for holding poop.
#11: They have dog dementia
This is also known as canine cognitive dysfunction, a.k.a. CCD. And this is similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
“How do dogs develop this?”
Specialists say that this is due to the loss of brain cells. And this can happen as canines age.
So, dogs with memory decline may forget about the house rules.
As well as telling their parents that they need to go. Which results in frequent accidents on the carpet.
Remembering old and new tricks will be hard for them as well. And they’ll also show these signs:
- Excessive whining.
- Sudden aggression.
- Disorientation in the house.
- Having withdrawn behavior.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Staring at an empty ceiling/wall.
- Restlessness (especially at night).
#12: They’re hurting somewhere
Watch how your dog moves.
Are there any changes in how they walk? Or in their posture?
If you notice limping or discomfort in a part of their body, this could be the reason for their behavior.
Your pooch might have an injury in their back or legs. And this makes pooping outside difficult for them.
A spinal injury can also be the reason why they can’t control their bowels well.
Or, if you have an older pooch, they may also have joint pains. Which is a sign of osteoarthritis.
Note: Bring your dog to the clinic if these signs persist. They might be in great discomfort and need immediate medical attention.
#13: They have an irregular schedule
Experts say that routines can help us combat stress and anxiety.
This is because following a basic schedule provides us with a sense of control. Resulting in productivity and happiness.
And this is also the same case for our furry friends.
Dogs can’t adjust well to sudden changes. And they also appreciate some structure in their lives for them to know what’ll happen every day.
So, if they’re fed and walked at different times daily…
This unpredictability might cause them to worry so much – leading to anxiety. (Which is one of the reasons I discussed above.)
Irregular feeding times may also cause your dog’s bowel movements to be unpredictable. And this could result in accidents as well.
#14: They like its texture
Apart from the fact that your carpet is saturated with urine and feces…
Your pooch might also like doing number 2 because of its texture.
They may love how it feels, so they’re comfortable doing their business on it.
Also, due to their instincts, some dogs can’t distinguish rugs from grass. Which prompts them to use it as a bathroom.
Read next: Why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?
#15: They want your attention
“Hooman, please look over here.
I have a little surprise for you.”
Last but not least, dogs can also do this on purpose.
Again, they’re not doing this as revenge. But only to grab your attention.
Well, isn’t it a smart strategy?
Pooping on the carpet will surely make your head turn and notice them in an instant.
Also, Fidos may treat any response from us (either good or bad) as a form of attention. So scolding them only reinforces them to do it again.
Note: Avoid raising your voice when your dog does this. They may interpret it as a positive reaction. Instead, try to be calm and speak in a soft but firm voice.
For more tips, continue reading.
How to stop your dog from pooping on the carpet? 15 tips
#1: Find out the root cause first
There are many possible reasons for this behavior. So observe your pooch closely.
Then try to recall what happened before these accidents happened.
Now, if nothing rings a bell, medical conditions are also likely. Especially if you have an older pooch.
So, it’s important to consult your vet first to rule these out. And do this before you proceed with any training.
#2: Take them out more often
It could also be that your pooch only needs to go out frequently to let those poop out.
Walking has many benefits not only for them – but also for you.
First, VCA Hospitals says that it helps with their digestion. So it’ll stimulate their bowel movements and prompt them to poop.
Plus, it can also:
- Reduce stress.
- Prevent boredom.
- Make them shed some weight.
- Avoid leg lameness. Especially in senior Fidos or those with bone problems.
And the good thing is, these may apply to us too.
What to do?
Take them out on a leash for at least 10 to 15 minutes per session. And do this:
- Early in the morning.
- Before their bedtime.
- After their play sessions.
- Before or after every meal (read the warning below).
Note: If your dog didn’t poop, come back inside. But don’t remove their leash yet. Hold them and wait for around 10 minutes. Then go out and try again ‘til it’s a success.
For working dog parents
Make sure to walk your dog first thing in the morning before you go. And also, do this before they sleep.
Now, if you can go home and take them out in the middle of the day, it’ll be great.
But if not, find someone to do this job.
Because again, not all dogs can hold their bowels for more than 8 hours. And even if your pooch can do this, there will be times where they may not control it.
Warning: Vets say that walking your dog right after eating can cause bloating. This could be fatal if not treated immediately. So, wait for 1 hour before you do this. If you want to walk them before meals, do it after 30 minutes.
#3: Stick to a regular schedule
As I said earlier, we will all benefit from having a daily routine.
So, to reduce your dog’s anxiety and to make their toilet breaks more predictable, create one for them. Then, be consistent.
But relax. This doesn’t have to be too strict. As unexpected things could happen, and it’s alright.
Just make sure that it also fits your schedule. And that you’ll follow a basic pattern.
Say, walking, feeding, and playing with your dog at roughly the same time every day.
“How does this help?”
Doing this daily will fix their body clock.
It’ll help them learn that they have to poop during walks – and not while they’re inside the house.
Also, setting a certain feeding time will make it easier for you to know your dog’s toilet schedule.
So, it’s a win-win situation. As there would be less stress for you and your pooch. 🙂
Note: Dogs usually poop after eating within 30 minutes. If you want, you may create an alarm for this to remind you every time.
#4: Have a ‘no dog on the carpet’ policy
I know that you may want to stay with your pooch while you’re in the carpeted living room.
But in the meantime, restrict your Fido’s access to it. Or any areas with the same flooring while they’re training.
Because letting them stay in there is like setting them up to fail.
Learning not to poop on the carpet won’t happen overnight. It’ll need time and consistency.
So, if the soft surface triggers them to do it, remove them from it as much as possible. And do this until they improve in housetraining.
Let me warn you of a possible drawback
After limiting access to carpets, some dogs may also find a new toilet area. (Oh no!)
If this is the case, surface preference isn’t the reason for this behavior.
It can be due to anxiety or a medical condition. Or they only need more time to eliminate outside.
#5: Train them that the carpet isn’t for pooping
Now, if your dog is being walked regularly and they also eliminate while doing it…
You can do the next stage.
“What is it?”
Teaching your Fido that carpeted areas shouldn’t be soiled.
But before doing this, make sure that the spots were already washed thoroughly. (I’ll discuss how to do this shortly.)
What to do?
To start, feed your dog on the carpet many times. Specifically in their favorite pooping spots.
The logic is that canines don’t usually defecate or pee where they eat. So doing this could lessen their urge to deposit their stools.
There are successful cases. But, every dog is different.
Same with the drawback I mentioned before, your pooch may also find another bathroom.
#6: Redirect them to poop somewhere else
Once you’ve taught your dog that the carpet is off-limits…
They’ll have a dilemma. Especially if they’re not fully house trained yet. And they’ll think,
“Where will I poop now?
On the couch? Inside my hooman’s shoes?”
This is why it’s necessary to replace the corrected behavior at once. And continue reinforcing the house rules.
What to do?
First, dedicate a spot outside as their fixed toilet area.
Then, always walk them to it first thing in the morning and before bedtime to make it a new habit. And also whenever they need to go out in the middle of the day.
While you’re at the new spot:
- Wait until your dog assumes the pooping position – squatting.
- Once they’re about to do it, say a command. This could be “go poop” or any similar phrase you prefer.
- Speak in an excited voice, then praise them if it’s successful.
- Repeat every toilet break.
This needs a lot of effort.
But remember, your dog won’t learn this by themselves. So they’ll need guidance from you as their parent.
Note: Try scooping some of their deposited stools, then put them in the new toilet spot. Dogs can be motivated to poop when they smell their scent.
You might also be interested in: 9 Easy Tips On How To Get Your Dog To Pee In A New Place
#7: Expose them to new surfaces
If your dog’s a ‘picky pooper’ (meaning, they refuse to poop on other surfaces)…
Slowly get them used to eliminate in different substrates.
This is common in adopted pups from rescues and stores. Since they may lack exposure to various flooring.
What to do?
For example, if your dog was trained to poop on puppy pads or rugs:
- Place one outside.
- Bring them to it during toilet breaks.
- Give rewards every time they do their business on it.
- As you progress, move the pad closer to their new bathroom spot.
- If they’re doing well, remove it gradually.
- Repeat this until they learn to poop on soil or grass.
#8: Watch and disrupt
If possible, keep an eye on your doggo as much as you can while you’re at home.
This is a must if restricting them out of carpeted areas isn’t doable. And also, if they’re currently learning that those aren’t places for taking a dump.
So, if you see that they’re about to squat and do number 2, quickly interrupt them.
But, avoid shouting at your dog. Startle them by making a noticeable sound instead (e.g., clapping, whistling).
Then say “no” or “stop” in a firm voice.
Once they stopped, lead them outside where the right toilet spot is. And always say the magic command before they poop.
#9: Shower them with rewards
In fact, some Fidos may even bury these as they view them as treasures.
They love hearing some praises too. And also, seeing people pleased with their actions.
So to encourage your pooch, always reward them whenever they poop on the right spot.
But, be generous with your rewards and make every training more exciting.
- Ensure that they love the food you’ll prepare.
- Offer your dog high-value treats. Say, small bits of chicken, steak, or homemade unseasoned jerkies.
- Only give these to them during house training sessions. Like a limited edition snack. Which they’ll only get if they deposit in the correct area.
- Say praises in a high-pitched voice. One study found that dogs like ‘baby talk.’
#10: Crate train them
If you’ll be away and no one can watch your dog, crate training is the way to go.
They’re still learning how to follow house rules. So they’ll likely poop again on the carpet while you’re not around.
But first, keep this in mind.
Putting them in a crate isn’t for punishment.
It’s like giving them their room – a place where they feel comfy and safe.
- Pick a suitable size for your dog (not too small, not too big).
- They should lie down, stand up, and turn around with ease.
- Place their belongings inside. Such as their bed, toys, water, and food bowls.
- Exercise them first before putting them inside. This should always be done to prevent anxiety and crate soiling.
To learn more, check out this video:
“What if they poop inside instead?”
Usually, dogs will treat their crates as their dens. So this might stop them from taking a dump inside.
However, they can do this when there’s still a space left for their poop. This is why their crate should be the right size for them.
Also, this could happen if they’re not walked beforehand. Or if they were left for long hours inside.
Note: Avoid crating your dog for long periods. This can add up to their stress and anxiety. And this may lead to unwanted behaviors. So don’t depend on crates too much and only do this when necessary.
#11: Make them stay beside you
If you’re around and your dog isn’t in a crate, you can also tether them near you if you can’t keep an eye on them for a moment.
Say, you need to cook or work on something.
This is because they might create a mess again on the carpet.
Note: Do this until they’re completely trained. This may also work best on adult dogs. Along with crate training.
#12: Treat their separation anxiety
Does your dog show some of the signs I listed earlier?
If so, record a video of their behavior and consult your vet. The recording will help the expert determine whether your dog has it or not.
And if they do, they may give some medications for anxiety – if it’s unmanageable.
But, you should also correct this behavior at home.
- Exercise your dog before going out.
- Leave them interactive toys and yummy treats.
- Avoid giving them attention 15 to 30 minutes before departure.
- Ignore them upon arrival. Only pay attention to them once they’re calm.
Note: Crate training may also be effective for this. But stop this method if your dog chews on bars. As they can hurt themselves while doing it.
#13: Avoid punishments
Seeing (and smelling) ‘treasures’ on the carpet is indeed stressful.
But even though it makes you pull your hair out, avoid scolding or punishing your dog in any way.
Research shows that punishing dogs only brings more problematic behavior. Which is likely due to fear and anxiety.
Also, your pooch doesn’t know why they’re being yelled at.
So, try to stay calm (even if it’s hard). And follow the tips above.
#14: Put a doggy diaper on them
This might be helpful for dogs who can’t control their poop well. Or those who have dementia.
To know the right size for your dog:
- Keep them in a standing position.
- From their rear legs, move 2 in (5.08 cm).
- Then measure around their waist.
- For the length, measure from the middle part of their tummy. Then up to their hind limbs and spine (opposite of starting point).
Note: Replace their diapers frequently. Dogs can also get rashes from wearing them for too long.
Check out also: 17 Tips On What To Do When Your Dog Is In Heat (& Bleeding)
#15: Wash your carpet thoroughly
Lastly, this is the most important step.
Your carpet is already saturated with your dog poop smell. And no matter how you clean it, they can still smell the traces of their past.
Also, correcting this behavior will not be possible without this. As your pooch can be triggered to poop all over again.
How to get dog poop smell out of carpet?
- Wear gloves and transfer some white vinegar to a spraying bottle. (Depending on areas that need cleaning.)
- Spray an ample amount on the carpet.
- Gently rub the surface to make sure all the fibers are damp.
- Put baking soda over the vinegar. (Don’t put on too much. Just enough to cover the soiled areas.)
- You’ll likely see some foaming. This is a normal chemical reaction, so don’t worry.
- Dab a clean cloth to work the solution into the carpet.
- Leave it for around 1 to 2 hours.
- Vacuum all the baking soda left on the surfaces.
Note: For better results, use a dog-safe enzymatic cleaner (e.g., Nature’s Miracle) to get rid of scents further. This has enzymes that dissolve stains and nasty odors. Plus, it’s also said to be non-toxic to dogs and other pets. So you can wash with no worries.