You aren’t playing hide and seek. Yet your pooch keeps on hiding.
In the bathroom.
You think it’s risky and unhygienic.
But your dog seems to find comfort there.
Why are they acting this way?
In this article, you’ll find out:
- 11 weird reasons why your dog goes there to hide.
- 7 tips on how to stop your dog from hiding in the bathroom.
- Whether your dog could be hiding in the bathroom due to stomach problems.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog hide in the bathroom?
- 11 reasons why your dog hides in the bathroom
- #1: Your pooch doesn’t want disturbance
- #2: Fido wants to be alone
- #3: Your bathroom is cold
- #4: Your dog’s suffering from depression
- #5: Your Fido’s playing
- #6: Your dog has stomach problems
- #7: Your dog’s protecting themselves
- #8: Your dog’s storm-phobic
- #9: Strangers are visiting you
- #10: Your pooch has canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD)
- #11: The bathroom has your scent
- 7 tips on how to stop your dog from hiding in the bathroom
Why does my dog hide in the bathroom?
Your dog hides in the bathroom because they want to be safe, alone, or away from loud noises. They could also want to play, smell your scent, cool down, or avoid strangers. Or they feel disturbance, injury, anxiety, or canine cognitive dysfunction.
11 reasons why your dog hides in the bathroom
#1: Your pooch doesn’t want disturbance
What disturbs a dog?
Numerous things can be the cause.
It’s possible if there’s a lot of yelling going on in the house.
Or kids running around when your pooch is trying to rest.
Family members who’re arguing.
Even hugs will bother canines. Particularly when you disturb their sleep for it.
They might hide in the bathroom to avoid all the disturbances happening around them.
They’ll consider the bathroom an escape plan. Free from all the chaos present in the house.
You might also want to check out: How does arguing affect my dog?
#2: Fido wants to be alone
“Finally, me time.”
Dogs need some alone time too. Despite the fact that they’re sociable creatures.
They’ll appear to be distant. That is not because they don’t love you.
Maybe they had a busy day.
Have you ever felt the need to take a break from people after a long day?
Meeting a lot of people in a single day will exhaust you. Even hanging out with your buddies all day might be draining.
So, if that happens to your dog, they’ll be in need of a rest.
Let’s assume no one is using your bathroom at the moment. Your dog will see it as a safe haven to spend time alone. Notably, if he’s been hunting for one around the house.
You might also want to read: 13 interesting reasons why your dog is so aloof
#3: Your bathroom is cold
During the hot summer days, your dog will enjoy the time to cool off in the bathroom.
It’s possible that your bathroom has decent ventilation. Not to mention the cool flooring.
As a result, some dogs will enjoy laying their bellies against the cool bathroom tiles. They may even find it as a comforting spot to sleep in.
Note: Dogs cool themselves by panting and sweating on their nose and paw pads. Hot weather may cause dogs to struggle in cooling down. And it might result in hyperthermia.
“Hyperthermia? What’s that?”
Hyperthermia is when a healthy dog’s body temperature rises than normal.
PetMD says that the normal dog’s body temperature shouldn’t exceed 103° F (39° C). Dehydration, low temperature, and poor ventilation are the common causes of this.
Now, let’s find out the 3 kinds of hyperthermia in dogs.
The least severe type of hyperthermia. You have to keep an eye for signs of excessive panting and thirst.
If your dog experienced heat stress and was unable to treat it right away. It may lead to heat exhaustion. Watch out for the signs of:
- Extreme thirst.
- Heavy panting.
Heatstroke happens if your dog’s temperature exceeds 106° F (41.1° C). Watch closely for symptoms of heatstroke in your dog, such as:
- Heavy panting.
- Vomiting blood.
- Blood excretion.
- Muscle tremors.
- Rapid heart rate.
- High body temperature.
- Drooling with thick saliva.
- Having difficulty breathing.
- Gum color turns pale, dark, blue, purple, or red.
This severe type of hyperthermia can cause grave risks in dogs. Such as:
- Organ failure.
- Breaking down of cells.
- Neurological dysfunction.
- Death (in a worst-case scenario).
Warning: Hyperthermia can be life-threatening. So if your dog shows signs of heat stress give your dog water. Help them cool down and get rid of the heat by blowing a fan at them. Then, it’s best to take your dog to the vet.
#4: Your dog’s suffering from depression
Depression in dogs and humans is alike. But it’s harder to tell if a dog’s going through this mental state.
People are able to tell what they’re feeling. While dogs can only show signs of the condition through their body language.
Research shows that a change in a dog’s behavior depends on their emotional state, mental problems, and stressors.
Hiding in close spaces is one of the signs of depression in dogs.
Your dog who’s been sad lately will find the bathroom a place to sulk in. A close, cold and dark spot in the house.
What’s causing this condition can be due to a number of reasons. Some of these are:
- Painful injury.
- Loss of a loved one.
- New environment setting.
- Separation from their humans.
- A new family member has arrived.
Read next: Why is my dog sad all of a sudden?
#5: Your Fido’s playing
Your dog may think of the bathroom as a playground.
After all, your doggo can easily play around with some objects there. Your pooch could unroll the toilet paper. Or play tug of war with a towel.
Not to mention there’s even a practical part to it. From your dog’s perspective, that is.
I’m talking about the toilet. Or, as your dog may think of it, a never-ending water source.
But hey, the bathroom adventure may not stop there.
If you have a trash bin, your Fido may want to check it out. You can’t blame them. With a nose as sensitive as theirs, they can spot a bouquet of smells.
And that’s precisely what the trash offers them. Plus, it’s not like your pooch attended biology class. So they don’t know about germs and all the risks they bring.
Neither has Fido had a lecture on the subject “If you touch something dirty, you should wash your hands”. Uhm, paws.
We see touching the trash bin and its content unsanitary. Same with the toilet.
We know that toilet roll isn’t a toy.
We understand that sliding on a wet slippery floor is dangerous.
But it’s all fun in your dog’s eyes. Your doggo is like a little kid. Good luck explaining to them soap isn’t something they should put in their mouth…
Dogs, just like kids, are little explorers. They thrive on satisfying their curiosity. And they’re going to stay where the fun is.
#6: Your dog has stomach problems
Have you potty trained your dog to do their business in your bathroom? That’ll be their go-to place if they have stomach issues.
When a dog’s stomach hurts, they’ll believe that they need to poop.
However, it could also be the result of a stomach illness. This condition could be from minor to severe.
Let’s look at a few examples of an upset stomach:
Krista Williams explains that diarrhea is caused by increased fecal material flow through the colon. Mixed with reduced water, nutrient, and electrolyte absorption.
Common causes of diarrhea in dogs could be:
- Coccidia (algae).
- Intestinal worms.
- Sudden change in diet.
- Eating garbage or other inedible things.
- Stress due to changes in the environment.
It’s a stomach illness caused by inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Causes of gastroenteritis include:
- Infection with germs.
- Introduction of new foods.
While the common symptoms of gastroenteritis are:
- Stomach pain.
- Or other clinical indications.
Ernest Ward explains pancreatitis occurs due to inflammation of the pancreas.
The symptoms of pancreatitis are:
- Stomach pain.
- Loss of appetite.
Note: As you can see, the symptoms of stomach illnesses and pancreatitis are nearly identical. It’ll be difficult to determine what illness your dog’s suffering from. So, if your dog exhibits any or all of the symptoms, consult your vet.
#7: Your dog’s protecting themselves
Dogs have intense sensing abilities.
They detect danger in the environment by using their superpowers. Ooops, I meant to say hearing and smelling abilities.
Fido will look for a safe place once they sense danger around them.
And in this case, they choose the bathroom to protect themselves.
“But from what?”, you ask.
Two words: Natural disasters.
Your dog could be sensing such things as earthquakes, hurricanes, and rainstorms.
Phobia can also trigger their protective behavior. That’s if…
#8: Your dog’s storm-phobic
Your dog acting strange when the rain is pouring is a sign of storm phobia.
Particularly if a sudden change in their behavior happens if the triggers are around.
Certain smells and noises may trigger storm phobia:
- Air temperature shifts.
This can be due to a painful experience from their past that happened during a rainstorm.
They could have been left alone in the house.
Or they were left soaking in the rain for a long time.
Maybe they’ve got an injury or wound during a storm.
A study suggests that noise affects the investigatory and interactive aspects of dogs.
Storm-phobic pooches will look for a place away from their phobia triggers.
That explains why they hide in the bathroom.
Bathrooms have their own scent and often reduce the noise from the outside.
You might also be interested in: 9 real reasons why your dog barks when it rains
#9: Strangers are visiting you
Does your dog only hide in the bathroom when strangers are around?
Your pooch may have problems socializing.
If that’s the case they’ll be shy to face new people or dogs.
Antisocial behavior can occur as early as the puppy stage. This is the point at which they begin to develop their own traits.
Your pup could grow up where the only people they’ve interacted with are your family. Or they didn’t have the chance to play with other dogs much.
This means your pup may be taken aback if new faces show up all of sudden. Only because they’re not used to being in that situation.
Other dogs may become antisocial as a result of their fear and distrust of people. Strangers could’ve abused them in the past.
As a result, they’ll fear and distrust any stranger that comes near them. Particularly in their own home.
If a dog isn’t taught that meeting strangers are normal, they’ll likely be reluctant.
It either makes them distant or aggressive to other people.
Pooches who have antisocial behavior will hide in the bathroom. Then will usually remain there till the visitors have left.
#10: Your pooch has canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD)
Older canines are prone to canine cognitive dysfunction.
This condition can affect how your dog interacts with you. There’ll be a shift in their routines and moods.
As a result, they’ll begin to hide in the restroom.
PetMD says that the aging of a dog’s brain causes CCD. Which leads to changes in a dog’s consciousness, learning, and memory.
A study suggests that CCD can be detected in its early phases.
By looking at the physical symptoms.
Signs that you may see if a dog has CCD are:
- Wandering at night.
- Forgetting their housetraining.
- A shift in their sleeping patterns and an increase in potty accidents.
- Changes in your dog’s interactions with other pets and family members.
#11: The bathroom has your scent
Separation anxiety might cause dogs to hide in the restroom.
It occurs when you’re not around and they are left alone.
WebMD lists the following causes of separation anxiety:
- Ownership transfer.
- Loss of a family member.
- Being left alone for the first time.
- A shift in the family’s routine or schedule.
- Transitioning from a shelter to a permanent residence.
Pooches have different ways to deal with this.
Some will look for something that has your scent as a coping mechanism. For example, your dog could snuggle in your clothes. Or sleep in your spot.
Then again, your pooch could also hide in the bathroom. The soap, body wash, and shampoo that you use are there.
The smell of these could remind them of you. So your pooch will associate the bathroom with your presence. It’ll make it easier for them to get by before you come back home.
Danger: Dogs who have separation anxiety may engage in destructive behavior. If you have a dog like this, you must dog-proof the house when you leave them alone. Otherwise, they might hurt themselves while they attempt to escape.
Further reading: Why does my dog sleep in my spot? 11 intriguing reasons revealed
7 tips on how to stop your dog from hiding in the bathroom
#1: Keep Fido active
Keep your dog busy with something more entertaining than the bathroom.
Introduce new tricks to your dog. Give them a new toy. Or let them play with other pooches.
You could also give them more sniffing time while walking. This will stimulate your dog’s brain.
Include new activities in your dog’s routine. So they’ll stop from going to your bathroom for entertainment.
#2: Give your pooch comfort
Give your dog extra comfort so they don’t have to look for it in the bathroom.
During sad and rough times, provide something that can make your dog feel better.
It can be done in a variety of ways. Take your dog on a walk, pet them, play with them, or simply sit with them.
Do what you think that can cheer them up.
Talking to your dog can be a great help. Even though your dog doesn’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll pick up your mood. Your tone of voice says it all.
#3: Socialize your dog (it’s not too late)
This tip is for pooches that hide in the restroom because they’re being antisocial.
The only way to solve this is by rewiring how your dog receives meeting new people. Teach your canine that strangers aren’t necessarily bad.
But bear in mind that you shouldn’t force your dog to do this. Instead, your dog should be the one to initiate the interaction.
It’s best to take it slow. That way you won’t risk stressing your dog out even more.
Start with making them meet 1 person a day. Also, give people a head’s up that they shouldn’t force or insist on touching your dog.
And don’t forget to get some tasty treats ready for your pooch. This is a must-have when introducing your furry friend to new people.
“But do I always have to give treats if my dog’s meeting a person?”
When you first start training them – yes. After a while, when your dog becomes used to it, you can stop doing that.
By that time, meeting new people should be rewarding enough by itself. Because sniffing and interacting with new people can be exciting.
So what we should be working on is provoking a curiosity response. It should substitute the fear one.
Oh, one more thing…
Don’t forget to give your dog a break in between meeting new people. This is to avoid overwhelming your pooch.
#4: Avoid loud noises
A noisy environment may make your dog anxious. Which also causes them to hide in the bathroom.
It’s impossible to keep your dog’s surroundings silent.
What you can do instead is make the environment less noisy.
For example, avoid making loud noises. Such as shouting or if you have kids tell them to keep their voice low.
You can also transfer your dog to a more quiet room when there’s rain or loud noise from outside.
As well as providing relaxing music that’ll calm them down.
So they won’t have to go to the bathroom during those situations.
#5: Don’t give treats made out of human food
Dogs are experts in hiding pain. So if they’re experiencing any discomfort, you might not notice.
Say your dog’s having a stomach illness. In an attempt to hide their discomfort, they may retreat to the bathroom.
Have you recently given your dog any human snacks? Maybe as rewards during training?
If so, stop what you’ve been doing. Because you might be ruining your dog’s health.
Your dog’s stomach may get upset if you make a sudden change in their diet.
Don’t feed your dog anything that will make them sick.
Take a look at this list of foods that might bring health problems to your dog:
|Human Food||Danger to dogs|
|Onion and garlic||Break down red blood cells|
|Treats high in fat||Pancreas inflammation|
|A big chunk of meat||Indigestion|
#6: Do this if your dog has storm phobia
Avoiding the triggers of your storm-phobic dog can make them stop hiding in the bathroom.
Some dogs develop storm phobia due to being left out in the rain for a long time.
You can check weather reports for possible rainfalls. To avoid getting soaked in the rain while walking your dog outside.
So, by staying home, you’re keeping them away from the root cause of the problem.
Divert your pooch’s hearing to a calmer sound. For example, use other background noise to filter out the sound of rain and thunder.
Examples of calming background noise for your dog are:
- White noise.
- Soothing music.
Research shows that music therapy has a calming effect on dogs in stressful situations. Dogs get relaxed by listening to classical music.
Bear in mind that rock or metal music might stress out your dog. While pop music doesn’t seem to have much effect on canines. So avoid playing anything other than calm piano sounds.
When your dog’s storm fear flares up, provide them with a safe place to go.
It might be a quiet room, a basket, your bed, or a crate. It could be anything that you think will give comfort to your dog.
Dog parents’ presence
Dogs have seen you as their protector and emotional support. Especially if you two have a strong bond.
Your presence will be enough to calm them during difficult times. That way, they won’t feel alone when facing their battles.
#7: Take your dog to the vet
You should take your dog out of the bathroom when they show severe signs of illness. Such as stomach problems or depression.
Bring them to the veterinarian right away. So that the vet will be able to run physical exams, baseline blood work, and urinalysis tests.
Keep track of your dog’s behavior and mood shifts. It will greatly assist the veterinarian in diagnosing your dog’s sickness.