What to Do if Your Dog Has Accidents in His Crate

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Crate training is undoubtedly among the best ways to provide your four-legged friend with a safe place where he’ll be able to rest when you’re not keeping an eye on him. Fortunately, today’s market offers a plethora of great dog enclosures that can be very valuable as training tools. However, it’s important to note that this useful product can’t really become a full-time babysitter for your pooch – it’s more of a temporary tool that should be used only until the end of the pet’s house training. One of the most essential parts of potty training is learning how to stop the pet from relieving himself inside the crate.

Cleaning up the mess from all the crevices and cracks of the pup’s cage indeed isn’t something anyone would want to do after a long day at work. The smell itself is even worse – coming back to a house that stinks of pup poop is a horrible experience.

When learning how to stop your pooch from doing this, there are three things you’ll have to keep in mind:

In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a closer look at the possible reasons because of which your pooch is pooping in his kennel, as well as at some methods that could help in preventing him from doing so.

Recommended reading: How to Clean a Dog Crate?

Why is My Dog Pooping in his Cage?

There are a number of reasons because of which your pup might be doing this, ranging from simple physical limitations all the way to complex behavioral issues. Let’s analyze the most common causes:

  • Oversized Crate

Something that can make a big difference in this matter is ensuring that your canine pal has a cage of a proper size. When buying a cage for your dog, it’s of essential importance to select a model with enough space for your pooch to be able to lay with his legs put forward and turn around without any issues. Why is this important? Canines have a natural instinct not to poop where they’re sleeping, but in case they do so, they should not be forced to sleep in their poop.

  • Potty-Training

In case your four-legged companion is still a puppy, he probably still isn’t completely potty-trained. Furthermore, he might be too juvenile to be capable of holding it for a longer time. It’s a well-known fact that the younger dogs need to relieve themselves a lot more often than the older – they might even need a bathroom break every hour or so.

On average, a puppy that is only two months old can’t hold it for longer than two hours. As he grows older, he extends this time, although at a very slow pace. Don’t forget that even the adult canines have their limitations since some are not able to hold it for more than eight hours.

  • Anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the most common disorders in canines. Dogs suffering from this disorder usually become very anxious when their owners are leaving the house – they become so stressed that they poop right where they’re standing, which is usually inside the crate (check some of the top models of cages for anxiety dogs). Another disorder that your pooch might be suffering from is confinement anxiety, and this disorder is known to cause stressful behavior when the pup is trapped inside the kennel.

  • Infections

Unfortunately, there are a number of infections that lead to serious digestive problems and cause pups to have episodes of uncontrollable diarrhea. One of the most infectious viruses of this kind is Parvovirus, which causes things like bloody diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, as well as decreased appetite. There are many kinds of internal parasites that damage the dog’s rectal muscles and make him lose the control of this body area – some of them include giardia, hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.

Why is My Dog Pooping in his Crate?
  • Nerve & Muscle Disease

Various diseases can cause debilitation and weakness by affecting the canine’s nerves and muscles, which in turn affects the rectum function. Some of these diseases are Myasthenia gravis, Degenerative myelopathy, and Peripheral myopathy, all of which can cause the pooch to defecate more often than he should.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The inflammatory bowel disease affects the pup’s intestinal tract, which results in an allergic response that has a very adverse effect on the pup’s ability to process the food. Some of the most common symptoms of IBD are weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea, and the usual causes are bacterial proteins and diet changes.

  • Trauma

Injuries can occur from tumors that form around the dog’s rectum, as well as from various accidents. These traumas are known to damage the sphincter control and make it hard for the pooch to control his defecation.

  • Medications

Certain medications are well-known to be capable of causing defecation disturbances in canines. If your pooch is taking a specific drug and you’ve noticed changes in his bowel movement, make sure to talk with your vet about the possible side effects of that drug.

  • Incontinence

There are a vast number of various medical conditions that can lead to incontinence in dogs, with some of them causing partial or complete paralysis of the pup’s hind end. Due to aging, elderly dogs are especially prone to incontinence.

Trauma to dogs


There are three methods that could help you in stopping your pooch from soiling inside the crate. Let’s closely analyze each of these approaches:

Method #1Right Size Crate, Feeding the Dog in His Kennel, Altering the Bedding

  • As we already mentioned, making sure that your pup’s cage is of the correct size is of crucial importance. The box should be big enough for the pooch to be able to lie down, stand up, and turn around. Choosing a model that’s too spacious will tempt the pup to use his safe little haven as a bathroom.
  • There’s a good chance that your pet won’t defecate in the same space he’s eating in. For that matter, you could try feeding him while he’s inside the kennel. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have to keep him enclosed at all times – just set the bowl with food and water inside the enclosure and leave the door open.
  • Adding extra blankets or changing their type is another thing you could do. Making a nice, comfortable bed could prevent the pooch from defecating inside the crate – he will not want to relieve himself at the same area he’s using for cuddling and sleeping.

Method #2Changing the Schedule

  • Crate-training the dog before leaving him in there on his own is very important. If you’ve already started leaving your four-legged friend in his kennel and he’s pooping inside of it, he probably isn’t used to the cage. Canines require gradual introduction before they can be left inside the enclosure on their own. Gradually increase the time your pooch spends enclosed – start small (around 10 minutes) and add ten more minutes with each session.
  • Another reason for your pup’s defecating issues might be the fact that his walking schedule isn’t consistent enough. Walking him at regular intervals could very well remove this problem. Depending on his age, Fido might need more or less time spent outdoors. Puppies not older than 12 weeks should be let out at least once an hour every day and couple of hours during the night. Adult canines need to go out only a couple of times a day, and they also need one longer walk on a daily basis.
  • Furthermore, creating a consistent feeding schedule is just as important. Don’t give your pooch meals and immediately put him inside the kennel after that – give him a chance to relieve himself outside first. Also, don’t forget to limit snacks and treats between the meals.
Right Size Crate for your dog

Method #3 Medical Care

  • Ruling out any medical problems as potential causes is very important – make an appointment with your vet and let him perform a physical exam on the pooch. The vet might perform things like x-rays and blood tests to determine the necessary treatment.
  • As we already said, the separation anxiety is a common cause of bowel problems in canines. Try to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of this disorder by doing some researching. In case your pup is always trying to escape from his enclosure and always barks and howls while defecating, he is most likely suffering from this disorder.
  • Sudden changes in the dog’s diet are known to cause bowel control issues. The key is in the gradual transition – introduce new types and brands of food slowly and with no hesitation. Start off by mixing the old food with small amount of the new food, and gradually build your way up to a complete shift.

When learning how to stop your furry friend from defecating inside his kennel, the responsibility falls on you. If the pooch poops in his enclosure, the fault is only yours and no one else’s. If you ensure that your pet has a proper feeding and walking schedule, that he’s never left on his own for too long, and that he has a crate of the correct size, you won’t have anything to worry about.