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Do dogs poop when they are scared?

Do dogs poop when they are scared?

Dogs are famous for their loyalty and their bravery. Your pet dog will stand guard for your home and protect it against any would-be intruders. They will not leave your side no matter what happens.

Still, dogs are not immune from experiencing fear. Something within their surroundings may strike fear into them and cause a reaction. If you’ve never seen your pet afraid before, you may be in for a surprise.

In this article, we’ll detail how dogs may react when they are feeling afraid. Read up on the details included here so you can better recognize those instances when your pet is scared of something.

Do Dogs Poop When They Are Scared?

Fear is not an emotion most pet dogs are familiar with. They have grown comfortable in your home so they have no reason to be afraid of you. They can just relax in your home and live happily.

Unfortunately, some dogs may still feel that emotion of fear from time to time.

Many dogs are afraid of loud sounds. That’s why they cower in fear when they hear booming thunder or fireworks exploding in the distance.

Older dogs that came from abusive households may still be dealing with different traumas. They may suddenly tense up when they see certain objects or visit certain places.

The point is that dogs can get scared. When they do, they may cause a mess inside your home.

Dogs that are feeling very afraid may become incapable of controlling their bodily functions. That can manifest itself in two ways.

First off, your dog may suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to urinate if they feel afraid. They cannot do anything about that so they may just let their urine go.

Some scared dogs go beyond urinating. They may also lose control of their bowels, thus causing them to poop inside your home.

It’s important to recognize that your pet dog didn’t want to poop at that time. The fear was simply too great for them to ignore and they could not do anything about it.

Do Dogs Poop When Stressed?

Stress and fear can intertwine sometimes.

Once your dog starts to feel afraid, they may get stressed out as well. That’s probably something you’ve seen before if you have a dog who’s afraid of fireworks. Your poor pet may look anxious and uneasy as they desperately try to hide from the sounds of explosions.

Your pet may also feel stressed out if you introduce them to other dogs or people they don’t know. Some dogs also suffer from separation anxiety. The first time you leave them at home for an extended period can be very stressful for them.

Stress can draw out a reaction from dogs that is very similar to what they show when they’re afraid. Unfortunately, that means your pet may urinate and poop inside your home again.

Note that the way your dog urinates or poops when they’re feeling stressed or afraid may be different than normal. They may just release the waste immediately. Dogs won’t bother with their pre-bathroom rituals if they are already feeling afraid and/or anxious.

How to Tell if My Dog Is Scared?

Dogs usually don’t do a very good job of concealing their emotions. If your pet is feeling fearful, you should be able to recognize it.

Detailed below are the signs that your dog is feeling scared. Keep them in mind so you can quickly determine if something is troubling your beloved pet.

Unexpected Pooping and/or Urinating

We already discussed this, but we just want to reiterate that dogs can lose control of their bodily functions when they’re afraid. They aren’t ignoring your household rules by pooping or urinating inside. It’s simply something that happens when dogs are very afraid of something.


Dogs will start to tremble whenever they feel fear. You can approach them, place your hand somewhere on their body, and feel them shaking. It’s tough to see your pet that way so try comforting them as best you can.

Pacing Around

Some dogs become restless when they are afraid. They may start walking back and forth around the same area because they don’t know what to do.


Whenever my dog hears thunder, she wastes no time running to the bathroom. External sounds have a harder time getting in there so I understand why she chose that as her hiding spot.

Your dog may also hide if they’re afraid. They may try to hide in a room or attempt to squeeze under your bed. They will do anything they can to keep the scary thing as far away from them as possible.


Dogs typically pant if they’re feeling hot and need to lower their body temperature. However, they may also start to pant when they’re afraid.


Barking is another thing dogs tend to do when they’re scared. They may not even be barking at anything in particular. They are just trying to soothe themselves by barking.

Excessive Licking

Scared dogs will lick themselves excessively. They may start to remove hair from the spot they’re licking so watch out for that.

Ignoring You

Lastly, dogs tend to become fixated on the thing that’s scaring them. Because of that, they may not respond to you or your commands. Your dog may continue to remain distracted until their source of fear disappears.

How to Get My Dog to Be Less Scared?

Seeing your dog so afraid of something can be genuinely heartbreaking. As their owner, you want to comfort them, but what is the best way to do that?

Included in this section of the article are some tips for comforting your scared pet. Give them a try and see if they will work on your furry friend.

Avoid Scolding Your Dog

After seeing your dog poop or urinate inside your living room, your first instinct may be to scold them. Avoid following that instinct.

Remember that your dog is feeling stressed out and afraid so cut them some slack. As long as they remember to relieve themselves outside next time, there’s no need for a scolding.

Distract Your Pet

Distractions can take your pet’s focus away from whatever it is that’s scaring them. You can try to distract your pet by giving them some treats. Playing with them should also help them calm down.

Leave Your Pet Alone

When your dog goes to hide in a specific place, that could be because they find that part of your home to be the safest and most comfortable. For now, just allow your dog to stay in there.

Give Your Pet Some Physical Contact

Physical contact can be instrumental in helping your pet overcome their fears. Hug your pet if they’re receptive to that. Some comforting pats and scratches on the head can also be helpful.

Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian

Your dog may have a deeply rooted phobia that they are struggling to deal with. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is to bring your pet to the veterinarian.

The veterinarian can put forth some suggestions that should help your pet handle their phobia better. After conducting an examination, the veterinarian may also suggest giving your dog some medication. Feel free to offer your dog that medication because it could be key to them getting over their fears.