Dogs are our best friends. They’re there for us when things get tough and when we’re sad, and they bring light and joy to our lives every day. Still, that doesn’t stop our little fur balls from igniting occasional trouble.
Take pooping on our beds, for example.
It’s never a nice surprise to find that your dog has eliminated in one of the places in your home that you want to be the cleanest and most comfortable. With that said, if your dog’s been pooping on your bed, it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem before rushing to pure annoyance. While this is unfortunately a relatively common issue, it’s also one that might signal an underlying concern.
Up ahead, we’ll explain the top reasons why your dog might be pooping on your bed (or on the couch, in chairs, or on other furniture). We’ll also explain what to do about it. Let’s get started.
Why does dog poop on my bed?
While it can certainly be troubling to find an unpleasant “surprise” in your bed from your dog, keep in mind this problem isn’t unusual. Many dog owners struggle with their dogs pooping on their beds.
For the most part, one of the following issues will be to blame:
Believe it or not, pooping on the bed may be more frightening of an experience for your dog than it is for you! Many dog experts have linked pooping in bizarre areas around the house to emotional issues, such as fear.
For example, think about the time(s) your dog pooped in your bed. What else was going on during this time or directly before it?
One common reason for dogs pooping in odd places around the house is thunderstorms. Most dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, and they may run around in circles frantically, pace, pant, hide, and do other strange things during them. It’s not uncommon to find an unpleasant surprise in the corner of the basement, or the bathroom, or — you guessed it — your bed after a big storm.
Of course, like thunderstorms, firework displays can also distress your dog, as can guns going off and other loud noises inside or outside. If you are having work done on your house, for instance, this can also set off your dog’s fears.
Other reasons your dog might be scared and poop on your bed as a result include being afraid of going to the vet, having guests or new people in the house, having a new dog or other pet in the house, or having a run-in with another dog or animal outside.
They’re nervous and anxious.
Nerves and anxious feelings are related to fear. But sometimes the nerves and anxious feelings in your dog are more ongoing than acute. In other words, instead of being afraid of one thunderstorm, your dog might struggle with long-term anxiety problems that you should address alongside help from your veterinarian.
This consistent anxiety may be linked to past trauma — especially if you got your dog at the pound or found him or her outside wandering around. It might also be related to an illness. We’ll get more into how underlying medical issues may cause pooping on the bed up ahead.
They haven’t had a chance to get outside and go to the bathroom.
In some situations, the problem is your dog hasn’t been able to go outside frequently enough, and therefore, they’ve had to go to the bathroom for a long time and simply chose to do it inside.
Why on your bed? Probably because it’s comfortable, and they like to lay there. They know that you like to lay there too, and they like that the bed smells like you.
If you think this issue may be the core problem of your dog pooping on your bed, it’s up to you to fix it. You’ll need to find ways to let your dog out more often.
Keep in mind that if your dog is elderly or getting on the older side, their bathroom habits may have changed, and they may need to go outside to go to the bathroom more often than they used to. You need to adapt to this, and take them for more frequent walks or let them out in the yard more. If they can be out in a gated area, consider installing a doggy door so that they can go in and out as they please.
They’re bored and have excess physical energy.
Bored dogs who have pent-up energy may end up pooping in strange places, like on your bed.
Certain breeds need to expend more physical energy throughout the day. For example, border collies and golden retrievers need to be taken on at least three or more walks every day. Ideally, they will have a place to run around and play freely throughout the day.
If you have one of these breeds or another breed that needs an especially high amount of physical energy expenditure every day, you need to find a way to get your dog more exercise. This might mean going for more walks, having a penned-in area where your dog can run freely, or taking your dog to a local dog park. Some people even get babysitters for their dogs if they’ll be home all day at work or school.
They’re getting revenge.
This one is a bit of a misnomer. Dogs don’t actually get revenge and have spite. They don’t plan out when they are going to go poop and how they’re going to do it. Rather, they act on instinct.
If you think your dog is “revenge pooping,” it’s more likely that they are pooping because of emotional distress. See above.
They haven’t been well house-trained.
Did you ever house-train your dog? Were they house-trained as a puppy or an adult dog? By you or by someone else?
It might be time for a little update with them.
First, if they’ve never been house-trained, it’s certainly time to do this. Pick up a book or watch a series of videos on YouTube on how to house-train a dog. There are also classes that can help.
If your dog has already been house-trained but they seem to be regressing, you can do a bit of an update training as well. There are articles and videos about this online too. You are basically reminding your dog of the house-training rules you set at the beginning of your relationship.
They have an underlying health condition.
Several underlying health conditions may be related to your dog pooping on your bed. These include bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, having a bacteria or virus, having a food allergy or intolerance, or having parasites such as hookworms or roundworms.
All of these issues need to be addressed by a professional. Take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible to be examined and tested.
Why does my dog poop on my couch or furniture?
If your dog’s been pooping on your couch, your chairs, or on other furniture, one of the reasons above is probably the culprit. Dogs may poop on living room or other furniture because they are scared, bored, angry, or simply need to go outside more often. Or, it could also be an underlying health condition.
Actually, it’s more likely that a health condition could be contributing to a dog pooping on furniture— especially if it’s happening quite often. Pooping on your bed once is one thing. It may be an isolated incident after a thunderstorm or because you took them to the vet and they are still a bit angry about the experience.
But pooping frequently throughout your house in multiple locations probably means that your dog is having an issue holding in their poop. This common problem is often linked to advanced age, but it can also be related to irritable bowel syndrome or other medical conditions. If you’re having an ongoing problem with your dog pooping on multiple items of furniture, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any related medical conditions.
Why does my dog wee on my furniture?
Weeing or peeing on household furniture is related to pooping on household furniture, but if it’s medically related, it may be the sign of a urinary problem as opposed to a bowel issue.
You can look for signs of urinary problems in your dog by checking for other common symptoms.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are quite common in canines and often result in quite foul-smelling urine, blood in the urine, and overall frequent urination. Your dog’s urine might be cloudy in appearance. They may also strain when they are urinating, which is something you should particularly look for if you are able.
Leaking Issues (Incontinence)
Most animals can develop incontinence issues with advanced age. Female dogs often have this problem, and again, it needs to be addressed if suspected. Certain medications can help your dog stop leaking urine by tightening the muscles around the urethra.
Weeing on furniture could also be a sign of a kidney issue. Kidney failure is an extremely serious problem for any animal, and if you suspect such an issue, you should see your vet immediately. Waste build up in the bloodstream can lead to serious medical repercussions for your dog.
How to stop my dog from pooping or peeing in the furniture?
If you have any suspicion of a medical issue in your dog, it is once again important to make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. Your veterinarian will be able to give your dog a comprehensive physical exam and run any necessary tests to determine if a health condition is causing this problem.
If you’re sure the issue is not related to a medical condition or you’ve already seen your vet, consider the other possible reasons listed at the beginning of this article. Any one of these issues could be causing your dog to poop and/or pee on your bed and furniture.
Narrowing down the possibilities is where you should start. Again, think about any events or activities that had been going on before or after the incident. Are you in a new or strange place? Has the weather been odd? Are new people around? What sorts of noises and activities are going on in your home (or outside on the street)?
Here are some tips for stopping your dog from pooping and peeing on your furniture.
Handling a Dog Who Needs to Be Outside More
We all want our dogs to immediately tell us when they need to go to the bathroom so that we can let them outside right away or take them for a walk. But this isn’t how dogs operate sometimes.
They aren’t always able to tell us when they have to go to the bathroom. And even if you’re used to taking your dog for frequent walks, again, their elimination habits may have changed over time. When this happens, you need to adapt with them and help them out.
For example, you might start by seeing if you can take them for more walks. If you’re not there during the day, get someone to come over and take them on a walk or at least let them outside a few more times. If you have an outdoor area where they can go, set up a small fenced-in area where they can run freely. If you know a fellow dog owner who’s home for part or some of the day, ask them if your dog can come over to play with their dog (if they’re compatible).
The extra time outdoors and energy expended can greatly help with incontinence issues in your dog.
Handling Fear and Anxiety-Induced Incontinence
If you think fear, anxiety, and general nervousness could be linked to your dog’s incontinence, you have several options as well.
First, if you think it’s an ongoing problem that you can’t handle with changes to your and your dog’s behaviors and environment, talk to your veterinarian. There may be a medication that they recommend your dog take to loosen their nerves and relax more.
Additionally, on your own, think of ways you can comfort your dog and alleviate some of their anxiety. This might simply be creating a nice little area in your living room or kitchen where they can lie down and be warm and comfortable. Get them a nice, cushy bed with some blankets that are their very own. Give them a few special toys. You can also give them treats more frequently (if their diet allows) or a better grade of dog food. If you don’t have any other pets, you might consider getting another dog. Just make sure the two of them will be compatible!
All of these small changes can help your dog alleviate some of their anxious feelings and hopefully avoid eliminating in your bed or on your furniture.