Dogs are usually very good about pooping and peeing in the right place. But what happens when your dog is peeing outside but not pooping? It could be a symptom of an underlying problem, like worms or a urinary tract infection. Come learn more about why dogs do this and how you can help them!
Why Does My Dog Pee Outside but Not Poop?
There are a few different reasons why your dog might be peeing outside but not pooping. Some of the most common reasons include:
Worms or Another Intestinal Parasite
Intestinal parasites are very common in dogs and can cause them to have a lot of trouble pooping. If your dog has been consistently peeing outside but not pooping, it’s worth taking it to the vet to get checked for worms. The vet will be able to prescribe medication to get rid of the worms and help your pup feel better.
A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can also cause dogs to be unable to poop. If your dog has a UTI, it might start peeing outside more frequently and may not have any bowel movements for days at a time. A UTI is usually fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, but it’s important that you take them early on to avoid complications.
Anxiety or Excitement:
If your dog is very anxious or excited, it may not want to poop because they are overstimulated and can’t settle down. This can be a particular issue for younger dogs such as puppies who are still learning to control their bowels and attention.
Addison’s Disease or Cushing’s Disease
These two diseases can cause dogs to have problems with their adrenal glands, which can lead to changes in the way they poop and pee. If your dog has been consistently peeing outside but not pooping, it’s worth taking it to the vet for a check-up to rule out these diseases.
Lack of Potty Training
If your dog has not been potty-trained and is still in the process of learning where it should be going to the bathroom, it’s possible for them to occasionally make a mistake. They aren’t able to make a connection between your commands and the desired action.
The younger a dog is, the easier it is to establish these habits. If your dog is having a hard time with training or is much older, it may be helpful to have a professional trainer step in.
If your dog is distracted while outside, it may quickly pee but forget to poop. This can happen if there are other dogs around, you’re playing with them during potty time, or they are in a large social area such as a dog park. Make sure that you aren’t distracting your dog from its potty time and are giving them plenty of opportunities to go in a quiet, uncrowded area.
If your dog is constipated, they will usually hold their poop for several days at a time. This can cause them to not want to go outside because it’s too painful or uncomfortable when they try to make a bowel movement. It may be helpful to feed them some canned pumpkin (not the pie filling) mixed in with their food to help get things moving again.
If your dog is pregnant, they may start peeing outside more frequently as their body gets ready for labor. This is completely normal and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. They may also have a harder time holding their bowels due to the added pressure of the baby. Keep an eye on your pregnant dog to make sure that she can be escorted outside quickly if she needs to go.
Fear of the Outdoors
Some dogs may be scared to go outside and pee or poop because of the sights, sounds, or smells they encounter. This can be a particular issue for rescue dogs who may have been abandoned outdoors in the past.
When the weather is bad, dogs may not want to go outside. This can be because they are too cold or frightened by storms and other loud noises that accompany them. If you notice your dog has suddenly started peeing inside but hasn’t pooped yet, it’s worth checking the forecast before taking them out for a walk or letting them in into the backyard.
Make sure there aren’t other substances making it painful or challenging for your pet to poop, such as hot walkways, road salt that can burn its paws, or recently treated lawns.
Trying to Get a Treat
Some dogs may go outside to pretend they need to poop, only to run back inside in hopes of getting a treat. This can be a frustrating behavior for dog owners, but you can break this habit by ignoring your dog for the first five minutes after they come inside.
A New Environment
If you recently moved to a new house or are having your dog spend time at someone else’s home, there’s a chance they aren’t used to the area yet. This can make it harder for them to find an appropriate place for their business without being guided by another animal or human.
If your dog is elderly, they may start having trouble going to the bathroom because their muscles and joints aren’t as flexible as they used to be. This can lead to them either not being able to go at all or only being able to poop very slowly.
Their metabolisms may also be running more slowly, meaning that they likely won’t need to poop as much as they did in their younger days. Make sure that your elderly dog isn’t in any pain or discomfort by visiting the vet if they stop pooping outside.
How to Get My Dog to Pee and Poop Outside?
Although this behavior may be frustrating, there are several things you can do to help your dog to pee and poop outside:
Choose a Dedicated Bathroom Spot
If you can, try to pick a spot in your yard that is specifically for your dog to go to the bathroom. This may be a corner of the yard that’s hidden from view or an area where you’ve placed some pee pads or artificial turf. Take your dog over to this area while on their leash to let them know that this is where they’re supposed to go.
Give Them a Command
When your dog is ready to pee or poop, give them a specific command such as “pee” or “poop.” This will help them to make a connection between their actions and your commands. The younger a dog is, the easier it is to train it in this way.
Reward Them for Peeing and Pooping Outside
After they finish going outside, reward your dog with a treat or affection. This will help reinforce the idea that obeying you when it comes time to go potty is rewarding. You can also give them a verbal cue such as “good dog” to let them know that they did the right thing.
Take Them for Regular Walks
A good way to help your dog get into the habit of peeing and pooping outdoors is to take them on regular walks. This will help their muscles stay loose and make it more likely that they’ll want to pee or poop while you’re out. If your dog is used to going for walks, it’s likely that it won’t have any trouble doing this when the weather is nice enough outside.
Socialize Them Early on
If you adopt an older rescue dog who has been known to hold their bladder and bowels in defiance, it’s worth socializing them early on in the hopes of breaking this habit. This can involve taking your dog to crowded areas, playing with other dogs, and even inviting friends over for dinner so they get used to being around people while they go potty.
Keep Your Dog’s Feeding Schedule Regular
A dog’s digestive system works best when its feeding schedule is regular. This means that you shouldn’t change their diet or feeding times too often, as this can disrupt their bowel movements. Try to feed your dog at the same time every day and make sure there is always a designated spot for them to eat in your home.
Should I Wait Outside Until My Dog Poops?
In general, it’s good to wait for 5 to 10 minutes for your dog to poop. If you stay outside with them for longer amounts of time such as a half-hour, they will associate this with play or rest time and will start doing other things such as running around or eating grass.
If your dog isn’t pooping in the first few minutes of letting it out, you can take it over to its bathroom spot, practice commands, or take it on a short walk to get things flowing. Be sure to stay positive and encouraging when your dog is going in the right spot.
If your dog doesn’t go to the bathroom within 10 minutes, take it inside and try again in another hour.
What to Do When My Dog Poops Inside?
When your dog makes an accident in the home, the first thing you should do is take them directly outside to their designated bathroom area. It’s important not to be too dramatic, negative, or frustrated with them, as this can cause your dog to become anxious or confused.
When they finish, reward them by playing a game of fetch or giving them their favorite treat. This will help reinforce the idea that doing what you want is fun and rewarding for both of you.
Make sure to do a thorough job of cleaning up the soiled area in your home. Any lingering smells or traces of poop or pee may encourage your pup to continue going inside.
Make sure to supervise your dog as much as possible when indoors. This way, if your dog starts to position itself to go to the bathroom, you can hopefully catch it and quickly take your pup outside.
Don’t Do This When a Dog Poops Inside
Yelling at your dog or punishing them in any way will only make them more anxious and likely to have accidents indoors in the future. Dogs don’t understand and process guilt the same way that humans do, so they won’t know why you’re being so angry with them.
Rubbing their nose in their mess is also not an effective method of housebreaking and can actually cause long-term behavioral issues. This will only make them embarrassed and confused, which can be very difficult for a young pup to handle.
Finally, don’t continue to let the habit happen. Especially for young pups, if they are allowed to poop inside of the house for weeks or months on end, it will be even more challenging to train them not to.