Help! My Dog Poops In House After Being Outside

Life with your dog is swell. He’s your best bud, and the two of you do everything together. You couldn’t be happier having him greet you every time you come home, taking him on walks, and snuggling in bed together after a long day. 

But suddenly, something doesn’t seem right. Or rather, it doesn’t smell right

dog poops in house after being outside
Help! My dog poops in house after being outside.

That’s right; your perfectly trained pup has pooped in the house, and you have no idea why he did it. 

When your dog poops in the house after being outside, it can be super frustrating. After all, he was just out for a walk—why didn’t he go when he was out there?

Don’t lose your cool. Instead, keep reading to learn more about this new and mysterious behavior. 

5 Reasons Your Dog Poops in the House After Being Outside

There’s a very, very slim chance that your dog is pooping in the house for the sole purpose of making you angry. In fact, your dog is probably pretty upset about the fact that he messed up and disappointed you.

So, before you get angry and punish your puppy, take a look at some of the possible reasons why your dog poops inside—even when he’s just gone for a walk or spent time in the backyard. 

1. He’s Not Full Potty Trained 

If your dog is under a year old, he may still not be fully potty trained. You probably did everything right, and it seemed like you were past the accident phase. 

However, young dogs are still learning and their training is still fresh, so it’s not uncommon for them to have an accident every once in a while. 

Accidents are especially common if your young dog gets left alone for long periods during the day. He may not be capable of holding it, or he might panic when he realizes he has to go but you’re nowhere to be found. 

Stay patient; chances are, your pup knows what he did was bad and he already feels horrible for it. Clean the mess and take him outside for a gentle reminder where he does his business. 

small terrier with tissue paper
A small Terrier with scattered tissue papers on the floor.

2. Your Dog Got Distracted Outside 

Whether you took your dog for a walk around the block or let him out into the yard, he may have been too distracted to do his business before he went back into the house. After all, there’s a lot to see and plenty to do out there in the world. 

Your dog might have spent his potty time in the yard chasing squirrels, barking at the neighbor, and sniffing the perimeter of the fence. He was so busy, he actually forgot to do his business before he went inside.

And sometimes, the distraction was you. Especially during the first year of a dog’s life, it’s important not to interrupt his poop prematurely. 

For example, if you’re potty training and using treats as a reward, don’t pull out the treats until after your dog completely finishes his business. If you praise him and give him a treat halfway through, he might stop mid-poop and finish later—inside

The same goes for calling your dog inside. You may have commanded him to come before he had a chance to go. 

Toy Goldendoodle barking
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3. He’s Stressed 

An anxious, stressed dog can show his emotions in several different ways. He may pace, shake, whine, bark, lick, or chew

Some dogs feel a sudden urge to go to the bathroom when they feel stressed or anxious. You’ve probably met a dog at some point that pees whenever it meets new people for the first time. 

If your dog is pooping in the house, he could just be demonstrating his stress. Bowel movements that are loose and watery could be a stronger indicator of stress, as stress can upset normal digestion. 

Consider any recent changes you’ve made to your dog’s schedule or environment. Have you recently moved into a new home? Did you get a new pet? Did you start working a new job that takes you out of the house more often?

Any of these factors can stress your dog out and cause him to do uncharacteristic things like pooping in the house. 

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4. Your Dog Has a Medical Issue 

One of the main reasons you shouldn’t get mad at your dog for pooping in the house is because he may have a medical issue that he can’t control. 

One of the following issues can cause your dog to lose control of his bowel movements and poop in the house:

  • Parasites
  • Food intolerance
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Your dog’s medical issue may be something that needs immediate intervention, so be sure to contact your vet.

In other cases, his medical problems may be age-related. If you have an older dog, he may be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to Alzheimer’s in people. He may forget, can no longer hold it, or have weakness and incontinence. 

Staffordshire Terrier sleeping
A Staffordshire Terrier sleeping soundly on the couch.

5. He Doesn’t Like Certain Weather 

Call your dog picky, but some pups just won’t go to the bathroom in certain weather. The most common weather types that dogs avoid are rain and snow

Some of this has to do with a texture problem. Dogs prefer to do their business on dirt or grass, mainly because it absorbs their smell and is better for marking their territory. Plus, it’s just natural. 

When it rains or snows, the ground’s texture changes. During snowstorms, your dog can’t even find the ground, which can be frustrating for them. 

Most dogs simply just don’t like to get their paws wet. This may sound like a far cry for the dog that enjoys digging up the dirt and jumping in lakes, but it’s true. And if your dog holds out long enough, he may eventually choose to go on the floor instead. 

labradoodle running in the snow
A Labradoodle dog running in the snow.

Final Thoughts

No one likes to come home to the foul smell of dog poop, but try not to get upset. Yelling at your dog and shoving his face in it is never the answer. 

Have a lot of patience and remember how much you love your furry friend. Rather than get upset, spend some time trying to nail down the reason for this issue so you can find a proper solution.