The Real Poopetrator for a Dog: Fiber
Why Is This Happening?
My Jack Russell Westie Mix has always been well behaved aside from a few impulse behaviors here and there. He was a quick learner from the get-go, so potty training was never an issue for us. However, this past year our 6 year old Jack Russell Westie Mix has been having pooping accidents in the house. Most of the time it is a little poop in his bed. For a few days at one point, it was a full on poop in other places of our house.
It is evident to my husband and I that our dog is not having these accidents because he thinks it is okay. Whenever we find a poop in the house, our dog looks at us with sadness and his ears down. On the other hand, we have friends who have older dogs, and they say that their dogs poop in the house purposely with no remorse.
The following are the steps my husband and I have made in discovering the cause of our dog's accidents. It is my hope that our steps and our conclusion will save some dog owner the hassle of a visit to the vet and the burden of a vet bill.
Step 1: Be Patient Dog Owners
Give Your Dog Time to Use the Bathroom
- Problem: Our dog has always been on a pooping schedule, but recently his schedule has been off. Since our dog is older, we had come to the conclusion that our dog feels like we are rushing him outside. If we tell him to come back inside, he will obey whether he still has to use the bathroom or not.
- Solution: Waiting for a minute or two may not be enough time for your dog to find a good pooping spot. My husband and I decided to wait around for 5 minutes, maybe a little more, to ensure that our dog feels that he has enough time to poop.
- Problem: Sometimes giving our Jack Russell Westie Mix a lot of time outside still does not work. Instead of pooping, he will walk around and explore the yard for as long as we will allow him. We will call him in at night when it is time to go to bed, and we will wake up the next morning to a little poop in his bed.
- Solution: We have found that it helps a bit to walk out and around the yard with our dog commanding him over and over again to "go poop" or "go poopie". When he poops, we act extremely excited and exclaim, "You went poop! Good boy!" followed by a treat.
OVERALL: BOTH WERE NOT CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL.
Step 2: Dogs and Their Tummies
Switching to Organic Dog Food
- Problem: My husband and I decided to change our dog's old dog food to an organic and non GMO dog food. Organic food for humans can be a change for their stomachs; it definitely will make you poop more. The same goes for a dog's stomach too.
- Solution: My husband and I tried our best to take our dog out as often as we could. It was our hope that our dog would start adjusting to a new poop schedule.
Switching to a Different Flavor of Dog Food
- Problem: Switching to any different flavor of dog food can upset a dog's stomach. They could have much more than just a small accident in the house; they could have diarrhea. Many people have told me that a sign of an upset stomach in a dog is when they eat grass outside.
- Solution: My husband and I assumed that we changed our dog's diet abruptly. Do not wait to buy new dog food in the last minute like we did. Once your dog's food container starts to get low on food, start mixing it with about the same amount of the new dog food. This will allow your dog's stomach to adjust to the new food they are digesting before they start eating the new food completely on its own.
OVERALL: BOTH WERE NOT CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL.
Step 3: Reflecting on Whose Fault it is
- Problem: We all love our dogs and spoil them to some degree, but you also need to show them who is boss. Raising a dog is like raising a child. If you spoil your child, they are going to act out and not care about the consequences. Your dog may be pooping in the house because they have been allowed to think that it is okay.
- Solution: If your dog is acting out by pooping in the house with no remorse, you have to go back to the basics with training. Pick up the poop with toilet paper, and put it in front of your dog's face. Make sure they are looking at it when you say in a scary tone "bad dog" and "no poop in the house". It is also important to give them a healthy spanking after. It breaks your heart to do it, but it is the only way they will know that they have done wrong.
OVERALL: WE DECIDED THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO US.
Step 4: a Visit to the Vet
A $100 visit to the veterinarian office taught us that the issue was lack of fiber in our dog's diet. We were advised to give our dog 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree a day to soften his stool. We have stuck with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree for his breakfast each day, and it has helped so much!
OVERALL: COMPLETE SUCCESS!
Remember that Consistency is Key
Regardless of which steps made you realized what was the culprit in your household, remember to always be consistent. Your fur baby may be cute, but remember who is the boss in your house. Stick to your discipline methods, and make sure everyone else in your household is sticking to those same methods.