What To Do When Dog Poops In House | Reactions and Cleanup Tips

bucket of cleaning water

We are probably all familiar with a dog that has an off day. Too much to handle. Suddenly they have an accident, poop in a corner somewhere in your house or on the doormat. If you haven’t been there yet, or you’re in a stage of becoming a first-time dog owner, you will get there eventually. Either you still need to house-train your newborn puppy, or your dog comes from a kennel and needs rehabilitation.

I have another post about potty training your puppy. You can read it here.

There are many more reasons to think of why your dog would suddenly start doing his business inside the house.

How should you handle your dog when an accident happens? When this happens, most of us get in a state of panic. The thing is, when your dog has an accident, there are usually two reasons for it. Either he is over-excited and can’t control it, or he is under the influence of something and can’t control it.

Regardless of the reason, there is no need to panic, and there are ways to handle your dog when he has an accident in your house. We will look at both reactions and methods to clean up the mess.

When your dog has an accident inside your house, your first reaction should be to stay calm and punish your dog. The quickest way to handle the situation is to pick up the poop in a bag or paper towel, throw it away, and clean the floor. The important thing is not to make a big deal out of it. Next, you should consider if your dog is over-excited, a puppy who needs potty training, or a dog that requires medical attention.

How Should We React When Our Dog Poops In The House?

Stay calm at all times. Your dog’s reaction is like a mirror for yourself. He responds to your reaction. When you get over-excited, he might get enthusiast, which is how it could happen again in the future. You see dogs connect behavior to your high-pitched voice, thinking they do well.

When you punish your dog by scolding him, hitting him, or rubbing his nose through the poop, you give him negative attention. All the negative attention can backfire someday when your dog is upset. You have taught him exactly what he needs to do to get back at you.

So stay calm, and just clean up the mess. Further below, I have some tips on how you can get the poo out of the carpet, but first, let’s discuss some of the reasons your dog might do his business inside and what you can do to help your dog.

An over-excited dog poops inside

Your K9 friend poops in the house regularly. And after a while, or maybe the first time you notice it happens after playing time or exercise (This can also be outside).

Dogs tend to get very excited when playing or exercising. This is all normal behavior, but some dogs can get what vets call “exercise-induced diarrhea.”

When he is eating and drinking normally, his bowel contents are usually well-formed and pass through the bowel quickly. In other words, his food has decreased transit time in the large and small intestine, and the water from the intestinal contents irritates his bowel. He may have loose stools, increased gas, and diarrhea.

I have talked to a vet about this, and the good news is that he told me it is not harmful to dogs, as long as they are happy, energetic, and their body weight is fine. There will always be food in the bowel as long as they eat enough.

Now consider food. She gave the advice to look at the food intake of the particular dog. Sometimes you see dogs with this condition who just overeat. What could help is to reduce his daily food intake. Look carefully at your dog’s breakfast and dinner and see if you can limit the amount somewhere. I hear from some dog owners it has helped a little.

Luckily it is a harmless condition but an annoying one. The only way to really prevent it is to not exercise your dog, but that is not really an option.

You could figure out if it happens because of a particular game you play or a particular exercise. Reduce that specific exercise from your daily routine or better replace it with something else.

Over-stimulation during potty time

Have you ever felt the irresistible urge to go when you were a little kid while you were outside playing with friends? Do you remember? Well, dogs can have the same feeling. You are his best friend.

The problem of a dog peeing or pooping when you come home can be caused by the outside area where you walk your dog during potty times. The locations designated for potty time may be overstimulating or distracting for your dog.

How to deal with over-stimulation

I have not been in a situation where my dog didn’t want to poop inside the house because she was overstimulated. Still, I do have areas where too many other dogs pass. Mine just want to get attention from other dogs and play.

I try to avoid these areas a little, and first walk to a place I know doesn’t have many dogs around. This is where she can do her thing. When she is ready, we see other dogs because socializing with other neighborhood dogs is also a must.

The important thing for you is to find out what gets your dog so excited he doesn’t want to poop. When you do, find out how you can best avoid these situations until he has gone potty. Only then can you look up the exciting areas.

A puppy poops inside the house

A dog between potty ages is a puppy pooping and peeing inside the house. This is normal. When a puppy is young, he doesn’t have a well-developed circular muscle and can’t control when he needs to poop. He will pee and poop when he is excited or needs to go.

You are regularly taking your pup to puppy school, and it’s probably your best of his class. He is doing everything right, even when you guys are home.

However, sometimes little Fido has an accident inside.

The thing is, some young puppies can be potty trained relatively quickly but are still unable to control their bladder and circular muscle. They are simply too young, it is not a shame, and you must give them some slack. Accidents can happen.

How to deal with a puppy doing his business inside

To begin, puppies need structure, like little children. Actually, all dogs need structure, but getting a puppy house trained structure and supervision are the basics.

Potty training your pup is a long-term goal, and stop thinking you will reach it within a week.

Yes, it is possible to get your pup to a point where he prefers to do his business outside. He might even let you know when it is time to go. However, he might just as easily forget during a play session and have an accident.

When your dog did not have an accident for about 6 months, I would consider him house-trained. Until that time, keep going outside regularly.

If you struggle to get your pup house trained, here is some basic guidance you can follow:

  1. Start with taking your pup outside to the potty area every hour. When he does something, praise him, praise him and praise him with a high pitch voice and some treats. Reward him plenty and over exaggerate if you must. You can use a clicker; it sure helps his training. Be careful not to praise too soon or too late. Too soon will teach your pup not to finish his business. He gets distracted by your excitement and may hold his poop. Later, when you get back in the house, he could have an accident. If you praise too late, risk your pup into something else, and you’re not teaching him to potty in this area.
  2. If your pup did not poop, bring him back into the house. Keep an eye on him, and don’t let him have too much playtime. Sometimes he will poop while playing. After 20 minutes, you take him outside again. Repeat this step until he does something outside in the potty area. Praise him like explained in step 1. Return to step 1.

You can build up the time between potty breaks by an hour every week.

Tip: Take him outside to the potty area 10 minutes after each meal or drink moment. Often, puppies want to go right after eating or drinking something.

A dog who might need medical attention

Your dog is no longer a puppy, has been house trained for a while, and starts pooping inside the house out of the blue. You are sure not to leave him home for an extended period. He gets his daily needs of food and exercise. Did you not hurt his feelings in any way?

Usually, when your dog suddenly starts pooping or peeing in the house, and it happens more than once, it could indicate a medical issue.

Some medications cause incontinence, so is your dog on any medication? It could be the reason for the minor accidents.

Here are a couple of medical conditions that can cause bad bowel movements and more frequent stools:

  • Intestinal worms or parasites
  • Painful when squatting or lifting a leg
  • Kidney stones, failure, inflammation, or other kidney-related conditions
  • Liver diseases
  • Addison’s, Cushing’s disease, or other hormonal diseases
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Assorted gastrointestinal

I have not listed all, but these are the most common diseases. Not all of these diseases are related to pooping in the house. Peeing inside is also a nasty problem.

You get the idea. Suppose you see any change in behavior, or your dog is on medication. In that case, you should contact your vet as soon as possible and get your dog examined. You start getting any of these issues.

A dog of old age

And last, of course, there is old age. Just like with humans getting older, incontinent is around the corner.

Dogs getting older get all kinds of health-related issues. Not all of them are listed in the previous paragraph about medical matters. Still, medication can be the cause of it. It can be your dog pooping in your house because of his medication. Ask your vet about the prescribed medication and the accidents you’re facing.

Canine cognitive dysfunction is a condition some dogs face when they get older. It is like Alzheimer’s for humans. Your dog may have a hard time remembering what was thought. One of them can be his potty training.

Another old age reason could be he is simply old and unable to hold it in. It is the same with humans when you get older, sometimes the circular muscle won’t function very well anymore. Forgive your furry friend; he can’t help it.

How to deal with these situations

Well, first off, if you can limit your dog’s area in the house, that would be best for both. Preferably an area without a carpet. If you have carpet in the entire place your dog lives, he could eventually end up pooping on the carpet, if not already. You can read the paragraph below on how to get the poop out of your carpet. The limited area prevents you from having to go through the whole house every time to figure out if Fido left a present somewhere.

Next, contact your vet and have him examined. Your vet will likely tell you he is old and check to see if he doesn’t have any other conditions that can be treated with meds.

Now it is up to you to support your furry friend in this stage of his life. Cleanup after him without yelling or punishing him. Keep it calm and have patience. Don’t expect the situation to get better.

You can try to use doggy diapers if the situation is getting worse. Try them first as some dogs do not like it and hold it in for hours. This, of course, is uncomfortable and can be harmful to their health.

How Should We Clean Dog Poop From Carpet

So our dog pooped in the house, how do we clean it? Pick up the bigger parts with a paper or a bag and throw them in the trash. If you don’t have carpet on the floor, you can most likely clean the rest with a mop.

But how can we clean the dog poop off our carpet? This is usually the worst part. We have tried all kinds of cleaning products but always come back to the same thing, white vinegar, non-bleach soap, baking soda, and patience. It is cheap, and it works.

So what do we need:

  • Some protective or cleaning gloves
  • Paper towels
  • baby wipes or cleaning wipes
  • Water
  • Non-bleach dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • a bucket or a bowl (for your DIY cleaning solution)
  • Patience (a lot of it)

The key here is not to wait too long before you start. The longer you wait, the harder it gets to clean up. A fresh poop stain is easier to clean.

  1. Wear your cleaning gloves. It is a dirty job, and we don’t want to get the s* under our nails.
  2. Clean up the excess poop from the floor with the cleaning wipes. You can also try it with damp paper towels. Now take a new clean towel or wipe and pinch the carpet fibers to get as much poop out as possible.
  3. Now combine 2 cups of cold water with 1 tablespoon non-bleached soap and 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a bucket or bowl. If you need more cleaning solutions, just double each ingredient. Be sure to double-check your soap does not contain bleach. Bleach can cause color changes in fabrics. And a huge health concern: Bleach mixed with acids (for example, white vinegar) causes toxic fumes.
  4. Now, you mix your cleaning solution. When you’re ready, pour a little bit of the solution over the stain. Let the solution work for about 10 minutes and start blotting. It is important not to rub! Rubbing will make the stain worse. Don’t get discouraged if the stain doesn’t disappear instantly. Take it slow and repeat the process a couple of times. Pour a little of the cleaning solution over the stain and wait about 10 minutes. Start blotting again. This is the part where your patience comes in.
  5. When the stain is gone, you can remove the leftover cleaning solution by pouring some cold fresh water over it and blotting it with a paper towel.
  6. We are almost done. The stain is gone, and the carpet is now clean again but still smells a little foul. We can deodorize the carpet by using baking soda. Sprinkle some of it over the stained area and let it sit overnight to ensure that the smell is gone. The baking soda has absorbed all the poop’s dirty smells the following day. Now all you need to do is vacuum it up.


Cleaning up dog poo isn’t the nicest task and often gets us frustrated when we find it in our house. The best thing, though, is not to blame the dog and stay calm.

No matter why your dog pooped inside your house, he didn’t do it on purpose, and there is probably a good reason for him.

Find the reason why your dog did his thing inside and help him find a way to not have to do it again.

Erwin Borgers

Hi, I’m Erwin. I grew up with two cats, but I always wanted to have a dog. Since my wife and I lived together, we have Mayla. She is a very sweet King Charles Spaniel. Together we spend countless of hours in the forest near our home. We love to walk together and now I want to share what I learned about walking dogs and what I learned about dog gear with you.

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