We love our dogs, but it can make us fizzing mad, desperate, and at our wit’s end when our dog poops on our bed. It is a confusing and disgusting habit resulting in countless loads of washing and liberal disinfectants.
You may provide your dog with everything it needs, and you are left scratching your head wondering why your dog persists in pooping on your bed.
Dog’s defecate on their owner’s beds for a variety of reasons. Poor health, especially related to gastrointestinal problems and incontinence, could be a cause of this behavior. Fear, insecurity, dominance issues, and inadequate house training could also cause dogs to poop in inappropriate places.
Some people feel that if their dog is pooping on their bed, it must be that the dog hates them or wants to take revenge for some perceived offense. There are many reasons that could cause a dog to defecate on your bed.
It is important to ascertain the underlying root of the problem. Only when this is determined can you accurately address the issue.
My Dog Looks Guilty, So He Must Be Doing It on Purpose
Many owners feel that if their dog looks guilty, the dog must be defecating on the bed on purpose to annoy the owner. Studies done have shown that generally, it is the owner’s perception that the dog looks guilty. The dog, in fact, looks just the same as usual.
Some dogs do look guilty, but this could be more a sign of distress rather than guilt. The dog knows it should poop outside, but for some reason, this was not possible, and the dog is uncomfortable with the fact that it was forced to break the rules.
Dogs that anticipate an angry owner will slink away, cower and even try to appease the owner. Canines are masters at reading body language, and they will know you are angry before you think you show any sign of it.
Obviously, an owner that approaches a dog aggressively assuming the dog has done something wrong will also elicit a “guilty response.”
What Health Issues Could Result in a Dog Pooping on a Bed?
Whenever your dog suddenly exhibits strange behavior, it is best to investigate possible health causes first. Start by consulting with your veterinarian and ask for a full health check. Take particular note if your dog shows any other changes to his regular habits, including toileting practices, appetite, and thirst.
The key to managing abnormal toileting behavior in a dog caused by health problems lies with correct diagnosis and medical intervention.
Gastrointestinal Upsets Can Cause a Dog to Poop on a Bed
Gastrointestinal upsets can result from bacterial or viral infection. They can also occur because of the dog eating spoiled food or garbage. The result is diarrhea, stomach cramps, and a nauseous miserable dog.
The dog may have been lying on your bed for comfort as his stomach cramped and contracted. A sudden rush of diarrhea may take the dog by surprise, resulting in him inadvertently pooping on your bed.
Dogs with foreign bodies in their stomachs or intestines can be in severe pain. This pain level can cause a dog to behave unusually, and he may void his bowels on your bed. Usually, bowel obstructions result in nausea and vomiting. Only small amounts of watery diarrhea may bypass the obstruction as solid fecal matter is trapped behind it.
Can Constipation Cause Unusual Toilet Habits in Dogs?
Constipation is uncomfortable, and dogs can become distressed with the efforts to pass feces. In their distress, they may try to pass stools in unpredictable places, including your bed. Chronic constipation where only small, hard fecal balls are being passed often causes this behavior.
IBD and Food Allergies in Dogs Affect Toileting Patterns
Inflammatory bowel disease is often accompanied by food allergies which by themselves are problematic. When combined with inflammatory bowel disease, they can present a significant problem.
These conditions are challenging to manage and can cause a dog to have unpredictable bowel movements. Have you ever considered why you have the sudden desire to use the bathroom after eating a meal? This is known as the gastrocolic reflex. It is a natural reflex that makes room for new food entering the gastrointestinal tract. Dogs have this reflex too.
In dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, the gastrocolic reflex may be exaggerated. The dogs may have a sudden urge to evacuate their bowels which can catch them by surprise. It is usually accompanied by cramps, and the stool may be watery and explosive.
A dog with IBD or food allergies cannot “hold it in” and may relive himself on your bed or in another inappropriate place.
Can a Bladder Infection Cause Inappropriate Toileting in Dogs?
Bladder infections can be severe, and in dogs, they are often not detected early as the pain accompanying urination is difficult for an owner to notice. Chronic bladder infections cause inflammation and abdominal cramping, which affects the intestines as well as the bladder.
A bladder infection can also cause an increase in temperature, and the dog may feel miserable and sore, resulting in it defecating and urinating on your bed.
Fecal Incontinence Can Cause Your Dog to Leak Poop
Fecal incontinence is a condition where your dog has no or limited control over the anal sphincter resulting in stool dropping out without the dog being aware of passing droppings.
If your dog friend sleeps on your bed and has fecal incontinence, you will probably find dog stool on your bed at some stage.
Fecal incontinence can be caused by primary where it is caused because the sphincter muscle has been damaged in some way. It can also occur because of spinal strokes or other neurological damage. Benign or cancerous tumors that affect the colon or spinal nerves may also cause fecal incontinence.
What Behavior Problems Lead a Dog to Poop on a Bed?
It must always be remembered that dogs are not humans. Owners too often ascribe human feelings or motivations to their dogs when explaining the dog’s behavior. If your dog is eliminating feces inappropriately and the veterinarian has given him a clean bill of health, you need to consider behavioral causes.
It is best to consult a qualified and knowledgeable animal behaviorist with regard to assessing your dog’s problem. Be cautious of any ‘dog trainers’ that advise punishment or aversive training. These methods seldom work and can make the situation worse.
Do not beat your dog, rub his nose in the feces or use any other similar methods. Years of investigation have shown that positive training methods achieve better, more reliable results and are more effective at producing a happy, stable dog with fewer behavioral problems.
Nervous, Anxious, and Insecure Dogs
Dogs have different characters, just like humans do. In addition, early experiences during the first weeks of a dog’s life can result in an anxious and nervous dog. One of the biggest problems that produce anxious dogs is taking the puppy away from the mother and its litter too early.
Researchers and animal behaviorists recommend that puppies be left with their mothers until a minimum of eight weeks. A study done in Australia found that dogs that left their mother before nine weeks were more likely to develop problem behavior and be surrendered to welfare due to these behaviors.
Many people feel that they can bond better with a very young puppy, but it is essential that a puppy learn skills and appropriate behavior from its mother and siblings. Some people feel that if a litter is orphaned, it is acceptable to rehome the puppies regardless of their age.
Orphaned puppies benefit from being with the litter, even if the mother dog is not present. Puppies go through several natural periods of fear or anxiety. If they are with their litter during these times, they will be comforted by their siblings and are more likely to become stable dogs as adults.
Dog owners may feel that they can provide the comfort needed by the puppy during this time. It usually makes the dog overly dependent on the owner, and the dog becomes prone to separation anxiety.
Anxious, nervous, or insecure dogs may defecate on a bed because they are;
- Afraid to go outside
- Feel secure on the bed
- Have fear-based wetting and soiling
Fears can arise from other pets in the home, bad weather conditions, and general insecurity in being outside. New people in the house, a change in routine, or a vet visit could upset the dog so that it will not go out and may defecate anywhere in the home where it feels safe.
Some dogs that are not generally nervous can also become frightened of loud noises such as thunder, fireworks, and construction noise. Scared dogs do illogical ( from our point of view) things, and defecating on your bed could be one of them.
Dominant Dogs May Poop on Beds
Dominant dogs that feel they rule the roost may defecate on a bed as a way of marking their territory. Have you ever seen a dog defecate and then kick back as if it is spreading its droppings? This is a habit designed to mark its territory.
If you have a multidog household, a more submissive dog may poop on your bed as a way of trying to claim it as his own and keep the other dogs away. Dogs that are vying for dominance also display this kind of behavior.
Sometimes people assume that the biggest or scariest dog must be the most dominant, and they misunderstand the dynamics in their home. A small Jack Russell Terrier or fluffy Yorkshire Terrier might be the most dominant dog, and the large Rottweiler or Pitbull is the more submissive dog.
This is where a behaviorist is helpful. They can determine the dog dynamics in the home, advise on the underlying cause, and how best to deal with the situation.
Inadequate Toilet Training Can Lead to Inappropriate Elimination
One of the commonest questions or complaints that dog breeders, veterinarians, and behaviorists receive is, “My puppy is still pooping in the house, and I have had him for three days – what is wrong?” This question causes much eye-rolling and sighing on the part of the professionals.
Many people assume that all it takes to toilet train a puppy or previously untrained dog is a few days. Toilet training a dog or puppy must be approached in much the same way you would toilet train a child.
- Consistency and frequency in behavior are the keys to successful toilet training. The dog or puppy must be taken out after every meal, every time they wake up, and several times when they are awake and playing.
- A dog or puppy cannot “hold’ while you are out at work or shopping for hours on end. If you cannot organize for a neighbor to let your dog or puppy out to the toilet, use puppy pads or newspapers to create a spot for them to go to the bathroom. You will need to train this behavior so that the dog knows that this is the preferred place to defecate or urinate while in the house.
- If you catch your puppy or dog squatting to go to the toilet, do not shout or hit the dog. Take the dog by the collar or pick the puppy up, say “outside” in a firm voice and take the dog outside to the appropriate toileting spot.
An inadequately house-trained dog will not know that it should go outside to the toilet, and it may even feel that it prefers to poop on your bed. If you do not know how to train or retrain your dog, consult a behaviorist or watch some Youtube videos on the subject.
Bored Dogs with too Much Energy May Poop on Your Bed
Many breeds of dogs have high energy needs and develop behavioral issues when they are bored or have not expended enough energy. This may take the shape of pooping on your bed, chewing up your bedding, and destroying furniture.
Some examples of breeds that have high energy requirements include:
- Border Collies
- Golden Retrievers
- Terriers of any kind
- Springer spaniels
The only cure for this behavior is to create a way for these dogs to expend energy and have an interest that does not include pooping, chewing, and general mayhem.
- You could enroll them in doggy daycare if you work long hours.
- Run or bike with your dog
- Engage in dog sports such as flyball, agility, carting, or skijoring
Dogs that have been bred for specific tasks such as border collies or malinois benefit immensely from training for a particular purpose. Scent training or tracking, attack training, or search and rescue are great for these dogs.
Brain toys may be helpful for shorter periods where distraction and entertainment are needed for the dog. There are a number on the market and if you are unsure, speak to a behaviorist or pet shop advisor.
When your dog poops on the bed, it is unpleasant and disappointing. First, check if your dog has health issues that could be causing the bad habit. If your dog is healthy, consider behavioral problems and get professional help if you are stumped and do not know how to fix them.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.