Why did my dog poop on my bed?

Quick Answers

There are a few common reasons why a dog may poop on a bed:

  • The dog is not fully house trained
  • The dog is stressed or anxious
  • The dog is marking its territory
  • The dog has a medical issue like diarrhea
  • The dog’s routine has changed recently

Finding that your dog has pooped on your bed can be upsetting and frustrating. As a dog owner, you put a lot of time and effort into house training your pet. So when your dog poops somewhere it shouldn’t, it’s natural to wonder why. There are several possible explanations for this behavior.

In most cases, a dog pooping on the bed is not due to spite or revenge. Dogs don’t have a sense of spite like humans do. Instead, there is usually an underlying reason motivating the behavior. With some detective work and training adjustments, you can get to the bottom of why your dog pooped on the bed and take steps to prevent it in the future.

Common Reasons Dogs Poop on Beds

Not Fully House Trained

One of the most common reasons a dog may poop on the bed is that it is not fully house trained. House training a dog takes time, consistency, and patience. Some dogs may take longer to catch on than others. And even well-trained dogs can occasionally have accidents.

Signs your dog may not be fully house trained include:

  • Frequent accidents around the house
  • Pooping or peeing during the night
  • Irregular pooping schedule

If lack of house training seems to be the issue, go back to basics with your dog. Establish a consistent potty schedule with multiple opportunities to go outside. Use crate training and limit the dog’s access to the house until potty training improves. Positive reinforcement like treats and praise will help the training process.

Stress or Anxiety

Dogs can poop when they feel anxious or stressed. A dog that is normally well house trained may have an accident due to stress. Situations that can cause anxiety include:

  • Change to the dog’s routine or environment
  • Being left alone for long periods
  • Introduction of a new pet or family member
  • Loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks
  • Travel or boarding

If you suspect anxiety is the culprit, try to identify and address the source of stress. Provide your dog with calming aids like a ThunderShirt during stressful times. Ask your vet about anti-anxiety medications if needed. Extra attention and exercise can also help an anxious dog feel more secure.

Marking Territory

Some dogs poop on beds as a way to mark their territory. This form of marking is more common in male dogs that have not been neutered. When a dog poops in a spot, it leaves behind a strong scent that lets other dogs know they have claimed that space.

Beds frequently have the strongest human scent, which can trigger this territorial marking. Bringing a new dog or person into the home can also prompt this behavior. To curb territorial pooping, have your male dog neutered. This will diminish the hormonal urges to mark. Make sure to thoroughly clean any soiled areas to eliminate odors that may attract the dog back.

Medical Issue

Certain medical conditions could explain a dog pooping on the bed. Issues like diarrhea, bowel inflammation, parasites, or loss of bowel control can result in a dog pooping unexpectedly. Senior dogs with cognitive decline may also forget their house training.

Take your dog to the vet if the pooping happens frequently or is accompanied by other symptoms like:

  • Straining or appearing painful when pooping
  • Bloody stool
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss

The vet can check for underlying medical problems and provide appropriate treatment. Conditions like diarrhea and incontinence can often be managed with medication once the underlying cause is identified.

Change in Routine

Dogs tend to thrive on regular routines. When their normal schedule gets disrupted, it can cause stress that leads to accidents. Changes to your dog’s routine, like:

  • New work schedule that changes your hours at home
  • Different feeding times
  • Being crated more often
  • Traveling
  • Having visitors
  • Moving homes

Try to stick to your dog’s regular routine as much as possible after a disruption. Be patient, and understand that accidents may happen when patterns change. Provide plenty of potty breaks to make going outside a habit again.

What to Do When Your Dog Poops on Your Bed

Discovering that your dog pooped in your bed is less than ideal. Here are some tips on what to do following this unpleasant surprise:

  1. Clean it up promptly – Don’t leave the mess to sit. Use an enzymatic cleaner to fully break down odor particles.
  2. Restrict access – If possible, close bedroom doors or use baby gates to keep your dog from accessing the bed until the behavior resolves.
  3. Reinforce training – Take your dog out to potty frequently and praise them for going in the right spot.
  4. Check for medical issue – Make a vet appointment to rule out underlying medical cause if needed.
  5. Identify trigger – Think back to any changes or disruptions that may have caused anxiety or confusion.
  6. Be patient – Accidents happen while getting back on track. Respond gently without punishment.

While frustrating, try not to react angrily to an accident. Yelling at your dog after the fact will not change their behavior. Stay positive and focus on prevention. The tips below can help you get this undesirable behavior to stop.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Pooping on Your Bed

Stick to a Routine

Dogs feel more secure when they have a predictable routine. Try to stick to scheduled mealtimes, walk times, and rules. Minimize disruptions to their normal rhythms. After changes occur, proactively provide more potty breaks until the routine is reestablished.

Limit Access

Restrict your dog from entering your bedroom or getting on the bed when you are away. Close doors, use baby gates, or crate train your dog. This removes opportunities to poop on the bed and reinforces good potty habits.

Frequent Potty Breaks

Take your dog outside to relieve themselves often, especially first thing in the morning, before bedtime, after meals, and after play. Praise and give treats for outdoor potties. Frequent trips outside will reinforce where to go.

Respond Calmly to Accidents

When you catch your dog in the act of pooping inside, interrupt it with a firm “No” and immediately take them outside. Avoid yelling or punishment after the fact. Harsh responses can increase anxiety and weaken the human-canine bond.

Thoroughly Clean Messes

Use an enzymatic cleaner and odor neutralizer on any soiled areas. Dog waste contains special scents that attract dogs back to the same spots. Removing all smells and residue is key.


Make sure your dog gets adequate daily exercise. Boredom and excess energy can contribute to undesirable behaviors. Physical and mental stimulation reduce stress and tires your dog out.

Check for Medical Issue

Schedule a vet visit to rule out any medical cause for the behavior, especially if it persists. Conditions like diarrhea, UTIs, worms, or cognitive decline may lead to accidents.

Address Behavioral Causes

If anxiety, incomplete house training, or marking territory seem to be the issue, consult a dog trainer or behaviorist for targeted recommendations. They can design an effective training plan.

Use a Crate

Crate training utilizes a dog’s natural instinct to keep their sleeping area clean. Crated dogs are less likely to soil their bed. Close the crate when you are gone to prevent accidents.

Install a Camera

Consider setting up a security camera to monitor your dog when you are not home. This can help identify triggers like reacting to noises, pacing by the door, etc. that prompt pottying.

Limit Freedom

Dogs with full run of the house are more likely to sneak off and poop. Restrict access to bedrooms and use baby gates to confine your dog to an easy to clean area when unattended.

Watch for Signals

Learn your dog’s potty signals like circling, sniffing, squatting, or whining. When displays, immediately take them outside. This prevents accidents.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your dog’s pottying problems persist despite your best efforts, seek assistance from an animal behavior professional. A certified dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist can assess the underlying motivation and customize a training plan. They may recommend:

  • Private lessons to target specific issues
  • Creating a structured routine and schedule
  • Confinement when unsupervised
  • Interactive toys to relieve boredom
  • Calming aids for anxiety
  • Medication if necessary

Working with an expert often helps resolve stubborn or complex behavior problems that a pet parent cannot solve on their own. Don’t wait to seek help if the undesirable behavior continues – the sooner it is addressed, the easier it is to correct.

When to Consider Re-homing Your Dog

Re-homing should only be considered as an absolute last resort if no other solutions have worked. Reasons to consider re-homing a dog that poops on the bed include:

  • Ongoing potty training struggles despite extensive professional help
  • Aggressive behavior toward people or other pets in the home
  • Intolerable stress and anxiety from current home despite treatment
  • Destructive behaviors like chewing drywall or ripping up carpets

The decision to re-home a pet is extremely difficult. Be sure to seek input from your vet, a behaviorist, and trusted loved ones when making this choice. Avoid shelters as they often lead to euthanasia – instead choose a responsible rescue organization that fosters dogs in homes while seeking the right adopter match.

With patience and proper training, most dogs that poop on beds can overcome this problem. But in certain circumstances, a different environment may be kinder for both dog and owner. Just be sure re-homing is truly the only option before taking this serious step.

The Bottom Line

There are many potential motivations for a dog pooping on your bed. While frustrating, try to respond calmly and seek solutions. Clear medical issues, identify triggers, stick to a routine, reward good potty habits, and restrict access to beds when unattended. With time and training most dogs can kick this undesirable habit and keep your bed poop-free!

Common Reasons Dogs Poop on Beds
Not fully house trained
Anxiety or stress
Marking territory
Medical issues like diarrhea
Change in routine
Ways to Prevent Bed Pooping
Stick to a routine
Limit bedroom access
Frequent potty breaks
Respond calmly to accidents
Thoroughly clean messes
Provide adequate exercise
Crate train your dog
Use baby gates
Watch for potty signals

Leave a Comment