Why Does My Dog Poop in My Closet? (+Stop in 4 Steps!)

“Why does my dog poop in my closet?” If you’ve been dealing with this nasty problem, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll not only tell you why dogs poop in closet, but also what you’re probably most interested in: how to stop your dog pooping in the closet once and for all!

In addition to those things, we’re also going to cover whether dogs poop in specific rooms (including closets) to get revenge or to gain attention. Finally, we’ll show you how to clean the carpet in your closet and get rid of the unpleasant dog poop smell. Keep reading below!

How to Stop Dog Pooping in Closet

How to Stop Dog Pooping in the Closet

Stopping a dog from pooping in the closet involves altering the dog’s behavior through house training, creating a routine, restricting access to the closet, and cleaning the area thoroughly to eliminate residual odors.

  1. House-Training: Revisit house-training practices to teach your dog where to eliminate properly. Regularly take them out for bathroom breaks, especially after meals, and reward them for doing their business outside. This can help instill a pattern and reduce accidents indoors.
  2. Create a Routine: Dogs thrive on routine. Establish regular feeding, play, and potty times. Once your dog gets used to the routine, they will likely begin to regulate their bowel movements better, reducing the chance of them pooping in the closet or other inappropriate places.
  3. Restrict Access: If possible, keep the closet door shut or use baby gates to block access. Removing the opportunity to poop in the closet can redirect your dog to appropriate elimination areas.
  4. Thorough Cleaning: Clean the closet area thoroughly to remove any residual odors that may be attracting your dog back to the spot. Use a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner to break down the scent markers left by previous accidents.

But while these steps will get your dog to stop pooping in the closet, it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (anxiety, training difficulties, etc.) that was causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Okay, how do I make these changes stick?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog poops in the closet and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog pooping in the closet ever again!

Why Does My Dog Poop in My Closet?

Why Does My Dog Poop in My Closet?

Dogs poop in closets due to anxiety, a lack of proper house training, or health issues. It’s a behavior often driven by the dog’s natural instinct to find a secluded, safe spot to eliminate. However, it’s important to address this behavior promptly, identify its root cause, and implement corrective actions to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in your home.

The Canine Instinct and Behavior

Dogs have inherited certain instincts from their wild ancestors, one of which is the instinct to hide their waste to avoid attracting predators. Your closet, being a quiet and secluded space, might be perceived as a safe spot for your dog to eliminate. This behavior can be more prevalent in dogs that are shy, anxious, or feeling unwell.

Health Concerns That May Influence Your Dog’s Behavior

Health issues, particularly those related to digestion or incontinence, may cause a dog to poop in undesirable locations. If your dog is pooping in your closet and exhibiting other signs of distress such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or lethargy, it’s advised to seek veterinary help. Some health problems can cause an urgent need to eliminate, and your dog may choose the closest secluded spot, like your closet.

The Importance of Proper House Training

In some cases, dogs may poop in closets due to a lack of or inconsistent house training. It’s important to establish clear boundaries and routines for your pet. If your dog has not been adequately trained to poop outdoors or in designated indoor areas, it may choose to do so in your closet, away from its living area.

How to Keep Your Dog From Pooping in Your Closet

Keeping your dog from pooping in the closet involves identifying the cause and addressing it appropriately. This might include re-establishing house-training routines, providing more opportunities for bathroom breaks, and ensuring your dog feels safe and secure in its environment. We explain all of this in more detail in the first section.

You’re going to want to start working on this problem right away because if you don’t it could get even worse. You soon may find your dog pooping on your bed or even under it, pooping in your shoes, pooping on your clothes, pooping in your garage, and maybe even pooping in the bathtub.

Dog Pooping in Closet: How to Clean Carpet

Cleaning dog poop from the carpet in your closet involves removing the waste, applying a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner, blotting with a clean cloth, rinsing with water, and allowing the area to dry thoroughly.

  1. Remove the Poop: Wear gloves and use a poop bag or a scooper to pick up and dispose of the solid waste. Be careful not to rub or push the poop deeper into the carpet fibers.
  2. Apply an Enzymatic Cleaner: Apply a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner, following the instructions on the bottle. These cleaners break down the bio-based proteins in pet waste, eliminating odors and stains.
  3. Blot the Area: After letting the cleaner sit for the recommended time, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towels to blot the area. Do not rub or scrub as this can damage the carpet fibers and push the stain further into the carpet.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry again. Ensure the area is completely dry to prevent mold and mildew growth. A fan or dehumidifier can speed up the drying process.
  5. Repeat if Needed: If the stain or odor persists after the area is dry, repeat the cleaning process. Persistent stains may require several treatments to completely remove.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean up after your dog and keep your closet smelling fresh. Remember, the quicker you can get to the mess, the easier it will be to clean it up. To learn how to stop your dog pooping in the closet while also addressing the underlying cause that is driving it, go back to the first section now.

Why Do Dogs Poop in a Specific Room?

Dogs poop in a specific room due to a variety of factors including territorial instincts, stress or anxiety, a lack of proper house training, or health-related issues. They may choose a particular room that’s quiet, secluded, or rarely used, as this aligns with their natural instincts to eliminate in private. It’s important to identify the underlying cause to implement an effective solution and prevent this behavior.

Understanding Dog’s Elimination Habits and Instincts

Dogs, by nature, prefer to eliminate in places where they feel safe and private, often away from their food and sleeping area. If your dog consistently chooses a specific room to poop, it might be because the room is quiet, secluded, or infrequently used, making it an ideal spot from the dog’s perspective. This behavior can also be a sign of the dog’s territorial instinct; they may use their feces to mark a particular area as their own.

Health Factors That May Lead Dogs to Poop in a Specific Room

Health issues, particularly those affecting digestion or causing incontinence, can lead to dogs pooping in a specific room. If the urge to poop is sudden and intense due to health issues, your dog may choose the nearest private spot. Look out for other symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, or lethargy. If any of these are present along with unusual defecation habits, consult your vet promptly.

Effect of Stress and Anxiety on Dogs’ Defecation Patterns

Dogs can also display changes in their bathroom habits due to stress or anxiety. If your dog feels anxious or stressed, it might choose a specific room that feels safe to them for elimination. Changes in the household, loud noises, or being left alone for long periods can all contribute to stress in dogs.

How to Stop Your Dog From Pooping in a Specific Room

Stopping your dog from pooping in a specific room involves understanding the cause and implementing the right solution. This could mean revisiting house-training techniques, limiting access, providing more opportunities for outdoor bathroom breaks, or addressing health issues with your vet. Learn about this in more detail in the first section.

Do Dogs Poop in Closets for Revenge or Attention?

Dogs do not poop in closets, or anywhere indoors, for revenge or attention, contrary to popular belief. Instead, such behavior is typically a result of other factors, such as health issues, stress, or inadequate house training. Understanding the real reasons behind your dog’s behavior can lead to more effective solutions.

Do Dogs Poop in Closets for Revenge?

While it might be easy to assume that your dog is pooping in your closet out of revenge or spite, this is not the case. Dogs do not have the same concept of revenge as humans. Instead, their behavior is often a response to immediate stimuli rather than a calculated act of retribution. If your dog is repeatedly pooping indoors, it’s crucial to assess possible health issues, their diet, or whether they have been adequately house trained.

Do Dogs Poop in Closets for Attention?

Similarly, dogs do not poop in closets for attention. While dogs do engage in various behaviors to get attention, such as barking or jumping, inappropriate elimination is generally not one of them. If your dog is pooping in your closet, it could be due to health problems, anxiety, or a lack of access to appropriate outdoor spaces for elimination. Instead of viewing this behavior as a bid for attention, you need to identify the underlying issue that needs to be addressed. We explain this more in the first section.

Addressing Inappropriate Elimination in Dogs

If your dog is pooping in your closet or other inappropriate places, it’s essential to understand the root cause and address it effectively. Consult with your vet to rule out any health issues that might be causing this behavior. If your dog is healthy, consider if stress or changes in their environment could be affecting them. Learn more in the first section.

How to Get Rid of Dog Poop Smell in Closet

To get rid of the smell of dog poop in a closet, thoroughly clean the area, air out the closet, use odor-neutralizing sprays, and consider utilizing natural deodorizers.

  1. Clean Thoroughly: Start by cleaning the area with an enzymatic cleaner designed for pet waste. Enzymatic cleaners break down the odor-causing proteins in the waste, helping to remove the smell.
  2. Air Out the Closet: After cleaning, let the closet air out. Open the door and, if possible, windows nearby to allow fresh air in and unpleasant smells out.
  3. Use an Odor Neutralizer: There are various commercial sprays available that can neutralize the smell. Choose a pet-safe option and apply as per the instructions on the product.
  4. Natural Deodorizers: Consider natural deodorizers like baking soda or white vinegar, which are effective at absorbing odors. Place a small dish of baking soda or white vinegar in the closet and leave it for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Replace Items If Needed: If any items in your closet have been soiled and hold onto the smell, they may need to be cleaned or replaced. Washable items should be laundered using an enzymatic cleaner if possible.

By taking these steps, you should be able to get rid of any lingering dog poop smells in your closet. The key is to address the problem as soon as possible to prevent the smell from becoming more ingrained in the closet’s contents and materials. You should also work to stop the behavior by tackling the underlying cause, which we explain in the first section.

I’m sure you’re ready to quit finding little “presents” left for you in your closet, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Why Does My Dog Poop in My Closet? (+How to Stop It!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.