This article focuses on different reasons your dog may poop near or in its food bowl, as well as addressing one potential danger resulting from it, and ways to prevent your pooch’s accident.
Dog Pooping Near Food/Water Bowl
A dog may poop in or near their food bowl due to their age, anxiety, or as an attempt to mark their territory. It may also be a sign of illness and can sometimes lead to giardia. Keeping your pooch on a consistent schedule will likely help.
Why Does My Dog Poop On Its Food/Water Bowl?
There are a few different reasons why a dog may poop on top of or near its food/water bowl.
The first reason is that they are trying to mark their territory. Dogs are very territorial creatures and in an attempt to keep other animals in your house away from their food they may poop on top of or near it.
They do the same thing by peeing on their food. This tends to happen more frequently than a dog pooping on their food or water bowl. However, either can be seen as an attempt to mark their territory.
If your dog feels anxious about other animals in the house it may mark the bowls as an attempt to protect it.
Another option for why they may poop on their food or water bowls is due to age.
Older dogs have trouble controlling themselves and may accidentally poop in their bowls. This is normally due to either weakening muscles inside your furry friend, or a mental issue similar to Alzhimer’s disease in humans.
Puppies are very similar in the way that they struggle to control themselves.
Young puppies just starting to learn potty training will have trouble holding it in and will go to the bathroom almost anywhere. Since they eat in that area, it is only natural that they will decide to poop there as well.
Your dog may poop in its food or water bowl if it is sick.
Illnesses that cause diarrhea could result in your pooch pooping in their dishes. Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog if they seem to be excrementing more than normal as this may be a sign of a more serious issue.
Chronic diarrhea in dogs can be caused by:
- Poor digestion
- Dietary issues (such as an allergy or sensitivity to their food)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
This is not an extensive list. If your dog is struggling with diarrhea, a veterinarian will be able to help you determine the exact cause and concern level. Contact your vet if you notice your dog experiencing any diarrhea.
Your dog may also poop in its bowl if it feels anxious.
Dog behavior changes significantly depending on whether or not they are anxious. If there has been a big change, such as moving houses or adding another member to the family, your dog is bound to act out to let you know that it is either stressed or anxious.
If a dog has been yelled at in the past for pooping in the house, it may also be trying to hide the poop in its bowl. This could be a sign that your pooch needed to go to the bathroom. Instead of pooping in plain sight where you would easily find it, they opted to place it somewhere they view as their own to hide it from you.
Why Does My Dog Poop In My Other Dog’s Food/Water Bowl?
Your one dog may feel threatened by the other dog’s presence and is trying to assert dominance.
Many dogs are prone to “food aggression” causing them to want to guard their own food and also take food from another. If the two dogs are still fairly new around each other, there is bound to be some animosity felt. This is especially likely to happen if one or both of the dogs are trying to become the alpha.
Pooping in the other dog’s bowl may be an attempt to mark it as their territory and deter the other dog from eating it.
How To Stop Dog Pooping In Food/Water Bowls?
There are a couple of different ways to stop your dog from pooping in their food or water bowls.
- Try to potty train or retrain your dog.
- Control their food amount to make sure you are not overfeeding them.
- Keep them on a schedule
- Remove the dishes from their reach
By training or retraining your pooch where to poop, you might be able to remove their tendency to do it in their dishes.
Make sure to take young puppies outside after every nap and meal time since they are likely to need to go a lot. Reward them for doing their business outside. Once they associate pooping in the proper place with a treat, they will be excited to do it there instead of in their bowl.
Overfeeding your dog could also cause them to poop in the house or their bowls. By monitoring the amount you feed them and making sure it is the same every day, you should be able to cut back on any accidental presents your pooch may leave in their dishes.
You can measure the amount of food you give your dog simply by using the same cup to dish it out to them every time. Pick a line, or a specific amount (for example, one half of the plastic cup) to fill it up to every time. The recommended amount of food each dog should get is determined by their size and breed.
By giving them the same amount of food every day, you are on track with creating consistency for your pooch. Consistency is important to a dog. They want to have a sense of normalcy, and keeping a schedule helps with their anxiety.
If your dog has experienced a big change recently, their anxiety will increase. If they are pooping in their bowls due to anxiety, keeping them on a schedule will decrease or remove the issue.
Decide certain points in the day that you will take your dog outside. Letting them go first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed is always a great idea. You also need to let them out a couple of other times in the day, but make sure to pick consistent times.
On top of using a schedule, making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and play time is important for helping reduce their anxiety. Having fun and exercising makes everyone happier and less anxious, including your furry friend.
Another way to keep your dogs from pooping in their bowls is to remove the bowls from their reach. You can do this by picking the bowls up off the floor and placing them somewhere else either after a specific time frame or after all the food is gone.
If your dogs are eating on a schedule, you may also decide to only give them a certain amount of time to eat. If they chose not to eat all of their food during that time, you can pick the bowls up and give them the rest later. For example, maybe feed them before work or school, and then give them the rest when you return home that afternoon.
Giving them a particular time frame for eating could also help cut down the chances of them pooping while you are not home.
Since water is important to have for your pooch throughout the whole day, try to elevate the water bowl. Choose a height that is good for drinking, but makes it difficult to poop or pee in. You could also purchase an already elevated bowl set from many retailers that sell dog supplies.
Can Dogs Get Giardia From Water Bowls?
There is a chance that your pooch can get giardia from sharing a dirty water bowl with another dog.
Giardia is a parasite that is shared through eating or drinking something contaminated. If a dog infected with Giardia has pooped in the water dish, the water will likely infect other dogs that drink it.
While Giardia does not always affect a dog poorly, there are times it can cause concern. Even if your dog does not show any symptoms, it could still pass the parasite on to other animals in your home. The most common symptom is diarrhea.
If your pooch has diarrhea, it is always a good idea to call the vet. The vet will be able to help you determine if the cause is Giardia or something else.
Other symptoms of Giardia include weight loss, vomiting, poor coat appearance, and dehydration.
One good way to prevent Giardia is to make sure your dog always has access to clean water. If your pooch has pooped in its water dish, clean it up immediately. Since dogs are also prone to eat each other’s poop, cleaning up poop in the yard is another good way to prevent the spread of Giardia.
It is unlikely that your dog will pass Giardia onto you, though it can sometimes pass between a dog and its owner. To take precautions for yourself, make sure to wash your hands after handling and cleaning their dishes if you suspect they may be sick.
You can also protect your dog’s health by keeping them away from drinking out of dirty puddles. There is no telling what is in the puddle of water your pooch wants to drink out of during your afternoon walk together.
Take as many precautions as you can by keeping things clean for your dogs. This will help to keep them overall healthier and happier.
Is My Dog Pooping Out Of Revenge?
Sometimes a dog pooping in the house can appear like a vindictive attempt to get attention from its owner. However, experts say that dogs are not capable of revenge and that dog owners have been misinterpreting some causes of dogs pooping in their owner’s home.
Dogs love to poop and use it to mark their territory. Even though you may see it as an act of irritation towards you, the dog may be pooping to either give you a gift or show that this house is his home too.
While dogs are not capable of revenge, experts say they are often prone to anxiety and boredom. If your furry friend is stressed, it is very likely that you will come across a pile of poop somewhere in your home.
Stress can be felt by your dog if you are gone for a long period of time or are raising your voice. While you may interpret this to be your dog acting out of spite towards you, it is more likely that they feel stressed from your tone or absence.
Those large puppy dog eyes that you see as guilt could just be a bit of fear from your reaction towards them. They may not know they did anything to cause your reaction, thus making guilt impossible to feel. Experts also say that sometimes that guilty look you see on your pooch’s face is just in your imagination.
If your pooch recognizes that pooping will get your attention, this may cause them to leave you an unwanted present if they are craving some time with you. Giving them plenty of attention and keeping them occupied is a good way to avoid this scenario.