If you have a dog that is pregnant, I would like to offer you my heartfelt congratulations and empathy. It must feel amazing to know that your female dog has a couple of tiny puppies living inside her.
And it must feel like a full-time job making sure your dog and her unborn puppies are in good health.
Being pregnant is equally as challenging for the mother dog, especially if this is her first litter. You might start to also see changes in her behavior.
Is it normal for your pregnant dog to start pooping in the house? Being pregnant brings about a huge hormonal change in your female dog’s body which can affect both her mental and physical state. It can cause lapses in her potting training. Pooing in the house can also be caused by pregnancy stress and medical issues.
In this article, we will be looking at the possible reasons that can make your pregnant dog poop at home and what you can do about it.
What Are The Changes During Pregnancy?
In order for a female dog to get pregnant, she needs to be in heat. Some dogs can reach sexual maturity as early as 7-10 months of age. Bigger dog breeds can take longer.
If there isn’t a need for your dog to get pregnant (you’re not a licensed breeder), then please get your dog spayed when the time is right.
When your dog is in heat or esters and mates with a male dog, there’s a chance of her getting impregnated. Once that happens, it takes about 58-68 days for the puppies to develop and be born.
As the days progress, you will find your dog’s body and behavior changing due to the changes in her hormonal level.
Do Pregnant Dogs Go To The Bathroom A Lot?
Generally speaking, yes. Being pregnant takes your dog through many changes that can stress her out and not make her feel like herself.
Dog owners with pregnant dogs do expect the usual change such as morning sickness, growing tummy and a certain level of crankiness.
But they aren’t prepared when they come home only to find that the pregnant dog has pooped all over the house.
Here are some possible reasons that could be making pregnant dogs poop at home.
Your Dog’s Bowels Are Too Relaxed
One bad thing that many pregnant dogs and humans have to deal with is fluctuating hormones. A pregnant woman can go from happy to all-out crying in a matter of seconds.
You got to see it to believe it.
Your pregnant dog will release a hormone called relaxin which helps the body to relax to prepare it for labor and whelping.
This hormone not only relaxes your dog’s joints and ligaments but also her bowels which results in pretty bad diarrhea.
Once your dog’s bowels are too relaxed, she might not be able to control it when the urge to poop arises.
Your Dog Is In A New Environment
Did you just take ownership of your pregnant dog?
Was it a stray that you are helping to foster or a dog that you adopted from the local shelter?
Even though dogs are more easy going and adaptable than cats, bringing a dog into a new environment can cause it to feel anxious and fearful. This can cause separation anxiety and make your dog stick to you like glue, also known as a velcro dog.
There are a few reasons that could be making your pregnant dog anxious in its new home. All the usual scent makers that your dog used to rely on to get around are no longer there.
Some dogs are strong introverts and may not be used to having people and other pets in the same vicinity.
All this added stress can turn your pregnant dog’s digestive system inside out.
Your Dog Is Eating More Than Usual
If there is one thing that a pregnant dog does well is to eat. Be prepared for your dog to be eating at least 1.5x her usual amount.
When my sister was pregnant, I was amazed by the amount of food that she could eat. She was on a ‘see-food’ diet.
Whatever food she sees, she eats.
The only thing that could stop her in her tracks was olives as they made her nauseous.
I wouldn’t suggest that you try to restrict your dog’s diet as she needs all the extra calories to feed the growing puppies inside of her. We all know what happens after going to a big buffet. All the excess food has to come out somewhere.
The same goes for your pregnant dog and with all the excess food that she has been consuming. It would make her poop more than usual.
Your Dog Is Feeling Internal Pressure
This can be something hard to comprehend if you have never been pregnant before. But according to ladies that have gone through the whole experience before, there’s always a constant pressure that is pushing from the inside out.
As a friend of mine so succinctly puts it “Having a baby inside of me, makes me feel like taking a shit every 30 minutes”.
So assuming that a pregnant woman is awake for 13 hours a day, that would mean she would feel the urge to poop 26 times a day.
Given that your dog is a mammal too, it would be experiencing the same urges as a human. The urge to poop more often can be stronger if your pregnant dog is expecting a large litter.
That would mean greater pressure against her bowels.
How Can You Help Your Pregnant Dog?
You can’t make your pregnant dog’s body completely poop-free with the below methods. But you can make your and your dog’s life a lot easier until the big day arrives.
Spend More Time With Your Dog
If your pregnant dog is new to your home and family, please make sure to spend more time with it.
By doing so, it can help your dog settle in a lot faster than just letting her be alone for the whole day. This can lead to separation anxiety which is often the root cause of destructive behavior when you are not around.
Ensuring that your new dog is properly socialized with all your family members and pets will also help tremendously.
House Train Your Dog Again
Going through pregnancy can make your dog forget all her potty training. It could be due to all her hormonal changes or she’s just not in the mood.
You have to take it upon yourself to house-train her like how you did when you first got her.
Start from the basics and slowly work it up to the point where she’s back to her usual standards.
Please do not be angry with your dog if she doesn’t potty outside. Just clean up the mess and start again. Scolding or hitting your dog will make things a lot worse. All you are doing is letting her be afraid to use the toilet in front of you.
Shower her with lots of praise and treats when she does get it right.
Give Your Dog More Bathroom Breaks
You now know that your dog needs a lot more potty breaks than before. An adult dog should be able to hold her poop in for about 8 hours.
But since your dog is now pregnant, she might have to potty every 4 hours.
Set a timer to take your dog outside even if she doesn’t give you the signals. She might start to poop once she’s outside.
If you are not able to make it home in time, getting a neighbor or a dog walker to help out would be ideal.
Feed Your Dog A Bland Diet
Even though your dog needs more food to supplement its pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that you should feed your dog unhealthy treats or human food.
Keeping your dog’s food intake bland will reduce her need to poop and help with her diarrhea, if any.
I wouldn’t change much if your dog is already on a good and balanced diet. But if your idea of dog food is table scraps or pizza, you need to make a change immediately.
Start off by feeding your pregnant dog plainly boiled chicken breast with some rice. Do not feed your dog any of the cooked bones as that can cause internal damage.
Should I Bring My Dog To The Vet?
As long as your dog is eating well and pooping regularly, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Keep an eye out on your dog’s poop to ensure that there’s no blood or excessive mucus.
If your pregnant dog has been having chronic diarrhea or doesn’t have much of an appetite for a few days, please bring her to the vet immediately.