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Fiber: The Real Poopetrator for a Dog

I live a life dedicated to being healthy and staying fit for myself and my family.

My Jack Russell Westie Mix taking a nap on the couch.

My Jack Russell Westie Mix taking a nap on the couch.

Why Is This Happening?

My Jack Russell Westie Mix has always been well behaved aside from a few impulse behaviors here and there. He was a quick learner from the get-go, so potty training was never an issue for us. However, this past year our 6 year old Jack Russell Westie Mix has been having pooping accidents in the house. Most of the time it's a little poop in his bed. For a few days at one point, it was a full on poop in other places of our house.


It's evident to my husband and I that our dog is not having these accidents because he thinks it's okay. Whenever we find a poop in the house, our dog looks at us with sadness and his ears down. On the other hand, we have friends who have older dogs, and they say that their dogs poop in the house purposely with no remorse.


The following are the steps my husband and I have made in discovering the cause of our dog's accidents. It's my hope that our steps and our conclusion will save some dog owner the hassle of a visit to the vet and the burden of a vet bill.

Step 1: Be Patient Dog Owners

Give Your Dog Time to Use the Bathroom

ProblemSolution

Our dog has always been on a pooping schedule, but recently his schedule has been off. Since our dog is older, we had come to the conclusion that our dog feels like we're rushing him outside. If we tell him to come back inside, he'll obey whether he still has to use the bathroom or not.

Waiting for a minute or two may not be enough time for your dog to find a good pooping spot. My husband and I decided to wait around for 5 minutes, maybe a little more, to ensure that our dog feels that he has enough time to poop.

Use Commands

ProblemSolution

Sometimes giving our Jack Russell Westie Mix a lot of time outside still doesn't work. Instead of pooping, he'll walk around and explore the yard for as long as we'll allow him. We will call him in at night when it's time to go to bed, and we will wake up the next morning to a little poop in his bed.

We've found that it helps a bit to walk out and around the yard with our dog commanding him over and over again to "go poop" or "go poopie". When he poops, we act extremely excited and exclaim, "You went poop! Good boy!" followed by a treat.

OVERALL: BOTH WERE NOT CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL.

Step 2: Dogs and Their Tummies

Switching to Organic Dog Food

Problem

Solution

My husband and I decided to change our dog's old dog food to an organic and non GMO dog food. Organic food for humans can be a change for their stomachs; it definitely will make you poop more. The same goes for a dog's stomach too.

My husband and I tried our best to take our dog out as often as we could. It was our hope that our dog would start adjusting to a new poop schedule.

Switching to a Different Flavor of Dog Food

Problem

Solution

Switching to any different flavor of dog food can upset a dog's stomach. They could have much more than just a small accident in the house; they could have diarrhea. Many people have told me that a sign of an upset stomach in a dog is when they eat grass outside.

My husband and I assumed that we changed our dog's diet abruptly. Don't wait to buy new dog food in the last minute like we did. Once your dog's food container starts to get low on food, start mixing it with about the same amount of the new dog food. This will allow your dog's stomach to adjust to the new food they're digesting before they start eating the new food completely on its own.

OVERALL: BOTH WERE NOT CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL.

Step 3: Reflection

Whose at Fault?

ProblemSolution

We all love our dogs and spoil them to some degree, but you also need to show them who is boss. Raising a dog is like raising a child. If you spoil your child, they're going to act out and not care about the consequences. Your dog may be pooping in the house because they have been allowed to think that it's okay.

If your dog is acting out by pooping in the house with no remorse, you have to go back to the basics with training. Pick up the poop with toilet paper, and put it in front of your dog's face. Make sure they're looking at it when you say in a scary tone "bad dog" and "no poop in the house". It's also important to give them a healthy spanking after. It breaks your heart to do it, but it's the only way they'll know that they've done wrong.

OVERALL: WE DECIDED THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO US.

Step 4: a Visit to the Vet

A $100 visit to the veterinarian office taught us that the issue was lack of fiber in our dog's diet. We're advised to give our dog 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree a day to soften his stool. We've stuck with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree for his breakfast each day, and it's helped so much!


OVERALL: COMPLETE SUCCESS!

My Jack Russell Westie Mix.

My Jack Russell Westie Mix.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2019 Jackie Zelko

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on June 27, 2019:

The labrador in our extended family was challenging as a young puppy, but usually okay now unless he is unwell. He can sometimes be sick in the house though depending on what he has eaten on his walks

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