Dogs have a natural tendency to want to avoid soiling their sleeping area. However, there are some instances in which a dog will soil his crate. These situations typically involve dogs who have not had ample opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Overtime, crate soiling can become an established habit. If Fido is consistently soiling his crate, follow these instructions:
1. Rule out medical problems. Consult with your vet about the crate soiling problem to determine if the soiling is medical or behavioral.
2. Avoid punishing your dog. In many cases, punishment can actually increase crate soiling as the dog becomes frightened.
3. Schedule regular feedings. Look at the type of food you’re feeding your dog, as well as how often you’re feeding him. Water should be available at all times, but most dogs only need food twice a day.
4. Bring your dog out often. Dogs that soil in their crate should be brought outside frequently throughout the day and night to prevent indoor accidents.
5. Eliminate the crate. If your dog continues to soil in his create, set up a specially prepared area elsewhere. Options include:
- Exercise pen with tarp or plastic placed underneath
- Room with puppy pads, tarp or plastic on floor
- Outside kennel (weather permitting)
- Baby-gated room with newspapers on the floor
Things to Remember
Keep the area in which you confine your dog as clean as possible to help the dog become habituated to a clean environment. This means changing the puppy pads or newspaper after your dog has soiled, or washing down the soiled tarp or plastic.
Continue to bring your dog out frequently to prevent him from soiling in the house, and reward outside eliminations with treats and praise. Over time, you can gradually reintroduce your dog to the crate for short periods of time.