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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9573
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have a 1.5 yr old dog. Only animal in the house.

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 1.5 yr old dog. Only animal in the house. Hes a chihuahua. His diet is each morning i give him merricks grain free dry food. I leave that for him during the day while i am work. I get ready in the morning and walk him before i leave for work. Most days i come home a few hours later on lunch and walk him again. I leave to finish the rest of my day at work. I come home after work which can sometimes be different times but within a couple hrs time difference, i walk him right away again. I take up his dry food that i left for him, and i give him one can of ceasars wet food (this is what he was eating once a day before i had him) I wanted to keep him on what he was used to. I take his bowls up when he is done and thats all the food for the night. I wait til around midnight to do his final walk before bed. This has worked out great for us with no problems or accidents until now. Now, he poops in the house at night and then i believe trys eating which is making the house vomit central for when i wake up in the morning. I find his poop that looks like he tried eating, his vomit will be several spots all around the house and smells horrible like poop. I have no idea where this is coming from. His previous owners said he did this occasionally, but now he has done this at least i want to say 4 times in two weeks? Its only when i am sleeping and of course after he doesnt feel well and takes him a day or so to get back to normal eating, just when i think we are back to good, he does it again. Most of the time when i find him in the morning its like he already knows it was wrong cause he will just be laying there sad looking. i think the puke is 100% the poop eating, i dont know how to stop the pooping and sometimes peeing in the house when i am sleeping, to help eliminate the rest. I want him to be able to roam the house, but of course without doing this behavior. I dont know if its me, if its the food, if its him, i need some advice.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today. When you go to bed where is the dog for the night?Have you tried breaking up the meals even more so that he gets a small feeding before bedtime?When you leave for the day to go to work where is the dog kept?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Sally,
Thank you for responding. When I go to bed at night he comes with me. He knows when it is bed time and curls right up and we both go to sleep in my room. I feed him dinner at 6-630 which is his one can of wet food. I dont feed him or give him water after that...maybe sometimes a treat. When I leave for work I close my bedroom door so he has access to the living room/the bathroom (which is where his bowl of food and water is) and the kitchen but its an apartment space not a house space. He normally sleeps on the couch and never has an accident during the day. The past couple weeks have been a little busy for me and I have missed coming home at lunch time and sometimes have been later coming home from work. I have also been in and out a lot more during the weekends and such.....(im getting ready to move soon :) so I have been doing a lot to prepare. I was thinking this might have messed him up a little bit and maybe if i go back to being more strict with our routine this will pan out? I understand that sometimes accidents happen, i tell him NO. Its really I wish if he had one he wasnt eating it because the puking is whats causing so much of the mess and his discomfort ya know?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information. A move is a stressful time for a human, even when it is a preferred move and that change in routine and stress is felt by the dog. So this certainly can play a roll in what you are seeing. Smaller dogs also can have problems with acid reflux so maybe giving a small meal at bed time with a pepcid AC will help him. Usually dogs that are fed throughout the day in smaller meals do better with acid reflux. I would say also that maybe something at night that he is hearing is making him nervous or he is associating the dark with something unpleasant. I might try putting him in a crate at the side of your bed so he can still hear ,see and smell you for comfort. Most dogs do not like to eliminate where they eat and sleep so if he has a problem in there then there is something physically wrong and he should get an hands on exam. IF he is known to eat any non food items such as greenies, rawhides etc, then this can cause an obstruction and anything trying to pass through will come up again.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
So he may be eating through the day but the food is only getting so far down before it comes up again
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
It can also be due to stress and to helo calm him you can try over the counter melatoin as well. This works in conjunction with what the brain already makes but may not make enough of during stressful times. Here are directions and dosing for pepcid Melatonin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So are you saying I should feed him again after his 630 dinner? Is it okay that I am leaving his dry food for him all day while i am at work? I only put about a 1/3 cup full for him and its never all gone when I get home. So he is probably just snacking through the day and waiting for dinner time. He only pukes though the nights he has eaten his poop thats the problem. So I think the schedule has maybe messed up his walking routine or his stress which affected that, and he couldnt hold it while i was sleeping. He has been chosing to poop in the bathroom which is weird cause thats where his food is kept. Those are the mornings he is puking the poop up.....So I dont think the puking is the problem, because i dont think he would be puking at all if he wasnt eating his poop when he has an accident at night. he has never puked otherwise.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
I think that breaking up that last meal into two parts one for the 6:30 feeding and one just before bed. I would also try giving him the canned food in the AM and leaving the kibble to snack on. I am worried that he has suddenly started to poop in the evening , it can be due to some stress , or it can be due to illness. How about trying a fast for 24 hours, giving water only then starting a bland diet of boiled chicken and cooked white rice. If there is any inflammation in the bowel the fasting and the bland diet should help to calm that inflammation and he should get back to normal. Then start feeding the canned in the morning and leave the kibble for the night. IF he has accidents when you change the canned feeding time, maybe there is something about that particular food that is not good.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He goes to bed at around 12am-1am cause thats when i go to bed....I am worried if i feed him late at night he will have to poop before i wake up at around 9am? For example yesterday he was fed dinner at normal time. When I walked him at 12am we were outside for a good 45 mins and he didnt poop. I woke up this morning and maybe ten mins before i was going to walk him he pooped on the floor. This i take blame for, he needed to go, that was i believe the only reason, he isnt very good at communicating with me when he has to he had an accident. I am worried if i feed him later he will have to go in the middle of the that a wrong assumption? When I first got him i tried some canned in the morning and he wasnt to interested. Hes not a big eater to begin with. They never really fed him dry or anything healthy, which is why i started him on the merricks to balance him out from being only used to eating the ceasars wet which i am sure is junk food for him, but he loves it, or so it appears when he eats it, he def eats it pretty quick at dinner time. But the only time he gets sick at all is the poop eating....which is really why i dont think i am dealing with a medical issue. when we are outside he is not interested in his poop or any other poop for the matter. Its only when he has an accident. I think he trys to eat it to either clean up or maybe his previous owners werent too nice about it when he did have an accident. I just dont want to mess him up schedule wise which is why i have been hesitating on what to do. Do I walk him more? How do i get him to go quicker or know he has to go when we get on our walks? he sniffs around so much! :) he makes sure to leave pee drops on every little thing :) hes def not a dog that does his buisness right away at all, which is why i cant tell if he even has to go or not......
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Well you can be strict with the old routine again and see if that helps. Many dogs eat their poop, it is called coprophagia. I am just concerned why the sudden accidents when he was doing well prior. Usually sudden onset like that is health related. But try going back to the rigid routine you had him on and see if that makes a difference. Also telling him no after the fact does nothing really because dogs do not associate what they have done two minutes ago with why the owner is saying no, what they do assoiate it with is what is happening at the time you are saying no so they begin to associate the owner's displeasure with the stool being near the owner and thus they eventually do not go in front of the owner even outside. So nothing you can really do but clean it up and say nothing. The dog hears your tone and reads your body langue which tells him you are upset but he does not know why, so he looks around at his surroundings and associates that with your being upset. You can try giving him a little pure canned pumpkin (not the ready made pie filling) to the morning kibble as this is a good fiber and should have him go during the day.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is sudden for him now, however this is not the first time accidents have happened with him. Like i said the previous owner had some of these encounters as well and then him eating it and getting sick, but i think he was more scared of them in general for how they punished him, which could have caused his behaviors. He seems like one small bump in the road and it might throw him off, which we all know is hard for humans to avoid bumps such as life and work. So I know me and him are doing our best :) He is def happy here and well taken care of so it has to just be he couldnt hold it those times. Which sometimes yes, baffles me because i make the effort to walk him a little later so he doesnt have to hold it. Sometimes on our night walks he wont even poop and then i wake up in the morning to his accident and puke central. If I mix his dry food or wet food with anything he wont eat it. Even when I try to mix a little dry with his wet to slow him down a little he wont eat it. Has to be pure dry or pure wet and no deviation lol. He is def a creatue of habit it seems. However my neighbor has a dog that had the eating poop problem so now she gives her half of this vitamin looking thing that is supposed to make their poop taste bad to them, which in turn hopefully they wont eat it, her dog is small as well hence the half of dose. She gave me a couple to try. So I give him one half a day and plan to get my own and hope this helps the eating part. I guess I will try my normal schedule as best i can and see if it helps him. I will also try to just not say anything when he does have an accident, so many places tell you to show them the mistake and tell them no, one place said pick up the poop bring it outside and place it down and show him the poop outside. I just dont want to start changing too much for him and mess him up if it doesnt work and then trying something else, i feel like it messes them up? should i change his wet food to a healthier wet food?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
As long as he is eating I would not change the food. I would give the whole thing time as it may all be stress related to the move and the packing etc. Try to get him as close to a normal routine as you can , I know that is hard when moving and working. This may help him feel that life is consistent. Some do say when a dog potties inside to take it out and put it on the lawn, but the object there is to just let him find it , sniff it and go outside on his own. Showing them is not necessarily , they have very good noses:) Just take them to the area you put it and let them find it:)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there any way i can get him better at telling me he has to go out? like getting him to go by the door or something? i feel like he is not letting me know? are there signs i am missing?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Some dogs learn how to ring a bell if you tie one to the door and then of course they make a paw print door bell that you teach the dog to step on. You can find the paw print doorbell on amazon
Bell (to go out)
Bell video

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