My Puppy is Using the Bathroom Inside the Crate

If your puppy pees one time in the crate, don’t begin panicking immediately. If it starts to happen more than once or a pattern begins to develop, some aspect of your crate training needs to change.

The very first thing you should do if you notice a pattern of urination inside the crate is to take your puppy to a veterinarian and tell them you want to have your puppy tested for a urinary tract infection. These infections are very common in puppies and once the infection is cleared up, the issue may resolve itself without any further procedures.

Once all medical concerns are ruled out, begin incorporating all of the following protocols until the pooping an peeing in the crate stops:

  • Increase the frequency of potty breaks
  • Reduce the amount of space the puppy has inside the crate
  • Remove bedding from inside the crate
  • Feed all of the puppy's meals in the crate.
  • Give ample opportunities for the puppy to empty its bladder and bowels before any crating period over an hour
  • Schedule feeding and water times to regulate digestion and allow for emptying of the bladder

If you have a young 8-12 week old puppy and need to be gone during the day for several hours, you can place the puppy in a play pen instead of the crate. The crate should be inside the playpen, but the puppy should not be confined inside. It is better to clean up a few accidents until the puppy develops muscle control than have a puppy develop the habit of going to the bathroom inside the crate.

Return to Crate Training Guide

Published on July 23, 2017

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