Why Does My Dog Poop in the Car? (5 Reasons & Solutions)

Let us not even get started on how comfortable most dog parents are when discussing dog poop. It’s not unusual for a dog to poop in the car; this will be the topic of discussion for today. As it turns out, it is quite a common occurrence, and it is estimated that up to 50% of dog owners report this behavior from their dogs.

But no matter how annoying our dogs may be, we must train them to behave properly.

Pooping in the car is not an inconvenience, only for the owner, who is left to wonder how to clean it afterward (we have provided solutions for that as well!). It is also inconvenient for the dog.

You will find them disgusted by the poop smell, and there is always shame or embarrassment associated with such an act for dogs.

Such bad experiences can leave a negative impression on your dog’s mind discouraging them from being reluctant to take car rides in the future. Furthermore, it will create an additional issue for you as, eventually, you won’t be able to travel with them in a car.

So, it is best to find ways to deal with such a problem by identifying the reason behind this behavior and working on ways to improve the situation.

Why Does My Dog Poops in Car?

Why Does My Dog Poops in Car

How often have you been in your car and noticed a foul odor? It would be best if you found yourself giving a sudden nudge to the leg or your head jerking back because of the smell. Have you ever looked down only to see your dog’s nose pressed against your vehicle’s car seat or floorboard?

1. Nervousness

The number one reason why dogs poop in the car is because they are nervous. Dogs may be nervous about riding in the car, or they may be nervous about the destination.

If your dog poops in the car, it’s likely because they’re stressed and nervous. When in the car, we’re often focused on getting to our destination and may not be paying attention to our dog’s needs. This can cause them to feel anxious and stressed, leading to them pooping in the car.

If a dog is nervous about the journey or feels uncomfortable in a vehicle; they may associate the ride with something unpleasant. On the other hand, if a dog is nervous about the destination, it may be afraid of getting out of the car or being in a new place. Either way, dogs may express their fear by pooping in the car.

  • First, take short drives around the block before going on longer trips. This will prepare them to get used to journeys in general, especially in a car, and reduce their anxiety.
  • Secondly, you can also try giving your dog a treat, as it is a great way of keeping them busy.
  • Finally, take frequent breaks so your dog can let it relieve itself outside the car.
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Also, the best way is to train them to be comfortable with the journey itself. You can do this by training them early or taking them on short trips once in a while to ensure that they get used to the process.

Following these tips can help your dog feel more comfortable and less likely to poop in the car.

Bonus Read: Why Won’t My Dog Poop Outside? 9 Ways Training To Poop Outside

2. Longer and Tiresome Journeys

Longer and Tiresome Journeys

When the journey is long, and your dog finds it tiresome or exhausting, it may not feel obliged to indicate an urge to poop.

When going on a car ride stretching up to longer hours than expected, make it a point to take breaks frequently so your dog can relieve.

When dogs are made to do something they were not expecting, it can leave them startled. This can lead to digestive issues and an urge to poop.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it is important to try and keep them calm while riding in the car, and if possible, give them a small meal before you travel to help settle their stomach.

Also Read: 8 Dog Food Brands To Avoid [+ 5 You Should Buy]

3. Anxiety or excitement

Dogs can get weary of traveling in the car for a long time. This may leave them embarrassed or worried. In such a case, it is obvious that they feel stressed or anxious in the car.

You can play soothing music or give them something like a toy to help them relax and feel comfortable in the situation.

4. Worms or parasites

If your dog has worms or parasites, this can cause them to poop in the car. In addition, these parasites can cause your dog to feel sick and have diarrhea, leading to them pooping in the car.

The best thing to do if you suspect your dog has worms or parasites in their stomach is to deworm your pet if it has a history or seek medical assistance immediately. In addition, their vet may recommend you check their eating and drinking habits.

4. Frustration


Being cooped up in the car can be frustrating if your dog is used to going on walks or running outdoors. They may not understand why going outside is impossible and may start acting out by pooping in the car.

If this is the case, try to take your dog for a walk before getting in the car so they can finish their business.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Pooping In The Car?

If your dog does need to go while you’re driving, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them.

First, try to stop at rest areas or gas stations so he can relieve themselves. If that’s not possible, roll down a window slightly and hold a treat out the window for him to sniff. This will help distract them from the urge to poop.

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Finally, if all else fails and he does poop in the car, clean it up immediately so they don’t begin to associate the car with going to the bathroom.

What to Do if Your Dog is Pooping in Your Car?

What to do if your dog is pooping in your car

In this section, let us quickly examine the possible steps you can take if your dog is pooping inside your car.

1. Take them out of your car and clean your car

If your dog poops in the car while you are driving, stop it and take your dog out of it. Take them to a nearby field and give them some time so that they can be comfortable and can poop easily.

Meanwhile, while they are pooping in the field, you can take out some time and clean your car.

2. Take your dogs out for a walk

Taking your dogs out for a walk a few hours before you begin your journey can help them relieve themselves. This will ensure they don’t poop inside the car during the journey.

3. Be careful, if you are traveling with puppies

Be careful, if you are traveling with puppies

Puppies are more likely to poop during the journey, as they have a small stomach, and they can feel more nauseous than older dogs. So, if you are traveling with puppies, keeping them in a crate so they can’t create a mess inside your car is better.

Besides, take ample dry clothes, which will help you clean your car. Don’t worry. Once puppies grow up, they get used to long drives and are much less likely to poop inside cars.

Bonus Read: How To Potty Train A 6 Week Old Puppy?

4. Find the cause or if your dog has some underlying health issues

At times, you may have a slight idea about their cause of concern but try not to ignore anything that has been vaguely bothering them health-wise.

Sometimes small issues can create bigger problems in life. Their effects may not appear in the present but may become a serious threat to your dog’s health later.

Our pets have unique identities and physiology. The typical amount of healthy, regular poop for your dog may not be the same as for another dog.

To know what to inform your vet if anything changes to your dog’s routine or poop habits, keep an eye on them. Consult a veterinarian if you notice deviations from your dog’s usual behavior.

Brown should be the color of the dog poop.

Some of these colors may also show up in your dog’s excrement if your puppy consumes food that has been colored. View our color wheel and learn more about the various hues by scrolling down.

How To Keep Your Dog Safe During Car Trips?

How To Keep Your Dog Safe During Car Trips

Road trips are all about spending quality time with your pet and allowing them exposure to new experiences, which plays a crucial role in their growth. However, it is equally important to ensure their safety along with the fun part.

There are simple things that you can do to make the experience stress-free.

Be sure to feed the dog at least four hours before your trip.

It’s crucial to adhere to safety precautions to protect your pet if you want to ensure that you and your dog can share some memorable moments.

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Witnessing your dog breathing in the fresh air and discovering new scents is bliss. So, keep the windows of your car open when you feel it is safe to do so.

Remember that an unattended dog can be dangerous in the event of an accident, as well as during a hard turn or abrupt stop.

You can tackle this problem by getting them a comfortable dog crate. Train them to get used to this crate and utilize it whenever you want to restrict your dog’s actions.

There are several materials and sizes for travel crates. Make sure your dog can stand up and turn around comfortably in the crate you choose and that it is securely fastened to the floor of the car or the back seat.

Also, the risk of heat-related illnesses or even death in pets left in cars is significant.

Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside cars can rise by roughly 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes. So use the air conditioner or the fan to keep your pet comfortable while driving in warm weather.

How to Clean Dog Poop From the Car?

Now, if you are concerned about cleaning your car after your dog pooped on it, we have your back!

However, it may be difficult for you if you are trying to clean without any face mask or hand gloves.

Difficult but not impossible!

Depending on your interior, soap and water are the best cleaning solution for the seats and floor mats. For example, cleaning your car with leather seats shouldn’t be too difficult. However, removing the stain can require work if your seats are made of cloth.

How to Make Car Rides More Enjoyable for Your Dog?

How to Make Car Rides More Enjoyable for Your Dog

Remember to have fun and make the most of it while being on a trip with your pet. In fact, you must enjoy every moment of being with them without worrying about irrelevant things.

It is obvious to worry about their safety when traveling, so you can consider getting a microchip for your dog as it is a great way to track them down in case they get misplaced.

This way, you will not have to be bothered about their safety anymore and can enjoy their company.

Ensure that they feel safe around you and trust you enough to follow your instructions when given.

And like we all love to treat ourselves with amazing snacks during the road trip and load our bags with food items, we must keep in mind our dog’s requirements as well. So take healthy snacks and treats with you to keep your dog full and entertained.


It may not always be possible to walk to a park, trail, café, or even the veterinarian. In these cases, you will need to take a car, which is stressful for everyone in general.

However, you can make your dog comfortable for future trips by giving them short and comfortable car experiences.

Before embarking on longer trips, consider taking your dog for a brief drive around the block if they seem uninterested or restless while you’re trying to acclimate them to vehicle rides.