Dog Defecates In The Apartment At Night? 6 Causes and Solutions

“My dog suddenly defecated in the apartment at night! What’s going on there?”

When a housebroken dog suddenly starts peeing in the house at night, it’s more than annoying. Of course something like this can happen, but if it accumulates, there is a need for action!

Don’t worry! A housebroken dog does not defecate in the apartment without a reason. Here we have compiled the most common causes and solutions why your dog suddenly poops in the apartment.

In a nutshell: Why does my dog ​​defecate in the apartment at night

Medical problems: If your housebroken dog suddenly starts defecating regularly in the house at night, he could have a serious illness. You should definitely check this out with a veterinarian!
Do you need immediate veterinary advice? Your online vet service Dr. Sam is available for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Stress: Loud noises, threats to territory or separation anxiety can trigger night-time defecation in the home. If your dog is anxious or restless, this indicates a psychological trigger.
In addition, you should create a safe, quiet environment. Also, practice being alone with your dog so that he gets used to it and isn’t scared at night.

Insufficient utilization: If your dog is not sufficiently utilized during the day, it will burn off its excess energy during the day. Of course, that drives digestion and he goes into the apartment at night.
So make sure you keep your dog busy during the day!

Too much or bad dog food: If you feed your dog very often, he will of course have to defecate more often. Twice a day is usually sufficient, preferably in the morning and at noon.
In addition, the feed should not contain too much fiber. Unfortunately, this is often the case with cheap feed because grain is added here.

For more information for you and your dog, you can take a look at our dog training bible.

These are the 6 most common causes

If the kitchen smells of feces instead of coffee in the morning, the day is over before it even started!

This can occasionally happen with puppies, but housetrained adult dogs don’t like to go indoors. Because feces in our own home are also unpleasant for our four-legged friends.

If the incidents are piling up, something is wrong!

Here are the most common reasons your dog defecates indoors:

Old age or illness

Getting older can cause your dog to defecate indoors. With age, muscles weaken and your dog will need to defecate more often. If your dog is over 10 years old, it could well be because of that.

But illnesses are also often a trigger. Diseases that trigger nocturnal defecation include:

  • gastrointestinal infections
  • parasites
  • hyperthyroidism
  • arthritis
  • dementia
  • castration (in bitches)
  • food intolerances

So if your dog defecates in the apartment at night from one day to the next, you should definitely clarify this with a veterinarian!

We recommend the online vet service Dr.Sam.

Wrong food

If you’ve changed your dog’s food recently, this may be the cause.

Cheap feed in particular often contains a lot of fiber from grains, because these are cheaper than high-quality meat and vegetables. This fuels your dog’s digestion.

Check what ingredients are in the dog food and switch to a different brand if necessary.

The wrong rhythm

If your dog defecates in the apartment at night, you should also make sure that his walk and feeding times are correct. If you go out with your dog very early in the evening, of course he has to go out earlier in the morning.

The times at which you feed your dog are also relevant. Late in the evening and at night, your dog should not have access to food. Fixed feeding times will help your dog defecate at the same time every time. Mornings and midday are particularly good.

The best thing to do is take him for a little run around just before you go to bed.

Separation anxiety

Another reason can be separation anxiety. If your dog is showing signs that he doesn’t like being alone, this speaks to separation anxiety. This includes:

  • howling and whimpering
  • Clinging behavior and trailing
  • chewing objects
  • Selfharming behaviour
  • Increased aggressiveness

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you should practice being alone with him. Keep calm when you leave and come back home, that’s how he learns that it’s normal for you to be gone.

To teach him that you’ll come back, practice leaving him alone in a room and coming back at short intervals.

If you feel the problem persists, a veterinarian can help with this as well.


If your dog is very stressed, this can also lead to him defecating in the apartment at night.

You can tell that your dog is under a lot of stress because it is very restless. Maybe he’s pacing back and forth or hiding in a corner. My dog ​​curls up under the kitchen table, trembling; especially when the wicked fireworks come on New Year’s Eve!

If your dog is very scared, create a safe, calm environment. That includes you too! So stay calm and don’t scold your dog, even if you’re frustrated with the new pile!

Too little movement

But too little utilization can also cause defecation in the apartment. Dogs need lots of exercise; if this is missing, they quickly become restless.

Then they begin to release the pent-up energy at night. This drives digestion.

So make sure you get enough exercise and play throughout the day. Thinking games and lots of exercise also help.


It is not normal for a housebroken dog to often defecate in the apartment at night.

First and foremost, talk to a vet to make sure your dog isn’t sick!

If disease is ruled out, check the food and feeding times. A balanced diet, twice a day, is best for your dog.

It can also help to go for a walk late in the evening so that your dog can defecate again.

Overall, you want to make sure the laps are long enough and your dog gets enough exercise. Because a busy dog has less stress and sleeps better at night!

If you want to know more, you can find additional tips in our dog training bible!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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