How to stop dog from pooping in the car


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How to stop dog from pooping in the car

Updated May 9, 2022

Dear Cathy,

I have a friend who received a dog from a shelter. This dog was previously with a breeder. Whenever the dog rides in my car, he usually poops (ugh!). I don’t know if he was crate trained or not, but in such a confined space of the back seat, you would think he wouldn’t go, even if he gets walked before. He’s a young adult, not a senior dog. Most dogs love rides; this one gets car sick.

– Tim, Chesterton, Indiana

Dear Tim,

Just like people, dogs can get car sick. Most of the time, they feel nauseous, which results in vomiting or drooling. But sometimes, their queasiness may result in an unexpected defecation in the car. Your dog doesn’t mean to poop in the car; it just happens.

There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that can reduce the car sickness symptoms, which may reduce this involuntary reflex and make car trips more pleasant for both of you.

Also, put down a blanket in the car that can easily be washed, and open the window a crack, since fresh air sometimes helps.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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