Why Your Dog Pees In Crate And How To Stop It?

There are some dog owners that have problems with their beloved puppies peeing in their crates. While this might be frustrating because of the pee smell that isn’t really the most preferred scent for your home, this situation should be addressed properly if you want to stop your pet’s bad habit.

Golden retriever in crate

There are some dog owners that have problems with their beloved puppies peeing in their crates. While this might be frustrating because of the pee smell that isn’t really the most preferred scent for your home, this situation should be addressed properly if you want to stop your pet’s bad habit.

There’s no need to be desperate about it as there are several factors you could start doing right now in order to change this stinky situation. What you have to know is that these accidents are alarming only if they’re consistent and frequent.

Some owners have been complaining of how they find out their dog pees in the crate and then lays in it. Even if most puppies will not potty their sleeping environment, other owners experience their adult puppies peeing in the crate at night all of a sudden, and it makes their owners preoccupied and frustrated.

It gets a bit more inconvenient if you don’t know how to stop your dog from pooping in the crate. No matter if your issue is that your dog urinates in the crate or maybe even poops in it, either way, you are surely wondering how do you get your dog to avoid these accidents?

Paying attention to crate training as well as potty training on time might help in order to prevent your puppy peeing in crate. You probably went through months of training your pup, until without warning your 1-year-old dog started peeing in the crate just when you thought you did everything properly.

There are various reasons why your four-legged friend didn’t really stick to what you have been training so persistently with it while it was younger. If you have just welcomed a new pup from a pet store or puppy mill to your home than the answer might be simple. She already learned to use her crate as bathroom and therefore is only continuing on doing what seems natural for her.

Anyway, there’s no need to worry. There is a way to stop your dog from urinating in crate, but first, you have to examine several aspects and find the right approach. With some consistency and research you will soon be solving this problem.

How To Stop Dog From Peeing In Crate?

If you haven’t crate trained or potty trained your dog, you should definitely start with that. But if your dog has already been using a crate and now you are experiencing these crate-related issues, you
might be wondering lately, “How do I get my dog to stop peeing in the crate?”. First, you should inform yourself about the potential problems that might be causing your dog to have accidents in his crate.

Have you dedicated enough time for crate training your puppy? Is your dog spending too much time in the crate? Is the crate size good enough for your puppy? Does your pet have a Urinary Tract Infection or is maybe affected by anxiety?

Go through our checklist of possible reasons your dog is peeing in the crate.

1. Crate train your puppy properly

Beagle dog in crate

Bladder consistency routine is crucial for every dog. You should spend enough time with your pup and try to reveal his bladder pattern in order to know when to react.

Checking up on your dog occasionally to see if he is giving any sign that he needs to pee or poop is a perfect place to start. Try waking up 2-3 times during the night to check him up, and bring her to her pee spot, wait until the dog pees and then bring her back to the crate.

The more potty breaks you create the better. Make sure to give your puppy a treat whenever it does the right thing.

2. Make sure that the crate is clean and pee-odorless

As you probably noticed, puppies like to pee in the same place where they did before. Whenever you take your dog out you surely dealt with your dog sniffing every bush, tree, bench…

Dog pee leaves an enzyme that marks a certain spot as “the potty place”. This enzyme calls puppies to pee, so make sure to clean the crate on a regular basis, and get rid of that “pee-calling” enzyme.

Removing any blankets or towels your dog used for potty might also help you. If the crate is thoroughly cleaned, the possibilities of your dog peeing again will decrease.

3. Is the crate size good for your puppy?

You should examine if you have the right size of the crate for your puppy. Buying a crate too large might lead to potty problems, as there’s too much space for your dog and consequently it could just decide on using the space they don’t need for potty!

So don’t worry if a smaller crate looks too tight for your beloved pet, your dog doesn’t need as much space for his crate as you think. If he can stand and turn around in it, then that’s a good size and dogs actually prefer smaller, cozier spaces for relaxing.

4. Make sure your dog’s feeding schedule is consistent

Being consistent in feeding your pup every day is crucial for developing a consistent and neat potty schedule of your dog. Having the same rhythm is of high value for our pets and is the core of their health.

You probably already know this, but it might happen that due to your full-time job schedule in the last few weeks you slightly changed your dog’s feeding schedule. Maybe what is causing your dog to pee in crate is exactly that slight change in his food routine.

If the problem persists, try keeping track of every time your puppy eats, drinks water, poops, and pees. Soon you’ll notice predictable patterns that you can use to discipline your dog into peeing on the right potty place.

5. Contact your Veterinarian to check if your puppy has Urinary Tract Infection

This potential reason is especially relevant if your dog previously didn’t have accidents of this kind but started peeing in his crate out of the blue. Rule out medical issues that might be bothering your pet.

Peeing in crate might be a sign of a URI, and older dogs are especially at risk for the alike medical issues. There are some other signs that might signal the Urinary Tract Infection like unusual odors, a dark or bloody urine and a high frequency of peeing.

If you are questioning yourself for too some time now, it’s better if you schedule your appointment to the vet. The vet might examine few things in order to understand if your dog has URI or not.

6. Try associating his crate with food

Puppies wait for food

Similarly to how humans don’t enjoy having bathrooms in the proximity of the dining area, dogs do not like to pee in the area of their food. Try giving your puppy treats for the crate or you might even start feeding him inside so he can associate the crate with food.

It will be less probable that he will pee in his new “dining room”.

7. Check if your dog has behavioral concerns

If none of the above solved the peeing issue, then the problem might be in your puppy’s head. If your dog stays home alone for a long time, he might be suffering from separation anxiety or isolation distress. And these conditions may be connected to urinating problems.

A good way to check this is to set up a camera to film your dog while you’re away. If you notice that your dog is behaving strangely, and is crying for more than a few minutes, panting if it’s not hot, then you should definitely contact a professional dog trainer.

Overactive bladder is a usual side effect of the separation anxiety dogs suffer from.

8. Your dog is staying in the crate for too long

Dog laying in crate

This is the simplest problem of all. What happens is that owners expect their puppies to grow immediately to their new potty schedules, but then forget some basic things.

Bladders of young pups are still developing and cannot hold long. Not only young dogs but also plenty of adult tiny dogs can’t hold their bladders for longer than 5 hours so if your dog is left in the crate for a longer amount of time, this could be the cause of the problem.

Remember that little dogs can’t hold their bladder as long as big dogs. So if your puppy pees in crate and you’re keeping him for too long inside, keep your expectations reasonable and don’t let him stay that long in the crate while he’s too young.

9. Socialize your dog and play with him more often

If you dedicate your time to bringing your dog out to play and run, he will eventually meet more dogs and will pick up new patterns of behavior through socializing.

When your dog gets enough exercise and has a good run in the evening, chances are he will most likely do all the peeing outside and be tired once back in the crate. This is healthy for your pup and he will surely be grateful for it.

puppy running


Remember that your dog is not peeing in her crate because it’s mad at you. It is just scared or hasn’t learned the rules yet. You need to have patience with your cute little pup and try to understand her needs. We’re sure some of our previous suggestions will help you solve the problem.

You checked and tried everything but your dog still has peeing problems? Then try to think outside the box, and look at the most obvious things that might be causing the potty issue.

Rearrange your dog’s crate bedding situation, if there’s no blanket, add one, if there’s soft bedding, remove it. Dogs can see blankets and towels either like perfect comfy pieces to lie down on or as a big soft diaper. Try different things until you see the improvement.

Sometimes mistakes that seem so absurd make all the difference. Just lining the potty pads with the crate might confuse your dog. If you happen to be repeating this error, simply remove the pads or newspapers and the problem should disappear.

Have question or thought?

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  • Sam

    My puppy is 15 weeks old and the crate is the only place he consistently has accidents in the house! I wake up once during the night to take him out (usually about three hours in) and he still has already peed in there. I know he can hold it at least that long because if I let him sleep on the couch with me he has no issues waiting until I get up and take him outside. His crate is the correct size (just big enough for him to stand up and turn around) and I don’t leave food or water in there for him. It’s just him, his blanket and one toy. I have no idea how to stop him from doing this!

    • Bojana - Barking Royalty Team

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for reaching out.
      I can personally connect with your troubles because I went through a similar scenario when I got my dog (at the time miss was almost 2 years and adopted, but had those ‘puppy’ accidents).

      Firstly, you have a puppy! Congrats!

      Secondly, you need to be ready to invest some serious time in potty training and cleaning. Dogs will always go back to their ‘spot’. Some vinegar, kitchen soap, and baking soda will do wonders with that. If your dog has a pillow inside the crate make sure that you cover it with something water-resistant, that you clean easily.

      Secondly, I don’t how much of the free time you have per day, but you should use every moment for training your puppy. Have brisk and often walks (toilet walks), keep him on the leash so you can reward him every time he does his business (start with treats recommended for puppy training), and this is how he will understand that he’s being a ‘good boy’. If your puppy came from a good breeder, the chances are low that he had to eat, sleep, and potty at the same crate. If not, this may be the reason.

      Thirdly, if he can hold on while he is with you and he has no physical difficulties (this should be checked with the vet!), it may be some form of separation anxiety or your puppy is simply scared being alone in the dark. After all, he is just 4 months on this planet, so he doesn’t know all the sounds, and he will easily be sacred. That’s why he sleeps so peacefully next to you.

      So, try leaving the light on, maybe some music or just TV, avoid heavy water drinking before his sleep and take him out before his bad time. Leave the water available during the water, just don’t pour too much. He can still get thirsty while you are sleeping, especially in hotter climates. Make sure that you provide a routine as he grows older and bigger. This is the best way to help him be on his best behavior.

      Last but not least, this is a common situation, and it will be fixed. You just have to invest some time in training, play a lot with your puppy, especially before his bedtime, have often walked with treats and have a lot of patience. After all, investing a few weeks into proper training is nothing compared to years of joy that you too are going to have together.

      P.S. Make sure that you visit your veterinarian for possible urinary infections, and start from there.

      Also, take a look at this link https://barkingroyalty.com/?s=puppy&search-submit=Search You will find here a really puppy-hub-knowledge.

      I hope that we helped. Keep us updated!

  • Steph

    This is so true. Its all about doggie communication.

  • Stuart

    I have a 9 month old lhasa Apso. I have had her since 8 weeks. She has been peeing in the crate recently just after I walked her once 2 hours goes by. I try not to leave her in the crate longer than 6 hours. She was just spayed a few weeks ago and noticing a behavior change in being stubborn and urinating more. She does not drink a lot of water and when she urinates I wonder where all of it comes from but probably her food. I just cleaned the entire crate today that removed 99% flu and germs. Walk her and 2 hours later peeing in the crate again. I have diapers but I think this maybe a Band-Aid to my issue. Help is appreciated as I’m frustrated cleaning her crate everyday sometimes twice a day

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Stuart!

      Your Lhasa Apso is still very young so you will surely be able to train her not to pee in the crate. Have you tried associating her crate with food? Is her crate too big?

      If you feed her in the crate, she might stop peeing there as she won’t like having pee smell where she eats. Also, a crate too big might leave her too much space and make her want to use it as a toilet area.

  • Pasquale Giocondo

    My puppy pees in crate , should I take blanket out

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Yes! Your dog leaves an enzyme when he pees, which always makes him pee in the same place. Taking the blanket out might solve your problem.