Dog So Scared He Pooped Himself: Managing Fear and Anxiety in Dogs

March 13, 2023by DOGuide0

Do you have a dog so scared he pooped himself? As a pet owner, it’s not uncommon to experience a situation where your furry friend gets so scared that they poop. This can be a challenging situation, but there are ways to manage your dog’s fear and anxiety. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why dogs poop themselves when scared, such as fear response, anxiety, and medical issues like inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies. We will also provide tips for managing your dog’s fear and anxiety, including desensitization, positive reinforcement training, creating a safe space, seeking professional help, and providing comfort and support.

About a Dog’s Anxiety

Anxiety in dogs is a common problem amongst dog owners and can be caused by a variety of different factors. For some dogs, loud noises like fireworks or thunder can cause fear and anxiety. For other dogs, it may be the result of a change in their environment such as a new home or the introduction of a new pet. Other times, it can be the result of aging, with senior and older dogs being more prone to fear-based responses.

When a dog is anxious, it is important for owners to be aware of their body language. A fearful dog may exhibit signs of shaking, panting, and cowering. It is also important for owners to understand that these reactions are normal for dogs in these situations and that it is a good thing for them to feel comfortable expressing their fear.

To help reduce the anxiety of a scared dog, owners should take measures to reduce the fear-inducing stimuli. This may include avoiding loud noises, minimizing changes in the home, and providing a safe and secure environment for the pet. Additionally, providing lots of love and affection is a great way to help reduce a dog’s anxiety.

dog scared and poop

Common Reasons Why Dogs Poop Themselves When Scared

Dogs poop themselves when scared for many reasons. Learning about those reasons can help you when it comes time to work on solving the issue.

Fear Response

When a dog is scared, their body can go into a fight-or-flight response, which can cause them to lose control of its bladder and/or bowels. When a dog is scared, their body releases stress hormones that can cause involuntary defecation.


Anxiety can cause a dog to be highly stressed, which can lead to defecation. Anxiety can cause the body to release hormones that can lead to involuntary defecation.

Noise Phobia

Nose phobia is a fear of having anything placed near the dog’s nose, such as a muzzle or a hand. It can cause a dog to become very anxious and stressed, which can then lead to fecal incontinence. This can cause the dog to have involuntary bowel movements, as they are unable to control their muscles due to their fear. This can be a very distressing experience for the dog and is often seen in dogs that have had negative experiences with muzzles or hands near their noses in the past. Treatment for nose phobia usually involves desensitization and counter-conditioning, which involves gradually introducing the dog to the stimulus in a positive and safe environment.

Medical Issues

Medical issues such as intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal problems can be a cause of defecation when scared. Dogs with these health issues may not be able to control their bowels when scared, which can lead to defecation.

Medical Issues Resulting in Loss of Bowels When Scared

It’s normal for a dog to poop themselves when they’re scared, but if it happens frequently or is accompanied by other symptoms, then you should look into the underlying cause. There could be medical reasons why your pup may be so terrified that he poops himself. If this occurs regularly and there are no clear medical reasons, it could point to an underlying anxiety disorder in your pet.

Gastrointestinal Disease

Gastrointestinal diseases, such as colitis, can cause a dog to lose control of their bowels when they become scared. This is because the inflammation caused by the disease can irritate the large intestine, leading to the involuntary release of the bowels.


Intestinal parasites can cause a dog to experience sudden bouts of diarrhea, which can lead to loss of bowels when they become scared. These parasites are often transferred through contact with other animals, or through contaminated food or water.

Organic Disease

Organic diseases, such as kidney, liver, or pancreatic diseases, can cause diarrhea and a loss of bowels when a dog becomes scared. These diseases are caused by a malfunction or failure of an organ, leading to an inability to properly regulate digestion.

cleaning rug of dog poop

How To Manage Your Dog’s Fear

If your dog is so scared that he pooped himself, it’s time to take action. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for managing a dog’s fear, there are some steps you can take to help him cope and overcome his fears.

Desensitize the Dog to Fearful Situations

When a dog poops himself due to fear, it is important to help the dog become desensitized to the fearful situation. This can be done by slowly exposing the dog to the situation at a low-level intensity. Start by introducing the dog to the situation in a way that does not cause fear, such as having the dog in a room and playing calming music. As the dog becomes increasingly comfortable, gradually increase the intensity of the situation. For example, if the fear is of a particular noise, slowly increase the volume until the dog is no longer scared.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement is a great way to help a dog learn to cope with their fear. When the dog does not display fearful behaviors, reward them with treats and praise. This will help the dog to associate the situation with something positive and increase its confidence. Over time, the dog will be less likely to display fearful behaviors.

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification is a technique used to modify a dog’s behavior by changing the consequences associated with it. In the case of dogs that get so scared they poop themselves, behavior modification can help by teaching the dog to associate the fearful stimulus with something positive. This can be done by gradually exposing the dog to the fearful stimulus while providing a food reward or verbal praise. The goal is to associate the fearful stimulus with a positive experience so that the dog will no longer fear it. Over time, the fear should decrease and the dog should no longer poop itself when exposed to the stimulus.

Create a Safe Space

Creating a safe space for the dog can help them to feel secure and more relaxed. This can be done by providing the dog with a comfortable bed and toys, as well as ensuring that the area is quiet and free from distractions. This will help the dog feel safe and less likely to display fearful behaviors.

Consider CBD for Dog Anxiety

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the hemp plant that has been shown to have calming and anti-anxiety properties. It has been used in humans to reduce stress and anxiety and is now being used to help dogs with anxiety. CBD has been found to reduce anxiety in dogs, as well as reduce stress-related behaviors such as barking, pacing, and destructive chewing. It can also help to reduce aggression and fear-based behaviors, as well as improve overall well-being.

CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is responsible for regulating many of the body’s functions. CBD helps to improve the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which in turn helps to reduce anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can help to reduce physical discomfort, which can be a contributing factor to anxiety in dogs. With regular use, CBD for dogs can help to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs and improve their overall well-being.

Seek Professional Help

If the fear-based behaviors persist, it is important to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide advice and guidance on how to help the dog cope with their fear. They can also offer practical solutions to help the dog become desensitized to the situation.

Provide Comfort and Support

Finally, it is important to provide comfort and support for the dog when they are scared. Talk to them in a calm and soothing voice, pet them gently, and provide them with treats. This will help to create a sense of security and will help to reduce their fear.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

If your dog displays frequent fear-based behaviors and loses bowel control even without a clear trigger, it’s important to consult a vet to rule out any underlying medical issues. Gastrointestinal diseases, such as colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, and parasitic infections can cause dogs to lose bowel control even when they’re not scared. A vet during a vet visit can conduct a physical exam, review your dog’s medical history, and perform diagnostic tests to identify any medical issues that may be contributing to your dog’s behavior.

Coping with a Dog So Scared He Pooped Himself

Watching your dog go through a frightening experience can be difficult, but with patience and understanding, you can help them manage their fear and anxiety. Remember to be gentle and supportive, and never punish your dog for losing bowel control. With time, effort, and the help of a vet and professional dog trainer, your dog can overcome their fear and regain their confidence.

As a responsible dog owner, it’s important to provide a safe and secure environment for your dog and to seek veterinary care if you suspect any underlying medical issues that may be contributing to your dog’s behavior.

Related Articles:

cbd for dogs with separation anxiety

CBD for Dogs with Separation Anxiety

how much cbd for dog with anxiety

How Much CBD for Dog with Anxiety

by DOGuide

Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Leave a comment, contact us, or learn more about the founder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

transparent logo

D.O.G. is an affiliate marketing website. When you purchase an item after clicking a link on our website, we receive a small commission at NO COST to you. Thank you for supporting Dog Ownership Guide.

The information on this website is for general informational purposes only. Dog Ownership Guide makes no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of the site is solely at your own risk. This site may contain links to third-party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for.

D.O.G. Digest

Monthly eNewsletter with NEWS, STORIES, and INFORMATION for dogs and their owners.