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Dog Poops In Car: What To Do And How To Avoid It!


Dog poops in car

Do you ever go for car rides and hope that no one other than the people who belong in the car will be making an unexpected appearance? Well, unfortunately, if you have a dog, then its uninvited guest appearances may become all too familiar. Yep – I’m talking about your furry friend leaving behind bits of their welcome gift from time to time – doggie poops in your car!

So how do we cope with this unpleasant situation and more importantly, how can we prevent it from happening again? Read on as we share our tips and tricks on dealing with the dreaded dog poop in the car (and hopefully keeping it out!)

Table of contents

What to do when your dog pooped in the car?

You’re having a nice day out driving around, the wind in your hair, singing along to the radio… and then you smell it. That unmistakable smell of dog poop. You take a look around and, sure enough, you spot it.

Your first instinct may be to panic but don’t. Take a deep breath and remember these few key steps:

  1. Open the windows – Fresh air is your best friend when trying to remove any smell from the car. Open up those windows in order to let the smell out.
  2. Stop the car – If you can, stop the car in a safe and clean area, such as your driveway or garage. This will make cleaning up easier without worrying about making a mess outside of your car.
  3. Remove the poop – Grab some paper towels or tissues and carefully pick up the poop. Make sure that you don’t touch the poop with your hands. Put it in a bag and discard it properly.
  4. Clean the affected area – Using paper towels or a disinfecting wipe, clean up the affected area to remove any remnants of the poop that may remain. If the stain is particularly tough, you may need to use a carpet cleaner or spot remover.
  5. Air out the car – Go for a drive with all the windows open in order to allow fresh air to circulate and remove any remaining odors from the car.
  6. Use a dog-friendly air freshener – Once your car is clean and aired out, use a dog-friendly air freshener to ensure any lingering odors are gone for good.

Why do dogs poop in the car?

If you’re puzzled as to why your trained pup won’t keep it together while in the car? It’s shockingly common. With various explanations behind this behavior, here are a few of them:

Excitement for the trip

Excitement for the trip

All that energy and anticipation of going on a ride can be quite overwhelming for your pup! You can almost see their excitement radiating off them as they eagerly jump into the car, and it’s quite adorable.

Yet all this enthusiasm comes at a cost, as you sometimes find yourself dealing with an unexpected surprise – the kind of surprise that needs to be cleaned up right away. So, while it’s always fun to watch their happiness when taking a trip, it’s also important to remember that potty training might take a backseat if they get too exciting!

Anxiety for driving

Anxiety for driving

When stepping out of their comfort zone and into a car, some dogs begin to experience feelings of anxiety. This could be caused by any number of issues, such as the unknown destination, unfamiliar sights, and sounds, or even the motion of the vehicle itself.

While it may difficult to watch your pup struggle with these apprehensions, there are ways in which you can help manage their fear – from simple steps like exposing them to cars more often or playing music in the background to desensitizing therapy for more intense cases.

By taking the time to observe and address your pet’s own unique stress signals, you can ensure that no more surprises will be left behind.

Be mindful of their diet

Be mindful of their diet

If your pup’s stomach is feeling a bit uneasy during car rides recently, it may be time to look at their diet. Along with ensuring that your pup is given the right nutrition and amounts of food, it’s important to keep an eye on any changes made.

What may appear as harmless adjustments could potentially cause car sickness – or worse, that dreaded car pooping! With this in mind, it may be best to stick to the same meals you’ve been providing them up until now and scale back their portions pre-trip. Your dog’s stomach will thank you, not to mention your clean seat covers afterwards!

How to avoid dog poops in the car?

Potty training your dog will come a long way in preventing any poop accidents from happening. If your dog is already potty trained, you can take a few extra steps to ensure the inside of your car stays clean and poo-free!

Schedule bathroom breaks

Schedule bathroom breaks

Make sure to plan at least one designated bathroom break during every car ride. Not only will this help keep your car a bit cleaner, it also gives your pup time to work off some energy and explore the world outside of their usual stomping grounds.

One nice bonus about scheduled bathroom breaks is that you’ll have an easier time training your pup to wait until he gets outside before using the restroom. With routine and consistency, you can encourage good habits in your pooch, and ultimately prevent unfortunate messes in the car.

Create a secure space for your pup

Create a secure space for your pup

If you’re driving for an extended period of time, it’s important to create a safe environment for your puppy so they can relax without making messes. Consider using seat covers or crates to contain the mess and make sure that all windows are closed during the entire ride.

Use distractions

Focusing on distractions can be an amazing way of keeping them entertained and relaxed during your travels together! Pack some toys, treats or calming music for when you hit the open road – all these things combined will help reduce stress levels and those pesky pee incidents.


Bring cleaning supplies

It’s always a good idea to bring along cleaning supplies, such as paper towels and a stain remover, just in case an accident does happen. That way, you’ll be prepared for the worst and can clean up any mess quickly and easily.

Additionally, a vacuum-sealed dog poop trash can is perfect for storing any mess your pup leaves behind and can help keep the car smelling fresh.

Final thoughts – Dog pooping in the car

Unexpected messes in the car are never enjoyable, but with a few tactics and products, you can maintain your vehicle spotless and free from any chaos. Primarily, be vigilant of your pup’s habits prior to driving off and plan breaks for potty stops accordingly. With perseverance and training, you’ll have many more successful trips with your canine!

Written by

Tim Smith
With years of experience writing about dogs, this author is a go-to source for insights on the furry friends. A lover of all animals, this writer's work has been published in many respected publications.
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