Why Does My Dog Poop In The Car: How To Get Rid Of It Fast?

Shit happens! But why is it every time in my car? 

Why does my dog keep pooping in the car?

Dog Poops In Car

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An excited dog in the car and a long car ride with a puppy may sound fun to you but these are the big reasons why dog pooping inside the car. 

This blog on dog poops in the car explains the reason, prevention, methods, and tips to follow.

If you are looking for answers on why dog poops in the backseat of my car, you’re in the right place. I will answer all your queries.

So, travel with a dog with a happy face and no nasty smell!

Why Dog Poops in Car? 

1. Fear trickling through the mind – Anxiety

The primary reason why dog poops in the car every time is because of anxiousness.                                                                                                                  

The smell of fuel, vibration and the sound of the car’s engine trigger the dog’s mental state resulting in involuntary bowel movement. 

Imagine how you feel when the pilot starts lifting the plane’s nose or accelerates the engine or leaves the ground. 

Don’t you feel insects fluttering around in your stomach? 

Similarly, when your dog is inside the car which is moving at good speed might create some unusual experiences. The confined environment is new to him!

You’ve to understand that such continuous movement is overwhelming for him and he may consider the whole experience difficult. 

For example, you visit the vet by car, which is an unpleasant experience for him. Now, every time you go somewhere with him in the car it becomes a terrifying experience. 

If you ever see your dog panting in the caryawning, vomiting, feeling sick, whining, lip smacking, drooling, peeing, or pooping– know it that he is not having a good time. 

2. Break out in a cold sweat – Car Sickness

The secondary reason why dog poops when scared is motion sickness, and imbalance in the parts of the inner ear. Car sickness is very common among young dogs.

Every living brain works on the vestibular system that helps in balancing the pressure. It maintains proper coordination between the brain and the inner and middle ears.

Now, your puppy is traveling, whose vestibular system is not developed. In such a situation, the movement is bound to create a worse experience.

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Moreover, he will always remember that traveling is not fun, equating travel with pooping, peeing, vomiting, and also crying. 

Normally, puppies outgrow their brain structure after one year. However, infections or other medical reasons can result in dog nausea and motion sickness at a higher age. 

If he is suffering from such type of sickness, you need to go on a short trip, making his comfort a priority. Remember to limit his food intake.

3. Full of energy – Excitement 

Excitement triggers vomiting, peeing, pooping, and sometimes diarrhea. Things like tennis balls, playing and running pumped them high – resulting in pooping. 

In this scenario, your dog might love traveling and he knows good experiences are waiting for him. His excitement results in the involuntary raise of high emotions.

If your dog poops in the car you have to consider his eating style, patterns, timings, and quality. Moreover, if he cannot control his emotions, you have to take him to the vet.

Additionally, emotions lead to an increased heart rate that can again affect the overall health of the dog. 

Keep your dog on a leash while traveling, because out of over-excitement he can run off. Therefore, try to calm him down and treat him later for his calmness.

Also, before riding a car, go for a long simple walk to make him tired and poop outside rather than inside the car. 

4. So much protein – Food and no breaks in-between

Dogs are food-motivated and play-oriented, never feed them too much just before traveling. Before a long trip, never feed him full stomach. 

If you do not want a dog poop smell inside the car, stop feeding him food and water as well. This prevents getting stomach upset or throwing up.

Just imagine what happens when you overeat. You feel uncomfortable, tired, sluggish, and drowsy. Hence, dogs are no different!

As per research, dogs poop within half an hour of eating, and twice a day. On the other hand, puppies poop more than four times a day. 

It’s important to know your dog’s pooping cycle. Also, while road-tripping, it is not possible to take frequent breaks. 

Therefore, if you do not want to mess up your car seat, remember to control your dog’s eating habit for the day of traveling.

Dog Poop In the Car

Solutions: Stop Dog Pooping in the Car 

1. Make them used to car sickness

Travel sickness or car sickness is a common problem among puppies, but do you want to make this a primary reason for not having fun?

No, I am sure about it. You have to teach him to live with it and happily accept it. Remember, teaching starts from home.

Therefore, you can follow some tips – 

  • Play with him at home. Make him run, and also roll on the carpet or yard. Once they get to know the feeling of instability on a regular basis they get used to it. 
  • Talk to them in a happy voice. He might not know your language but he understands your tone. Hence, love him. 
  • Allow your puppy to sit on your lap. Carry some dog toys to keep him engaged. Make him feel good, care for him and not scold him. 
  • Try to drive slowly. Your priority is his happiness not reaching the destination hurriedly. Hence, avoid rash driving
  • Visit the vet and seek all the medical help your puppy needs

2. Let them know – You have a car

Show him your car, let him see it, smell it, and feel it. Dogs use their nose to recognize their owners and other people. 

But do you know, he uses his nose to understand non-living things too? Yes, let him smell it and understand your car. 

Let him know that the car is safe. This will make him less anxious or excited when he is inside. 

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Make him believe that a car is just an extension of your home and it is not a threat. Let him be comfortable!

You can get him your car’s color toys, this will make him more comfortable with the car’s structure and color. Let him walk, explore, and smell the area where your car is parked. 

Follow these tips:

  • This is a regular process. Do not expect results overnight. Invest time.
  • You can go for a small demo traveling. Sit with him inside the car with the engine off! Play with him inside, and spend some time inside.
  • Next time, you come to the first seat and let him explore the back seat. Treat him for good behavior
  • Later, you can start the engine and keep the doors locked and watch his reaction. Teach him!
  • Always talk to him in a soft tone. He is in his learning phase, please do not be harsh

3. Make sure the car environment is good

You’re teaching him new things, so patience is the only key. Make him understand, your car is a safe place. 

The car temperature should be normal, the seats should be of natural color, and he should have his favorite blanket, toy, or clothes. 

These things might seem so small but make all the difference. Do you remember how your teacher made you feel on the first day of your school? It’s all the same.

Also, before car rides, go for a walk. Let him pee and poop. During the ride, stop in- between for a potty break to make him comfortable. 

At last, treat him to a good protein bar for his good behavior.

4. Small trips at the beginning 

Start getting on the road, a small tour to your friend’s house next street or some other dog-friendly places. Praise your dog, and smile at him while you’re driving.

Slowly, increase the distance and take him to dog parks. All these memories will be associated with good car trip memories.

Additionally, in the initial stages stop taking him to the vet in your car. The main focus is to create good rather than bad memories.

When Benji was two years old, I used to take him on small rides to local dog parks, or my friend’s place, and always rewarded him for “good” behavior. 

5. Good training and positive reinforcement

Dogs learn things if you teach them with patience and positive reinforcement. Hence, you need to offer a soothing car experience at the initial stage.

You can take him to the vet, or try some Ayurveda treatments to calm his behavior. Use lavender, melatonin, and sandalwood to smell, as it helps dogs to relax. 

However, if he has any medical history like anxiety disorder or “bad” experience, better to visit the vet. 

Tips: Puppy Safety in the Car

If you do not want your dog’s poop to smell longer in the car for a long time, and to ensure his safety while you’re driving, here are some tips to follow – 

  • Always keep your dog in the back seat. Never allow your dog or anyone to sit with your dog in the front seat. He will always distract you, as per the news, most accident cases occur because of not focusing on the road.
  • Buy a quality harness or collar and leash to secure him in one place. Also, make sure he is on good behavior, not barking, or scratching
  • The best seating place for a dog in a car is the middle of the backseat, facing the front. According to research, a side window view can trigger motion sickness resulting in nausea and dizziness.
  • Keep the inside environment fresh, and roll down the window for fresh air to come in. Or, keep the ac temperature as moderate as the dog’s body temperature. Make sure, your dog is not jumping out of the window.
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How to Clean up Dog Poop in Car

My puppy poops in the car, I hate it!

However, you’ve to clean it. There is no alternative to it.

Here are the ways and products you need for cleaning dog poop in the car. 

  1.  Bring the dog poop bag, before application of any products, pick up the poop in your hand and gently rub the area with a paper towel. This process removes the solid portion, leaving the stain, smell, and moisture in the seat.
  2. Bring some baking soda, sprinkle it on the seat and let it dry. After a few minutes, scrap the powder off and use a vacuum cleaner to clean everything. Or, you can mix soap and water to clean the particular place. Later, clean it with a dry piece of cloth and vinegar. Moreover, in these two processes keep the windows open to let the odor vanish. Or, use an enzymatic cleaner to remove stains and odor from the fabric. 
  3. The last step, but the most important is to disinfect the car seat. Apply 3% of hydrogen peroxide to the area and wait for a few minutes. Remember, soap or baking soda cannot remove bacteria and other microorganisms. 


I hope I have answered your query on “Why Does My Dog Poop in Car”. Though it’s irritating but cannot be completely ignored. All dog parents have faced this situation.

However, you can prevent him from doing it with good training and buying a dog poop container for the car, a towel, and a blanket.

You can also use disposable doggy diapers while traveling. Do not freak out, these above tips will reduce your travel anxiety and make your memories unforgettable.

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FAQ – Dog Poops in The Car

1. How do I get the smell of dog poop out of my car?

A: White vinegar and baking soda have the power to eliminate the smell of dog poop from your car. Just take one part of vinegar with two parts of normal water and spray them on your seat. Keep it for a few minutes and then dry it. On the other hand, baking soda has the compound to absorb terrible odors. 

2. Why does the smell of poop linger?

A: Poop smells bad because it contains a lot of sulfur material, a by-product of eggs, meat, broccoli, cauliflower and dairy products. Also, lack of ventilation, and not rolling down your windows can result in a foul smell lingering inside the car.

3. Can baking soda get rid of the poop smell?

A: Yes, baking soda is considered one of the biggest deodorizing agents in the beauty industry. Not only does it smell, but it can also remove grime and grout on the seat and car mattress.

4. How can I stimulate my dog to poop?

A: The best way to stimulate your dog for poop is by keeping him hydrated and offering him fiber supplementary food. Water and fiber can soften their stool and can encourage the dog to poop quickly. 

5. What happens if a dog holds poop too long?

A: Holding poop either for too long or short is dangerous. This creates more pressure on his intestines making him sick, and uncomfortable. 

6. How often do dogs need to go out to poop?

A: On average an adult dog needs to poop once a day or two times a day. However, puppies poop more than four times a day. Also, a dog should have a fixed bathroom schedule. 

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