Why a Dog Takes so Long to Decide Where to Poop

man and pug going poo

We know Rover has to go. He’s been holding it in for hours! So, why is he being so darn particular? Check this out:

(But) for dogs, it’s all about smells. Elimination (that is, poop and pee) is one of dogs’ most nuanced and effective methods of communication. That’s why fire hydrants are so popular: they’re like the busy Facebook group of the dog world. Your dog’s chosen potty spot sends other dogs a message about where she’s been and what she’s been doing. When she sniffs around for a long time, she’s “reading” messages from other animals.

According to Carlo Siracusa, director of the Small Animal Behavior Service at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary hospital, “These messages can tell your dog how many other dogs are in the immediate area, the sexual status of those dogs… whether a particular dog is a friend or an enemy, what he or she had for lunch, and when they were last in the area.”

For some dogs, the “messages” encoded in scent secretions in other dogs’ waste serve as cues to make them go potty, too. That’s why your dog sometimes poops right next to another dog’s pile. (Perhaps this is a good time to remind you to always have poop bags handy!)

So, it is all about the smell? Makes sense. Dog’s noses are incredibly sensitive, after all!

To learn more, including how magnetic poles affect dog elimination, go to Daily Treat.

No, dogs taking care of their business is not the most interesting aspect of canine ownership or adoption but, let’s face it, a dog’s gotta do what he’s gonna do… or doo. So, keep the above information in mind next time your dog has to do his business and you might get a better idea why it is so important to him to get the location right!

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