How do Dogs Choose Their 'Potty Spot?' | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

How do Dogs Choose Their ‘Potty Spot?’

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
4 months ago

We have an unusual topic to discuss here: poop. Why do dogs take so long to go potty? Why do they need to sniff around everywhere before they decide where to poop?  

There is science behind this behavior. There are four main factors dogs consider when choosing a place to do their deed including: 

  • Other dogs’ scents and ‘places’ 
  • Anxiety 
  • Distractions of any sort 
  • Earth’s magnetic field/Magnetic poles 

Read more about these four factors below.

Knowing What’s Going On 

Poop helps dogs understand the behavior of other dogs. The ability to smell is one of your dog’s most effective methods of communication. If you see him sniffing around for a while, he’s more than likely taking a look at the messages other animals have left.

Their sense of smell is so keen they are able to understand if a dog is a friend or an enemy, what the dog ate for lunch, and the sexual status of the other dog in the area. 

Anxiety and Nervousness 

If your dog has anxiety, she may be anxious about where she uses the bathroom. Contrary to popular belief, many dogs (especially anxious dogs) enjoy their privacy. Some dogs will want a quiet, peaceful area.

Magnetic Poles Affect Your Dog’s Area 

The Earth’s magnetic fields are thought to be the reason your dog spins in a circle when she’s about to poop. Your dog wants to be aligned in the proper ‘area’ before she goes potty.

Wrapping it Up 

It’s incredibly interesting so many factors go into your dog’s decision to use the bathroom. Many people think they just walk and pick somewhere based on the ‘hey, this is a good spot,’ but in reality, your dog is scientifically searching. 

So next time your pup goes out and takes longer than normal – maybe consider these four factors that could be affecting your pup.


Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst is here for every canine (and cat!), from a small cold to big health problems alike.

Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured you don’t have to think twice about the financial aspect and you can just focus on your pet’s care.

You can get a quote today by visiting our website or by calling our team at 855-270-7387 (option 1). 

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