A healthy dog poops three to four times a day, but if your dog is constipated, it will have trouble passing stool easily. Constipation in dogs can be a symptom of a bigger problem and should not be ignored.
It is normal for a dog to not go for 24 hours. But if your dog hasn’t pooped in 48–72 hours, it is a cause for concern and you should contact your vet immediately.
In this article, we will discuss how long can a dog go without pooping, along with the common causes and remedies for dog constipation. Let’s begin!
How Long Is It Safe For A Dog To Not Poop?
If you recently became a dog parent and brought home a puppy, then the environment and surroundings can throw off their regular cycle. It could be the stress or the excitement of going to a new place that can cause irregular bowel movements. It is perfectly safe and normal for most dogs to not poop for 24 hours.
But if nothing has changed in their daily routine and they are still not defecating, then it is something to take note of. If your dog goes 48 hours without pooping, then it could indicate a serious underlying issue.
Why Is Your Dog Not Pooping?
Constipation is a common problem that every dog goes through at some point. It is especially common in younger dogs.
Some of the most common reasons of constipation in dogs are:
- Dogs can develop a condition called obstipation where if they haven’t pooped in a while, their fecal matter becomes dry and hard. It clings to the colon and causes a blockage, which can only be resolved by surgery or medication.
- If you see your dog swallowing a foreign object, it is likely obstructing the intestines, making it difficult to poop.
- It could be due to a lack of exercise and physical activity.
- Making changes to your dog’s diet can cause them to become constipated if they are not accustomed to it yet.
- Something could be blocking the exit way, such as a tumor or a mass.
- If your dog has a thick coat, the hair might be blocking the anus. In this case, grab some clippers and clear the area to remove any hairballs.
How Can Dogs Improve Their Digestive Health?
If you see that your dog is straining to poop and only a small amount of stool is coming out, then it may only be a mild case of constipation. There are many over-the-counter medications or laxatives available, not all of which are safe.
So, you should never give any medication to your pet without consulting your vet. But, you can try out some natural ways to treat a constipated dog.
Here are some home remedies that you can try at home to encourage digestive health and make your dog poop:
Physical movement is a very good way to stimulate bowel movement. Going on long walks and exercising also helps dogs stay in shape and prevents obesity. So, if you are worried about your puppy, take them for a walk or play with them outside.
If your dog has been constipated for 48 hours, he might be feeling uneasy and lethargic and would resist going on a walk. But you should do whatever it takes to get him up and moving to promote healthy digestion.
2. Canned Pumpkin
Introducing high-fiber diets such as canned pumpkin can help your dog poop faster. The fiber in the pumpkin will pull water into the intestines and flush the obstructed poop out. It will also rehydrate your dog.
This is a natural and safe way to improve your dog’s metabolism. The serving size varies with the size and weight of the dog. You should consult your vet about how much pumpkin you can feed your dog. And you should always buy organic canned pumpkins to avoid preservatives.
3. Olive Oil Or Coconut Oil
Mixing any kind of mineral oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, with your dog’s food will help to get things working properly again. Olive oil acts as a natural laxative and is useful in solving a mild case of constipation.
You can consult your vet about the serving size based on your dog’s weight.
4. Proper Hydration
A major cause of constipation in dogs is not drinking enough water. So, make sure that your dog’s water intake is appropriate and that he is staying hydrated. You can either give your dog water or bone broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about constipation in dogs so that dog owners can diagnose the problem and take fast action.
- When Does Constipation Become A Concern?
If your dog hasn’t pooped in over 2-3 days, then it is a cause for concern, especially if you see signs of discomfort, abdominal pain, restlessness, straining to poop, or hunching over to protect their stomach. These signs indicate that it is time to seek care and treatment from your dog’s vet.
- How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has A Blockage?
If your dog is unable or straining to poop, then it might be a sign of intestinal blockage. In the case of obstruction, your dog will experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weakness, and nausea.
- Can A Dog’s Bowel Obstruction Clear On Its Own?
A mild case of constipation or bowel obstruction can go away on its own without any medical procedure, with the help of dietary fiber supplements and exercise. But, if it has been more than 2 days, then there could be serious complications like an intestinal rupture. This is when you should seek immediate veterinary care.
As responsible pet parents, you can start keeping a journal to keep a record of when your dog eats and when they go to the bathroom. So, whenever you notice an anomaly in their schedule, you can watch over them and seek medical attention if the situation worsens.
Your vet will solve this problem by giving your dog an enema, stool softener, medication, laxatives, or surgically removing the obstruction.
It is also important to keep an eye on your dog even after he starts pooping regularly again. During the post-care period, you should give your furry friend plenty of fluids to keep them hydrated. You can also ask your vet to prescribe medication to soothe the digestive tract and prevent urinary tract infection.