Is your dog not pooping? While you may be worried, dogs can go a few days without pooping and be just fine. There are also some reasons that your dog may not be pooping that you need to be aware of and know when you need to take them to the vet.
A healthy dog can go for 2 to 3 days without pooping without cause for concern. However, if your dog is vomiting, not eating, and seems lethargic, it is best to see your vet right away.
Monitoring your dog’s pooping behaviors may seem gross, it is a great way to be able to determine the overall health of your dog! There are a few concerning health reasons that your dog may not be pooping, and you’ll want to know when you should take your dog to see the veterinarian.
Why is my dog not pooping?
These are some of the few major reasons that your dog may not be pooping and what you need to do about each one.
If your dog is constipated, it will not be pooping as often as they normally do. Many times, constipation can easily be cleared up by sprinkling a small amount of MiraLAX on the food twice a day. This is an over-the-counter medication that you can find at most drug stores.
Also increasing their fiber and water intake will help them from getting constipated. If your dog does not have free access to fresh water, it can become dehydrated and eventually constipated.
#2 pain medications
Certain pain medications can cause your dog to become constipated.
Opioids such as Tramadol can lead to constipation.
If your dog is taking pain medications and is constipated, try decreasing their pain medications or ask your vet about switching to a different pain medication to help prevent your dog from becoming constipated.
Many times, when you think that your dog is constipated, they actually have diarrhea.
Diarrhea causes your dog to have the feeling like they need to poop but nothing comes out. If your dog acts like they need to poop but they do not poop they may actually have diarrhea!
You will usually be able to tell if your dog has diarrhea after a few hours of following them outside to potty.
If your dog has diarrhea, offering them a bland diet and probiotics will many times clear up their loose stool.
#4 not eating
If your dog is not eating, they also will not be pooping. Dogs who have been sick for a few days or that have not been eating as much will reach a point where they may not poop as much.
If nothing is going in, then nothing will be coming out. Usually, once your dog starts to feel better and eat better, it will start to poop regularly.
#5 They have an obstruction
Some dogs will eat anything and everything. This may even include your socks or underwear!
These things can get stuck along your dog’s gastrointestinal tract causing them to have an obstruction not allowing anything to pass and your dog not to be pooping.
At first, your dog may just not be pooping but eventually, your dog will become sick and may be vomiting, not eating, or seem like their stomach is painful.
If you think that your dog has an obstruction, it is best for them to see your vet right away.
What can I do at home to help my dog poop?
If your dog is just not pooping regularly but otherwise acting normal these are some things that you can do to help.
1. Increase water intake
If your dog is not drinking enough water, it can have a hard time pooping. Make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh water available for them to drink at all times.
Some dogs even like fresh cold water so make sure that their bowl is cleaned and refreshed often.
2. Increase fiber
Fiber can help stimulate your dog to poop. Giving your dog extra fiber in their diet will help make it easier for them to poop.
Giving your dog a small amount of pumpkin or even Metamucil fiber powder on their food each day will help make them be able to poop easier and not get constipated.
3. over-the-counter medications
Some over-the-counter constipation medications for people can also be used for dogs. MiraLAX can be given to dogs to help with constipation and make it easier for them to poop.
The dosage of this medication depends on the size of your dog.
- Small dogs need 1/4th teaspoon
- Medium dogs ½ teaspoon
- Large dogs 1 teaspoon
Before starting on any new medication, it is best to contact your vet to make sure that this medication is okay for them to take!
When do I need to see my vet?
If your dog has not pooped for more than 3 days and you have tried these at-home tips and tricks and your dog is not pooping it is time to see your vet.
Many dogs who are constipated are also showing signs of illness. If your dog is vomiting, not eating and seems lethargic, it is best to see your vet right away.
Things such as an obstruction can cause your dog to not poop.
What can my vet do for a dog who is not pooping?
If your dog is not pooping your vet can examine your dog and run a test to figure out what is wrong with your dog and figure out why they are not pooping.
Things that your vet may do to determine why your dog is not pooping include:
- Fecal exam: your vet can pass a fecal loop to see if your dog has fecal material in their colon. They can also tell if this fecal material is hard and dry.
- Radiographs: Your vet may want to take an x ray to see if there is a large amount of fecal material present in their intestines. This x ray can also see if there is an obstruction causing your dog to not poop.
If your vet thinks that your dog is constipated, they can give your dog an enema. DO NOT attempt to give your dog an enema at home as there are certain types of at-home enema that can be dangerous if given to dogs.
Final Thoughts On Not Pooping
There are many reasons that your dog may not be pooping. While most dogs can go a few days without pooping, if your dog is not pooping for more than 3 days it would be best to see your vet.
As soon as you start to notice that your dog is not pooping, you can try some of these at-home tips and tricks to see if your dog will start pooping again. If not, it would be best that your vet examines your dog and figure out what is going on and why they are not pooping.