How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?

Generally, if a dog is healthy and eating properly, it can go up to two days without pooping, so long as they have maintained its regular eating habits and are calm and comfortable.

However, if your pup goes longer without pooping, it could indicate a bigger problem.

If your dog starts consistently going more than two days without any pooping, make an appointment with the vet right away.

But for now, let’s have a deeper look into “how long can a dog go without pooping”.

How Often Do Most Dogs Poop In A Day?

Most dogs must defecate several times a day, but their needs can vary depending on their diet and lifestyle.

To determine if your dog’s bathroom routine is within the normal range, it can be useful to understand that most dogs typically defecate one to three times a day.

Nonetheless, there is a broad spectrum of “normal” frequencies for this behavior, and numerous factors influence how often a dog may go.

When assessing whether your dog’s bathroom habits are unusual, you should take into account the following considerations:

Eating And Exercising

Diet and exercise can have a profound effect on a dog’s overall health, and this includes their poop timing and frequency.

Regularly eating a balanced diet and getting adequate physical activity helps keep the digestive system in shape, allowing dogs to regulate their pooping schedule.

On the other hand, if your pup’s diet is unbalanced or they don’t get enough exercise, it can cause digestive issues that lead to irregular pooping.

It’s important to keep an eye on changes in your pup’s regularity so you can address any underlying health concerns early on.

Recent Surgery

The recent surgery of a dog can have a major impact on its pooping routine. 

Depending on the type of procedure, recovery time, and overall health of the dog, it may take days to weeks for a dog’s digestive system to return to normal.

Generally speaking, a dog should be able to go without pooping for at least a few days following surgery.


Recent diarrhea significantly impacts a dog’s pooping routine and the number of times they go.

It can disrupt their digestive system, leading to an inability to properly digest food, resulting in them having to go more often than usual.

Additionally, when suffering from diarrhea, dogs may experience difficulty passing feces due to abdominal pain and discomfort, making eliminating them difficult.

Generally speaking, if a dog is suffering from diarrhea, it may not be able to go without pooping for more than 24 hours.

It is important to monitor their behavior and consult your veterinarian if your pet’s bowel habits suddenly change.

The Causes And Reasons Behind Dogs Not Pooping

Many potential causes of a dog not pooping include dietary changes to more serious health issues.

Knowing what might be causing your pup’s constipation can help you determine the best treatment course.

Ingesting Foreign Objects

Dogs that ingest objects like balls, sticks, and rocks can obstruct their intestines, leading to constipation.

If you suspect your pup has swallowed something causing an obstruction, take them to the vet immediately for help.

Related: Why Do Dogs Like Sticks?

Eating Insufficient Fiber

A lack of fiber-rich food in your pup’s diet can lead to constipation. Feed them a balanced diet with high-fiber foods like apples, celery, and pumpkin.

Taking In Excessive Fiber

Too much fiber can also lead to constipation as it absorbs water in the gut, which leads to hard stools that are difficult for the dog to pass.

Try avoiding high-fiber treats or adjust your diet accordingly if they seem uncomfortable.

Over-Matted Fur

Dogs with long fur or thick coats may experience matted fur around their rear end or tail, preventing them from defecating properly.

Regularly grooming and brushing your pup can help prevent this issue from occurring in the first place.

Larger Than Normal Anal Glands

Dogs have two small glands near their anus called anal glands that fill up with fluid and empty when defecating.

If these glands become blocked due to infection or inflammation, it can lead to painful bowel movements and constipation.

Take your pup to the vet if you think this may be an issue for them, as it requires medical attention to treat properly.


Tumors in the rectum or colon can cause blockages, leading to difficulty passing stool and subsequent constipation.

Have your pup examined by a vet who will most likely recommend special testing such as x-rays and ultrasounds if they suspect a tumor is present.

In summary, many potential causes of dogs not pooping include:

  • Ingesting foreign objects
  • Eating insufficient or excessive amounts of dietary fiber
  • Over-matted fur around their rear end or tail area
  • Overly large anal glands
  • Tumors located in the rectum or colon area

Ultimately any change in bowel habits should be checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible so any underlying issues can be diagnosed and treated quickly and appropriately for the optimal health of your pup!

When Should You Be Worried Your Dog Is Constipated?

One of the surest signs of a health issue with any dog is changes in their bathroom habits.

Although though it’s not necessarily the most unpleasant thing a dog may experience, constipation can worsen into a more significant medical condition if it isn’t treated soon away.

If your dog has been having difficulty urinating, hasn’t gone for a whole day, or is passing dry pellets of stool rather than the anticipated logs, you should immediately seek medical attention.

These are all concerning symptoms of constipation in your dog.

Dogs with constipation may also experience vomiting, general lethargy, and dry stools that include undigested food.

Watch for these warning signs of sickness, so you can take prompt action to get your dog’s health back on track.

Symptoms Of Constipation In Dogs

Poop That Is Dense And Hard

If your pup has been struggling to poop, it’s a good sign that they are struggling with constipation.

It may appear bloated and dry but can come in small, hard pieces.

It may be helpful to use a diet that is high in fiber to help ease the stools into a more regular consistency.

Holding Back Poop

If your pup has not had a bowel movement for several days or appears to be straining or pushing to poop, this could mean they suffer from constipation.

In this case, veterinary advice should be sought immediately as there may be underlying conditions causing the problem.

Whining While Trying To Poop

This is because they will often experience considerable discomfort while trying to pass their stool, which may cause them to vocalize their distress. 

Allowing your pup time alone when trying to go can help reduce their anxiety and make the process easier.

Popping With Strain

As was already said, this means the dog is having trouble going to the bathroom.

The dog should see a vet as soon as possible so that any underlying problems can be found and treated, if necessary.

Also, you should make sure that your dog’s food has enough fiber so that its digestive system stays healthy and works well all the time.

Constipation Vs. Diarrhea

Dogs can get blocked up in their stomach, called “constipation,” or have really runny poop, called “diarrhea” constipation means their body can’t get rid of waste properly, which can cause problems like feeling bloated or not wanting to eat.

Diarrhea is when they have very watery poop and it can happen because of infections, allergies, or eating something bad.

Dogs can have different symptoms like not eating much, or getting really thirsty.

If this happens for a while or other symptoms show up, it’s important to talk to a vet to know how to help them feel better.

Diagnosis Of Constipation In Dogs

Constipation in dogs is a common problem that can cause discomfort and distress for our furry friends.

To ensure your dog’s health and well-being, it is important to understand the causes of constipation and how to effectively treat and prevent it.

By knowing what signs to look out for and understanding the right ways to help manage this issue, you can make sure your dog stays happy and healthy.

When it comes to diagnosing constipation in dogs, veterinarians will typically look for certain signs and symptoms.

Common indications include pain or distress during defecation, irritability, straining to defecate, an inability to pass feces, decreased appetite or energy levels, vomiting, and/or abdominal distention.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is important to have them seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Treatment For Constipation In Dogs

The treatment of constipation in dogs can vary depending on the underlying cause.

The most common treatments include laxatives, enemas, and dietary changes.

Enemas clean out the intestines and offer relief from the constipation while laxatives are used to promote intestinal movements.

Dog constipation is a common issue that can be uncomfortable and upsetting for our canine friends.

This syndrome may be brought on by a number of things, including dietary changes, dehydration, or underlying medical conditions.

Understanding the root causes of constipation and how to properly treat and prevent it is crucial for your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Preventing Constipation

To prevent constipation in dogs, ensure they get enough exercise and water daily.

Feed them a healthy diet with high-fiber foods like pumpkin and oatmeal. If needed, talk to your vet about giving your dog a stool softener or laxative to help them stay regular.

What To Give A Dog For Constipation


Exercise is one of the most important things to help a constipated dog.

Daily walking, jogging, or even playing fetch can help move the bowels. 

Exercise also helps to encourage healthy digestion and boosts circulation in the gut.

Pureed Pumpkin

This is a great natural remedy for constipation in dogs.

It’s full of fiber which helps regulate the digestive system, and it’s an easy-to-digest source of moisture.

Simply mix a small amount into your dog’s food to promote regularity.

Laxative Or Stool Softener

If your dog’s constipation persists despite diet and exercise changes, you may need to turn to laxatives or stool softeners.

Depending on your vet’s recommendation, you could try a natural supplement made from plant oils or even a prescription medication that will help break down food particles in your pet’s intestines and make them easier to pass.

Canned Foods

Canned foods for dogs are also beneficial when managing constipation in pets.

Canned foods are high in moisture content and help prevent dehydration which can cause increased fecal hardness leading to constipation.

Look for canned food with added fiber, like pumpkin or psyllium husks, that can provide additional support for regular bowel movements without being too hard on their digestive system.

Dietary Supplements

To treat constipation in dogs, your vet may recommend nutritional supplements.

This may be probiotics or fiber supplements, which help digestion and the absorption of nutrients from food.

Probiotics add healthy bacteria to the gut, while fiber supplements help stools move through the digestive tract more easily and relieve pain from backed-up feces in dogs with chronic constipation.

How To Make Your Dog Poop

Pooping is a natural and important part of every dog’s day.

But sometimes, due to various factors, dogs may need help pooping.

If you’re wondering how to make your dog poop, there are several methods that can be used to stimulate their bowel movement.

These include creating an exercise routine for your pup, using ice cubes, checking what they eat, and trying the squirting water technique.

You can even massage your dog to make him poop.

Each of these strategies can help your pup have regular bowel movements and keep them healthy in the long run.

When Do I Need To See My Vet If My Dog Is Not Pooping?

It is natural to be concerned if your dog isn’t pooping in a regular pattern or if there are changes in their pooping behavior.

If you suspect something is amiss, and you have ruled out dietary reasons, then it’s time to bring your dog to the vet.

Do this even if your pup is still having bowel movements but less frequently than usual.

Vets often recommend testing for potential problems such as metabolic disease, blockages, parasites, or hormonal imbalances that could be causing the disruption.

Your vet will also be able to provide advice on how best to address any health concerns going forward.

So if your pup stops pooping altogether or appears unusual in their toileting habits, don’t wait – call your vet right away!

Before You Go…

You now know the answer to the question, “How long can a dog go without pooping?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.