How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping?

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Dogs and Pooping

Like humans, constipation is common in dogs; and can make them uncomfortable. But how long can a dog go without pooping? Usually, a dog can stay up to 24 hours without pooping.

However, it is potentially harmful if it gets to 48 or more hours without pooping; therefore, you should consider ways to force your dog to poop or see a veterinarian for constipation. Normal pooping should happen once daily.

Pooping dog

The Causes and Reasons Behind Dogs Not Pooping

Ingesting Foreign Objects

Your dog may develop an obstruction if he habitually consumes rocks, sticks, or other objects that he shouldn’t ingest. A chew toy your dog has eaten in part may also result in this. This perilous situation needs immediate attention from a veterinarian, typically through surgery.

Eating Insufficient Fiber

On the other hand, a dog may have constipation from consuming insufficient fiber. This is one of the many reasons it’s crucial to select high-quality dog food and use it exclusively when feeding your pet.

Taking in Excessive Fiber

If dogs consume too much fiber, they may develop constipation. While it occasionally can result from eating poor-quality dog food, your dog is far more likely to experience this if they eat table scraps.

Over-Matted Fur

Over-matted dogs may suffer from constipation if the fur wraps around the anus. You may completely avoid this issue by keeping your dog well-groomed and trimmed, especially in his more sensitive regions.

If your dog is experiencing this, you might need the assistance of a professional groomer or a veterinarian to help you control his fur and fix the issue.

Larger Than Normal Anal Glands 

It could be challenging for dogs with swollen anal glands to use the restroom normally. A veterinarian or a dog groomer should routinely express the anal glands of dogs. If you haven’t had a professional demonstrate how to perform it, don’t attempt to do it yourself at home because it could damage your dog and be upsetting for both of you.


Dogs with rectum or anus tumors may experience blockage due to the tumor. A veterinarian must treat this, and surgery is frequently inevitable. But then again, another big question would be, how long can a dog go without pooping after surgery? 

For the first two to three days following surgery, most dogs won’t have any movement in their bowel. Following surgery, a dog could not have regular bowel motions for the following reasons:

  • The dog eats highly digestible food that generates little stool.
  • They typically don’t eat enough food when they get home.
  • They undergo forced starvation before surgery.
  • The dog won’t stand up to defecate/urinate because it is in pain.

What to Give a Dog for Constipation

Constipation in dogs can start at any time and disappear just as abruptly as it started. When dogs cannot generate normal feces as part of their everyday routine, constipation sets in. If your dog suffers from constipation, it will either struggle to “go” or won’t even try. If they can urinate, they might have extremely painful, rock-hard feces.

Lethargy, sadness, vomiting, and decreased appetite are further symptoms for your dog. These may indicate that your dog is unwell and suffering from constipation. Here are some home remedies to help you with your dog’s constipation problem:


To encourage a healthy bowel movement and get your dog’s bowels moving, take them on long walks. Running, fetching, and chasing are all excellent strategies to encourage a healthy digestive system.

Pureed Pumpkin

This puree regulates the digestive system and is rich in fiber and hydration. The ideal puree for pumpkins is 100%. Don’t feed pumpkin pie filling to your dog. Your dog will think of the puree as a tasty treat if you offer it straight from the can.

Dog and pumpkin in the mouth

Laxative or Stool Softener

Your dog may benefit from taking a laxative or stool softener, as advised by a veterinarian, to assist them in passing waste. An emollient laxative, often known as a stool softener, is a laxative.

Canned Food for Dogs

Their digestive system will be better controlled, and their stool will be softer thanks to the softer meals and higher moisture content. To prevent an upset stomach, mix canned food with regular food.


A veterinarian may use an enema to treat your dog’s constipation problem. Fluid is carefully injected through the rectum into the lower bowel during an enema. You risk poisoning or hurting your dog if you administer an enema yourself.

Dietary Supplements

By increasing the fiber in their diets, dietary fiber supplements will aid in softening and regulating their stools—request recommendations for your dog’s exact supplement types and dosages from your veterinarian.

It is important to provide your dog access to fresh water. It is ideal for motivating your dog to hydrate well. You should seek veterinary attention if they aren’t drinking anything at all.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping?

Although you might sometimes worry about your dog, they can go for several days without potty and yet be alright. You should also be aware of some potential causes for your dog’s lack of poop and be mindful of the signs indicating that a clinic trip is necessary.

A healthy dog can go a day or two without pooping and have no problems. However, seeing your vet as soon as possible is essential if your dog is not eating, throwing up, or appearing lethargic.

Although watching your dog’s pooping habits may seem disgusting, it is an excellent way to assess your dog’s general health! Your dog may not be defecating for a few worrying medical reasons, and you’ll want to know when you should take your dog to the vet.

These are some of the few important causes for your dog perhaps not pooping, along with what you should do in each case:


Your dog won’t be able to poop as frequently as usual if it’s suffering from constipation. Many times, a simple sprinkle of MiraLAX on the food twice a day will quickly relieve constipation. You can buy this over-the-counter medicine at the majority of pharmacies.

Additionally, increasing their fiber and water intake will prevent them from becoming constipated. Your dog may become dehydrated and eventually experience constipation if it does not have free access to clean water.


Most of the time, your dog could have diarrhea when you think they are suffering from constipation. The dog feels like it should poop, but nothing comes out when they have diarrhea.

If your dog displays signs of needing to poop but does not do so, it may potentially be experiencing diarrhea. After accompanying your dog outdoors to poop for a few hours, you should be able to identify if they have diarrhea.

Probiotics and a bland diet will frequently help your dog with diarrhea get rid of its loose stools.

Pain Relief Medication

Your dog may experience constipation if you give them certain painkillers. Tramadol and other opioids can cause constipation. Try reducing the painkillers your dog takes if it is experiencing constipation. Alternatively, talk to your vet about changing to a different painkiller to help your dog avoid getting constipated.

Not Eating

If your dog isn’t eating, it won’t be going potty, either. Dogs who have been ill for a few days or who haven’t been eating as much will eventually stop pooping as frequently. Nothing will come out if nothing is going in. Your dog will typically start to poop more regularly after it begins to feel better and eat better.

Intestinal Obstruction

Some dogs will consume virtually anything. Even your socks or underwear might fall under this category! These objects may become lodged along your dog’s digestive tract, causing an obstruction that prevents anything from passing and prevents your dog from pooping.

Your dog may initially only not be defecating, but ultimately it may become ill and may start vomiting, stop eating, or exhibit other symptoms of stomach pain. You should consider taking your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect that they have an intestinal blockage.

Is it Normal for a Dog Not to Poop for 24 Hours?

Yes. It is normal, and it shouldn’t worry you. While most dogs poop once or twice in 24 hours, some can skip a day without pooping. Nonetheless, if they go beyond 48 hours, you need to observe them closely. They could be suffering from constipation or have a health problem.

You typically do not need to worry if your dog goes one or two days without passing feces as long as they are healthy, alert, and eating. In these situations, you can get them moving more and motivate them to eat and drink.

You should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible if they haven’t passed feces in three days, are lethargic, scooting or licking their behind, vomiting, or aren’t eating.

How Often Should a Dog Poop?

The frequency of a dog’s poop depends on some variables, such as diet, degree of exercise, metabolism, and age. Although many dogs will urinate many times each day, younger dogs, dogs who are more active, and dogs whose diets are high in fiber tend to have more frequent bowel movements.

Young pups have more frequent bowel movements because they have a faster metabolic rate and are more active, according to Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, a veterinarian in Lubbock, Texas. For instance, “most puppies need to poop within an hour of eating, so this is a perfect time to take them outside.”

A dog’s stools may behave differently depending on its breed and size. Dr. Whittenburg advises monitoring your dog to figure out what is “normal” for them rather than expecting them to go potty a set number of times per day. Once you establish this, you can detect any significant changes, like constipation and diarrhea.

How to Make Your Dog Poop

Getting your dog to poop can be difficult. After all, no one likes hurrying up while conducting business. Being a responsible pet parent includes taking your dog for walks in the morning and the evening so they can relieve themselves.

But on occasion, especially if you’re in a rush or your dog is experiencing constipation, the procedure can be difficult and time-consuming. Here are a few ways to make your dog poop:

Stimulate Your Dog’s Bowel Movement

Even though this subject may be delicate, you probably won’t be able to get your pet to poop quickly if you don’t touch its undercarriage. Using multiple wipes is the easiest and most practical way to encourage your pet’s bowel motions.

Circularly wipe your dog’s bum with gentle pressure. Usually, this approach will work if your dog is about to poop. We strongly advise using unscented, eco-friendly, and biodegradable wipes. They are safe for your pet and the environment as well.

Create an Exercise Routine for Your Dog

It will be easier for your dog to comprehend what you expect of them if you establish a pattern and take them outside simultaneously every day after a meal is an ideal time to do this.

Also, giving your dog some activity and massaging their bellies can encourage them to poop more frequently. Once your dog begins to poop again, add a command, and afterward, give them goodies as a reward. This will make it easier for you to explain what you expect of them moving forward.

Use Ice Cubes

Given that it does need some patience, you might be less likely to adopt this strategy. It does, however, work in the majority of instances. Put an ice cube on your dog’s butt and hold it there.

Most dogs will feel uneasy and try to retreat, but since there is no actual threat, they will rapidly get used to it. If not, a few goodies along the route will be helpful! Your dog will eventually begin cramping their tummy and pushing the excrement out.

Check What Your Dog Eats

Even when it appears like your dog is making an effort to poop, constipation may be the cause of the delay. Constipation is one of the most prevalent issues with a dog’s digestive health. This may be due to numerous factors, including nutrition, medicine, intestinal blockages, or inactivity.

Examine your dog’s diet and raise the amount of fiber he consumes. Your dog may benefit from eating canned dog food or pumpkin regularly. Please visit your veterinarian if this does not make things better.

Squirting Water Technique

You might want to give this method a shot at home because it can get dirty. To prevent your floor from getting wet and help your dog learn, use our Posh Pee Pads. This strategy performs well when setting up your puppy’s toileting routine.

Several times, gently squirt cool water over your dog’s behind. You might need assistance to hold your dog, or at least their tail up, while you attend to the chore.

Your dog will quickly relieve himself thanks to the water’s temperature and squirting motion, especially if constipation is not a factor. If your dog exhibits any signs of stress, keep in mind to be patient and take a break at any time.

Signs of a Constipated Dog

Dogs frequently have constipation, and in most cases, you may resolve this issue with something as straightforward as a little canned pumpkin or additional water for a few days.

However, consider taking your dog to a veterinarian if they appear to be struggling to poop. Here are some signs of constipation:

Poop is Dense and Hard.

If a dog can poop, but the stool is hard and compacted, it may also be slightly constipated. Watch your dog to see if the issue gets better or worse if this occurs.

Holding Back Poop

Dogs can occasionally contain their feces. There’s no cause for alarm if your dog hasn’t pooped in 24 hours, but keep an eye on them. If this goes longer than 48 hours, they could be suffering from constipation.

Whines While Trying to Poop

Your dog may suffer from constipation if they try to poop but whimpers or yells in agony. Therefore, it would be best if you considered taking them to a veterinarian. If the pain is too much, it could also mean they are suffering from a urinary tract infection or another health issue.

Pooping with Strain

Your dog is probably constipated if he strains a lot while going potty or if he crouches to go but then keeps walking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping Before it Becomes Dangerous?

Occasional day skipping by your dog is nothing to worry about, especially if the poop appears regular. However, it is necessary to notify your veterinarian if your dog goes 48 to 72 hours without any bowel movement. It can be a symptom of a serious medical problem.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping After Diarrhea?

Understanding how a dog could go for several days without pooping after experiencing diarrhea is simple. Most dogs usually poop between two to three days.

Talk to your veterinarian if additional days pass without you noticing any excrement (yet your dog is still eating). A dog having constipation following diarrhea is conceivable but extremely rare.

When Do I Need to See My Vet If My Dog is Not Pooping?

It’s time to visit your veterinarian if your dog hasn’t defecated in more than three days despite your best efforts at home. Constipated dogs frequently exhibit symptoms of the disease.

It is best to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog appears lethargic, is vomiting, or not eating. Your dog might not poop because of things like a blockage.

Dog taking poop on trail


Dogs frequently have constipation, and in most cases, you may resolve the issue with something as straightforward as a little canned pumpkin or additional water for a few days. Consult your veterinarian, nevertheless, if he appears to be struggling or to be in discomfort.

By doing this, you may acquire knowledge and care that is helpful to your dog’s needs and stop worrying about whether you’ll be able to cure his constipation before it worsens. Do this immediately if your dog can’t poop for more than two days because obstructions can form quickly.

Also, remember that constipation occasionally indicates a more serious underlying issue. There is always a chance of something else going on, even though this is much less common than a straightforward episode of typical, everyday constipation.

Take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect they may be ill or if the typical constipation remedies discussed above aren’t working for them.