As a pet parent, you’re probably already an enthusiast, if not authority, about poop. Talking about it, picking it up, cleaning after, you know the drill. But what happens when #2 goes down to zero?
Monitoring your dog’s movements (so to speak) can help you quickly recognize if and when something is off. Small adjustments to their bathroom habits can be harmless too, but it’s important to catch any abnormal changes that may signal illness.
So, when your pup won’t poop, determine the cause before starting treatment.
Dragging it out
While not going can be a sign of a health issue, this isn’t always the case. Some dogs may purposely hold in their business to either prolong time outdoors or simply because of a change in their routine. Loud noises, other animals, or unfamiliar humans near their area of choice may temporarily throw them off. If your pup is stalling in more ways than one, return to their favorite spot when there are less distractions.
Constipation can be caused by a variety of sources, including diet. If your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have or hasn’t gotten enough fiber or fluids, they may be unable to go. A balanced, healthy diet is the best way to keep things regular. If you think that your pet’s issues are tied to what they eat, you can consult your vet about nutrition options.
If your dog doesn’t move, neither can their digestive system. Lack of exercise can contribute to irregular bowel movements and constipation. Colons can be stimulated by activity, so regular walks and playtime may help get things going again.
Disrupting a routine
Dogs can be sensitive to changes in their lifestyle. In the way traveling can give us problems because it disrupts our normal diet and routine, the same can happen to pets. A recent move, trip, change in surroundings, or new introductions (human or animal) can interrupt your dog’s routine and throw them off their game. Get your pup back on track by returning to a consistent feeding and walk schedule that re-establishes a designated potty area.
Read the signs
Constipation can be a red flag for underlying illness, obstruction, or injury. If your dog looks like they’re trying to go, but can’t, it’s likely that they’re constipated. Body language is key here; you may notice your pup hunched and straining during walks and appearing generally uncomfortable or unsettled. If any signs of illness or constipation persist for more than a day, reach out to a trusted vet for guidance and to create a care plan.