How Long Can A Dog Without Pooping? (Yes Dogs Get Constipated Too)

Shi- (sorry, boss)… poop happens. It happens to us all, and our dogs are no exception. But poop is also a great way to check your dog’s health, and they can get constipated just like you. Are you ready to get to know your dog’s digestive system better?

So, how long can a dog go without pooping? 

They shouldn’t go more than 48 hours without letting one drop, and if this is the case it’s important to take them straight to the vet. Constipation can be pretty nasty but it could also be a sign of blockage. 

It’s important to know what to look out for, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled this quick guide on everything you need to know about your dog’s pooping habits. You’re welcome (I think). 

What Do You Do When Your Dog Won’t Poop

If your dog is struggling to go, it’s time to look at a few solutions. One of which is making sure they are getting enough fibre in their diets. Adding things like canned pumpkin and bran cereal to their meals can help to get things moving again and soften their stools. 

Hydration is important because constipated poops tend to be very hard and dry. Try giving them some wet food and ensure they always have plenty of water to drink as this can help to rehydrate the body and make sure they poop. 

We have the perfect read for you here, letting you know exactly how much water your dog should drink. 

Constipation can also be caused by a lack of exercise, and if they are not running around and walking enough it backs the whole system up. Try taking them on longer walks or on an extra one each day just to see if it helps make things easier on their gut. 

A change in routine or feeling uncomfortable in their environment can lead to your dog having trouble going or holding it in. Make sure they are in a place that is free from distractions and try to keep to a tight schedule to help them build a new routine – it really helps. 

Worried about whether or not your pup is suffering from canine constipation? Keep an eye out for these common symptoms:

  • Lack of poop for a few days
  • Hard, pebble-like stool
  • Straining without producing much or any poop
  • Discomfort
  • Painful defecation
  • Difficult defecation
  • Mucus with stool
  • Bloody stool
treating dog constipation at home from the spruce

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How Often Should a Dog Poop? 

Normally, a dog should poop at least once a day – much like people. Most dogs will actually go two or three times. Got a dog that goes even more than this? There’s no need to panic. 

As long as your dog has solid stools and there’s no blood in them, it probably means that the amount they are pooping is totally normal for them. In fact, it usually means they have a high metabolism, they’ve eaten a lot of food, or they have wonderfully clean intestines. 

If they skip a day here and there, it’s not a problem. All dogs have odd days and their system might be running a little behind. However, if it has been more than 48-72 hours that’s when you have to start getting a little concerned and make a call to your vet.

puppy bulldog

What Causes Constipation in Dogs? 

There are LOADS of potential causes of constipation in dogs. Some are very minor, others more serious, so let us take you through a detailed list of all the potential causes:

  • Diseases of the colon
  • Drugs/medications that cause constipation 
  • fear, anxiety, and other behavioural conditions 
  • Foreign bodies or intestinal obstruction
  • Hormonal diseases 
  • Inadequate exercise 
  • Megacolon 
  • Neurological diseases
  • Painful conditions, such as osteoarthritis
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Change in diet or eating something they shouldn’t 
  • Tumours or masses in the colon/rectum

This is why it is important to see the vet when your dog is suffering from constipation. If it is one of the more serious conditions, you will be able to start treatments and take a look at the options available to your dog. The sooner you catch it, the sooner you can try to cure it. 

Can Dog Constipation Be Dangerous? 

Definitely. Constipation in dogs can become dangerous, and this is why it is so important to take them to the vet if they haven’t passed anything after 48 hours. While constipation is typically a temporary condition, there are risks if it isn’t resolved quickly. 

After 48 hours, the risk of obstruction is increased. An intestinal obstruction caused by dried out stools that your dog cannot pass can lead to the toxins from the faeces being absorbed by the bloodstream – making them very sick. 

Obstructions will require veterinary intervention, and in some cases, the next step could be surgery. The sooner you take them to the vet, the less likely that is to happen. 

If your dog’s constipation becomes incredibly severe it could also be what’s known as obstipation. This is usually associated with a serious, permanent, or irreversible medical condition and will require regular care to ensure the system remains clear. 

Read Here: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?


What can I give my dog to help him poop

Canned pumpkin and bran cereal are the perfect things to give your dog to help him poop. This is because they are rich in dietary fibre and moisture – helping those dried out stools. If it’s been more than 48 hours since their last poop, you gotta take them to the vets. 

Can I give my dog Miralax? 

Absolutely, you can give your dog Miralax. However, it is important that you speak to your vet first so that they can prescribe the correct amount to help get things going in their gut. Too much can be dangerous and too little will do nothing, so give the vet a call. 

How long can a dog go without pooping after diarrhoea? 

A dog can go a day or two without pooping after diarrhoea. However, if they haven’t gone after 48 hours have passed you will need to speak to your vet to make sure they are in good health. Similarly, not all dogs skip a day after an upset stomach. 

Take a look at this guide we have created looking at what you can give your dog to help with diarrhoea. It’s amazing how quickly your dog can go from constipation to diarrhoea. 

Final Thoughts 

There you have it, everything you need to know about your dog’s pooping habits and how long they can go before constipation becomes dangerous. Just remember there is no shame in calling your vet if you are concerned – no matter how small the problem might seem. 

Enjoying our care guides for dogs? We have a whole series dedicated to the most important questions on your mind – let us help you learn more about looking after your pooch.