dog not pooping

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?

Like people, dogs can get a little backed-up from time to time. If your canine companion has been eating regularly through the day, as usual, but nothing’s been coming out the other end, it’s not the time to worry… yet.

Which brings us to the question ‘how long can a dog go without pooping?’ I’m going to examine that question in this article, exploring possible reasons why your dog may not be passing stools, symptoms of constipation to look out for, what you can do about it, and when it’s appropriate to seek medical help for him.

So, how long can a dog go without pooping? Typically, a healthy dog eating normally will poop between 1 and 3 times a day. However, your dog can go around 48 hours without pooping. Puppies, on the other hand, poop much more regularly than adult dogs, so if he goes 12 hours without passing a stool, it’s time to get him to a vet.

What Causes A Dog Not To Poop?

There are several reasons your dog might have stopped pooping, and they’re not all causes for alarm. Let’s look at the main ones.

  • Fasting. Fasting your dog can be an effective way of cleansing his body and resting his digestive tract. If you’ve been intermittently fasting him, this can be a simple – and easy – fix.
  • Constipation. While relatively rare in dogs, constipation is not out of the question. Possible reasons your dog may be constipated include lack of exercise, not enough (or too much) fiber, dehydration, parasites internally, changes in his diet, medication, or a sensitivity to a particular food.
  • An underlying medical condition. Several potential medical problems can cause your dog to stop pooping, including tumors, cancer, hernias, a thyroid problem, enlarged prostate, issues with the nervous system, and an injury.

Is It Normal For A Dog To Not Poop For A Day?

While 48 hours of your adult dog not pooping should be your cut-off before taking him to the vet, it’s not uncommon for a dog to occasionally get a little constipated.

Adult dogs can sometimes go a whole day without pooping, and it not be a cause for alarm at all. If your dog goes a day without pooping, try taking him for some exercise to ensure he’s dehydrated and see if that gets things moving again.

Also, if he’s taking medication or he’s not been getting quite enough fibrous food, that could lead to a temporary bout of constipation, too.

If he goes a whole day without pooping, then starts the following day again, he’s probably back to his usual self, but it is worth just checking that his stools look normal and pass without straining when he does.

To reiterate, though, if you have a puppy, any longer than 12 hours without pooping should be cause for concern.

You may also be interested in this related article if your dog finds it hard pooping outside.

constipated retriever

Symptoms Of Constipation

If you’ve been fasting your dog, the cure to get him pooping again is to resume feeding him regularly.

However, if he’s feeding regularly and still hasn’t pooped after 48 hours, you should have him seen by a vet. That’s because it could be a sign of one of the underlying medical issues I detailed above.

He could be constipated, though. If he’s displaying any of the following signs, it could be a sign that he’s backed-up:

  • Crying or whimpering while trying to poop
  • Straining
  • Dry and hard stools
  • Small spherical stools
  • Attempting to lick their behinds
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shuffling on his bum

How Can I Stimulate My Dog To Poop?

There are several home remedies you can try to get your dog pooping again. Here’s are some of the best:

  • Ensure his diet is correct. Precisely what you feed your dog can change depending on factors including his breed and age. Have you changed his diet recently? Has he had too many treats or food not high enough in fiber? As long as your dog is fed foods appropriate to him, he should poop regularly.
  • Is he drinking clean water? Ensuring your dog can access clean drinking water is crucial in keeping your dog regular. If he doesn’t have access to this, he can become dehydrated quickly, leading to constipation.
  • Give him regular exercise. As with people, when a dog is constipated, he may need a run around or a walk to get things moving again.
  • There are several foods you can give your dog that can help. Organic canned pumpkin is one, while a small amount of bone broth or coconut water can also help. An appropriate measure of the slippery elm herb mixed with cold water, combined with his food, or mixed with yogurt may also cure his constipation.

Whichever home remedy you attempt, though, you must take him to the vet if he still hasn’t pooped properly after 48 hours. This is because if the back-up in his colon enters his body, this can lead to medical emergencies, including sepsis.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has provided you the necessary details to take the correct steps with your dog if he stops pooping.

Remember, if he goes a few hours without pooping, that’s probably no cause for alarm. However, if he starts showing signs of constipation, such as straining or shuffling on his bum, it’s a good idea to see if some of the home remedies I listed earlier might cure him.

If you reach the 48-hour point (or 12 hours for puppies) and he’s still not pooping regularly again, though, you must get him proper medical attention from a vet, as that will run the risk of bacteria forming in his body and potentially leading to life-threatening conditions including sepsis.

The key is not to panic when your dog initially stops passing stools, though. There are several reasons your dog might occasionally stop pooping, and the cure can be as simple as taking him for some exercise or ensuring he’s drinking enough water.

Whatever the reasons your dog has stopped pooping, I hope this article has given you the framework you need to take the appropriate action at the right time so that before long, your dog is back to normal relieving himself regularly – and much to your relief too.

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