In general, dogs poop every day. Depending on your dog’s breed, he probably poops 1 to 4 times a day.
Dogs digest their food faster because it goes straight to their colon, which is why they generally go only a short while after eating.
But is it a cause for concern if your dog skips a day? How long can a dog go without pooping?
Don’t worry – your dog will survive if it takes him a bit more than normal to go for a number two, and there might not even be anything wrong with him at all.
But there’s a certain threshold that, if your dog goes over, you might need to start checking for what could be going on.
How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?
Your dog can go up to 48 hours without pooping, but if they go over the 48-72 hour threshold, they are probably constipated.
By then, you should take him to the vet and begin investigating what could be causing their constipation.
Constipation in Dogs
Constipation in dogs, just like how we humans get it, is their inability to pass stool regularly.
It’s fairly normal for dogs to get constipated; your dog will get constipation at least once in his lifetime.
Usually, it’s not a cause for concern and can go away on its own, though you can interfere to make it easier for him.
It isn’t an immediate sign of serious illness, although his inability to poop for too long can eventually cause a more severe condition.
Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs
The first and foremost symptom of your dog being constipated is if they haven’t pooped in more than 48 hours.
But there are other ways to know if and when your dog is constipated:
- Crouching or crying when they’re trying to poop
- Straining when going
- Loss of appetite
- Dry, hard stool that might feel like stones if you try to pick them up
- Blood or mucus mixed in with the stool
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
The first thing our mind goes to when hearing about constipation in dogs is the type of food that enters their system. Maybe even a change of diet has triggered that constipation.
One of the most common causes of constipation in dogs is, logically, dehydration. If your dog does not drink enough water, he will be less able to pass stool regularly.
There are also a lot of other possible causes for constipation in dogs:
- Lack of fiber in their diet
- Too much fiber in their diet
- Not eating for long periods of time
- Blockage of the digestive tract by something indigestible like grass, bones, or rock
- Blockage of the anus by matted hair
- Change in diet
- Enlarged anal or prostate glands
- Lack of physical activity or exercise
- Tumors in the colon or anus that could cause an obstruction
- Side effect of medication given to treat another condition
- Central nervous system disorders or neurological diseases that lead to weakness
- Pelvic injuries or abnormalities
- Hormonal diseases like hypothyroidism
- Fear, stress, or anxiet-
And although constipation isn’t a serious condition that is a cause for worry, it is sometimes an underlier of a bigger problem.
This isn’t common, but here’s a list of possible serious conditions that could be causing your dog’s constipation, just so you know what to expect:
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder obstruction
- Anorectal obstruction
How to Treat Your Dog’s Constipation at Home
So it’s been 48 hours and your dog still hasn’t pooped.
What can you do at home to fix it?
Call your vet if it’s already past the 2-day mark, but if you’re still within the safe timeframe, here’s a couple of ways you can help your dog pass his stool:
- Feed your dog canned pumpkin, which is high in fiber
- Get him to drink lots of water to hydrate him
- Add mineral oil to his food to lubricate his colon – you can also use coconut oil
- Use a stool softener that’s safe for your dog
- Add fiber to his diet
- Exercise him more
Constipation in dogs is not at all unusual! And now that you know that your dog could go up to two days without pooping, you can worry less.
If you don’t notice other signs for any other serious condition other than constipation in your dog, you can stop worrying altogether!
But if more than two days go by and your little guy still hasn’t pooped, it might be time for a visit to the vet.