guide on how long can a dog go without pooping

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping?

As a dog owner, you must know that a dog’s pooping schedule is very different from a human’s for the most part.

Dogs can go anywhere from 1-4 times a day on average, but some dogs exceed this amount. But what we’re focusing on today is how long a dog can go without pooping.

When is dog constipation an issue serious enough to visit the veterinarian? What should we look out for and what symptoms of constipation can indicate an underlying issue?

We’ll answer all these questions and more.

What is Constipation in Dogs?

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping?
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Constipation in dogs is similar to constipation in humans, where dogs go without pooping for long periods. Constipation can happen from time to time, but it’s concerning when it happens regularly and for long periods.

So how long can a dog go without pooping? Let’s find out.

How Long Can My Dog Go Without Pooping?

dog no bowel movement for over 48 hours
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Since most dogs poop multiple times a day, we would recommend being on the alert if you haven’t seen any bowel movement for over 48 hours. Give your dog the flexibility of a day without pooping as regular constipation can happen at times.

Even at 48 hours without pooping, it still won’t necessarily mean there are any big problems. However, if the lack of bowel movement is accompanied by other symptoms, then it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Constipation Symptoms in Dogs

dog with constipation symptoms vet consultation
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Aside from the 48 hours without pooping, there are other symptoms of constipation you should look out for. For starters, if your pup wants to poop but has trouble doing so, for example, if your dog cries in pain when pooping, then it’s most likely constipation.

Other symptoms could include the stools passed having a rock-like texture, meaning it is severely dehydrated and hard.

You may also notice the passing of small stools, sometimes accompanied by small amounts of blood or small pieces of debris such as grass or anything your dog may have eaten.

Lastly, a loss of appetite, low energy or lethargy, and vomiting can also accompany constipation in dogs.

But really, what’s the normal frequency and how often do puppies poop?

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Causes of Constipation in Dogs
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When seeing your dogs in pain, as a loving fur parent you could be wondering why, and how you can make sure your dog never suffers like this again. The best way to nip the problem in the bud is to prevent it from happening, which means understanding the cause.

There are a few reasons why your dog might be constipated, so we will learn how to look at the signs.

Constipation is most often caused by a naughty pooch ingesting something he’s not supposed to. A foreign object such as cotton or a bone can block his digestive tract to cause painful constipation.

Another reason, similar to humans, is not drinking enough water. If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, especially with dry food, it can cause changes in his stool that lead to constipation.

How long a dog can go without pooping can also be affected by a lack of fiber in his diet. Without the help of natural fibers in their diet, your dog won’t have a lot of help pushing out the stools.

Even a lack of exercise can cause less bowel movement and lead to constipation. Another reason why your dog can go without pooping is stress and anxiety or a side effect of a medicine he is taking for another illness.

Of course, there are also a host of other issues that can cause constipation in dogs that are more serious on the spectrum including a urinary tract infection, a hernia, tumors, kidney issues, worms, and more.

How to Help Canine Constipation

How to Help Canine Constipation
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How can you treat the causes of constipation to prevent your dog from going for hours without pooping? A way around this is home remedies. Canine constipation usually stems from a poorly balanced diet.

Adding more fiber to your dog’s meals can help soften stools and in cases of loose poops and diarrhea, it can also help firm up dog feces. Canned pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber and it also adds a different texture to dog food, which can help entice picky eaters.

Since a lack of exercise can also cause a dog to go without pooping, make sure your dogs get plenty of exercises. Depending on the size, age, and breed of your dog, daily exercise can range anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour.

If you have tried all the above and your dog still isn’t pooping, then it’s time to head to the vet.

Is it Normal for a Dog to Go Without Pooping for a Whole Day?

Is it Normal for a Dog to Go Without Pooping for a Whole Day?
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Like we mentioned, a dog usually goes multiple times a day, so how detrimental is it if a dog doesn’t go for one whole day, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t constipation? It’s not normal, but it can happen. If your dog has consistently been fed balanced meals, gets plenty of exercise and access to water, then he could end up going eventually.

We have seen dogs that have gotten neutered or spayed and it has affected their bowel movements, causing the dog to not poop for an entire day. There are also cases where a dog has held in his poop in order to earn a walk outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do if your dog doesn’t poop for 3 days?

If your dog doesn’t poop for three days and you have tried home remedies, then it’s time to head to the vet. If not, you can attempt to give him access to more water, try a long daily walk, or add fiber to his diet to try and stimulate bowel movements.

What can I give my dog to help him poop?

You can start by giving your dog more water to help him poop. Adding extra fiber and oils to his food can also help push out the fecal matter and lubricate the anal area if the process is painful. Canned pumpkin and mineral oil are great examples of what can help your dog poop.

What happens if a dog doesn’t poop for a week?

If a dog doesn’t poop for a week then it’s usually an indicator of a more serious issue. If it has already been seven days, then we would suggest booking an appointment at your trusted vet as soon as possible. Make sure you notify your vet of any accompanying symptoms other than canine constipation.


There are many reasons why a dog may not poop for a day. How long can a dog go without pooping is usually 24-48 hours, but there could be a number of causes that shouldn’t alarm you.

Try the home remedies to alleviate the problem first, but if the issue persists, definitely book an appointment with your vet after the 48-hour mark.

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