How Long Can Dogs Go Without Pooping?
[All you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Have you discovered lately that your dog isn’t pooping? They don’t want to go no matter how long you spend outside on the walks. What would you do in this situation? Is your dog sad for any reason, or are they refusing to do so because something is wrong with them? 

You may undoubtedly guess that going too long without pooping can be harmful to your dog’s health. But then how long is too long? How long can they go without pooping? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know. So let’s get started.

As you know, excreting is a natural process of the removal of waste from the body. All the food your dog ate gets digested, and the waste material is removed by defecation. Dogs can go about 48 hours without pooping, and you should get an appointment with the vet if the dog hasn’t pooped for more than two days. 

Similarly, puppies also tend to defecate more frequently than adult dogs. Here, if your puppy hasn’t relieved their tummies for more than 12 hours, it will be a cause for concern.

How Often Should Dogs Poop?

Pooping once or twice a day would be good. The number of times a dog defecates per day will vary depending on their food and other factors, but it should be consistent. It doesn’t matter if your dog does it once or three times a day, as long as it’s consistent. Three times a day may seem excessive, but it is typically not an issue. It becomes an issue when your pet refuses to defecate at all.

Everything boils down to a dog excreting regularly. Ideally, if you feed them nutritious food high in fiber and your dog continues to eat the same quantity, they’ll have no problem pooping.

Reasons For Not Defecating

Keep in mind that a healthy dog may poop a couple of times a day. There are many reasons why dogs have trouble defecating, and the reasons include; the amount of food they eat, frequency of feeding, type of food, stress, constipation, and exercise. However, constipation is the most common reason why they may not be pooping.

Constipation In Dogs

You can say a dog is constipated when/if they are straining to defecate and if their fecal matter seems to be very dry and hard or solidified. But this isn’t something that serious of a thing to worry about. In case of this problem, we suggest you change your dog’s diet or take them to a vet who will give necessary medications and treatments to solve the issue. 

Even though constipation is common, it may be due to some underlying health issue or merely indigestion; hence, taking your dog to the vet is the best solution. They will be able to find the root of the problem precisely and recommend treatments accordingly.

How To Identify Symptoms of constipation 

A dog that hasn’t pooped in a day or more is the most obvious indicator of constipation. Is your dog circling anxiously more frequently than usual? What about pacing or moaning for no apparent reason? Are they dragging his bottom around the floor, or have you noticed more ‘squats’ that have yielded no results?

Does your dog cry out or show signs of abnormal discomfort when they are unable to defecate? Constipated dogs frequently experience loss of appetite and may also experience intermittent vomiting.

Potential Causes of Constipation In Dogs

We have separated the causes into two as; Severe and Negligible causes.

Severe Causes

  • Cancerous tumors or masses
  • Hernias
  • Ingested harmful substances, like parts of toys, stale food
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Diabetic kidney disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Injuries
  • Problems with the nervous system
  • urinary tract infection

Negligible Causes

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Dehydration, caused by not drinking enough water.
  • There is either too much or too little fiber in the meals.
  • Sensitivity to certain foods
  • Stress/Fear
  • Medications

We strongly recommend booking an appointment with the vet in case you are having difficulty identifying the cause. 

With proper medication, your buddy will be back to normal in no time.

How To Cure Constipation? (Home Remedies)

The first and most straightforward solution to treat dog constipation is to bring changes to your dog’s diet. Give them appropriate food based on their size and breed. That is, if you have a big dog, give them food containing enough fiber and nutrients as they require more food compared to small dogs. 

Adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to their food will show significant improvement. Another critical part of preventing constipation is ensuring your dog has an adequate clean and fresh water supply. As you read previously, dehydration is one of the common causes of constipation. Also, water will help to soften those hard stools allowing your dog to poop easily. 

For mild constipation, giving your dog a small quantity of coconut oil can be adequate. For smaller dogs, half a teaspoon should suffice, while two teaspoons should suffice for larger breeds. Coconut oil for canine constipation has a natural laxative effect, and many believe it boosts a dog’s metabolism, supporting good digestion. Coconut oil may even help your dog’s blood cholesterol.

Another quick way to cure this problem is to gradually engage them in light to mildly intense exercises that could induce a bowel movement, which will naturally make your pup feel about going number two. 


Our main question in this article was ‘how long can a dog go without pooping?’ The answer is two days or 48 hours. Now that you have read the various reasons why dogs have trouble defecating, there are many home remedies you can try to prevent or cure, at least, if the symptoms are not that serious.

As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to treat this or any illness, as it may become a serious condition if these issues are left untreated. If you don’t have any idea how you can treat the problem, it is always better to get the help of your vet, as they will be able to assist you at all times