Dog Poop and What You Should Know About It – Irvine, Animal Hospital

Having a dog seems so easy – All happiness, laughs, and love. Well, that’s only partially true. The moment you get a pet dog, whether it is a puppy or a senior citizen, you will find yourself researching how to deal with some things.

Dog poop can be overwhelming. Dealing with dog stools during walks or at home can feel like a tough chore, especially when your furry companions are in the early stages of development. But it’s essential to actively participate in managing this aspect of pet care.

Soon after you get your dog, you’ll realize the walks you take with them are paramount and meant for them to go to the bathroom as much as for playing.

When taking your dog for a walk, it’s important to be ready for the possibility of your dog needing to relieve themselves. Carrying waste bags is crucial to pick up and dispose of their stools properly. This keeps public spaces clean and you out of trouble.

If you have a puppy, potty training is essential. Consistency is key during this process. Establish a regular routine for taking your dog outside and reward them for successful bathroom trips.

Your dog wants to please you. So, rewarding them for going to the bathroom as you taught them helps them understand the behavior and reinforces the habit of relieving themselves in appropriate areas.

Of course, accidents may occur, especially during the potty training phase (or during old age). It’s important to remain patient and avoid punishing your dog for mistakes.

Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirection to the appropriate area. You’ll help them establish good habits this way.

How Often Should My Dog Be Pooping?

The frequency of a dog’s bowel movements can vary depending on factors such as age, diet, activity level, and overall health. While there is no set number of times a dog should poop each day, there are general considerations.

While your dog is young, it is normal for them to go more often. The measurement starts with at least one poop a day. Most dogs tend to poop 1 to 3 times a day. Dogs generally have a regular bowel movement routine once they establish a consistent diet and routine.

If your dog is pooping more than 5 times a day, something might be wrong, and you could start looking for other signals or symptoms. The consistency of your dog’s stool is an important indicator of their digestive health.

Ideally, the poop is moist but easy enough to pick up with a simple grab. Changes in consistency, such as diarrhea or unusually hard stools, maybe a sign of dietary issues, digestive problems, or underlying health concerns.

If you notice significant changes in your dog’s poop consistency, take them to the vet for an examination.

Another key factor to ensure your dog’s excretory and digestive system is okay is the diet you provide them. Fresh water must be part of that diet since the right level of hydration will affect the digestion and poop’s consistency.

A balanced diet that suits your dog’s nutritional needs is crucial for maintaining healthy bowel movements. Make sure you give your dog the appropriate amount of fiber, proteins, and vitamins.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Pooping?

A healthy dog typically has regular bowel movements, and it’s important to monitor their poop frequency.

While the exact duration a dog can go without pooping varies depending on several factors, a general guideline is that a dog should have a bowel movement at least once every 24 to 48 hours.

If your dog ever goes longer than 48 hours without pooping, there might be a potential issue that requires the vet’s attention.

What Can Happen if A Dog Is Not Pooping?

There are many reasons for this to happen; some are very serious, and others are fairly usual. No matter the case, if your dog is unable to poop, do not hesitate to take them to the vet.

Constipation in Dogs

Dogs can be constipated just as humans. This can be due to various factors, including inadequate fiber intake, dehydration, bowel blockages, or other medical conditions.

Bowel Blockage

What is a bowel blockage? In some cases, a dog may have an obstruction in their digestive tract. This can happen if your dog swallows an object, toy, or bone, and it can be a serious condition that requires immediate surgical intervention.

Medical Conditions

Certain health issues, such as gastrointestinal disorders, digestive system abnormalities, or systemic illnesses, can affect a dog’s bowel movements. These conditions may contribute to irregular or infrequent pooping.

When to Consider Professional Help From the Vet?

On top of the scenarios mentioned above, you should take into consideration some other factors if your dog is having trouble relieving their bowel.

When a dog doesn’t poop for an extended period, it can be a sign of an underlying problem. Pay attention to detect if your dog experiences any of the following signs:

  • Your dog shows signs of discomfort or pain, such as abdominal bloating, restlessness, or straining to defecate.
  • Your dog is experiencing vomiting, loss of appetite, or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Your dog seems lethargic, depressed, or uninterested in usual activities.
  • Your dog has recently ingested a foreign object or toxic substance.

Your dog could even experience consequences due to an episode of constipation, such as:

  • Impaction: The stool becomes dry and hard, making it too difficult for the dog to pass it. This causes discomfort, pain, and even blockage in severe cases.
  • Megacolon: Chronic constipation can lead to the enlargement of the colon, resulting in loss of muscle tone and decreased motility.
  • Rectal prolapse: Straining to defecate can cause the rectum to protrude from the anus, leading to a potentially serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

How to Deal With Dog Constipation?

Though this is a serious matter, you should not lose your calm. If your dog poops normally every day, there are a few things you can try if you notice the issue before the 48 hours.

Increase Water Intake

Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Encouraging them to drink more water can help soften the poop and prevent dehydration, worsening everything.

Dietary Adjustments

Provide a high-fiber diet to promote regular bowel movements. You can do this by adding fiber-rich foods to your dog’s meals, such as canned pumpkin, steamed vegetables, or specially formulated-dog food.


Regular exercise helps stimulate the digestive system and promotes healthy bowel movements. Take your dog for daily walks or engage in play sessions to encourage the activity.


It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog, as they can determine the appropriate dosage and identify potential reactions.

Over-the-counter remedies or veterinarian-prescribed medications, such as stool softeners or laxatives, may help provide relief.


Gentle abdominal massage can stimulate bowel movements. You can also apply a warm compress to your dog’s abdomen for a few minutes to help relax the muscles and potentially aid in relieving constipation.

Avoid Giving Human Remedies to Your Dog

It’s important to note that you should never give human remedies for constipation to dogs unless specifically directed by a veterinarian.

How to Deal With Dog Diarrhea?

This a whole different problem, but it can happen and it’s best if you know how to respond. As with constipation, you can observe your dog to know their symptoms. In some cases, diarrhea is easy to solve.

  • If the diarrhea is mild and the dog is otherwise behaving normally, you may try some home remedies. But if the diarrhea is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to seek rapid specialized evaluation.
  • Temporary fasting may help stop your dog’s diarrhea if the problem is in the digestive system. Give your dog’s digestive system a break by temporarily withholding food for 12 to 24 hours. To prevent dehydration, make sure your dog has fresh water at all times.
  • After the fasting period, gradually reintroduce food with a bland diet. Try foods such as boiled chicken (avoid skin and bones) and plain, cooked rice or boiled potatoes. Feed them small but frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Using a veterinarian-recommended probiotic supplement can help restore beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion.
  • Avoid giving your dog fatty, spicy, or highly seasoned foods, as they can further irritate the digestive system. Additionally, keep them away from garbage or potential sources of dangerous foods.
  • Monitor closely. Keep both eyes on your dog’s condition so you can note any changes in behavior, appetite, or stool consistency.

If diarrhea persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like blood in the stool or severe lethargy, seek prompt veterinary assistance.

What Can Make Your Dog’s Poop Change?

Your dog’s digestive system is highly susceptible to many external factors. Stress and anxiety, diet, some medications, and health conditions can cause changes in your dog.

Drastically changing foods, for instance, can lead to alterations such as loose stools, diarrhea, constipation, and similar. But poorly feeding them is also a problem. Remember, your dog needs meats, grains, vegetables, fats, and fruits to access the right amount of nutrients from every meal.

On the other hand, dogs are extremely social creatures that can be sensitive to negative environmental stimuli. Changes in their routine or social interactions can impact the digestive system.

Of course, health issues related to the digestive system can affect your dog’s poop routine. Some gastrointestinal issues common in dogs can be:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Intestinal Parasites.
  • Pancreatic Insufficiency.
  • Bacterial or Viral Infections.
  • Medications.

Animal Hospital, Newport Beach

With dogs and pets in general, you have to be prepared for medical emergencies.

Humans can communicate when they are feeling sick or ill, but dogs can’t, and most of the time, they will only show symptoms once they are feeling really bad.

So, knowing your vets in Newport Beach is of utmost importance for your pet. Of course, regular checkups are essential as well, but emergencies happen, and you need to be prepared.

At Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital, you can trust the veterinarians will receive your emergency with the best attention and intention.

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>
Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>