My Dog Can't Poop: Causes and Home Remedies

It is possible for some dogs to take longer to complete the act of defecating. But if your dog strains a lot to have a bowel movement, that might signal a problem. So many things can make it difficult for dogs to defecate. Therefore it is important to consult a vet, and he or she will evaluate the whole situation to determine a treatment option.

Why Can't Your Dog Poop?

The most obvious reason is constipation. Your dog might have constipation which results in infrequent and difficult bowel movements. It is even possible that you dog does not have bowel movements for days. Some of the most common signs of constipation in dogs are hard, dry stools, and mucus in stool. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation in dogs, but it could also happen when your dog lacks dietary fiber. Here are some other reasons that make you wonder "why my dog can't poop".

  • Obstruction Caused by a Foreign Object: Dogs can eat something that may obstruct their intestine. This obstruction makes it difficult for them to have a bowel movement. Dogs strain a lot and produce nothing or only a little diarrhea. You may want to seek your vet's attention in case your dogs love ingesting buttons, rocks, coins, etc., and have recently started straining a lot while having a bowel movement.
  • Obstruction Caused by Medical Conditions: Sometimes, dogs fail to poop when something else cause obstruction. This could happen because of certain medical problems, such as tumors, polyps, or an enlarged prostate.
  • Blockage in the Rectum or Anus: Issues such as fistulas, rectal abscesses, anal tumors, and prolapse can cause blockage in the anus and keep your dog from having a bowel movement. You can conduct a physical examination and check the area to find any abnormalities. 
  • Endocrine Conditions: Dogs may develop constipation because they have hypothyroidism or parathyroid disorders. If you suspect there is a thyroid problem, you may consider having them tested for confirmation.
  • Medication Side Effects: It is a good idea to check if dogs experience problems after you have started giving them certain medications. Some medications can trigger constipation – antihistamines, diuretics, and antacids can be the culprits here.

What's more, dogs do not poop when they have parasites such as whipworms, have suffered neurological damage, especially to spinal cord, or have pain in the hindquarters due to back problems or hip dysplasia.

When to See a Vet

It is a good idea to see a vet if you are wondering why my dog can't poop, and your dog also has other symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. You should also talk to a vet if you notice any symptom in your dog that persists, appears unexplainable or is accompanied by pain.

Home Remedies for Constipation in Dogs

Once your vet has confirmed that your dog does not have any serious underlying condition, you can take certain steps to help deal with constipation. 

1. Pumpkin

Feed a pumpkin to your dog to help treat constipation. Pumpkins have high fiber and water content that prevent constipation. Fiber in pumpkins dissolves in water and forms a viscous gel that soothes irritated bowels.

How to Use

Give 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin puree to a dog weighing less than 15 pounds; do not exceed 2 tablespoons even when your dog weighs 15-35 pounds. You can give 2-5 tablespoons of fresh pumpkin puree to a dog weighing more than 35 pounds.

2. Aloe Vera

If you are wondering what I can do if my dog can't poop, you can feed your dog a small amount of aloe vera juice to help treat constipation. It helps cleanse your dog's body and improves digestive functioning as well. It promotes better digestion and ensures easy bowel elimination.

How to Use

You can give aloe vera in juice form to your dog. Take some dog food and add half teaspoon of juice to it. Feed it to your dog twice a day. You can give up to one tablespoon of juice to large dogs. Ensure that your dog is not allergic to aloe vera juice.

3. Yogurt

Giving yogurt to your dog is one great way to include digestive enzymes and probiotics in its diet. Yogurt improves digestion by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut. This prevents fermentation of food and relieves constipation.

How to Use

You can give 1-2 teaspoons of yogurt to a small dog. A medium-sized dog can have 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt, whereas it is safe to give 2-4 tablespoons to a large dog.

4. Coconut Oil or Olive Oil

Both coconut and olive oils have laxative effects and make defecating process easier.

How to Use

You can mix olive or coconut oil to dog food and feed it to your pet. Depending on the size of your dog, you can give ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil to your dog. Give it only once a day.

5. Ginger and Chicken Broth

What else can help if my dog can't poop? In this condition, you can make chicken and ginger broth at home and feed it to your constipated dog for relief. Ginger improves digestion and the fat in the broth helps promote bowel movements.

How to Use

Take a pan and fill it with water. Add two chicken bouillon cubes to the pan along with ¼ teaspoon of ginger (used grated ginger only). Cook it until the cubes dissolve. Let it cool and give a small amount to your dog a few times a day. Be sure to use boneless chicken only. 

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