If your dog is trying to poop but nothing comes out, he is probably experiencing constipation.
The causes of constipation are plentiful, but the fact remains that your furry companion may need help.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes, how you can tell the types apart, and what you can do to alleviate your dog’s problem.
Also, it matters if your dog strains or whines, as well as how long he tries to poop without anything coming out.
A single stray incident may not be concerning, but if your dog repeatedly tries to poop and is unable to do so, you definitely need to investigate.
My dog keeps trying to poop but nothing comes out
Dogs often try to poop but nothing comes out due to ingestion of indigestible objects, lack of fiber or exercise, blocked anal glands, or problems with organs like the prostate or kidney.
Keep in mind that what you might perceive as your dog straining to poop but nothing coming out may actually be completely harmless.
Depending on your dog’s poop schedule, it’s not uncommon for him to last all day.
That’s especially true if you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet, exercise regimen, or environment (moving, losing a family member, change in routine, etc.).
Once you get to 48 hours or your dog strains repeatedly but nothing comes out, you should probably see a vet.
In fact, I’ve created an article just for that: how long can dogs go without pooping before it becomes a serious health risk.
Dog keeps trying to poop after pooping
It’s not uncommon for dogs to attempt to poop right after doing so, but there is cause for concern if your dog is unable to poop a second time despite frantically trying to do so.
Every time I travel with my Rottweiler and I change his diet a bit, he will relieve himself the first time and then try to poop a second time.
The second time, there isn’t much left and what is there is extremely smooth and it still takes some time to get it out of the way.
However, there’s a fine line between taking your time and forcing yourself to poop even though nothing comes out.
This is where constipation comes into play.
I recently witnessed my Rottweiler not being able to poop a second time only to see that his butt was littered with clumps of grass.
Yeah, he swallowed so much weed the day before that he created a blockage.
Luckily he kept his cool and let me take him out and everything was fine, but that’s an experience you don’t want to repeat.
Also, if your dog has swallowed a bulkier indigestible object, you may need to go to the vet emergency.
In fact, I’ve written an article on how to prevent your dog from eating non-food items like rocks.
While some cases of constipation may not require an emergency vet (ie your dog just pooped), it can still develop into a case that does.
Keep an eye on the amount of poop your dog has made and the texture.
This will give you an idea of whether or not a visit to the vet is required.
In general, if you have changed your dog’s diet, meal times, or other external factors, you may see your dog still trying to poop after poop.
Dog strains to poop but isn’t constipated
If your dog is straining to defecate but you don’t suspect constipation, your vet may need to examine the intestines and potentially affected organs.
However, to rule out constipation as the cause of your dog’s exertion, you can add more fiber, exercise, and perhaps follow your vet’s advice to use a laxative.
Assess whether or not you are giving your dog a chance to poop and whether feeding times are spaced appropriately.
Dog tries to poop but liquid comes out
If your dog tries to poop but only comes out watery stools, diarrhea may need to be investigated and your vet consulted due to the risks of dehydration, as well as the risk of underlying conditions.
Diarrhea mainly occurs due to mental stress, diet changes, or lack of exercise.
Mild cases clear up with proper diet, water, and rest.
However, severe cases may require a visit to the vet.
If your dog not only has diarrhea, but the output is mostly pure liquid and you feel your dog trying to poop, then you may need to see a vet quickly.
Dehydration is always a serious risk and blockage is also a real concern if your dog is only passing fluid but nothing firm for a long period of time.
How to massage a dog to poop
You can massage your dog into pooping with a back stroke from the head towards the spine or alternatively you can rub, pet or massage the belly as well as the thighs or buttocks.
While there’s no proven massage technique that will make your dog poop right away, it can definitely help him relax.
A proper massage to make your dog poop not only gets the inner workings going but also relaxes your dog.
Bonus: It’ll also warm them up if you only have time for a quick poop session.
Sometimes, if the dog is unable to do its job, it may feel uncomfortable or tense around the hind legs and back region.
However, only apply a couple of pounds of pressure when massaging, especially around the abdomen where it is closest to the intestines.
Small dogs shouldn’t have to take full pounding or kneading, while a large dog can often take more pressure.
As always, stop if your dog is uncomfortable (pulling, whining, growling, tail tucked, etc.).
To achieve the best possible result, you can make massaging your dog a regular habit and he may be more inclined to poop.
How to make my dog poop now
To make your dog poop now, your vet can prescribe medication and laxatives, give natural laxatives or simply massage your dog, and eventually introduce a poop command.
Other than that, the only thing you can do now is let your dog go off-leash in search of the desired spot.
Don’t rush the process.
I don’t know about your dog, but once my dog feels the slightest bit of dissatisfaction, he won’t do his business anymore.
Absolutely. What can I say, she aims to please.
If you have some time, you can feed him pumpkin or coconut oil (or anything high in fiber, really).
Be patient and try to entice your dog to go and be prepared for the future.
How to make your dog poop outside faster
Work out any potential constipation issues, introduce a healthy, high-fiber diet, condition a poop command, and massage your dog before calmly showing him a spot he likes.
However, sometimes, you just need to take your time.
There’s not much you can do if your dog’s pooping habit doesn’t fit into your busy schedule.
Some dogs need a lot of exercise and movement and are quite fussy about their spot and that will just take time.
Is it just about the rainy days or particularly stressful?
Play a little with your dog inside, massage his back, feed him a high fiber diet and use your command and you are good to go.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for veterinary care and is not intended to be. I am not a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet.
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