If your dog cannot poop as he normally should, it becomes a troublesome situation for both of you. But, how often should a newborn puppy poop? And how to make them poop when they are having a hard time doing so?
Normally, healthy newborn puppies defecate every hour, and older ones should relieve themselves two to three times a day. However, because a newborn pup has not yet learned how to control his bowel movement and older dogs can easily get constipated, they might need your help with going about their thing of bowel elimination.
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Did you know?
Did you know that our pets have a natural way of stimulating their young pups to eliminate their wastes?
Naturally occurring in the animal world, the mother dog licks the genital and anal areas of her newborn puppies to help stimulate their elimination reflex and let them excrete urine and feces.
But, when mothers are missing or incapable of doing so, paw parents must then take responsibility for maintaining the welfare and ensure the proper development of these puppies.
Why is it Important for my Puppy to Poop Regularly?
When bowel elimination is delayed, and the solid waste stays in the colon for too long, its moisture content is re-absorbed by the body. This results in the difficult, painful, and infrequent excretion of dry and hard stools or “constipation” in our pets.
If your pet is constipated, begin to feel uncomfortable, strain ineffectively for hours, and eventually exhibit symptoms such as change of behavior, general weakness, loss of appetite, bloating, pain, inflammation, and bloody or mucosal anal discharge.
Thus, it is vital that you learn some tips on how to stimulate a young pup to defecate when he has to. It is going to help prevent constipation in the first place. If you notice the early onset of the problem and the reasons behind it, you can readily address it through dietary changes for your dog or other simple home remedies.
This will avoid serious complications that might require your veterinarian’s professional intervention. Read on to learn more about the reasons for the problem, what you can do to relieve or prevent it, and when to visit your vet’s office.
Why is my Puppy not Pooping
It can be frustrating when your four-pawed pet cannot do his thing of relieving himself, even if you seem to be doing all the sensible remedial measures. It is primarily because a dog may get constipated due to various causes, ranging from the basic to the unexpected.
The reason behind the failure of dogs to poop denotes whether their condition may or may not be serious. To better grasp your puppy’s case, we will discuss not only the most common sources of constipation but also delve into some other factors as well.
Diet-Related and Dehydration
A puppy’s diet greatly affects his bowel movement. Food with insufficient fiber will produce dog stools that are smaller, denser, sticky, and difficult to pass.
Other diet-related factors that affect your dog’s digestive processes include highly processed dog treats and other dog consumable products with very little fiber, rawhide chews, and sudden dietary changes. The combined effect of all these can lead to dog constipation as well as other health problems.
Lack of clean freshwater can also lead to dehydration and constipation. That is why it is important to watch out for dry and hard stools that your dog finds hard to expel.
Before you start giving your pup more liquid, first be certain that dehydration is actually the underlying cause. Otherwise, this will prove to be futile or even generate another concern if there is another problem.
Lack of Adequate Exercise and Stress
Inactivity slows down the digestive system, which can lead to constipation. Allowing your puppy to sit around all day raises the risk of poor digestion. The physical aspect of the exercise keeps your dog’s internal organs and bowels moving along, thus preventing sluggishness.
If you are housebreaking or crate training your pup and he does not potty while you are out, he may try to hold it in for a period of time. This results in the colon slowing down and the feces getting hard and hard to pass.
Also, dogs are very susceptible to emotional distress. Bringing a new puppy home exposes him to a new environment. Right after bringing your dog home, he may have a tough time going potty.
Stress causes increased muscle tension in your dog, which inhibits the smooth passing of waste. The excess waste then causes a build-up in the colon and further compounds constipation.
In most cases, this situation will resolve on its own as your puppy adjusts to his current circumstances. But, if constipation persists beyond two days, consider bringing your dog to see a vet.
Medications, Surgery and Medical Conditions
Certain medications administered to dogs to treat other conditions have caused constipation as a side effect. They include those used to treat diarrhea that slows down the intestinal tract, anti-histamines for allergies, and opioids for pain.
If you think that a specific medication is causing your puppy’s constipation, cease administration immediately, and consult your veterinarian.
It is also necessary that before you give him any drug, even over-the-counter ones, you should clarify the possible adverse effects with your vet first.
Effects of anesthesia administered during surgery plus lack of activity during the recovery period slow down your puppy’s digestive system. A spay, neuter surgery, or treatment for a traumatic injury may contribute to this case.
Back, hip, or abdominal pain from recent surgeries are some of the things that may also deter your dog from posturing to defecate. Usually, your puppy may be limp, stand with a hunched appearance, not eat well, or generally act uncomfortable and restless to manifest pain in addition to difficult defecation.
It is vital to address the underlying condition before trying to remedy constipation as the latter can occur as a mere symptom of the former.
Diseases like neuromuscular disorders involving nerve damage to the colon, hypothyroidism, hypercalcemia, and the like can affect the digestion process leading to constipation.
Kidney disease causes too much water to be absorbed from the stool, leaving it dry and hard. Tumors, hernias, anatomical defects in the colon or rectum, and infections, to name a few, create obstructions that affect the passing of waste out of the body. It makes them frequently strain in attempts to defecate, so it is often confused with constipation.
When you have doubts about the presence of a medical condition in your puppy that affects his potty habit, bring him to the vet immediately.
Colon Obstruction, Parasites, and Grooming Issues
An instinctively curious puppy will eat almost anything he can get his mouth into. This includes clothing, plastic bags, small toys, stones, dirt, plants, bones, rawhide, paper, sticks, and the contents of a trash bin. When ingested, these can puncture and obstruct your dog’s large intestine, causing a slowdown in his stool movement.
In worse cases, partial or complete blockage of the colon can lead to a buildup of waste or fecal impaction, infection, and irregular or no defecation.
Puppies that tend to lick themselves a lot can swallow a lot of furs, accumulating in the alimentary canal and forms into balls that can cause colon obstruction. Puppies will struggle to defecate in attempts to pass these foreign objects. Obstruction warrants immediate veterinary evaluation and may require surgery.
There are also times when intestinal parasites such as worms can cause constipation in your pet rather than the commonly associated diarrhea.
Most puppies have worms and these should be considered a potential cause for any abnormal defecation or severe illness such as colitis. Hence, worms must be treated properly or proactively.
And, poor grooming, especially for long-haired puppies, could also cause constipation. Some dog breeds like Shih Tzu can suffer from hairballs when they groom themselves and swallow fur.
‘Mechanical Constipation’ or ‘Psuedoconstipation’ is another form of colon obstruction caused by a dog’s hair around his anus getting tangled or matted, resulting in an external blockage that interferes with normal defecation. If it worsens, the hair can prevent bowel motility and lead to anal inflammation and painful elimination.
How Do You Stimulate A Puppy To Poop
How to make a dog poop quickly? There are a few remedies you can resort to.
To ensure effectiveness, constipation treatment must address the specific cause. You are not totally helpless when you see your dog in elimination distress, for there are steps you can take to make him feel better.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your dog.
Consult Your Vet
You should see your veterinarian whenever your pup has not had a single bowel movement in over two days.
To help you manage the symptoms and rule out any underlying medical reasons as soon as possible, you must consult with him before proceeding with any treatments.
Signs of Constipation
It is crucial to monitor your puppy’s bowel movements each time he goes to the potty and check if the quantity, color, texture, and smell of his feces are all regular or otherwise.
If he strains, crouches, whines, or whimpers when trying to poop, appears bloated, distressed, in pain, vomiting, retching, has a distended belly, lost his appetite completely, or his fresh stools become dry, hard, chalky, unusual in shape or size, darker, or with blood and mucus, you need to see your veterinarian right away.
Provide her with a good description of the symptoms, the consistency of the stool, the frequency of his unsuccessful attempts to defecate, and your puppy’s diet history.
Make sure that your puppy urinates normally as straining to urinate can sometimes be confused for constipation.
Your veterinarian may need to perform a physical exam as well as a rectal exam on your puppy to check for any masses, strictures, or foreign material. Based on the symptoms and test results, she can diagnose your pet and treat him appropriately.
Ask your vet for what is appropriate given your dog’s condition.
Laxatives can be a quick solution but they must be recommended by your veterinarian first. Make sure to use the appropriate type and amount depending on the age and size of your furry pet.
Other natural or herbal solutions for pets that help with digestive problems may also be advised.
Do not give your puppy any human laxative because it increases the risk of adverse side effects. Veterinary-approved stimulants should not be overused as they may interfere with normal colon function in the long run.
There are also a few home remedies you can resort to in order to stimulate waste excretion among your puppies.
After clarifying your dog’s current situation with your veterinarian, you can then devise a management plan and try some safe and effective remedies at home. You can also use these to prevent constipation from happening in the first place.
Just like us, your puppy’s dietary intake greatly affects his digestion and elimination. Fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, can ease the movement of digestion through the intestines.
Thus, a fiber-rich supplement and fiber-rich diet prevent constipation and results in good quality stool that is bulky and solid, not too hard nor loose.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and high in water content which can bulk up and loosen the stool. Giving your dog some pumpkin supplements would help him have better stools.
Anything that is rich in fiber can help with your dog’s digestive function to promote better waste excretion.
Adequate Fluid Intake
Make sure that your puppy stays hydrated and drinks enough water. It will help moisten his food and lubricate his digestive tract for easy passage. He needs access to fresh water at all times during the day.
Aim for a daily minimum of about one ounce of liquid per pound of body weight. Increase this appropriately if the weather is hot, he stays in a centrally heated or dry environment, or if he is very active.
If you cannot get him to drink adequately, just add some warm water to his dry food during feeding time to get some more fluids into him. This can help mitigate the severity of constipation.
A good alternative to over-the-counter laxatives is milk. Dogs cannot digest lactose properly. That is why in normal circumstances, it causes diarrhea. But this effect is exactly what you need for bowel motility.
Just ensure not to offer him too much, otherwise, he might suffer from loose bowel movement.
Increase His Exercise
Lack of exercise may also be one of the reasons for your puppy’s constipation. Keep your dog more active to stimulate his internal organs and increase blood flow in the colon. Establish a regular exercise regimen to keep everything running smoothly.
Daily long walks and increasing his playtime allow him to stay outside longer which gives him plenty of opportunities to eliminate.
Basic pet care requires proper grooming for a healthy pet. In long-haired breeds, the hair around the puppy’s bottom becomes tangled or matted, thus physically preventing him from having a bowel movement.
Check if the area around your puppy’s anus is cramped with long hair that can cause “mechanical constipation.” Using a small pair of scissors, trim the dog hair near your pup’s anus.
Be extra careful not to cause injury to the skin. Maintaining his fur short enough should prevent a recurrence and keep his rear end clean.
Improve on Potty Training
Another important influential factor is how you potty train your puppy. Brush up on your approach as it may be the cause of the problem.
Your puppy might be uncomfortable relieving himself in an unconducive environment. So choose a quiet place and establish it as his habitual toilet spot.
Stay outside longer with him to explore and find an area that feels safe and familiar. Use a command like “Go poop” or “Potty” to let him know that it is potty time.
Create positive energy around him. If you are feeling nervous, impatient, or trying to rush him to eliminate, it can also stress your puppy out. Definitely, avoid punishment because it is counterproductive.
Synchronize Your Schedule
Simple changes in your own routine, such as adjusting to your puppy’s natural elimination schedule, can train his body clock to establish a habit. This would prevent and avoid troublesome and future delays.
Work out a schedule that you are around every time your furry companion needs to go outside.
Feeding during scheduled meal times will allow for more regular bowel movements. This will condition his body to respond on time, letting you know when he is supposed to go potty. He should be able to eliminate at least twice a day.
Each dog is different so pay attention to your puppy’s cues or consult with your veterinarian as needed.
If despite your best efforts, your puppy still becomes constipated, you can stimulate a reflex to cause him to eliminate his wastes.
Here are some straightforward methods that should get his bowels moving fairly quickly.
Genital and Anal Stimulation for Newborn or Nursing Puppies
The stimulation technique is only necessary during the puppy’s first few weeks of life if his mother is incapable or absent.
Gently pass a cotton ball or towel moistened with warm water from the genital to the anal area. Carefully repeat this several times.
This simulation mimics the movement of his mother and promotes urination and defecation. He should have a bowel movement within a few minutes. Otherwise, massage his belly softly with cotton.
Newborn puppies should be stimulated after every feeding. Take note that a puppy usually defecates after each feeding. Make sure that your puppy is clean and dry after the defecating process.
Once they started walking and feeding themselves, they should also be able to defecate independently.
Contact between several puppies can aid them to stimulate each other as well. As your puppy’s immune systems have not yet developed, you really have to monitor them closely for any infection or illness.
If your young pup has not defecated or urinated after 24 hours, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
Rubbing the Abdomen
To calm a puppy in pain or distress due to elimination difficulties, give him a tummy massage.
Using your palms or your fingers, try rubbing in a gentle, clockwise motion to help activate his bowel motility. Begin by placing your puppy in an upright position and rub behind his back leg. Continue rubbing until his tail begins to rise.
Then, place him on his back and rub his left side for several minutes. As you do so, his anus begins to open so he can poop.
If you notice this encouraging sign, vigorously rub the abdomen in a downward motion. If done properly, your dog should relieve himself thereafter.
The End Goal (Pun Intended)
After seeing your dog struggle with his defecation problems, we totally understand how heartbroken you would be. We know you desperately searched for solutions.
Hopefully, the valuable information we provided here, such as the various tips on helping your dog poop, what remedy is best for his constipation, and what may work in preventing its recurrence, has successfully led both of you to the rear end of the potty finish line.
While a magic pill to instantly treat these concerns may not exist, there are ways by which you can help your puppy.
If constipation persists or is severe, take him to the veterinarian for a checkup. It would help to rule out any serious condition as soon as possible.
With our comprehensive guide, you should be able to eliminate these fecal problems. Your best buddy would be his normal happy and healthy self again. And it would be such a relief!