Talking Poop | How Can You Help Your Constipated Dog? | DogLife360
An Irish Setter pooping

Talking Poop | How Can You Help Your Constipated Dog?

Like us, dogs have their routines and as owners we become aware of this. We learn when they need to go out to either pee or poop and we get used to how many times they will go a day. When we pick up their waste we also become used to the consistency in size, shape and colour. So, what happens when the poop seems different? Our friends at Burns Pet Nutrition have some helpful advice.

Dog Poop Can Tell You a Lot About Their Wellbeing

Yes, I know we’re not keen to talk about dog constipation, but let’s face facts, poop is natural and it’s something everybody does! Has your dog not pooped today, or were they trying to go and seemed to be straining to do a bowel movement? Perhaps they did manage to pass some stool, but it was very small and hard. It might even have contained a little mucus or blood. If this is the case, your dog may be constipated.

What is Constipation in Dogs?

Constipation in dogs is exactly the same as it is in humans. It’s the inability to have a bowel movement, and although it’s more commonly seen in older dogs, any age or breed of dog can suffer with it. 

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

  • Dehydration
  • Eating something they shouldn’t have
  • Lack of exercise
  • A change of diet
  • Lack of fibre
  • Blocked anal glands
  • Side effect to medication
  • Dietary intolerances

What are the Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs?

If your dog is suffering from constipation, the most obvious symptom is that they haven’t pooped in 24 hours. Another symptom is that they can also look like they’re going to poop, getting into the optimum poop position and so on, but they’re unable to produce anything. Some other symptoms of Dog Constipation are: 


  • Circling, squatting and scooting without Producing Anything
  • Poop free for 24 hours 
  • Lack of appetite and energy
  • Stools that are infrequent, but hard and dry
  • Signs of discomfort in their abdomen or lower back


Be Aware: It should be noted that if your dog has not passed any waste within 48 hours, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. 

What to Do if Your Dog Doesn’t Poop

Constipation in dogs is just as uncomfortable for them as it is for humans, and it can turn into something a lot worse over time. If it looks as though your dog is mildly constipated, there are a few things you can try to help.  

  • Gentle Exercise – Get moving! Sometimes a bit of activity can get things moving again.
  • Hydration – water, water, water! Make sure there is always fresh water at hand. If your dog is not much of a drinker, you could always soak their biscuit to help with water intake
  • A Fibre Supplement – This can be obtained from your vet or even some pet shops. Do not use any products unless they explicitly say they are suitable for dogs. 
  • Diet – If constipation in your dog seems to be happening frequently, then perhaps a change of their food is called for. You Should Look for a natural dog food that is highly digestible with a good source of fibre.


If you’ve been looking for a high fibre dog food then the Burns Weight Control range could help. As well as being a great food to shed those unwanted pounds, it can be a great choice for dogs needing more fibre in their diet. Packed with nutritious oats, it can keep your dog feeling more satisfied throughout the day.


If you’re finding yourself needing help with your dog’s diet then get in touch with the nutrition team at Burns. Call the nutrition team for free advice on 0800 083 96, email [email protected]  or chat with them live via the Burns Website