Taking your dog out for a walk or letting them romp around in the yard is part of your daily routine with a furry family member. But you may notice your dog not pooping, or showing some signs of having trouble pooping.

Constipation in dogs is not uncommon, and can have a range of causes. There are also a few remedies you can try at home before making a call to your veterinarian to see if it helps.

Signs of Constipation in Dogs

Straining While Pooping

Sometimes your dog might seem to struggle to poop. This can include extended times squatting before pooping, straining to poop, or squatting but not being able to poop.

Whining While Pooping

If your dog whines or yelps when pooping, this could be a sign of constipation. You might also notice your dog keeping their tail down while squatting to poop which is a sign of pain in that area.

Poop is Dry and Hard

If your dog does manage to poop, you may notice it looks very hard and dry. This can lead to more serious issues of constipation if not addressed early.

Potential Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Fiber Imbalance

Dogs that do not get enough fiber in their diet can become constipated. On the flip side, a dog that gets too much fiber in their diet can also become constipated. Most higher quality dog foods have a proper balance of fiber for healthy digestion.

Anal Gland Issues

If your dog has enlarged anal glands, it can affect their ability to poop normally. Unless you are experienced in expressing your dog’s anal glands, it is normally best to contact your vet and schedule an appointment.


Dogs that tear apart their toys or chew on things they shouldn’t may ingest something inedible. This can get blocked in their digestive tract and cause issues with food passing through the intestines properly.

Ways to Fix Constipation in Dogs

Increase Hydration

If your dog is able to poop, but it is difficult and comes out looking very dry and hard, it could be due to dehydration. Always ensure your dog has access to clean water at all times and understands where it is located.

Adjust Fiber Intake

Ensuring your dog has the proper daily amount of fiber can go a long way in keeping their bowel movements regular and normal. If your dog is on a high quality food, their fiber intake should be balanced. However, feeding table scraps or “people food” can cause fiber imbalances.

Feed Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a natural stool softener that most dogs love the flavor of. Canned pumpkin puree with no added spices or sugars is a great dog-safe treat that can help make their bowel movements regular and normal.

Use a Stool Softener

If home remedies are not working, you may need to contact your vet for a prescribed stool softener. This can quickly help ease constipation in your dog and make everything regular again.