Have you suddenly noticed that your puppy isn’t pooping after eating? If so, you will naturally want to know what’s going on and how to help him. Is this even normal in puppies, and how long until this could be considered a health risk that needs veterinary support? Is there anything you can feed him in the meantime to help? Well, here are all the answers to all of those questions and more.
So, why is your puppy not pooping after eating? Your puppy may not poop after eating because he’s dehydrated, there has been a change in his diet, he is stressed, he hasn’t had enough exercise, or has eaten something he shouldn’t have, which has caused a blockage in his digestive tract.
As you can see, there are several potential causes. Some of which could even be multi-factorial.
So to help you get a better understanding of which one it is, let’s continue to explore each one in greater detail.
Then I’ll be moving on to address those questions I alluded to up above.
So keep reading.
Besides, what ensues and the health of your pup could depend on it!
Why Is My Puppy Not Pooping After Eating?
There are several possibilities as to why your puppy may not poop after eating. Dehydration, a recent change in diet, matted fur, stress, not enough exercise, or internal obstruction could be the cause. Some medical issues can cause constipation.
If your puppy isn’t getting enough water, he will struggle to poop as his poop will be dry and hard.
Not enough water makes it more difficult for the poop to pass through your puppy’s digestive tract.
If your puppy is severely dehydrated, your vet may need to administer fluid or IV therapy.
A Change In Diet
If you have changed your puppy’s diet recently, it could be that his digestive system needs a bit of time to adjust.
Some puppies experience temporary diarrhea or constipation as their bodies adapt to the new food.
Sometimes the fur around your puppy’s rectum can become matted and cause the poop to become stuck.
In a new or stressful environment, your puppy may struggle to relax and poop Your puppy may not know how to handle these distractions.
Stress is often a reason why some puppies won’t poop outdoors. Perhaps there are too many people around or too much noise.
Puppies need to feel safe to poop, as instinctively, they know they are more vulnerable.
If you think your puppy is too stressed or anxious to poop outside, try to find an appropriate place outdoors where he won’t be disturbed.
At the same time, you can increase his socialization with new dogs, places, and people, all of which will help build his overall confidence and feelings of security.
Not Enough Exercise
If your puppy isn’t getting regular exercise or is only exercising for brief periods, it will be more difficult for him to poop.
Physical activity promotes a healthy digestive tract and facilitates healthy bowel movements.
Try taking your puppy out for a walk once he’s digested his food (if he hasn’t pooped in 2 hours). Alternatively, take him for a good walk before he eats.
The exercise will help him absorb the food more efficiently, and he won’t have to wait long before walking after a meal.
Sometimes your puppy can suffer from an internal blockage, either because he’s constipated or swallowed something he shouldn’t have (see below).
A Medical Problem
It could be your puppy is struggling with a medical condition or with certain medications or treatments.
Several medical conditions can result in difficulties pooping (see below).
Some medications can cause constipation, such as:
- Opioid medications
Your puppy could also suffer pain in his back, hips, or abdomen. The pain could be preventing him from pooping.
If you think your puppy is in pain or is struggling because of medications, take him to the vet for an assessment.
Is It Normal For My Puppy To Not Poop After Eating?
It isn’t normal for a puppy not to poop after eating. Puppies should be pooping several times a day compared to adult dogs, who generally poop between 1 to 5 times a day.
If your puppy doesn’t poop immediately after eating, you usually don’t need to be too worried.
Sometimes certain meals take longer to digest, and other factors could influence the time your puppy takes to poop (see above).
However, if your puppy hasn’t pooped for 24 hours, seek veterinary attention.
It’s worth knowing that not all puppies poop after every meal. Some puppies have specific ‘poop times’ when they need the toilet.
Here’s what you might observe if your puppy is suffering from constipation:
- No bowel movements for 24 hours
- Crying or straining when trying to poop
- Swollen or distended belly
- Excretions of blood (sometimes with tiny amounts of stool)
- Dragging their anal region along the ground or excessively licking it
The following symptoms can indicate severe constipation:
- Loss of appetite (not eating at all)
Get your puppy to your vet urgently if you suspect he is constipated.
How Long Should It Take For A Puppy To Poop After Eating?
Most puppies should poop roughly 30 minutes after eating, although some puppies will poop sooner than that, and some can take up to an hour or longer. The type of food they eat also plays a role in how long you can expect them to poop.
Puppies tend to poop sooner after meals than adult dogs, as they haven’t developed the same amount of bowel control.
In addition, their digestive tract is still growing: this means some of the food they eat will be processed faster, but not as efficiently, as adult dogs.
The General Rule
As mentioned above, most puppies poop within half an hour of a meal. Sometimes, though, they may be holding it in.
Here’s the general rule of thumb for how long it should take for a puppy to poop after eating: puppies can usually hold their poop for the same number of hours as their age in months.
So a 3-month-old puppy might be able to hold his poop for up to 3 hours, but probably not longer.
Consider Your Puppy’s Type of Food
The type of food your puppy eats will determine how long it takes him to poop.
Look at things like:
- High-fiber foods or additives. If your puppy’s food has wheat or grains, he will probably take a bit longer to poop. Your puppy’s digestive tract will take longer to break down these foods compared to high-protein foods, which are easier to digest.
- Water content. The higher the water content of your puppy’s food, the shorter time it will stay in his digestive tract. If your puppy is only eating dry food, he will take longer to poop, and he’ll need more water in his diet to process the food.
- Digestibility of the food. Foods like chicken and fish have a higher amount per weight of food that gets absorbed as nutrition, leading to less stool than other foods. Your puppy may not poop immediately after eating these highly digestible foods.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Puppy Not Pooping?
You should be concerned about your puppy not pooping if he shows signs of constipation or an internal blockage. Some medical conditions can cause constipation, which would need immediate attention.
Constipation Or Internal Blockage
If your puppy hasn’t pooped in 24 hours or you suspect your puppy has an internal obstruction, you may notice signs of constipation (see above) as well as:
- Reluctance to walk
Internal blockages are cause for emergency treatment. The buildup of bacteria from the impacted feces can lead to sepsis (an inflammatory reaction).
Sepsis can be fatal and can quickly lead to multiple organ failures.
Puppies can go downhill very quickly, so get your pup to the vet immediately if he hasn’t pooped for 24 hours to be on the safe side.
Don’t wait to take your puppy to the vet if he’s swallowed a foreign object. Many items can quickly become entangled or impacted and cause irreversible damage or organ failure.
Another cause for concern is if you suspect a medical problem, as there are several which can cause constipation, such as:
- Anatomical problems
- Infected anal glands
- Prostatitis (or enlarged prostate, more common in unneutered males)
- Kidney disease
- Tumors in the rectum, perianal area, or prostate
- A UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Neurological problems that cause problems with the nerves that control bowel movement
- Hypercalcemia (higher than normal calcium levels, which can weaken the bones)
What To Feed A Puppy That Won’t Poop After Eating
In addition to the right diet for your puppy, you can try medical stimulants or dietary supplements (speak to your vet first).
Medical Stimulants to Help Your Puppy Poop
You can use dog-approved medical products to help your puppy poop, as long as you have consulted with your vet first.
Don’t use anything prescribed for humans (unless your vet recommends them) or any products containing xylitol: xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Here are some examples of medical stimulants that can help your puppy:
- Enemas like isotonic saline solutions or tap water. Make sure the solution or water is warm. You can add some soap to act as an irritant: a typical dose of solution or water would be 5 to 10 milliliters per kilogram of body weight (0.17 to 1.4 fluid ounces).
- Suppositories like bisacodyl, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, and glycerin.
- Oral laxatives like Laxatone, Lactulose, Milk of Magnesia, or Colace (docusate sodium).
Dietary Supplements To Help Your Puppy Poop
Here are some examples of dietary supplements you can try. Once again, check with your vet before employing any of these solutions:
- High fiber supplements and foods. Try cooked pumpkin puree (no spices or sugar), leafy vegetables, figs, Benefiber, or Metamucil. You can use 1 to 2 teaspoons of fiber product for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Your dog’s diet should be composed of roughly 10 percent fiber.
- Edible oils. Try mineral oil or olive oil to lubricate your puppy’s intestines and help facilitate bowel movements. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil to every meal for up to 3 days.
- Natural remedies. Aloe vera juice, Aloe Ferox, or other natural herb formulas for dogs can be helpful.
- A limited amount of milk. Although dogs shouldn’t have milk regularly as it can cause diarrhea, as a laxative, you can give your puppy ¼ to ½ cup of milk each day for a few days to help loosen his bowels.
How To Ensure Your Puppy Can Poop After Eating
You can try several things to help your puppy poop after eating, such as physical stimulation, taking him out at the same time every day, and paying attention to your puppy’s preferences.
Sometimes it can be helpful to stimulate your puppy’s system physically. Here are a few things to try:
- Rub his tummy (gently) in a clockwise, circular motion to stimulate food movement along the intestinal tract.
- Using a glove, rub lotion around his anal area for a few minutes.
- Try using a warm wet cloth or baby wipes to massage and wipe his anal region. Wet material in this area simulates a mother dog’s tongue: it can help your puppy poop.
- Spray his anal area with a solution containing disinfectant and water (check the recipe with your vet) or with room temperature water on its own. Use a moist cloth to apply gentle strokes to the area, too.
- Lubricate your finger or a cotton swab (with Vaseline) and gently insert it into your puppy’s rectum. Massage the area around the anus at the same time (using a glove or a wet cloth).
- Try gently inserting a small ice cube into your puppy’s anus. Once your puppy pushes it out, this should encourage him to push out the poop.
Note: Consult your vet before attempting the physical stimulation tricks described above. Using these methods, have paper towels or newspapers handy to collect poop.
Building His Confidence
By helping your puppy be more confident (and less stressed), you are helping improve his overall health as well as assisting him to be able to poop in various places.
This strategy is essential if your puppy has been punished for pooping in the wrong place. Some puppies punished like this become too scared to poop in front of people.
You can help to build your dog’s confidence by praising or treating your puppy when he goes to poop appropriately.
Taking Him Out At The Same Time Every Day
It may help your puppy if you take him to his usual spot at the same time every day.
Establishing a toilet routine with your puppy will encourage him to go to the toilet when he is in his spot. Because your puppy is eager to please you, he will be less likely to want to hold it.
Paying Attention To His Preferences
You’ll also want to take his personal preferences into account. Some puppies prefer certain areas over others, times of day, and even surfaces.
Some puppies don’t like pooping on concrete, grass, gravel, or woodchips: your puppy will show you what he prefers.
Other puppies don’t want to poop on surfaces where they can smell other dogs, so bear this in mind when going to public places like dog parks.
If your puppy isn’t pooping after eating, something is up.
Puppies poop and they poop often.
Besides, you likely know this already, and you’ve noticed a change in your puppy’s toileting behaviors.
Nevertheless, try not to worry.
Monitor your pup, implement some of the recommendations referenced here today, and then failing those (or should they not have gone for 24 hours), consult your vet.
- How Long After a Puppy Eats Do They Poop?
- Puppy Poops Two Hours After Eating [Is It Normal?]
- How Long Should You Wait Outside For Your Puppy To Poop?
- Why Does My Puppy Have Loose Stools At Night?
- Puppy Not Eating After Deworming
- Puppy Not Eating After Vaccination
- Why Does My Puppy Not Eat In The Morning?
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.