Dog Straining To Poop But Not Constipated – Reasons

There can be many reasons preventing your dog from taking a dump other than constipation.

It is crucial to discern the major reasons causing this problem so that you may take proper care of your dog and seek appropriate help in case of an emergency.

Dog straining to poop but not constipated

In typical cases, a dog poops 1-2 times per day.

If your dog has not defecated for some days, then your pet is probably constipated, has a blockage, or suffers from internal damage or colitis.

A close observation will enable you to decide whether a home remedy will suffice or whether a veterinarian is required to intervene.


There could be multiple reasons causing your dog to experience trouble in pooping while not being constipated.

Intestinal Blockage

Intestinal blockage or in simpler terms, bowel obstruction, is common when a dog strains to poop.

Dogs are susceptible to this because they do not watch what they eat.

Blockage in the intestine may indicate a partial obstruction or a total obstruction of the intestines.

This blockage can lead to constipation.

Dogs enjoy chewing on things hence they are at a higher risk of swallowing objects that could obstruct the intestines.

Objects like sponges inflate in the gastrointestinal tract leading to intestinal obstruction.

Likewise, other large objects, or the ones that are oddly shaped may also lodge in the intestines.

Oddly shaped objects, if sharp, may also lacerate your dog’s internal organs.

Causes include:

  • A large amount of hair in the poop
  • Ingestion of rock, trash, leaves, or dirt
  • Hair blocking the anal area due to lack of grooming
  • Enlarged anal or prostate gland
  • Presence of tumors

Signs That The Dog May Have Intestinal Obstruction

Symptoms of obstruction vary according to the location of the blockage.

This blockage can cause projectile vomiting in dogs.

If the obstruction is in the lower portion of the intestinal tract, your dog will produce vomit that is dark brown in shade and smells like stool.

Your dog, in this particular case, is vomiting up feces. Since the feces cannot move through the intestines, it rushes back.

They most likely throw up after eating something.

Your dog will lose its appetite, experience weight loss leading to anorexia, suffer from diarrhea, and grow weak.

They may also display a swollen abdomen with frequent pain.

Partial obstructions may produce less severe symptoms in comparison to complete obstruction.

If the blockage impedes blood circulation to intestinal parts, your dog could suffer from intestinal strangulation.

As a consequence, your dog’s intestine could deteriorate. This could result in death.

Treatment Of Intestinal Obstruction In Dogs

To avoid unforeseen complications, provide immediate attention to your dog when faced with blockage.

If the dog is left unattended, it might experience severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, bowel necrosis, and sepsis as well.

Your dog should stay with the vet for at least a day or even longer as per the vet’s advice.

Your dog will require surgery to remove the obstruction.

An extended protocol involves the administration of antibiotics and fluids via IV to resolve dehydration.

Antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs are administered to restrict bacteria and parasites that contributed to the blockage.

The dog’s blood pressure and temperature are monitored regularly.

Your dog is examined for related problems like the presence of toxins and disgorging.

This occurs when the blockage damages the inner protective lining of the small intestine.

Before discharge from the hospital, the staff makes sure that your dog has regained its normalcy to some extent.

During the recovery period, your dog should acquire plenty of rest and consume a bland diet.

Prevention Of Intestinal Obstruction In Dogs

Try to limit your dog’s access to foreign objects that can cause obstruction.

Clear away his living space and keep any chewable out of reach.

Keep your garbage out of sight and keep your dog away from dead animals as well.


Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine that either causes diarrhea or restrained excretion in dogs.

It can be another reason for dogs straining to poop but not being constipated.

Dogs suffering from this disease release blood or mucus in their stool or restrain from pooping.

Your dog, if suffering from colitis, exhibits symptoms such as weight loss, exhaustion, and loss of appetite.

Causes of colitis include intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, viral infection, stress, inflammatory bowel disease, and bowel cancer.

Treatment Of Colitis In Dogs

Your dog should fast for 24-48 hours after diagnosing the condition.

Following this, your dog should consume a high-fiber diet prescribed by the vet.

A high-fiber diet enhances the contraction of colon muscles, retains fecal water, and eases bowel movement.

Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics to treat bacteria-induced colitis.

If your dog has confirmed colitis, it may be hospitalized for controlling its condition, or your vet may provide you with detailed instructions and medications for taking care of it at home.

You need to abide by the treatment instructions to decrease the chances of the inflammation returning.

Prevention Of Colitis In Dogs

Make sure that your dog eats healthy and receives all the relevant vaccinations, and regular worming treatment.

You must make sure that they avoid stressful situations also.

Internal Damage

Your dog could be experiencing restrained poop from internal damage as well.

The different types of such damage include pelvic injury, damage to the spine, trauma, or orthopedic disorders.

If the pain is serious, seek veterinary help immediately.

Treatment Of Internal Damage In Dogs

Treatment of internal damage depends on the cause and type of internal damage.

Generally, surgery, gastrointestinal medications, antibiotics, and blood transfusions treat internal damage.


If your dog cannot poop comfortably but is not constipated, it is best advised that you seek veterinary care.

If left untreated, bacteria could grow and invade the bloodstream causing sepsis and even the death of your dog.

A vet will perform the right tests and provide appropriate treatment for your dog’s problem.

It is advised that you pay close attention to the symptoms that your dog displays as a consequence.

A vet will perform an accurate diagnosis for the lack of pooping and prescribe the best advice for treating the condition.