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How To Massage A Dog To Poop: Dealing With Constipation In Dogs

how to massage a dog to poop

You may not think it, but knowing how to massage a dog to poop is a great skill in your dog care arsenal. Certain massages encourage better bowel movements, especially for senior and constipated dogs making poop sessions easier and shorter. It can also be essential for handi-capped dogs to help with regular bowel movements.

The gut is 70% of a dog’s immune system, which is why gut health is vital. Balanced diets with the correct fibers, probiotic dog chews, and regular exercise are essential for a healthy digestive system. But sometimes, dogs need a little extra manual labor in the form of a massage when it comes to how to stimulate a dog to poop.

Massage movements for poop come in handy when your dog releases dry, coin-sized poop after much struggle. In this post, we will discuss how to get a dog to poop when constipated and why your dog has problems with pooping.

How do you massage a dog to poop?

Ways to massage a dog to poop include gentle rubs of the belly, sides, back, and butt in circles and kneading the legs. The kneading and stroking work best with a balanced diet, exercise, hydration, and supplementing with certain oil and high-fiber foods like pumpkin.

However, when it comes to how to make a dog poop instantly, you will need to consult your vet about a safe laxative or even milk for dog constipation.

Why Do Dogs Have problems Pooping?

Aging, medical conditions like metabolic disorders, spinal injuries, inactivity, dehydration, obstructions, and stress are some reasons dogs have problems with pooping. Knowing why your dog has trouble defecating is crucial as a guide on how to go about correctly solving the problem.

Each reason for difficulty defecating has a unique solution, but most of them stem from an imbalanced gut. Adding probiotic chews to your dog’s balanced diet is the first step in restoring gut health.

Here are a few of the most common causes of constipation in dogs and reluctance to poop:

1. Improper diet and dehydration

An improper diet lacking essential nutrients is the most common cause of abnormal fecal transit. A diet short of fiber is the likely culprit for dog constipation, and calcium-rich sources can exacerbate the problem.

Dogs are notorious for indiscriminately eating non-food items like toys and hair, which can get lodged in the digestive tract, causing constipation. Failing to take enough water will make a dog’s body absorb more water from the bowels, causing hard stool.

2. Aging

Older dogs are more likely to exhibit dyschezia or difficulty pooping. The lack of exercise and painful bones or joints due to arthritis are some of the reasons for this.

4. Sedentary lifestyle

Active dogs have more relaxed muscles improving their pooping. Inactive dogs are prone to obesity, causing pain and difficulty squatting while pooping.

5. Medical Conditions

Metabolic issues like hypothyroidism, central nervous disorders, anal diseases, and renal issues contribute to constipation. Checking with your vet will ascertain and treat the root medical causes, preventing any complications that could arise.

Spinal conditions like FCE can also paralyze dogs, causing difficulty pooping and needing extra help with upkeep like dog grooming and incontinence.

6. Drugs

Some cancer drugs, diuretics, opiates, antihistamines, and antacids can slow fecal transit time, causing constipation.

7. Stress

New environments, strange people and animals, and other psychological stressors can make a dog feel anxious and this can affect their digestive tract. Similarly, yelling at your dog to poop or for pooping in the wrong areas can make them shy away from pooping with ease.

How to Make a Dog Poop Quickly Home remedies?

Your dog’s light constipation can improve by massaging, increasing fiber, hydration, and daily exercise. More severe cases of constipation spanning several days need medical attention and dog laxatives if your vet gives the go-ahead.

These seven tips for making your dog poop faster are easy to do at home and influence your dog’s overall health:

1. Massage

Massaging your dog’s body or part of it releases physical and mental stress, allowing them to poop faster. These massages also stimulate the stomach muscles and other digestive organs, not to mention strengthening the bond between you and your pooch.

How to Massage Your Dog to Poop?

Massage the whole body

  1. A gentle body stroke by gliding your hands from head to the tail and head to the legs relaxes your dog to defecate. This comprehensive massage allows you to bond with your dog because most canines love physical contact with their loved ones. Ease your dog from being touched if they exhibit any signs of discomfort with the massage.
  2. Give them a backstroke.
  3. Gently need the stomach area in circular movements, starting at the top of the rib cage and working your way down.

This video gives a good example of how to massage an older dog with constipation:

As we mentioned, spinal issues could complicate pooping. This massage reduces tension in the back muscles, potentially making it easier for your dog to squat and poop. Lightly move your fingers from the neck down to the tail, moving along the sides of the spine.

2. Rub the belly (lower stomach rotations)

Moving your fingers in a circular motion on your dog’s belly stimulates the stomach muscles. Start with circular motions on the belly, then glide from right below the chest to the tail. Finally, massage an inverted U-shape on the abdomen.

3. Express bowels by rubbing the butt

Rubbing the butt is one of the most effective ways of stimulating your dog to go. Take a lubricant on a pair of gloves and gently massage the anal opening for 30 seconds.

You can take a more internal approach and slightly insert the gloved index finger, especially if you feel swelling (impacted anal glands). This is called expressing the anal sacs, most commonly done by a vet or experienced animal handler.

4. Ways of stimulating the anus

  • Squirt water on the anus. The cold triggers contractions in the anus, stimulating your dog to poop
  • Place an ice cube on the area, which works the same as squirting water
  • Using dog wipes
  • Massage the sides
  • Massaging the sides of the belly encourages a dog to poop. Your dog should be on their backs, and you can go along the abdomen instead of on the stomach itself.
  • Knead and compress the legs

Dogs can have tension in their back legs, especially older dogs, making it harder to squat when pooping. Massage the thighs using your thumbs for about a minute to release tension.

Stop massaging immediately if your dog shows pain and discomfort, like yelping. This could indicate injury, which you can spot after inspection, or pain in the joints for dogs with arthritis.

5. Improve the diet and supplements

Since the diet is the biggest cause of difficulty pooping in dogs, it’s also the best solution. Adding high-fiber food like psyllium husk or canned dog food can improve your dog’s pooping speed and ease.

Remember, insoluble fiber like cellulose works best to get the intestines moving and soluble fiber absorbs water, softening the stool. So make sure there are both types of fiber in your dog’s food. Caution is essential because too much fiber can lead to diarrhea and other GI issues, negating the entire point.

Other additions for a constipated dog include olive oil, bran cereal, powdered psyllium, coconut oil, and ginger. A proper diet also reduces odd stools, such as diarrhea and white specks in the poop due to indigestion.

6. Ensure daily exercise

Daily exercise improves digestion by improving blood flow to the digestive system muscles. A sedentary lifestyle in dogs can also contribute to obesity, making defecating even harder. Excessive weight can also cause osteoarthritis due to joint exertion, making squatting difficult.

Ensure your dog gets at least 30 to 60 minutes of daily walks to maintain physical health. These daily walks also increase opportunities for your housetrained dog to poop comfortably. Rubbing the sides and abdomen helps a dog poop that can’t walk.

7. Hydrate your dog

Increasing water intake is an effective way of getting your dog to poop when constipating. You can notice signs as early as 48 hours after adequate water intake for your dog. Increasing fluid intake softens the stool by reducing water reabsorption in the colon, which hardens the stool.

8. Use laxatives

A vet can prescribe a dog laxative if constipation doesn’t settle after the above steps. It would be best if you never gave your dog a human laxative to your dog for constipation. These stool softeners help a struggling dog have a bowel movement.

9. Have a cue phrase like “poop”

Teaching your dog how to poop on command is critical to house training. Take your dog to the designated potty spot and wait until they defecate. After they go, give them a quality treat and praise, and after a few repetitions, you’ll notice your dog pooping on command.

It’s important to allow your dog to poop at a designated spot to avoid spreading diseases like parvovirus, characterized by the foul parvo poop smell. Stick to a specific schedule to increase the likelihood of your dog pooping instantly because dogs are creatures of habit

10. Be patient

Sometimes all it takes for your dog to potty is a bit of patience. Your dog may be slow at potting and has no medical issues or constipation whatsoever. Remember that stress causes problems with pooping in dogs, so shouting at them will only worsen matters.

However, if you start googling something like “my dog hasn’t pooped in 4 days,” it may be time to see the vet to look for issues like intestinal obstructions.

Final Thoughts

Dogs can have difficulty pooping due to illness, improper diet deficiency in fiber, dehydration, and stress. Massaging your dog’s stomach, back, legs, and butt encourages them to poop if they’re old, constipated, or paralyzed.

Lifestyle changes like hydration, a balanced diet, and exercise significantly improve your dog’s gut health. Teaching your dog verbal cues to poop by rewarding the squatting motion speeds up defecating, provided you remain patient as they learn.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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