If your dog takes forever to poop, or to even decide on the perfect place to do their business, it can be super annoying. Especially when it is cold outside or you have to get to work. It isn’t that unusual to have your dog hem and haw over where to go and there are reasons behind why they are so discerning about where they relieve themselves.

The team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is here to get to the bottom of the question, “Why does my dog take so long to poop?” It may not speed them up any faster, but at least you will understand their motivation.

It’s About Communication and Territory

You know the drill…the sniffing, the circling, and finally, it happens. This process of determining where to poop has much to do with your dog’s instinct to tell other dogs who and where they are. They leave their scent by way of scent glands located in the inside of the rectum. Each dog has their own distinct “perfume” that lets other dogs know they have been there, or that they are claiming the space as their territory. 

Along with this, dogs indicate whether they are in heat and looking for a reproductive mate by way of smell. It’s a way to communicate that they are a possible friend or foe, depending on where your pet goes and what this odiferous message implies.

No wonder they are so choosy about location!

Mobility Problems and Pain

Dogs who have had orthopedic injuries or arthritis, often have a tougher time trying to position themselves to squat. Since they cannot squat that well, it can take them longer to potty. 

These pets will generally walk-and-squat in order to avoid discomfort. If your pet has these issues or has had any recent injuries or surgeries, please call us. We can look at ways to ease joint discomfort for better mobility.

Shy Puppy

If your pet looks away from you or has trouble going number two in the presence of others, they may have performance anxiety. No one wants to be gawked out when they have to use the bathroom, and certain dogs feel the same. Try to walk your dog to a more isolated path where they can go potty in private.

They Want to Stay Outside

When the weather is nice, or they only get outside to go to the bathroom, your dog probably just wants to stay longer. Consider upping their outdoor exercise time, so they can do more sniffing and rooting around for fun, rather than when you are (im)patiently waiting. 

It’s Most Likely NOT Constipation

Many humans suffer from constipation and worry that it may also be affecting their dog. But dogs rarely get constipated. If they are posturing frequently or for long periods of time, it is more likely to be diarrhea. If this continues, we recommend having them seen by your vet. 

My Dog Takes Forever to Poop 

If your dog takes their own sweet time to go potty, this is probably nothing to worry about. If, though, your pet is straining to defecate, has any changes to their stool, or is experiencing pain when squatting, they should be examined. 

For more information on why your dog takes forever to poop, or to schedule an appointment for them, please phone