Have you ever watched your beloved dog try to do their business, only to find that they can’t finish the job? It can be frustrating when your pup’s poop gets stuck halfway out, but there are ways that you can help.
Occasionally dogs will have digestive issues that prevent them from appropriately finishing a bowel movement, resulting in some feces remaining stuck in their anus. This uncomfortable situation can be a sign of constipation. A constipated pet is an unhappy pet, and it’s up to you as a trusted human to help your friend finish relieving themselves.
Common causes of a dog’s poop getting stuck halfway out
Common causes of constipation can range from easy-to-resolve and one-off causes to more severe and chronic digestive issues. If you notice changes to your dog’s digestion, including constipation, get them examined by a veterinarian to make sure they’re not facing any major health concerns. Read more about constipation here.
Dogs who are dehydrated can suffer from constipation. This is because they need water to break down their food. With too little water, dogs’ digestion can slow and cause very compact, hard stool to form.
The dog can then struggle to pass this stool, resulting in it sticking halfway out of their rectum.
Digestion can also slow due to a lack of physical activity, so take note if your dog has not been getting as much exercise as usual.
Soft stool or diarrhea
Dogs with soft stool or diarrhea might end up with poop stuck part of the way out if matted fur around their rectums creates an external blockage.
Lack of fiber
A dog needs an adequate amount of fiber every day to allow their digestion to function as intended. A lack of fiber in the diet is a common cause of constipation.
Eating non-food items
Dogs who eat items like string, grass, hair, or pieces of toys may end up with part of their poop stuck or dangling. If you see string, hair, or grass poking out of the stuck feces, do not attempt to pull on it. These items can cause internal damage if they are twisted around the intestines. If the stool isn’t coming out on its own, contact a veterinarian.
Other serious issues
A variety of other issues, including kidney disease and hernias, can also impact a dog’s ability to pass stool. If your dog often has difficulty going to the bathroom, it’s important to bring them to the vet for a full check-up to help diagnose any undiscovered issues.
How To Help Dogs Get Their Poop Out
Again, if your dog is having problems getting their poop out, it’s a very good idea to go to the vet. A trained professional is best qualified to safely address this issue. Never attempt to pull stool out on your own, as you could seriously injure your dog. However, in addition to going to the vet, there is a home remedy you can try to give your dog some relief.
A dog’s anal sphincter may become blocked by lodged fecal matter. A warm bath can help to loosen and soften the feces. A warm bath can also help you clean poop out of a dog’s hair, shampooing and lathering with a shampoo made specifically for dogs.
How To Prevent a dog’s poop from getting stuck halfway out
Prevention can be as simple as including an adequate amount of fiber in your dog’s diet, ensuring that they have enough drinking water, and taking them for regular check-ups at the vet.
Feeding your dog digestible, complete, and balanced food may help, too. Proper nutrition can limit a dog’s craving for items like string and grass. You can also supplement their diet with a small amount of plain pumpkin mixed into their food.
Above all, if your dog is regularly suffering from constipation issues, it’s best to go to the vet and get them checked out.
This article was vetted by a vet.
Reviewed by Alex Schechter, DVM, founding veterinarian at Burrwood Veterinary.