How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Poop?

Dec 19, 2022

So how long can dogs hold their poop? It’s an important question for dog parents, particularly because you’re worried about their comfort level (as well as your floor). The answer is that it really depends on the dog.

First things first: What do we mean when asking how long dogs can hold their poop?

The thing is, we don’t typically want dogs holding their poop if they don’t have to. What that means is they’re either purposely or unintentionally not pooping. Sometimes this may be because they’ve become accustomed to scheduled bathroom breaks, but sometimes it means there may be a problem.

Why would dogs hold their poop?

There are a lot of different reasons a dog will purposely hold its poop. Like we said, they may just be used to scheduled bathroom breaks, and their body’s become accustomed to pooping on schedule. It may also be that they’re not somewhere they feel is suitable for going potty. Some dogs may be afraid to poop in different places (and yes, some dogs do prefer their privacy). Some science even suggests that dogs poop according to how the earth’s magnetic fields are running! Of course, other times when dogs are holding poop, you may be dealing with a medical condition or poor gut health. If a dog has a suitable area and is allowed the opportunity to poop, he most likely won’t hold it on purpose.

How long does a dog hold poop after eating?

As a general guideline, most trained adult dogs should be able to hold poop for about eight hours. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they all can do that or even should do that. It’s debatable whether eight hours is pushing the limit. But most dog parents also know their dogs fairly well, and know their individual limits. Various factors come into play when wondering how long a dog can hold poop, and those include their age, size, diet, activity level and gut health.

How long can puppies hold their poop?

Puppies have smaller everything–bladders, digestive systems, you name it. Generally speaking, a puppy should be given the opportunity to poop after every meal, and given lots of opportunities throughout the day. Being smaller, they’re basically little poop factories and what goes in goes back out rather quickly as they grow and develop. A rule of thumb some use when it comes to monitoring how often puppies poop is their age. When they’re a month old, they generally can and do poop every hour. When they’re two months, they may graduate to every two hours. The same goes for when they hit three months, but again, a lot depends on other factors for the puppy–factors like whether their guts are healthy and the food is quality food.

How long can adult dogs hold their poop?

Adult dogs usually have much greater control over their bowel movements and can hold their poop for longer periods of time than a puppy or a senior dog. Adult dogs generally poop relatively soon after each meal, and a large number of dog parents feed their dogs twice a day. It’s a safe assumption that if that’s your dog’s schedule, they’ll likely need to poop twice a day as well. That said, if your dog gets a third meal, he may need an extra poop break, and sometimes even if they need to poop, their body control allows them to hold poop for anywhere between six and eight hours.

How long can senior dogs hold their poop?

Senior dogs (don’t we adore them?) are a bit of their own breed, so to speak, when it comes to wondering how long they can hold poop. Some maintain their youthful adult abilities well into right before they cross the Rainbow Bridge, while others begin having a harder time holding their poop as age starts to set in. Senior dogs may need to poop more frequently and usually benefit from being given more opportunities to do so.

How can I know if my dog is holding poop?

There are some pretty good signs your dog may be holding poop or having trouble holding poop. They may pace, particularly near the door, but have a hard time once out there to do their business. They may circle and circle as they look for their spot, and the obvious sign they may be holding poop is that you just don’t see them poop. Sometimes a day or so goes by; sometimes longer. When your dog is not purposely trying to hold poop (in order to avoid an accident), he may be struggling with gut health issues and that can affect his overall health.

Why is it bad for my dog to hold poop?

As we said, it’s not always bad your dog is holding poop–especially if your dog is home alone while you’re working or out on errands or whatever. We want our dogs to be potty trained for their comfort (and ours)! But if your dog holds poop too long, it can definitely take its toll on his digestive system and make his poop even harder and more difficult to pass. If he’s constipated or has other digestive issues, pooping is what helps relieve a lot of pain, and also excretes a lot of waste, so it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue. If his diet isn’t high enough in quality fiber, he may have a hard time having regular bowel movements. If he’s not exercising enough, he may not be getting enough good physical activity to stimulate his digestive system for more regular poops. If he’s suffering from a condition like inflammatory bowel disease or he’s just finished a round of medicine, he may be unintentionally holding poop. Ensuring good gut health is the best way to make sure dogs don’t hold their poop for too long.

Bernie’s Perfect Poop helps dogs who hold their poop!

Good dog gut health is good for overall immunity and health, but it is key to a dog having normal poops! When your dog is getting enough quality fiber, he’s able to push food through his digestive system at just the right speed for optimal nutrient absorption. That helps prevent constipation and other digestive issues like diarrhea, inflammatory bowel syndrome and more. Quality pre- and probiotics also play a huge role in your dog’s digestive system working at its best. When your dog’s microbiome is flourishing with beneficial bacteria (probiotics), his poop is nice and smooth and slides right on out…that’s where that fun poop emoji gets its image. But that also means they’re able to fight off viruses, bacteria and other conditions more effectively. Digestive enzymes also ensure food is broken down as much as it can be, and this increases nutrient absorption too, which means your dog’s getting all he should be out of the food you give! Bernie’s Perfect Poop was created to aid our dogs (Bernie and Lady) and their digestive systems. We know that good health begins in the gut, and that’s why we wanted the best ingredients for them. We combined Miscanthus grass, pre- and probiotics and digestive enzymes into two delicious and easy-to-give formulas so we could make sure they didn’t deal with digestive pain or poop holding. There’s a reason your vet asks about your dog’s poop–and why they don’t want them holding it for too long. Giving them Bernie’s Perfect Poop will help make sure that’s always the perfect poop at the perfect time.

4.4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 16,055+ reviews

Sign up now to receive the latest updates via email.