My Dog Cries When He Poops, What Should I Do?

About two years ago, we brought Sherlock to the vet because he seems to be having difficulties pooping. “My dog cries when he poops, what should I do?”, I asked the vet. I was told that painful elimination in dogs could be due to a range of health problems. The most common is constipation, but colon disorders and prostate problems can also be the culprits.

Below, I discussed this topic to help other pet owners who are experiencing the same problem with their dogs. My Sherlock turned out fine, but other canines may not be as lucky as he is.

Why is my dog in pain when pooping?

Crying or yelping while pooping isn’t normal for canines. If you observe this on your dog, the following might be the reasons why:


One of the most common reasons behind painful and difficult pooping is constipation. You’ve probably experienced this once, just imagine how difficult it will be for a canine.

For the most part, canine constipation is due to a lack of fiber. When the dog’s diet doesn’t have enough fiber, the fecal matter won’t move properly. It will get stuck and form bigger lumps inside your dog’s body. In the end, it will be very difficult to release.

Aside from fiber deficiency, lack of exercise can also lead to constipation among dogs. Constipation can also be the side effect of certain medications.

Bowel obstruction

Another reason why your dog cries while pooping is bowel obstruction. This happens when a dog ingested a solid object like toys, bones, rocks, and a clump of its own fur. These items aren’t digestible, so your pet has to pass them.

If the object is too big to fit through your dog’s anus, it will cause a lot of pain. This is the reason why dogs with bowel obstruction cry in pain while defecating.

Aside from the difficulty of passing the obstruction, the object can also cause intestinal and stomach perforations, which will add up to the pain.

In some cases, dogs with bowel obstruction have to undergo emergency surgery to remove the object. If left untreated, a bowel obstruction can kill a dog.

Aside from external objects, masses, and growth inside the dog’s digestive system can also cause bowel obstruction. Only a veterinarian can diagnose and treat this condition properly.

Colon disorders

Colon disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis, parvovirus, and gastritis can cause painful defecation in dogs. While some of these conditions can be treated easily in the vet’s clinic, others will require intensive veterinary care.

For example, canine colitis can be due to a colon injury. The vet will suggest treatment options to prevent the condition from worsening.

In the case of inflammatory bowel disease, there’s no known treatment yet. Each dog with this condition will require specific medication. It will include changes in diet, pharmaceuticals, and further treatments in the vet’s clinic.

The good thing is that dogs with IBD often have a positive prognosis. If the condition is diagnosed and treated right away, the symptoms can be managed.

Prostate problems

Male dogs can develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In this condition, the dog’s prostate will become enlarged. This is due to testosterone’s abnormal function that causes prostate cells to grow in excessive numbers, thus the enlargement of the body organ.

Dogs with BPH will often strain to defecate. It’s accompanied by whimpering or crying due to the pain. This happens because the enlarged prostate presses into the colon, making it hard for fecal matter to pass properly.

The usual treatment for this condition is to neuter the dog to prevent the abnormal behavior of testosterone. A month after the surgery, the vet will check if the prostate shrunk. Other treatments might be necessary if your dog’s prostate is still enlarged and causing the dog difficulty to poop.

Pelvic injury or mass

Another reason why your dog cries when pooping is a pelvic injury. Pelvic fractures are very common in dogs, especially small breeds.

A dog with a pelvic injury will find it painful to eliminate due to its position. The crouching position puts a lot of pressure on the pelvis, which amplifies the pain.

Pelvic injuries can be due to physical trauma, genetic condition, or deteriorating health. Whatever the cause is, your dog must receive immediate veterinary care.

What can I give my dog to help him poop?

If your dog is constipated, you can ask the vet for a stool softener. A laxative agent will also work to stimulate defecation.

Aside from that, you can give your dog canned pumpkin to supply it with added fiber. Wheat bran also works as a great alternative to pumpkin.

Increasing your dog’s exercise will also help for the healthy movement of fecal matter. This will reduce your dog’s discomfort and straining while eliminating.

If all these solutions don’t work, you should bring the dog to the vet. This way, the canine will receive proper examination and treatment.

How do I know if my dog has a bowel obstruction?

Dogs with bowel obstruction will cry and whimper while trying to defecate. Vomiting, weakness, and bloating are also tell-tale signs of bowel obstruction.

Aside from that, dogs with bowel obstruction will experience dehydration since it can’t hold any water down. Poor appetite will also occur because the dog feels uncomfortable putting in more load to its stomach.

If you can’t pinpoint whether your dog has bowel obstruction, the vet is the best person to consult. A physical examination in the vet’s clinic is necessary. If it proves inconclusive, the vet can run X-ray and ultrasound tests to confirm an obstruction.

Why is my dog straining but no poop coming out?

If your dog is straining and crying, but no poop is coming out, it’s likely constipated. Bowel obstruction is also possible, so you should bring the dog to the vet if it’s not pooping for days.

Difficulty to defecate can be due to a range of health problems. It’s important to monitor your pet to identify any signs of digestive and defecating issues.

How much does it cost to remove a bowel obstruction in a dog?

If the obstruction can be removed by inducing vomiting or defecation, it will not cost a lot. Most of the time, inducing these reactions in the vet clinic will not cost more than a hundred bucks.

However, if your dog isn’t responding to the medications, surgery is needed. Surgical removal of bowel obstruction can cost between $400 and $650 on average. But for dogs with serious conditions, it can skyrocket up to $2,000.

If complications occur, the vet will have to perform further treatments, which will add up to the cost. So aside from seeing your dog suffering, the financial impact will take its toll on your savings.

Should you wipe a dog’s bottom?

Yes, sometimes, you’d have to wipe your dog’s bottom after it eliminates. This is the case if the canine’s poop is a bit loose and has gotten to its coat. Wiping will also reduce the scent of the anal glands, which could lead to a foul odor if not cleaned regularly.

However, make sure that you’re using dog wipes and not the scented ones you’ll usually use. Paper towels will also work as an alternative.

Why is my dog not pooping for 5 days?

Dogs are supposed to poop at least once a day. If it hasn’t defecated in five days, you should be alarmed. You need to bring the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible because this is potentially life-threatening for your pet.

Your dog might be suffering from a blockage that prevents stool from passing. This is painful and dangerous. An emergency operation might be needed to remove what’s causing the blockage. If not, your canine may die.

Can I give my dog human laxatives?

No, you should never give your dog human laxatives. These are stronger than what the vet will prescribe to your canine. In the end, your dog might suffer from the human laxative you administered.

If your dog isn’t pooping for days, you should consult the vet instead of self-medicating the canine.


My dog cries when he poops! We’ve been there with our dog Sherlock. The best move here is to call the vet and ask for options. If the canine still finds it hard to defecate, it’s best to bring it to the vet’s clinic for proper diagnosis.