We, as dog owners, love our dogs very much and will do anything for them. Most of the time, our dogs are by our side and love to shower us with unconditional love. But sometimes, they need our help and we need to be their voice.
Why does my dog walk and poop? Why is my dog showing strange behavior? These are just some of the questions that we may sometimes ask ourselves as dog owners. And, they might just be connected.
Since dogs can’t tell us when something is bothering them, they usually change their normal behavior as a way to show us that things aren’t good.
Why Does My Dog Walk And Poop? 14 Possible Reasons
There are various answers to the question of why does my dog walk and poop. Some reasons might be playful and harmless, while others can be more serious.
There is a lot of pressure for dog owners to figure out what the cause is for this because it could be something serious. You will want to solve the problem as soon as possible to take away any unpleasantness for your dog. The best thing to do is contact your vet and make an appointment to make sure that everything is alright.
We’ve made a list of some things that may help you to solve this problem.
1. Poor And Unappealing Diet
A poor, unappealing, and non-nutritious diet can have a big impact on your dog’s bowel movements. It is important to buy your dog good quality dog food that has all the nutrients in it that dogs require.
Dog food that is of a lesser quality can contain additives that are bad for dogs. These additives, or extra chemicals, can cause problems to their stomachs. A low quality dog food can cause either diarrhea or harder stool, which can then cause your dog to defecate while walking.
The poor quality food companies add those chemicals so the amount of food is increased but the cost is less, which gives them a larger profit. So, always try to find top-notch dog food. If you are not sure which is the best, you can always ask your vet.
The food should contain fats, proteins, water, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates. It should also contain a lot of fibers, especially if your dog has bowel problems. If you see your dog struggling for a couple of days, take them to the vet.
2. To Mark Their Territory By Spreading Their Scent
This is one of the common reasons why dogs walk and poop. It is known that they use pee to mark their territory, but pooping is also one of the ways that they show other dogs that they have been present at that certain place.
Why does my dog walk and poop and how does that help them spread their scent instead of just sitting and pooping? Well, dogs have scent glands, which people also call anal glands, that are located around the anus and emit a strong smell.
These smells are different for every dog and they are called pheromones. It is how they know if there was another dog around the area. These pheromones can actually convey the dog’s age, gender, and health status.
Walking while pooping helps them spread their scent even more. By sitting and pooping, the scent will be present but not as intense as if they walk and poop.
The need to walk and poop arises in particular if they smell another dog’s stool and they want to overpower the smell with their own. They may even walk sideways! This behavior is rarely showcased. If it happens a lot this means they are probably developing a habit.
This is the most common cause of a dog walking and pooping. Constipation can get quite uncomfortable and unsettling for dogs. Besides their digestive system being compromised, the thing that makes them uncomfortable is the painful pooping.
If they start to walk, it is usually a sign that they are struggling to get the poo out. When they are constipated their feces is hard and very difficult to eject. Movement stimulates the bowels, so walking and pooping is the easiest thing for them to do.
If you see that your dog is struggling, offer them food with a lot of fiber and try to give them as much water as possible. Find more advice in our article on home remedies for dog constipation.
4. Muscle Weakness Or Even Pain
This is the most unfortunate reason why your dog might be walking and pooping. Pet owners need to know that as their dog gets older, their muscles deteriorate. Old dogs move less than younger dogs and that is why their muscles can become either shaky or even painful.
It takes a lot of strength for a senior dog to stay still in a squatted position, and their muscles sometimes can’t handle it anymore. Walking while defecating is just the new normal for them, since it makes the process a lot easier.
Muscle atrophy can also happen to younger dogs that have suffered a leg injury or neurological medical condition. If the cause is a leg injury, in most cases the dog will get better. But, if the problem is neurological, the muscle weakness can potentially stay forever.
5. Lack Of Bowel Control
Dogs that potentially have some medical issues may have problems with bowel control. Some of the medical reasons that your dog might be struggling with are parvo, parasites, atrophy of the bowel muscles, injuries, or digestive illnesses that can cause some bowel incontinence.
Because of these potential medical issues your dog will find it easier to walk while pooping. One other thing that could happen because of their lack of control of their bowels, are accidents at home. If this goes on for a couple of days you should call your vet and make an appointment.
6. Loose Stool
Loose stools or diarrhea is extremely unpleasant. When your dog has this problem, nature calls often and is unpredictable, so if your dog walks and poops it can mean two things. Either they are a bit shocked because of the sudden urge to relieve themselves and they can’t stand still.
Or, the other possibility is that walking eases their stomach pain. Keep in mind that there will probably be more accidents at home as well. This sometimes affects their bladder, which means they can also pee without control.
Loose stool can be caused by the dog’s diet, internal organ issues, food poisoning, parasites, or diseases. So it is important to take your pooch to the vet.
7. Hard And Long Stool
This can get very tricky for a dog. What causes long and hard stool? One of the possible causes is their fur. While licking themselves, a lot of the hairs end up in their mouth, which they don’t mind swallowing.
All that hair is catastrophic for dogs. Hair mixed with poop gets extremely hard and is difficult for dogs to push out. It doesn’t just get hard, but long as well, which is then double the struggle for them.
If this happens, try to calm your dog down, stop them from walking, and as a dog owner that will do anything for their pet, take a piece of grass, a leaf, or if you have one, a tissue, and help them pull out the poo.
Another thing that both helps and hinders, is grass. Dogs tend to eat grass when they have stomach issues because it calms their stomach down a bit. But on the other hand, it can also make their stool long and harder to push out.
One thing we can forget about is that dogs can also suffer from anxiety. This can be caused by a couple of factors. It is especially common in dogs that are adopted. They may have gone through some abuse or been all by themselves for a long time.
Another thing that can cause your dog to have anxiety is a change of habitat or a loss of humans that they loved. The reason they walk when pooping is that they feel exposed when doing it.
Another reason is that they sometimes have a perfect spot that makes them feel safe and if they don’t find it on time, they will try to walk to it.
Allergies are one of the reasons that your dog can end up with either soft or hard stool. The most common allergens are in dog food. But, even if your dog is eating the same food as normal, it isn’t impossible that they have developed allergies to some of its nutrients.
Allergies can happen overnight. They are a bit harder to detect but not impossible. There are allergy tests that you can use if you suspect this may be the cause of their bowel problems.
10. To Keep Grass From Poking Them
Dogs tend to hide when going to ˝the bathroom˝. Sometimes, those places are the ones that are filled with tall grass. Since it is uncomfortable when something is poking their bums, they will simultaneously walk and poop to avoid the grass.
Try to find them a better hiding place, with no high grass that could potentially make them uncomfortable. The good thing is that this is the easiest solution to the question of why does my dog walk and poop.
This is usually the reason for high energy level dog breeds. These excited dogs just can’t wait to go outside and play. Their emotions take control over them and sometimes they actually forget or don’t notice that they are pooping while still playing or walking.
Other times, they are aware but just can’t contain themselves to stop and squat for a moment. Instead, they just do it on the go. This is completely harmless and quite a show that your dog can give you from time to time.
There is an easy solution. Before taking them on a playdate or a longer walk, go to the more familiar places. This way, your dog won’t get overstimulated and will pee and poop calmly and then have playtime with no accidents.
12. Gastrointestinal Problems
These can be connected with the food allergies that we’ve already mentioned. Another thing that can cause these problems is food poisoning, inflammation, or food that isn’t nutritional enough for your dog.
Gastrointestinal problems can cause diarrhea,hard stool, or stomach pain that makes your dog walk and poop. One of the things you can do, as we mentioned with allergies, is to do an allergy test to be sure that your dog isn’t allergic to anything.
Another thing you can do is to try and change their food or add some supplements to it that are good for the gut. You can even try and give them probiotics that will calm their guts.
The best thing to do is to contact the DVM and ask them for any advice on what to do and what food you can introduce your dog to.
13. Just A Bad Habit
Puppies have the tendency to mimic what they see. They might see an older dog walking and pooping and take on this behavior. Another reason might be that your puppy is just an excited one and can’t stay still, even while pooping.
This is a habit that will most likely stick with them for a longer time if you don’t train them not to do so. Sometimes puppies that are being potty trained can have accidents in the house and will try to hide while popping.
Sometimes this habit sticks even when they have grown up. Whatever the reason might be, you should start the training as soon as you notice this behavior. Two or three times, or this happening from time to time, isn’t a big deal. But, we still suggest trying to calm them down and teaching them to stay in one place.
When your dog is older, he will probably spend more time at home, and not be as active as before. They also start developing bowel problems.
One of the reasons why they might walk and poop is that they can’t hold it in as well as they used to. Their needs for going to the bathroom will increase but their reaction time will decrease. Their muscle strength will also decrease and it will be difficult for them to keep their poop inside.
The other reason is that they just forgot to. They can develop something that is called cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in people. Sometimes, they just walk and poop because they simply forgot to squat.
Sometimes, they may feel pain in their muscles and bones and it is much easier for them to walk and poop instead of squatting and staying still.
Why Does My Dog Poop In The House?
A lot of reasons we mentioned as to why dogs walk and poop can also be connected to your dog pooping in the house. The reason might be loose stool, lack of bowel control, your dog getting old, etc.
Try to figure out if it is something serious or just a moment of weakness for your dog. Always contact the vet and tell them everything that you have found strange, besides your dog pooping in the house.
Why Does My Dog Take So Long To Poop?
One of the main reasons for this is because their stool is hard. Long and hard stool can happen due to a bad diet, your dog licking themselves and ending up eating hairs, or your dog eating grass. There are a couple of things that you can do to help them when this occurs.
Try to change your dog’s diet, give them supplements that might help them, and offer them a lot of water. The best thing you can do is contact your vet.
To Sum Up
We hope we’ve given you all the answers and possible solutions to the question ˝Why does my dog walk and poop?˝ and reasons as to why this toilet habit might be bothersome for dog owners.
Sometimes, it is just an expression of their language, which people can’t understand. When it’s just something mentally related, like your dog being extremely excited, having anxiety or depression, or if it’s just a habit they picked up, you can train them out of it most of the time.
But, this behavior can also hide some medical issues that are best detected in a timely manner, so they don’t get worse. It is important for you to monitor your dog and to distinguish whether the problem is serious or not.
We understand that things can get overwhelming and stressful, but we are sure that you will do anything that is in your power to solve the problems that you and your dog have.