Many pet parents take their dogs out for walks as a form of daily exercise. They also use the opportunity to let their dogs go potty, so they never leave home without a customizable dog poop bag holder filled with durable poop bags. Some canines will want to do their business as soon as they go out, and owners need to be ready to clean up the mess when they do.
However, other dogs can take a long time before picking an ideal spot to do their business. This wouldn’t be an issue if you don’t mind waiting for your dog. But if you’re in a rush or it’s too cold or hot outside, waiting for your pup to poop can make you lose your patience real quick.
It isn’t unusual for your dog to take their time relieving themselves. There are some pretty good reasons why they behave this way, too. To find out what causes the delays and how you can resolve them, read on.
The Location Is Already Marked by Another Canine
One way canines communicate with each other is through scent. Each dog has a unique odor that is secreted by the scent glands found inside their rectum. This smell identifies them to other dogs, which is why dogs greet each other by sniffing each other’s butts. By pooping or peeing in a particular spot, dogs also send a message to other canines that they’ve been in that location. The scent marks the area as their territory. This can be one reason why your pup is being selective about where to poop, as they may prefer doing their business in a “neutral” or “unclaimed” area.
At times, the smell left in other dogs’ waste can serve as a cue to make them poop. This is why your pet may find it encouraging to go potty next to another dog’s waste, even if they’ve already done so elsewhere. Given the possibility that your dog might relieve themselves more than once, always bring several poop bags whenever you go out with your pup.
They Have Performance Anxiety
Another reason your pup may be delaying pooping is due to performance anxiety. You can tell if your pet suffers from such an issue if they tend to look away from you or have trouble going to the potty in the presence of others. When you notice your pup displaying this shy behavior, it’s best to lead them to a more secluded path or walk them during a quieter time of the day to give them the privacy and peace to poop.
They Prefer Certain Surfaces
Aside from preferring to go potty in a more isolated place, dogs may also like to go about their business on certain surfaces. For example, a dog may opt to go potty on soft, grassy surfaces and won’t dare poop on bare dirt. Dogs that exhibit this type of behavior have likely developed surface preferences and gotten used to only going potty in certain areas.
Having surface preferences can happen to all canines, but it can be more apparent for paper or potty-pad trained pups. They may have a more difficult time adjusting to natural surfaces compared to other dogs. As such, it can take a while for your furry friend to find their ideal spot. The best way to help them is to introduce them to different types of surfaces. Allow them to become familiar with the feeling of concrete, grass, and soil on their paws so they can learn to go potty anywhere.
They Have Mobility Pains
Sometimes, the place and surface have nothing to do with why your pup delays pooping. There are cases when the cause may be linked to a dog’s poor health. Canines who suffer from arthritis or have orthopedic-related injuries may have difficulty positioning themselves to squat. Since they can’t squat well enough, it can take longer for them to poop.
Typically, you can spot a dog with muscle or joint issues when they move in a walk-and-squat manner, as this helps avoid discomfort. If this is the case, getting your pup a special dog bed that features memory foam stuffing to help gently support your pet’s body might help relieve joint and muscle pain. It’s also best to bring your pet to the vet and have them examined. This way, you can find out the best way to make your pup feel more comfortable when they move around and do their business.
They Want to Stay Outside Longer
It’s also possible that your pet is stalling on purpose. They may be taking their time to poop so they can spend more time outdoors. When the weather is pleasant, your pup may just want to enjoy it. This is common among dogs that only get to go out and explore when it’s time to potty. If a dog is taken right back inside the house as soon as they’re done with their business, they miss the opportunity to get much-needed stimulation. As such, they take their sweet time sniffing around, walking around slowly, and picking the right spot just so they can stay outside longer.
If you bring your dog inside as soon as they finish, consider increasing the time they spend outdoors. Also, don’t just limit going outside to potty times. Be sure to include other outdoor activities, too. Making these changes to your pup’s routine will give them the chance to enjoy being outdoors, and they will no longer feel the need to delay their pooping.
It’s quite normal for dogs to stall pooping for different reasons, including the ones mentioned here. Fortunately, they aren’t a cause of concern and can easily be resolved by changing your pet’s potty spot or extending their time outdoors. But when you notice any changes in your dog’s stool, or if they struggle when they poop or experience pain when squatting, bring your pup to the vet immediately.