Many dog owners have a busy life, and the pet may have to adapt to their lifestyle, for better or worse. When getting stuck in the traffic, you may wonder, how long can dogs hold their poop before you come home?
Knowing the limits of your furry friend is a good way to remove this worry from your mind. It can also help you notice common problems when they happen.
How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Poop?
While adult dogs with no medical problems are ready to go potty a short time after a meal, they can delay this to a much longer period when required.
Unless you own a puppy, most healthy individuals can hold its poop for 12 hours or even more. Remember that this duration doesn't apply evenly to every dog out there.
Dogs can delay the potty time for several hours.
This ability depends on age, meaning puppies can't hold their stool as long as well-trained adult dogs. The rule of thumb is with each month added to their age, they can hold in poop for another hour.
So a three-month-old puppy can only withhold its bowel movements for 3 hours - one more reason to not leave your puppies for too long.
Likewise, senior dogs have less control over their bowels and can't hold as long when they get very old. Some medical conditions can hinder the ability of your dog as well.
How Long Can Dogs Hold Their Poop After Eating?
Most dogs poop shortly after their meals, even though each individual is different. Many dogs have to go immediately after, but others may need half an hour or so.
These pets defecate after eating because their colon is wired to the stomach by nerves. After consuming a meal, a full stomach triggers it and the action of expelling waste matter from their bowels. That is why most dogs have a habit of pooping minutes after their meals.
This routine doesn't mean your dog eliminates everything it just ate. The expelled waste material is usually the food it consumed the day before and is now in its final act of digestion.
How Many Times Do Dogs Normally Poop A Day?
Dogs need to get feces out with a frequency varying from one to several times a day. Puppies tend to poop even more often, up to five times within 24 hours.
Dogs may do their business up to several times a day.
When your dog seems to take a dump very often, don't panic just yet. Check out its stool first. As long as it does not contain blood, and seems solid and consistent, perhaps there is nothing wrong with your dog.
A large amount of food or a high metabolism may lead to this, not a serious medical condition.
What Prevents Some Dogs From Holding Their Poop
Even the best-behaved individual can refuse your instructions and take a dump at a surprising moment. It doesn't mean our answer to the question "how long can dogs hold their poop" is wrong.
There are plenty of things that can prevent your dog from holding its poop for as long as its peers. If the dog has been trained in your home, it may suffer from emotional, aging, and illness issues. For an adopted dog, stress and struggles against a new environment could be to blame.
When your dog seems to have no control over its bowel movements and its stools look loose, you may want to take it to the vet. Gastroenteritis is a big possibility, which inflames your dog's intestines.
Viruses, bacteria, and parasites like giardia, hookworms, and roundworms are possible causes. This condition may also come from food allergy or intolerance. Even bowel cancer should not be ruled out immediately, so letting a professional examine your dog is never a waste of time.
Dogs lose their ability to hold their poop as they age. Many age-related changes contribute to this, including canine cognitive dysfunction and fecal incontinence.
Older dogs get worse at holding bowel movements.
They may forget to relieve themselves during a walk and do this after coming inside instead. Older dogs also don't have enough strength to retain poop inside their body like healthy individuals.
Consult your vet, who may recommend some treatment options.
Many owners want their dogs to hold on to their stool when left alone at a friend's house for a few hours. But the unfamiliar environment can get the dogs too stressed to do so.
Separation anxiety can prompt them to scratch at windows and doors, when or how. They may get too panicked and poop right inside the house of your friend, for example.
Talk to a vet if your dog can't handle a routine change like that. They may have some suggestions, including prescription drugs.
Is It A Bad Idea To Force Dogs To Hold In Poop?
New owners may breathe a sigh of relief when they know the answer to "how long can dogs hold their poop?". This natural ability can come in handy for them in several situations.
Imagine you're running some errands or stuck in traffic, and your dog can wait for quite some time before it can relieve itself at home.
With that said, this isn't something you should abuse. Like humans, dogs may feel terribly uncomfortable when having to hold their stool within their bodies for too long.
Those who have scrambled frantically to find a public restroom may have more sympathy for this. And to make the matter worse for your pets, they don't have any signs to tell them how much longer they have to wait like humans.
Dogs may get stressed when having to hold poop for long.
It can be very stressful for dogs to hold in their stool for an extended period of time. When accidents happen, and they get punished by the owner, the emotional stress may be too much for them to handle.
It's recommended that your dog should be given the opportunity to go potty at least every eight hours.
This frequency may sound tedious but can help you stay out of trouble. Your dog doesn't have to stay uncomfortable, and when an emergency comes, you can push the potty time away for a little longer.
So, how long can dogs hold their poop? It depends on each individual, but many can resist the urge to go for up to 12 hours. You should not push it to the limits, though, as an 8-hour period between poop times is healthier for most dogs.