5 Reasons Why Your Dog Walks and Poops (And Solutions)

Just a few months ago, my family and I adopted a lovely Pit Bull mix from the local humane society. He’s been with us for about two months now, and we’ve had our ups and downs adjusting to life with him.

The biggest struggle we had was training and house-breaking him. Until one day, about four months into the process, I realized that my dog was walking and pooping at the same time. So I decided to conduct some research to see if this was an anomaly or a pattern.  

why does my dog walk while pooping

What I learned is that there are many reasons why dogs walk while they poop, and some are perfectly normal while others require more immediate attention.  I want to share these reasons with you and hope that they will help other dog parents better understand the behavior of their own canine companions.

Here’s The Short Answer To Why Your Dog Walks and Poops At The Same Time:

Different dogs have different reasons for walking and pooping at the same time. Some dogs will poop as they walk to mark their territory. Older dogs may do this because they have certain medical problems such as muscle atrophy. While other dogs may do this out of anxiety and stress.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Walk and Poop

Here are those reasons in a bit more detail on why your dog walk and poop at the same time.

1. Scent Spreading

You may be surprised to know that there is a lot of information that a dog can glean from the scents of other dogs’ poop. A dog’s anal glands emit a very distinctive odor every time they defecate. This scent then functions as a form of identification tag for your dog.

When other dogs walk by and sniff, they can easily identify a lot of things about your dog, such as sex, age, what they have been eating, reproductive status, and even alerting other dogs of the possible dangers in the area.

Since their anal gland scent is so potent, it doesn’t fully dissipate even when your dog has pooped. The scents will still be lingering around the poop even after your dog has left the area for a long time.

In addition, walking puts even more pressure on these glands, so it will release even more of this very noticeable scent. This is why if your dog’s purpose is to mark the boundaries of their territory, they will likely poop while they walk so they can spread their scent across a wider area.

2. Health Issues

Since your dog’s poop is a way for them to release their bodily wastes, walking while pooping can be signs of possible medical issues. If your dog is spending too much time trying to get things out, then it may be an indication that something isn’t right inside.

Here are some common medical issues that may cause a lack of bowel control in dogs:

Constipation

Another common reason why dogs walk and poop at the same time is constipation. Dogs can develop constipation for many reasons, but the most common are swallowing objects that are hard to digest, such as bones or grass. Other causes include a lack of exercise, a lack of fiber, some digestive issues, and kidney disease.

If you had ever experienced constipation, your doctor would recommend that you simply get up and walk around as the first course of treatment. This is because increased movement will help stimulate the bowels and get things moving again.

The same is true for your dog as well. If your dog is experiencing constipation, they may be instinctively walking to stimulate their bowels and dislodge the poop, which will make it look as though they are walking and pooping at the same time.

To discern between constipation and diarrhea, check the shape or consistency of your dog’s poop. If you find that the poop has a pebble-like shape, then your dog is probably constipated.

There are a few home remedies that you can try with your dog to relieve constipation. You can try giving pumpkin puree or canned food. You can also try adding some more fiber.

If you are unsuccessful at resolving the constipation problem on your own, then you should consult your veterinarian for some other treatment options.

Diarrhea

If your dog is having difficulty controlling their bowel movements and constantly pooping outside during walks, it may be due to the effects of diarrhea.

If your dog is exposed to something that they are sensitive to, it can kick off a bout of diarrhea. This can include eating spoiled food, a sudden change in diet, ingesting foreign objects or toxins, and infectious diseases like parvovirus.

While the poop of a constipated dog looks like pebbles, a poop of a dog with diarrhea will look soft and runny.

One thing you need to remember when treating diarrhea in dogs is to not give them human medications, as they can be very toxic for your dog.

If your dog just has had one or two runny stools, you can probably treat it on your own by making them fast for 12-24 hours. You can also give them a bland diet of white rice and chicken for a day or two.

If their condition worsens or does not improve after 1 or 2 days, then you should consult your veterinarian.

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities or allergies can also be responsible for your dog’s odd behavior. Some dogs are sensitive to a certain food, which can cause them to have diarrhea or loose stools every time they eat the offending food.

As a result, they may have a hard time holding it during their walk, causing them to poop outside as soon as they get the chance.

If you suspect that your dog has a food sensitivity or allergy, you can do an elimination diet to find out whether it is indeed the culprit or not. To make sure you are doing it right, you should enlist the help of a veterinarian to guide you.

After finding the specific food that causes the problem, you simply need to eliminate it from your dog’s diet.

Other Medical Causes

Aside from the three medical conditions discussed above, there are other medical reasons that can affect your dog’s pooping habits. Here are some of them:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Trauma or injury
  • Infection of anal sac
  • Parasites
  • Tumor
  • Viruses

3. Anxiety or Excitement

Your dog’s emotions have quite a powerful effect on their digestive system, and it turns out that your dog can actually poop when they feel too much excitement or anxiety.

When dogs feel anxious or excited, their bodies will respond by loosening up their bowels. This will cause them to poop during a walk due to increased intestinal movement and muscle relaxation.

Among many other reasons, over-excitement in dogs can result from a lack of exercise. And so, one way to calm your dog before a walk is to make sure that they have enough exercise beforehand.

On the other side of the coin, dogs can also be anxious about going on walks. This may be caused by the fact that your dog is scared because they are not familiar with the route or environment they’re walking in.

One way to help your dog feel more relaxed before a walk is to pick the same route every time. This way, they can become familiar with its smells and objects.

4. Bad Habit

Sometimes, your dog may poop during a walk because they are simply used to it. This can happen because they are very used to relieving themselves during their daily walks.

The key to successfully breaking a bad habit is to reward your dog whenever they do something that you want them to do. In this case, you can reward your dog with a treat whenever they poop in a designated area.

It won’t be easy to change this habit at first, especially if they have picked up this habit at a young age, but with enough patience, you can gradually wean your dog away from this habit.

5. Diet

A change in diet or dog food that does not suit your dog’s stomach can result in digestive problems, which lead to your dog pooping while walking.

This is most common with puppies who are still in the process of transitioning from a puppy formula to an adult formula or with dogs who have just adopted a new diet, like switching brands or types of dog food.

To reduce the risk of your dog developing diarrhea when they are transitioning to a new brand of dog food, you need to do it slowly. Instead of directly changing their diet in one go, you should mix in the new brand for several weeks until it has completely replaced their old food.

Related Questions

1. Why Won’t My Dog Poop Outside?

There are several reasons why your dog may refuse to poop outside. The most likely one is they may not be comfortable with the weather; it may be too cold or raining.

2. Why Does My Dog Poop On My Bed?

Your dog may feel anxious about you leaving them at home alone, and so as a way to express their stress and anxiety, they may poop on your bed.

3. Why Does My Dog Poop On Concrete?

Dogs who poop on concrete may be doing so because they have been conditioned to do so since puppies. If they only have access to concrete, this is what they will continue to use.