When your dog has trouble having bowel movements, it can bring on a lot of unnecessary stress for both the dog and the owner.
The solution to helping a dog poop is often to massage parts of their body. Massages may stimulate their bowels or provide the necessary peace of mind to pass a bowel movement. There are several ways to massage them, including rubbing their stomach in circular motions, rubbing their sides, and rubbing their thighs.
There are seven ways to massage a dog to poop that are particularly effective at making them comfortable enough to do their business and enacting their colon.
1. Circular Motions On The Stomach
Massaging the dog’s stomach clockwise may help the dog pass their waste.
The owner should position the dog on its back as if they were about to give them a belly rub. Then, they should apply very slight pressure while massaging the dog’s stomach in circular motions, moving their hand clockwise along the belly.
This type of massage gets the blood flowing and relaxes all of the muscle fibers in the stomach that could be the root of the issue.
2. Massage The Dog From Head To Tail
Sometimes, a little physical and mental relaxation can help ease things if your dog is constipated.
Giving your dog a massage from its head to its tail is a great technique to relieve physical tension and relax your dog’s mental state.
When doing this, owners should apply slight and consistent pressure to their dog’s whole body.
This therapeutic technique may relax your dog enough to comfortably sit still for more effective massages that directly target their digestive system.
3. Knead Intestines In An Upside-Down U-Shape
Frequently, massaging a dog’s intestines in an upside-down U-Shape will help them to poop after a period of constipation.
Smaller dogs can be held upright against the owner’s chest or lying on their backs.
Massage along the dog’s stomach in an upside-down U-shape, applying slight pressure to the intestines. The fingers should come up the right side of the dog’s stomach area and down the left side.
In addition, try creating slight vibrations by gently shaking the fingers in the same motion along the stomach to stimulate the bowels further.
Dog owners only need to use this massage technique for a few minutes per day, right before it is time for the dog to relieve itself.
4. Massage The Hind Legs
Especially in older dogs, the inability to poop comes from tension or soreness in their hind legs that create discomfort and prevent them from squatting to relieve themselves.
If this seems to be the case with a dog’s constipation, then massaging their hind legs can help them poop more comfortably.
Firstly, make sure that the dog is sitting or lying down to avoid holding too much weight on its legs. Then, begin by placing each thumb on their back thighs and rubbing small circles into the muscles.
As the massage progresses and the dog responds well, the circles can get bigger to cover as much area as possible.
To make the massage even more effective, finish it off by letting the dog lie on its side. Wrap each hand around a thigh, squeeze it gently but firm enough to create pressure, and release it.
Regardless of whether or not back leg pain is the root of the dog’s constipation, this will feel wonderful and relieve a lot of the dog’s tension.
5. Massage The Dog’s Head
If the dog is not using the bathroom due to an excessive amount of anxiety, massaging the head might be the way to go.
Gently stroking the dog’s head from its nose to the top of its forehead can be very relaxing. This method is especially effective because most of the calming points on the dog’s body reside in the head.
Starting with slight pressure on the nose is particularly helpful, as the top of the nose is known for having a calming acupressure point. Completing this nose-to-forehead motion back and forth for a few minutes per day can yield great results.
This technique will not only soothe their nerves but will also relax all of their bodily systems. So, their digestive system may be able to get itself back on track to pass waste.
6. Massage The Dog’s Left Side
The majority of a dog’s bowels run along the left side of the body. So, it is well-advised to focus the massage on this side when attempting to induce a bowel movement.
To begin, lay the dog on its right so that the left side of its body is exposed. Then, quickly knead along the dog’s abdomen, using light pressure allowing the vents in the bowels to open up, which should get things moving in their digestive tract.
This method is fairly effective and often starts working pretty quickly. If you attempt this method inside, be sure to have some trash bags and other cleaning supplies at the ready.
7. Massage The Dog’s Anus
While this may not sound appealing to the owner, a quick way to make a dog poop is by massaging its anus directly.
Of course, it is important to do this in the most hygienic way possible. The best way to go about this is to use a dog-safe wipe and a pair of sterile, disposable gloves. It is also good to put safety first by ensuring the dog is even-tempered and willing to let a human get under its tail.
This technique will include massaging the dog’s anus in a circular motion around the ring. Use water to lubricate the anus to reduce the chance of painful friction. For ideal results, pair this method with another massage technique to maximize the results.
More Reasons To Massage A Dog
Stroking a dog manipulates the soft tissue, which is therapeutic and important for maximizing a dog’s health.
Here is a list of benefits that accrue by incorporating massage into your dog’s weekly routine:
- The owner will be able to detect lumps or swelling
- Improves blood circulation
- Improves lymph circulation
- Improves circulation in the subcutaneous tissues
- Resolves edema
- Relieves muscle tension
- Resolves knots in soft tissue
- Reduces the likelihood of muscle spasms
- Energize the tissues
Any even-tempered dog will appreciate a nice massage, and it can be a great bonding experience for dogs and owners alike.
When Not To Massage A Dog
There are some situations where massaging a dog should not be attempted.
Do not massage a dog if it has any of the following behavioral issues, medical conditions, or injuries:
- Aggression in response to touch
- Prone to biting
- Open wound/sore in the area
- Infection in the area
- Broken or fractured bone in the area
- Tumors in the area
- Blood clotting issues
Any owner with concerns about whether or not their dog’s condition will accommodate a therapeutic massage should consult their veterinarian.
What Causes Constipation In Dogs?
There are a few different reasons why a dog is not pooping, some being more serious than others.
Massaging a dog is a technique that dog owners may use if their dog is constipated due to stress or anxiety, as it may lead to the need for extra stimulation to set their digestive system into action. Not pooping due to anxiety is particularly common in new or unfamiliar settings, as pooping can make dogs feel very vulnerable.
There are additional medical reasons that a dog may be experiencing constipation. A few reasons that a dog may be unable to pass a bowel movement include:
- A diet that lacks fiber
- Consuming inedible items
- Tumors in the digestive tract or the pelvic region
- Conditions in the anal glands
- Medical procedures or medication
- Conditions or injuries involving the spine
- Orthopedic conditions
- Conditions of the nervous system
Suppose a simple massage is not all it takes to get a dog to poop. In that case, it is a good idea to consult a veterinarian to make sure that the dog is not experiencing constipation for a more serious medical reason.
Dealing with constipation in dogs can be a frustrating and worrying experience, but a lot of the time, all that they require is a little extra care to get their system working again.
Massages are a great way to get your dog to poop, and there are quite a few different techniques that will work to the pup’s advantage.
Anxiety and stress can easily cause a dog to stop pooping, and a therapeutic massage to the head or down their back might be the right move to ensure that they calm down enough to relieve themselves.
Additionally, massages will often physically stimulate the right muscles to get the system to pass waste through it easily by quickly rubbing the left side or using different methods to knead the stomach area.
It is important to remember that a massage is not a substitute for visiting the veterinarian, especially if constipation persists and the dog begins showing signs of visible distress.