Have you ever noticed your pup walking around in circles as they poop? Why in the world would they do that?

Why Does My Dog Walk in Circles While Pooping?

Don’t you love taking your pup outside for some relaxing walks, fresh air, and exercise? But don’t forget the poop bags! Because inevitably, your pup will need to poop at some point along the walk. But wait… why are they walking around in circles while pooping?

This may seem super strange, but there are several reasons why your pup might be doing this. But before we jump into the why... let's figure out if your pup's poop is healthy poop.

What Does Unhealthy Dog Poop Look Like?

There are certain factors that will help you notice whether or not your pups poop is healthy. The phrase vets love to use is that “the proof is in the poop." Poop is a great indicator of your dog's health, if you know what to look for.

Unhealthy poop

  • Watery stools can mean intestinal problems
  • Small pellet-like poop can mean dehydration
  • Mucus could mean an inflamed colon
  • White bits could be a tapeworm
  • Black, coffee-like stool means possible internal bleeding
  • Blood

If you notice any of the above, especially the last four symptoms, please contact your veterinarian right away!

Healthy poop

  • Color should be a chocolate brown
  • Shape should be like logs, and should maintain their form
  • Consistency “should be compact, moist, and easy to pick up from the grass, but feel like Play-Doh when squished”
  • Size should correspond to the amount of food they eat, but can increase if their fiber intake increases
  • Content – watch out for the contents from the “unhealthy poop” list above. And if your pup has excessive grass in their stool, they could be eating more because of stress or because of stomach upset.

Why Does My Dog Walk and Poop?

There are many possible answers for this, but here are the most common reasons why your dog might be walking and pooping at the same time.

1. Constipation

One of the reasons why your dog might be walking around in circles, or back and forth in your yard is because they are constipated. And as my vet told me once, “movement creates movement." Your dog instinctively knows that walking around will help them move their bowels.

So sometimes they end up walking and pooping at the same time. Other dogs might just walk around a little bit, and then stop to poop like normal. This is also why your dog might commonly poop on walks. That movement helps get things flowing. If your dog is struggling with constipation, you can try giving them canned pumpkin because it’s high in fiber. And if they are frequently constipated, consider changing their dog food diet.

2. Muscle pain or weakness

Is your puppy a senior dog? Sometimes dogs will walk around while they poop because of muscle pain or weakness. And muscle atrophy is very common in senior dogs. As they get older, it becomes difficult for them to hold that squatting position the entire time they are pooping. So instead, they end up walking around in circles.

Try to pay attention next time and see if their legs are shaking, or if you can see the look of pain on their face. If so, it could be something serious like a torn ligament. And they would need to get checked out by your vet right away.

3. Long stool

If your dog is trying to pass a longer stool, they might try to walk away as they are pooping. Especially if they can feel it getting stuck in their fur.

4. Bowel incontinence

It's possible that your dog poops while they're walking because they struggle with bowel incontinence. This means they don't have full control over their bowel movements.

5. Leaving their scent

Believe it or not, your dog might be trying to leave their scent. Not only can dogs leave their scent for other canines to smell through their urine and bowels, but they can leave it by scratching at the ground. “Dogs have scent glands in their paws, and when they scratch, they might be trying to send an olfactory message to other dogs by spreading the scent from their paws.”

6. Bad habits

Your dog may have picked up a bad habit of walking while they poop as a puppy. When your dog was potty training, they might have been trying to correct their accidents by walking toward the correct bathroom spot—while still going to the bathroom.

7. Anxiety

Your dog may be suffering from anxiety while they're pooping—especially if you moved to a new home, or you're going for a walk somewhere they've never been before. If your pup is feeling nervous and uncomfortable, they might continue to walk while they're pooping, so they can keep moving through that area. Your dog might feel that squatting to poop like normal makes them vulnerable to strangers and potential predators.

8. Overly-excited

And of course there is always the overly excited dog. We've all seen dogs get too excited and accidentally pee while walking around. But it can happen with poop too. Your dog might be pooping, but they got too excited. And then they started to run around while they were still “doing their business.”

For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.

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