Why Your Dog Walks And Poops At the Same Time

Here is my 13 yr old Golden, walking and

Because, for most of us, our dogs are almost like children, they can take us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Most of the time they make us go “ahhhh” with their innocence and unconditional love.

Sometimes they make us go “nnooo!” as they are refusing to listen to us (yet again.)

At other times, they make us go “uuurgh, what the?” with some of their weird habits.

If you have seen your dog walking and pooping lately, this may have been a “uurgh what the?” moment. 

While some people may find it sweet, and others may hate it, it’s still important to know why your dog walks and poops at the same time.

We’re here to tell you why your dog walks while pooping, and maybe help you make them stop.

As stated already, some people find it funny and don’t mind their pets doing it, but it may not just be a habit they picked up, it may be a sign of a serious intestinal issue. 

Either way, let’s get into why your dog walks and poops at the same time. 

What you will learn from this article:

  1. Why does an old dog poop while walking?
  2. Six other reasons that your dog walks while pooping 
  3. Two reasons that dogs walk in circles while pooping
  4. What to do about your dogs walking poop

Why does an old dog poop while walking?

Here is a video of Bumps walking and pooping

First of all, I want to start by looking at why old dogs poop while walking.

This is because I have an old dog and this is what happens to her.

[1] Muscle Atrophy

Old dogs, like mine, have lost the strength to stand still (or posture) and poop.

And if you think about it, takes a lot of strength to hold that position.

It becomes easier for them to walk and poop because then gravity helps them more.

As they age, their muscles get weaker and at the same time as their muscles waste, their nerves also start to fade and they cannot feel as they once did and so defecating can surprise an older dog.

Bumps, my old dog, can still hold poop standing still if she is on grass. If I take her for a walk for a walk on a stony path or concrete sidewalk, all pooping will be done whilst walking.

Below I talk about a very similar issue (bowel control) but I think age related muscle atrophy is slightly different.

Now that I have discussed why an old dog might be doing it, I will move onto to talk about why it might be happening to dogs of all ages.

I have just written an article that looks in a lot more detail at why old dogs walk and poop at the same time…

Six other reasons that your dog walks while pooping

For many dogs, the reason why they are walking and pooping is a quick fix or at least something that shouldn’t worry you unduly.

Some solutions are as simple as a diet, while others may be more along the lines of surgery. 

If, after reading this article, you are still seriously concerned or if the walking and pooping habit continues then you should book an appointment with your local vet.

[1] Marking

When dogs smell another animal, they may mark their territory ¹

One of the most common and understandable reasons for a walking poop is the marking of territory by your dog.

It’s been known for years that animals use their urine and feces to mark their territory and also avoid other animal sections, so this is nothing new.

When you’re on a walk with your dog, they may do the walking poop because they smell another animal’s scent and want to lay theirs down without leaving themselves visually vulnerable by standing still.

Your dog’s anus has scent glands surrounding it, these scent glands emit a musky stench whenever your dog goes.

This musky odor allows your dog to identify itself, as well as to inform other dogs.

Walking intensifies the musky scent from the glands, allowing them to leave a more dominant scent behind.

If this is the reason your dog poops while walking, then it will be easy to train them to do otherwise, by simply training them to sit while pooping with continuous effort and lots of treats. 

[2] Habits

Habits are another more mainstream reason why your dog walks while pooping. There are many habits they may have picked this up from their puppyhood.

Excited puppy bladder can often continue and form into submissive urination if not treated properly.

Sometimes, walking and pooping is a habit from when dogs were puppies ²

We’ve all been peed on by an excited baby animal, whether a kitten or a puppy, but most others grow out of it as they become more familiar with their new home.

While most dogs may grow out of an excited puppy bladder, without proper training, an excited puppy bladder can turn into submissive urination and defecation.

If your dog poops and pees when they see another dog or when you get home, it may be submissive.

This is easily treated by enforcing a different routine, punishments, rewards, and so on.

This may also just be a habit they picked up from a prior owner or diet, which again, can easily be addressed with the right approach. 

[3] Emotions

As already discussed, emotions have quite a heavy hand in when your dog may relieve their bowels. While more so common in small or adolescent dogs, anxiety can cause a walking poop. While anxiety may be causing these abnormal bathroom habits, excitement may also be the reason.

And sometimes, it happens when we get too excited…³

Exercise and emotions may be combined in loosening your dog’s bowels, as the walking may be walking their tummy while the emotions loosen the anus.

Your scared pup may do a walking poop to avoid any surrounding animals from approaching them, while your excited dog may drop a deuce to empty their stomach so they can run faster and jump higher.

There is a range of emotions that may be making your dog poop while walking. Behavior training is another easy solution to this problem. 

[4] Bowel control

This is a more medical issue than it is your dog’s fault.

While common in older and younger dogs, a lack of bowel control can affect any age or breed dog.

A lack of bowel control could be accredited to illness, poor diet, injury, or disease.

Some of the symptoms you can expect to see in poor bowel control, aside from a walking poop, are gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and scooting.

Some of the underlying issues that may be causing poor bowel control in your dog are parvo, muscle atrophy, or parasites.

A poor diet is another contributing factor as it may be upsetting your dog’s stomach and thus their faeces.

A protein and fibre-filled diet should help your dog solidify their poop and pooping habits.

If you think your dog is unable to control their bowels, it would be best to take them to a vet so they can be assessed, diagnosed, and treated. 

[5] Diet

While a fairly common cause, your dog’s diet may be the thing that’s causing their lack of ability to control when or where they poop. 

An inappropriate and unbalanced diet can leave your dog either constipated or with diarrhea, both could be the reason why your dog walks and poops at the same time.

A balanced diet makes for better dog poop ⁴

You dog may need to remain walking while pooping if constipated to put pressure on their bowls.

If your dog is struggling with diarrhea then they may walk and poop because they can’t stop it. 

At the risk of going off on a tangent, your dog’s stool should have the consistency of play dough.

And the shape, color and consistency of a dog’s poop is a key indicator of their overall health.

Stool that is either too soft or too firm is going to make your dog uncomfortable, possibly cause pain and might force them to walk and poop. 

The issue of the ideal dog’s diet is highly contentious as a quick look on the Internet will soon prove!

But it should contain water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins and the ingredients should be the highest quality that you can afford.

[6] Food Allergies

Another reason why your dog’s stools might be too hard or too soft and cause them to walk and poop, is that your dog might have a food allergy.

Food allergies can develop any time, even if your dog has been eating the same food since the year dot.

They are further complicated by the fact that they are hellish hard to test for because you need to test for allergens one at a time. 

One of our Golden Retrievers had a food intolerance and no matter what dried food we bought (and we tried all the top brands over the space of a year) she would consistently have diarrhea.

It was only when we switched her to a diet to include some raw meat, that we began to get things under control. 

It is difficult to know what percentage of the canine population suffer from a food allergy but we can be fairly certain that the most common allergens are chicken, beef and dairy products.

Chicken and beef? But aren’t dogs meat eaters?! Yeah, I know. 

Two reasons that dogs walk in circles while pooping

Some dogs walk whilst they are pooping, whilst other dogs seem to walk round and round in circles before they find the perfect spot.

But why is this?

[1] Marking Territory

So we have covered this one already.

As much as some dogs will poop whilst walking (in a fairly straight line) because they are marking their territory, other dogs will do this by walking round in circles a few times.

[2] Preparing the ground

Dogs don’t just pace in circles when they are trying to poop, many dogs also walk in a tight circle just before they go to sleep on a dog’s bed.

And this circling is a way of preparing the ground, making sure that it is a safe and comfortable place to either sleep in, or poop in!

What to do about your dogs walking poop

As already stated, it’s fairly common for dogs to poop while walking.

Most of the issues can be sorted out with some basic behavior training or a change in the diet, but it’s still important to note that there may be an issue lurking behind this funny habit. 

While we are not telling you to grab your pet and rush them to the ICU, we are alerting you on the possibilities behind the walking poop.

It’s always best to be atop of any issues, as identifying it early could be what saves your pet.

We would recommend consulting your vet if they have any additional issues such as diarrhea, a bloated abdomen, gas, vomiting, or inconsistent feces patterns.

This article was intended to educate you on the reasons why your dog walks and poops at the same time, not scare you. 

Photo credits

¹ Photo by Hans Veth on Unsplash

² Photo by Chris Arthur-Collins on Unsplash

³ Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

⁴ Photo by Valeriy Evtushenko on Unsplash