As a dog owner, you've likely seen your canine companion do a lot of things that make you go, "Huh?" Caring for a dog is like raising a small child: You never know what you're going to get!
Some behaviors are innocent enough. But others are so out of left field that they have you wondering if there's something more serious at play.
One strange behavior your might observe is the mid-poop walk.
It's when your dog is simultaneously walking around while attempting to pass stool. Many owners who see this quirky practice get a good chuckle out of it. But why does your dog do it?
Here are some potential reasons why your dog walks and poops at the same time.
10 Potential Reasons Why Your Dog Walks and Poops at the Same Time
#1. An Answer for Constipation
Have you ever watched your dog walk around in circles right before they do their business? That's because walking helps to get the bowels moving.
It's why so many dogs end up having to pop a squat in the middle of their morning walks.
If you see your dog walking and pooping simultaneously, it could be a sign that your dog is a bit constipated. They are walking to try and eliminate the stool as efficiently as possible.
Related: 5 High-Fiber Dog Foods to Support Healthy Digestion
#2. Muscle Pain or Weakness
Here's one of the more unfortunate reasons for this behavior.
As dogs get older, they suffer from muscle atrophy. Senior dogs are less active, so the muscles become weaker and weaker as time goes on.
Believe it or not, it takes a lot of strength to hold that squatted position! Muscle pain and general weakness can make it challenging to maintain for an extended period.
So, walking is the solution that older dogs use to get more comfortable.
Pay attention to other body signals. Are the legs shaking? Is your furry friend grimacing in pain every time they start squatting?
If so, muscle pain could be the culprit. Torn ligaments and leg injuries could be to blame as well.
This issue can benefit from some medical intervention. Joint supplements could help to alleviate the pain a bit.
Your vet may also recommend that you encourage your dog to exercise more or have you use a support sling to assist in the potty process.
3. Long and Droopy Stool
Sometimes, the issue is the poop itself!
It's not uncommon to see dogs walking around if the stool they're trying to push out is super long. The same behaviors occur if the stool gets caught in the fur on the way out, too.
The walking is your dog's attempt to dislodge the poop.
There are many reasons why the pool gets long enough to warrant this awkward squat walk. In many cases, it's because your dog is licking itself too much.
The fur they swallow ends up acting like aggregate in cement. It holds the feces together, resulting in ultra-long logs.
The same thing happens if your dog chows down on grass due to stomach pain. Either way, this is an issue that usually goes away once your dog's stool goes back to normal.
4. Poor Bowel Control
If your dog is sick or suffering from a serious medical condition, it could have trouble controlling its bowels. This issue is pretty common with dogs that suffer from parvo, parasites, and other illnesses.
Injury or atrophy of the bowel muscles can be to blame, too.
When this happens, your dog will have a hard time controlling when they relieve themselves. You might notice your dog having more frequent accidents inside the house because they cannot hold it in.
Don't ignore this issue. Please take it as a sign of something nefarious going on. Speak with your vet about potential solutions, a proper diagnosis, and treatment options.
5. Scent Spreading
We all know that dogs use their urine and feces to spread their scent. It's a way to claim their territory!
Walking around and pooping simultaneously is the best way to maximize coverage, so eager dogs do it all the time.
Interestingly enough, the act of walking also helps to release more fluids from the anal glands. The anal glands play a big part in spreading your dog's distinct smell.
Walking helps secrete more scent fluids, so it's a harmless way for your dog to go above and beyond.
6. A Bad Habit That Stuck
In some cases, this strange behavior is leftover habits from your dog's youth.
As a growing puppy, many dogs have a more challenging time holding their bladders and bowels. Accidents are pretty common, and many young puppies attempt to make things right by quickly moving to the correct potty spot mid-poop.
One of the biggest parts of housebreaking your dog is teaching them to have a little more control. However, not all dogs break the habit.
They might learn how to hold things in until they are outside, but the act of releasing their bowels as they walk is a behavior that's more difficult to shake off.
Luckily, you can put an end to it with a bit of training.
7. A Lackluster Diet
A diet filled with lackluster ingredients is only going to cause trouble.
Cheap fillers and difficult-to-digest carbohydrates are notorious for causing chronic constipation.
You might find this hard to believe, but many cheaper brands use ingredients that have no place in a dog's diet. Those unnecessary additives and fillers are hard to digest, but they add bulk and keep costs low.
Loose stool is never easy to hold in. So, you might see your dog "dripping" poop every once in a while.
If this becomes a regular event, consider switching foods. Look for a product with wholesome ingredients and plenty of fiber to solidify things in your dog's system.
8. Gastrointestinal Upsets
Have a dog with food sensitivities? The reason for your dog's strange behaviors could come down to how its body reacts to allergens.
Like dog food with crappy ingredients, allergens will cause chronic problems in your dog's digestive system. They may suffer from regular bouts of diarrhea or ongoing constipation.
Visit your vet for an allergy test. Once you figure out what's causing the trouble, you can plan your dog's diet to avoid it altogether. It's also a good idea to invest in foods that have probiotics and other gut-improving ingredients.
That way, you can rest easy knowing that your dog isn't experiencing stomach issues all the time.
Related: 5 Best Dog Foods to Combat Allergies
One reason why your dog could be walking and pooping is anxiety. This often happens when nature calls in an environment they're not comfortable in.
Maybe you're in a new part of the neighborhood you've never walked in. Or, it could be the presence of strangers nearby.
Dogs in uncomfortable surroundings will do their best to get the deed done and over with as quickly as possible. Pooping puts your dog in a vulnerable position, so they'll try to make stool and get out of dodge!
Sometimes, they'll keep walking in the middle of their poop to get to a place they know.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have over-excited dogs.
Many pups get riled up when they're going for a walk. They're just happy to be out of the house! Their emotions take over.
Before you know it, you have a dog that totally forgets what they're doing and starts zooming across the grass while pooping.
It's an unforgettable sight, but it's pretty harmless. If you want to calm your dog down a bit, consider walking in familiar areas before they poop. Once they release their bowels, you can move onto exciting areas!
For the most part, your dog's penchant for walking and pooping at the same time is not a significant cause for concern. As long as it's not making a mess, why disrupt the process?
That said, health-related issues may require some intervention. Speak with your vet about possible solutions. They may recommend treatment to address the root cause of the behavior, providing relief and comfort whenever nature calls.