Nobody likes seeing their furry friend in pain. Especially when the cause is tummy trouble. With dogs, constipation can cause tense pain and even alter their overall health and nutrition. In some situations, there may even be an underlying issue that’s to blame.
Since dogs constipate for a variety of reasons, you need to rule out any underlying sickness before you treat it. Your vet will help you identify possible causes of severe constipation in your pup. If you’re sure it’s just constipation, you can choose to go ahead and treat your dog’s constipation at home, but we always highly recommend you to talk with your vet before you do anything.
In this post, we’ll uncover what causes constipation, and what to give your dog for constipation. Keep reading to learn more!
What is Dog Constipation?
Ever suffered from constipation? Well, constipation in your dog isn’t really very different from what humans experience when they’re constipated. It’s an uncomfortable feeling when your pup has a difficult time with their bowel movements. Your furry friend will feel like they’re blocked up, making it difficult or impossible to pass normal stool regularly. The experience is simply unpleasant and can be painful.
According to the American Kennel Club, symptoms of constipation in dogs include the following;
- Hard, dry stool instead of normal stool
- Your dog might go for a few days without defecating
- Defecation accompanied by pain or difficulty
- Your fur baby may try to defecate but nothing pops out
- Your dog’s fecal matter may contain blood
Chronic constipation symptoms typically start with the same symptoms as above, but ultimately end with your dog being unable to defecate at all, for long periods of time. This points to severe issues in the dog’s digestive system.
What Causes Your Dog’s Constipation?
Like humans, the digestive process in dogs starts in the mouth and ends in the small intestines. However, blockages along the digestive tract may result in constipation or even chronic constipation. Some of the reasons that lead up to these blockages include the following;
- Your dog’s food lacks fiber. This includes sources of dietary calcium like bone meal.
- Inactivity in dogs.
- Age – older dogs are easily affected
- Psychological stress.
- Spinal diseases and injuries
- Dehydration (not enough fluids in your dog’s diet)
- Tumors in the pelvic region, the dog’s colon or elsewhere in the digestive tract
You should take dog constipation seriously as it might be an underlying symptom of a serious problem in your dog’s digestive system. Always seek the help of your vet to determine the exact cause of dog constipation.
What Should I Give my Dog for Constipation? (Remedies for Dog Constipation)
The first instinct that should kick in when dealing with dog constipation is a dietary change. Of course, you need to upgrade the nutritional quality of your dog treats. Start by incorporating feeds rich in fiber and natural laxatives for dogs in their diet. And some home remedies for dog constipation may help produce normal stool.
In instances where constipation is mild, give your canine friend the following dog constipation home remedies.
Note: While these remedies may be very helpful with constipation, always, always talk with your vet and get their guidance before you do anything.
1. Give Pumpkin Puree
The Merck Veterinary Manual, recommends the addition of 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to the diet of a constipated dog. Pumpkin puree has a high content of fiber and moisture that’ll make your fur baby poop with ease.
You shouldn’t confuse pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling may lead to stomach upset and diarrhea in your fur baby.
2. Add More Dietary Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet
What your dog eats is vital. Dietary fiber is crucial in moving the stool of dogs in the right direction. Its ability to soak in water and cover the dog’s fecal matter promotes gut motility. This results in a relieving excretion process among canines.
One tablespoon of dietary fiber for every 25 to 35 pounds of your dog’s body weight daily, is enough to do the trick. Foods rich in fiber include kale, cabbages, carrots, and green beans. You can grind these foods and serve them up in your dog’s dish, or find high-moisture canned dog food with them in it.
3. Give More Fluids (Water, Canned Dog Food, etc)
Since dehydration causes constipation, it’s best to increase fluid uptake in your dog. Fluids promote regular bowel movement in your dog and they aren’t limited to water. You can give your canine friend some soup or broth, crushed ice cubes, and dog feed with high moisture content (like canned food).
You can compel your dog to drink more water by using a drinking fountain designed for dogs.
4. Keep Your Dog Active
Humans and dogs are so much alike, that’s why you’re best friends with your canine. For instance, just like humans, dogs need physical exercise to stay healthy.
Exercises help to keep food moving toward the right opening. Dogs that don’t exercise are more likely to have constipation issues than those that do.
The amount of exercise is dependent on your dog’s breed, age, size, current health, and job. Otherwise, intense exercises for 30 minutes twice daily should be enough to unplug your dog’s poop.
5. Use Natural Stool Softeners for Your Dog’s Digestive Tract
Natural stool softeners for dogs work by lubricating the digestive tract. They also soften your dog’s stool making it easy for dogs to defecate. You can mix these stool softeners with your dog’s food or give them directly using a spoon.
Some stool softeners for dogs include coconut oil and olive oil. You should give dogs these natural stool softeners at low doses to avoid cases of diarrhea.
6. Get Natural Laxatives for Dogs
Laxatives are best used when prescribed by a vet. This is because some laxatives may cause more harm than good if your dog isn’t diagnosed with constipation. To avoid the many side effects of prescription laxatives, consider natural laxatives for dogs. Some of these include Apple Cider vinegar and Aloe vera.
When giving your dog a laxative, ensure that it’s calm and compliant.
7. Give Probiotics to Your Dog
Probiotics promote gut health and can be very helpful to your dog’s digestive system. They encourage the growth of good bacteria, essential for digestion. They also prevent gut infections, which result in painful defecation. Probiotics also hinder the growth of bad bacteria such as salmonella.
You should administer probiotics for dogs under the guidance of a vet. Always monitor dogs with a poor immune system when using probiotics. A good example of a probiotic is yogurt. Two tablespoons of yogurt daily should be sufficient for your dog.
Best Supplements for a Constipated Dog
Food treats like peanut butter-coated sweet potato bones, or canned food may soften your dog’s bowel movement. They’re high in moisture content and contain fiber which is essential to control constipation in dogs.
The diet of constipated dogs includes dietary fibers, natural laxatives for dogs, probiotics, more fluids, and some vigorous exercises. So, you’ve got all you need to give your constipated pup to unblock its poop. However, it’s important to take your fur friend to the vet to determine the actual cause of constipation. Some scenarios of constipation may act as symptoms of underlying medical or physical conditions in your dog.
At Carolina Prime Pet, we’re a dog-loving family and are passionate about dog treats, We ensure that your dog gets quality treats from our locally sourced ingredients. Our product quality has been consistent since 1998. This has earned us unrivaled dependability among dog lovers.
When you shop with us for treats for your constipated dog, look at the back of our packets for the necessary nutritional requirements. It’s always best you select dog treats with high fiber and moisture content to improve your dog’s bowel movement.