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What to Do if Your Dog is Constipated

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sciences
Wordcount: 2371 words Published: 5th Oct 2017

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Dog constipation is usually something that dog owners shouldn’t worry about as most of the dogs will likely be constipated at some point in their lives. Concisely, constipation is the inability of the dog to defecate normally. If your dog seems to be exhausting while passing his stools or maybe his stools are unusually hard, he probably is constipated. Normally, the body of the dog can deal with the problem on its own, but if constipation lasts over a few days, you need to take steps to ease the dog.

Dog constipation- What to do if your dog is constipated?

Can dogs get constipated to an extent that it becomes troublesome for the dog? The answer lies in the fact that constipation in dogs is a common occurrence due to the modern day diet they are given by their owners. In some cases, the constipation is so severe that it is impossible for the dog to pass tools without external help. My dog is constipated. What should I do? Well, here are few of the things you can do to offer immediate relief to your dog:

  1. Soak a washcloth in warm (not hot) water. Now, using this damp cloth put a little pressure on the stomach of the constipated dog, stroking downwards towards the anus. This action mimics the natural way a mother dog uses its tongue to help the puppy eliminate trapped gas and the waste accumulated in the stomach.
  2. Always keep lot of water near your pet as lack of water can put his kidneys at risk. In order to prevent constipation from happening, provide your dog with lots of vegetables in his meals. Many individuals use a variety of green vegetables with wetted dry dog food.
  3. Remember that exercise is a good remedy for constipation. Depending on the age and condition of the dog, a long walk or an energetic play does a fantastic job of reviving a sluggish bowel.
  4. Constipation is rare in puppies, but should your dog ever gets constipated, he can easily be comforted by the use of enema. An enema could be administered through a # 8 feeding tube, which is mounted on a syringe filled with around 3-4 cc of warm water (the amount depends on the size of the dog). Put small amount of KY Jelly (or petroleum jelly) on the end of this tube, and insert the tube into the dog’s rectum, perhaps an inch (again that depends on the measurements of the dog). Slowly push the plunger until the liquid formula has completely disappeared from the syringe. In just few minutes, you will get the desired results.

Causes & Symptoms of a Dog Constipated

Causes of dog constipation

A dog that is suffering from constipation spends more than usual in releasing his stools, as well as the resulting stools are small, round and hard. It certain that if your puppy is constipated, he is undergoing great trauma. One of the main reasons for constipation is insufficient water intake and too much gap between two potty breaks. With that said, here are some of major causes of constipation in canines:

1. Excessive Licking

Excessive licking of hair can harden the hair, which might block the colon. You must find out the cause of excessive licking and eradicate it completely.

2. Consumption of foreign objects

Consumption of foreign materials such as gravel, rocks, toys, dirt, bones and fabric can also contribute towards getting the dog constipated. If objects are abnormally large, they might injure the colon while the dog attempts to pass them. You might even need surgery to remove them.

3. Surgery

Constipation is one among the several side effects of surgery. So, don’t be worried if your dog doesn’t have bowel movements for a few days after he has undergone a surgery.

4. Certain medications can cause temporary constipation

Certain medications could cause temporary constipation in canines. Your veterinarian will almost certainly suggest a stool softener to resolve the problem.

5. A dog that shouldn’t be constipated according to his medical reports must be checked for electrolyte disturbances. This could be a serious clinical characteristic of a metabolic disease that might have manifested in the dog.

6. Older dogs often have their prostrates enlarged. The prostate is located just beneath the colon. When it enlarges, it presses against the colon and reduces the width of the route it has for the passage of feces. Alternatively, there might be a tumor in the colon, narrowing the passage further. Neutering the dog and/or removing the tumor will generally correct such problems.

Dog Constipation Symptoms

How to tell if your dog is constipated? There are many signs and symptoms of constipation in canines that can easily be seen by those that are in close contact with the dog.

Common symptoms

One among the obvious symptoms of constipation is difficulty in defecation. This difficulty can manifest itself in a few different ways, including excessive stress and the inability to generate a bowel movement at all. Sometimes dogs release small amount of fluid from their anus after an effort. You can consider your dog as constipated if he does not have a bowel movement for more than two days.

Additional symptoms

Some dogs with constipated stomachs might still have the ability to release their stools; however, the stools they release are often very hard and dry. You might also notice the obvious pain that the dog feels (exhibited by whining, grunting and hunching) while defecating. The dry stools and constant straining might turn the anus red. In other instances, the stool contains blood and mucus.

Symptoms of severe constipation

In the advanced stages of constipation, dogs experience decreased appetite, give up eating completely or vomit a lot. They could also become bloated and lethargic due to compacted stools. Constipation might also cause depression in dogs. Many of them might stop responding to their favorite play activities and treats. If your dog is experiencing any one of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.

Some other symptoms

A clear indication of constipation in pet dogs is visiting the toilet frequently with little success. Other noteworthy indications of constipation are listed below:

  • Mental stress
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reluctant to do physical activities
  • Increased whining
  • Abnormal gait
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Abdominal distension
  • Swelling and soreness in the anal region
  • Painful bowel movement
  • Straining while defecating
  • Passing very hard stool
  • Passing very difficult stools

Dog Constipation Remedy

Remedies for dogs with minor constipation

What to give a dog for constipation that is not major? Below mentioned are some of the best treatments that are meant for minor constipation. In case the problem persists for more than seven days or perhaps the stool contains large amounts of blood or mucus, consult your veterinarian before starting any treatment.

Make use of a stool softener

Minor constipation can usually be treated with the help of a stool softener. Laxatives for dogs are easily available on most of the pet stores. Read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure that you never overdose your pet.


An old remedy for dog constipation that is still in use today is lubricating the colon of the dog. Veterinarians usually recommend mixing such lubricants in food instead of feeding raw. Make sure that you adhere to the dosage to prevent further complications.

Change his diet

Try adding fiber to your dog’s food. The fiber will not be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract of the dog due to which it stays in the large intestine, adding to the volume of the stool. This boost in volume conveys strong sensory stimulation to the colon encouraging it to release the stools. You can easily purchase high fiber diet recipe from the market, which can further improve the mobility in the colon.

Give him milk

Milk often helps in problems like constipation. A Dog that is reluctant to drinking plenty of water tends to drink milk easily. Give him a small bowl of milk and let him lap it up. The dog will initially have running stools, but this should solve the problem of constipation.

Plenty of exercise and clean, freshwater

To keep the enzymatic system of your dog healthy, you need to keep your dog moving. Regular exercise will assist in pushing the stool out of the colon. On top of that, make sure that the dog drinks plenty of fresh water. Providing your dog with plenty of fresh water and exercise are among some of the best home remedies for dog constipation.

Remedies for dogs that are heavily constipated

What can you give a dog for constipation? Well, there are several home remedies that can even provide relief to dogs that are heavily constipated. Below mentioned home remedies will not only relieve your dog off his problem, but will also help him maintain proper digestion.

Add digestive enzymes and probiotics

Adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to the diet of your dog can significantly improve his condition. They can also act as a preventive remedy for indigestion, which is what causes constipation as well as other conditions like diarrhea.

Use a highly digestible, low ash residue diet

Some colons would perform better when the volume of stools is less. In order to achieve this goal, a low ash residue diet is used. With this diet, the body is able to absorb most of the nutrients, leading to lower volume of stools. Many of the bigger dog food makers are promoting diets that produce lesser stools as a treatment for dog constipation.

Switch to canned food for a short time

Switch to canned food – but for a brief time. In case your dog is fed on dry kibble for a long time, check out quality canned food for 2 days. As the canned food carries more moisture in it, it will be easier for your dog’s intestines to move such food.

Feed your dog with ginger and chicken or beef broth

Having these two ingredients in your dog’s food can help you relieve him off his constipation. This is also among the most popular remedies for dog constipation. Ginger helps upset the stomach and the fat in broth gets things moving.

Use olive or vegetable oil

This is a home remedy that you should not give many times to your dog, for the reason that it causes diarrhea. However, in times of constipation, adding one tablespoon of oil in your dog’s food can get all the irritable stuff out. This is one constipated dog treatment that is followed by dog owners around the world.

Give him canned pumpkin in pureed form

Canned pumpkin in its pureed form is a great stool softener and a natural remedy for constipation. Canned pumpkin for dog constipation is also a known remedy for soothing upset stomachs in dogs. It is very rich in fiber and adding just a couple of teaspoons of pureed pumpkin to your dog’s food can often start to show results almost immediately. Dogs can also be allowed to eat just the pumpkin.

If the problem persists for over a few days, and there is blood coming out of the dog’s anus or your dog is vomiting, the issue is serious enough to seek veterinarian’s help.

Homemade dog food- Avoid digestive problems for your dog

Figuring out how to make dog food might seem like a big investment of time and energy. However, this investment of time is not as big as it seems once you know the right ingredients, and what your dog loves the most. Knowing these two things will help you prepare a meal for your dog in no time. With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of feeding your dog with home made dog food:

Your dog gets more nutrition per ounce of food

Home cooked food is not much more expensive than the commercial food available in the market. Considering the fact that your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs and will live a healthy life, spending a little extra on home cooked food is worth the investment.

You have full control over the ingredients of your dog’s food

With home cooked dog food, you have full control over the ingredients that are going into your dog’s food. You can customize the food according to the deficiencies present in the dog. This is one big advantage of home cooked food.

Home cooked food doesn’t cause any allergies in dogs

Many of the dog owners switch to natural ingredients because their dogs start to develop different kinds of food allergies. With home cooked food, no such issue exists.

Using the right ingredients

When you feed your dog with homemade dog food, you have full control over the kind of fiber that is going into your dog’s food. Regardless of the kind of recipe you are using, make sure that it has at least some of the below mentioned fibrous ingredients in appropriate proportions:

  • Whole oats
  • Wheat bran
  • Raw sesame seeds
  • Psyllium seed (like in Metamucil)
  • Ground flax seed
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice

Food groups to use in dog’s food

Learning how to make pet food is very different from knowing the food groups that are best for the dog, and the quantity in which they are required. Proteins, vegetables, starches and even fruits are some of the important food groups that your dog needs to consume on daily basis to meet his nutritional needs.

Your dog’s veterinarian should be able to provide the necessary treatment for constipation. You just need to make simple variations in your dog’s diet and do all that is required keep your dog’s digestive system working well. If symptoms are severe, your vet might use X-rays to determine the cause of constipation, and perform the procedures necessary for remedying the problem.


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