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Dog constipation: Causes and what to do

Dog constipation: Causes and what to do

Dog constipation is a problem many owners face, however just a few know how to solve it the right way. Just like it’s with humans, constipation can be a serious problem and an indicator for certain illnesses in dogs. Besides this, it’s annoying for you and your dog.

But what are the signs of constipation and what are the causes? We’re going to answer these question, but also tell you what you can do if your dog suffers from constipation.

Also read: How To Make A Dog Poop Quickly?

Dog constipation

Let’s first make clear what dog constipation is. It’s the inability to produce normal stools on a regular schedule. This is about two times a day for healthy dogs. If a dog is constipated it will not “go” at all, strain to defecate, or produce rock-hard stools.

The signs of constipation are:

There are several signs that your dog is constipated. If you suspect your dog might be constipated you should definitely pay attention to these during your daily walks:

  • Lack of defecation for a few days – the first and most obvious sign of constipation is if your dog doesn’t go at all for a few days!
  • Hard, dry stools are another clear sign your dog might be having trouble doing its business
  • Another sign of constipation is if your dog is trying really hard to defecate but with little or no result, or producing small amounts of liquid fecal matter mixed with blood
  • Dyschezia – is the most uncomfortable for dogs, it’s when defecation is painful or difficult.

What are the causes of dog constipation?

To be completely honest with you the list of possible causes of dog constipation is pretty long. It can be something you can easily fix like lack of exercise to something more serious like cancer. That is exactly the reason why you should talk to your veterinarian as soon as you notice that your dog can’t “go”.

The possible reasons why your dog is constipated:

  • Diet – A diet lacking in fiber can often be the problem.
  • Age – Elderly dogs seem more prone to constipation.
  • Activity level – Being sedentary often results in slower transit.
  • Digestive tract tumors
  • Tumors that narrow the pelvic region
  • Anal gland issues
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Dehydration or electrolyte imbalances
  • Drugs, including opiates, diuretics, antihistamines, some antacids, certain cancer drugs
  • Metabolic diseases, like hypothyroidism and renal (kidney) issues
  • Spinal diseases and injuries
  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Stress and psychological problems – Something in the environment that will lead a dog to hold it.
  • Orthopedic disorders can make it difficult for the dog to squat.
  • Surgery – Medical procedures, and the drugs administered during these procedures, may result in constipation.

How to help your dog

If you notice that your dog can’t do its business and you’ve talked to your veterinarian and made sure that nothing serious is going on, you can opt for other ways to help your dog. Sometimes you can solve this problem with food, other times with supplements, but most of the time a good exercise will do the trick.

A chart on how to treat dog constipation
Safe remedies for constipation in dogs

Also read: Mucus In The Stool In Dogs

  • Pumpkin – It is high in both fiber and moisture, and many dogs like the taste, so they’ll happily take this medicine.
  • Canned dog food – Elevated moisture content of canned food may help regulate the system.
  • Powdered fiber supplements
  • Food and herbs, such as ginger, wheat bran, powdered psyllium seeds, and olive oil, may help
  • Fig paste – A study showed that fig paste was very effective for the treatment of constipation in humans
  • Hydration – Make sure your dog has access to fresh water and maybe electrolyte supplements
  • Exercise