Dogs are also prone to constipation. Dogs usually poop once or twice a day. If this isn’t happening, you should be concerned. The dog might soon strain to defecate if this pattern continues for days. Whenever they poop, they end up producing hard stools. In this article, we will discuss what to give a dog for constipation. Foods that help dogs with constipation have a quicker effect. Also, the treatments you can use to treat constipation.
Be aware that chronic constipation may cause dogs to retain hard stools in their digestive systems. As a result, dogs cannot have bowel movements at all. It is a symptom of severe constipation in dogs and commonly known as obstipation.
The fact that dogs are not very prone to constipation is a consolation for dog lovers.
Symptoms for Constipation in Dogs
Firstly, you need to find out if your dog is constipated. You can only then plan a change in diet or start appropriate treatment.
Some of the most common symptoms of mild dog constipation include:
- Straining to defecate
- Taking longer than usual to defecate
- Stools that are hard and dry
- No pooping or defecating at all
- Blood traces in small liquid fecal matter
- Producing small amounts of feces that are harder than normal
Dogs suffering from severe constipation may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Not eating – loss of appetite
- Signs of discomfort
- Not pooped for more than three days
- Lethargic, weak, and lazy
- bloated belly
- Blood in the stool after pooping
In case dog is experiencing severe constipation take the dog to the veterinary doctor for treatment.
What Causes Dog Constipation?
In the digestive tract, feces may lose moisture. The result is a hard and dry fecal, causing constipation in dogs. Here are a few possible reasons:
- Lack of fiber-rich food or diet
- Less activity level
- Digestive tract tumors
- Enlarged anal glands
- Stress and psychological problems
- Eating foreign materials – blocking inside the digestive tract
Home Remedies for Dog Constipation
Let us explore home remedies to alleviate dog constipation. These home remedies for dog constipation only work for mild constipation. These remedies cannot be used to treat severe constipation.
If you observe the symptoms, try these remedies first. Most of these constipation remedies work to alleviate constipation faster. You should take your pet to the vet if it is not responding.
1. Increase The Dog’s Water Intake
One of the main reasons why dogs become constipated is dehydration. Lack of water consumption causes the dog’s body to reabsorb water from feces. As a result, the stool will become hard and dry. Lastly, the dog will have a hard time pooping.
Make sure the dog has access to fresh water at all times. Water should be easily accessible to dogs. Dogs may have other health conditions or be on medication in some cases. When it is far from the water, it may not reach out for it.
You can mix little water with the dog’s food or give him canned food with water content. By using this method, you can ensure that your dog is drinking water.
2. Fiber-Rich Foods
Foods high in fiber seem a bit tricky to increase. Too much fiber may worsen constipation in dogs. A proper scale for how much fiber dogs should consume does not exist. It varies from dog to dog. Therefore, gradually increase the dog’s fiber intake. There are two best safe methods to increase the fiber content in dog food:
Canned Pumpkin for Dog Constipation
Feeding your dog with plain canned pumpkin for constipation is the healthiest option. Nutrients and fiber are abundant in pumpkin. However, canned pumpkin is preferred over fresh pumpkin. Because canned pumpkins have higher levels of nutrients and fiber than fresh ones.
Dosage of canned pumpkin for dog constipation:
- Small dogs: 1 teaspoon mixed with each meal
- Larger dogs: 1 tablespoon mixed with each meal.
Make sure you get the plain canned pumpkin. If pumpkin is added with sugar, salt, spices, or other additives, it may irritate the dog’s digestive tract. Also, do not confuse it with canned pumpkin pie. It contains xylitol, a substance toxic to dogs.
Psyllium for Dog Constipation
Psyllium is a natural fiber made from the seed husks of Plantago Ovata plants. It is also known as Ispaghula. Psyllium is a plant-based fiber that promotes digestive health. In addition, it acts as a natural laxative and facilitates bowel movements. Looks for unflavored psyllium to treat constipation in dogs. Metamucil is one of the leading brands that make Psyllium Fiber.
Dosage of Psyllium for dog constipation:
Dosage of Psyllium for dog constipation: One-half teaspoon per 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight may be given once daily.
Some people have seen sweet potato for dog constipation as effective. This because sweet potato with skin is also fiber-rich and as effective as canned pumpkin. However, the sweet potato seems more effective in dog diarrhea.
We prefer trying sweet potato in the dog’s diet as a preventive effort of constipation and diarrhea. Sweet potato contains a nice mix of soluble and insoluble fiber that is really good for overall bowel health in humans and dogs.
3. Physical Activity
A moving body helps the digestive system to function better. Consequently, the colon gets cleared of any obstruction. You should take your dog for more walks in the mornings and in the evenings. Prior to going for walks, make sure your dog is properly hydrated.
It is also interesting to see that the smell of another dog using the same area helps dogs lose their constipation.
4. Check the Dog Anus
Checking on your dog’s anus might give you some insight into the problem? Long-haired and furry dogs have a higher risk of constipation. Because fur may matt around the anus with feces. This will make defecating impossible for dogs.
Keep the dog groomed and trimmed, especially around the anus, to prevent constipation. If the anus is matted with feces, try using electric clippers to remove it. You should never use scissors. Consider visiting a veterinarian or a grooming professional if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself.
There may also be other reasons affecting the anus, such as an enlarged anus gland or tumor. If you notice any of these unusual symptoms, consult your veterinarian for the right treatment.
5. Use Laxatives and Enemas
Laxatives are another option to treat constipation in dogs. It is, however, not recommended for dogs. It is because laxatives are not safe for dogs. A laxative is a stool softener, increasing bowel movements.
The decision to use laxatives for constipation in dogs should be made by your veterinarian. He may recommend using laxatives depending on the condition of the constipating dog. He is the best person to determine the dosage of laxative.
The same is true of enemas. Do not try to treat the dog with enemas. Seek the advice of a veterinarian for this purpose. There is a procedure that must be followed to ensure the safety of the dog.
6. Milk of Magnesia
It is possible to use milk of magnesia for dog constipation. Furthermore, it is a laxative made of natural ingredients. A mixture of magnesium and water produces milk of magnesia.
Milk of magnesia is safe for dogs just as it is for humans. However, experts advise that veterinarians should be consulted before use. NEOGEN recommends the following dosage of milk of magnesia for constipated dogs.
Dosage for dog mild constipation:
- Administer 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 mL) orally every 4 – 5 hours or as directed by a veterinarian.
- Each tablespoon contains 400 mg of magnesium hydroxide which is the active ingredient of milk of magnesia
- If clinical signs persist, consult a veterinarian. Do not use this product with pancreatic enzymes. Not for human use.
The Neogen is intended to treat dogs and horses only with gastric reflux, acid indigestion (sour stomach) and mild constipation.
7. Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
Australia’s most reputable natural health company, Blackmores, suggests giving dogs coconut oil for constipation. A small amount of virgin coconut oil added to dog food will help treat mild constipation in dogs. It lubricates the intestines and eases the passage of stool. You may instead use olive oil to treat constipation in dogs.
Dosage of virgin coconut oil or olive for dog constipation:
- Smaller dogs: Mix 1 teaspoon of oil per 10 pounds of body weight with her regular food.
- Larger dogs weighing 50 pounds or more: 1 tablespoon of oil mixed with regular food
This treatment, however, must be used with caution with dogs that need a low-fat diet.
Aside from relieving constipation, coconut oil improves dogs’ energy levels, improves their skin and coats, and helps them digest food better.
8. Chicken Broth and Ginger
These two ingredients can effectively help dogs with constipation. Chicken broth is a great way to lubricate the digestive tract for dogs with constipation. While ginger supports digestion, it also stimulates bowel movement.
All you need is half a cup of chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon of grated ginger. Boil and cook well until the chicken broth dissolves. After it has cooled, feed a small amount a few times a day to the constipated dog.
9. Mineral oil
Mineral oil is for dogs that have periodic constipation problems. Mostly, periodic constipation occurs in aging dogs. You may add a little mineral oil to the dog’s meal.
Caution: Do not administer the oil orally. Need to take extra care that mineral oil does not reach the lungs. Ending at lunch can cause pneumonia.
How to Prevent Dog Constipation
Prevention efforts resemble the remedies we discussed above for dog constipation. Here is a quick list of dog constipation prevention efforts:
- Excising the dog. At least once a day, take your dog for a walk.
- High fiber food. A veterinarian can recommend the right dog food that is high in fiber depending on the dog’s size. Fiber intake should be balanced. Too little or too much fiber in your dog’s food can cause constipation.
- Adequate hydration. Healthy digestion requires drinking water. Drinking water helps fiber bulk up stools in the digestive tract. The process prevents constipation in dogs.
In general, regular exercise, a fiber-filled, balanced diet, and plenty of water help prevent constipation in dogs.
Foods You May Want to Avoid for Dog Constipation
There are several foods that may be used to treat mild constipation in dogs naturally. While these foods may have an effect, we have not been able to gather enough evidence or information that proves that they are effective in treating constipation in dogs. Among these foods are:
- Prune Juice
- Karo syrup – This is recommended for toddler constipation. May work in puppies too.
All of the above are beneficial to dogs in different ways. However, there is no enough experience in dog constipation.
The best cure is prevention. Having said that, if you take care of your dog properly, there should be no constipation problem. Taking care of your dog means ensuring it gets enough exercise and water. Providing a fiber-rich diet that is well balanced. You should be aware that fiber can cause constipation if not adequately hydrated.
You may think no one understands your dog better than you. Constipation is sometimes a symptom of digestive issues that aren’t always clear-cut. Therefore, you can try natural remedies for dog constipation. If you are unsure, always keep the veterinarian in the loop. If your dog shows symptoms of severe constipation, you should consult your veterinarian right away.
Great, now you know what to give a dog if it’s constipated, which is the purpose of this article. Take care of your pup and enjoy its company who is your real and true friend.
Noble Home Remedies relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for accuracy and reliability while avoiding tertiary references. Our editorial policy provides more information about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date.
- What is dog constipation? – https://www.blackmores.com.au/pet-health/digestive-health/what-is-dog-constipation-and-how-can-you-help
- What To Give A Constipated Dog – https://petlifetoday.com/give-constipated-dog/
- Laxative – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxative
- Ideal® Animal Health Milk of Magnesia – https://www.neogen.com/categories/animal-health/ideal-animal-health-milk-of-magnesia/
- Coconut Oil For Dogs: Understanding the Benefits and Risks – https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/coconut-oil-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks
- The benefits of sweet potatoes for dogs – https://www.redbarn.com/blogs/blog/the-benefits-of-sweet-potatoes-for-dogs
- Dog Constipation and How to Treat It – https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_constipation