Jul. 14.2021 | Updated: September 16, 2021

Constipated Dog: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention Measures

causes of constipation in dogs

Owners of pets, including dogs, at least once, but faced with the fact that their pets had problems with stool. Many people panic because they don’t know what to do if the dog is constipated. They just don’t know what kind of help for a constipated dog is needed. In today’s article, we will take a closer look at how dangerous such a phenomenon is, and is it worth it to seek help from a veterinarian in this case, or you can help your pet on your own. We will also find out if the causes of constipation are different in a puppy, a dog, and an elderly dog. So, can a dog be constipated? Yes, it can. However, what is constipation anyway? This is a rare bowel movement, which is either difficult or absent. In such cases, the pet needs help. Constipation can be diagnosed if your dog has a similar problem for the second day. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

First of all, we want to point out that proper nutrition is the key to the normal state of the intestines and timely emptying. Nutritional problems are especially acute constipation in older dogs. Among the main reasons:

  • The dog was overfed.
  • The pet has consumed a lot of bones, especially tubular ones.
  • The predominance of foods with fiber in food.
  • Dry food not suitable for your specific breed of dog.
  • An immobile lifestyle.
  • The ingestion of foreign objects into the intestines. It can be anything. For example, a ball, a stick, a bag.
  • Can antibiotics cause constipation in dogs? Yes, in general, taking medications that affect the difficulty of defecation.

Why is my puppy constipated? All the reasons described above can be the cause. However, this is often one of the symptoms of the disease of the:

  • Digestive tract;
  • Neurological nature;
  • Musculoskeletal system;
  • Prostate in males.

Canine Constipation: Symptoms

canine constipation treatment

If the dog has this kind of problem, it feels uncomfortable. After all, the urge to go to the toilet will force the dog struggling to poop but without any result. Also, the pet may ask to be outdoors more often than on ordinary days. If constipation lasts too long, you can notice such constipated dog signs:

  • General health problems.
  • Decreased appetite, which over time will lead to a complete refusal to eat.
  • Vomiting.
  • It will have to bloat and rumbling in its stomach due to the accumulation of gas in them.
  • The pet will drink a lot more water than on normal days.
  • The dog can become lethargic and inactive.

It is highly discouraged to let the situation take its course, as this can lead to rather unpleasant and serious consequences for the dog. It is advisable not to bring it to such a situation, otherwise, you will have to solve the problem surgically. What about the puppy pooping problems? The symptoms are the same but the most often it is:

  • Unsuitable food;  
  • Lack of water;  
  • Foreign objects in the stomach.

Also, The most common causes of constipation in newborns puppies are:

  • Constant chronic overheating (if the temperature in the nest is too high, the babies lose a lot of fluid, but get as much as they give with milk; it is important to measure the temperature of the babies and the surrounding air);
  • Underfeeding. I the baby does not receive enough food, then the feces simply do not form in the required volume (it is worth tracking the dynamics of weight gain, perhaps the absence of a chair is just a symptom of another problem);
  • Incorrectly diluted mixture (if too little water is added, the baby is not able to get it additionally from anywhere other than milk);
  • Change of feeding – constipation can occur if babies are forced to switch from mother’s milk to ready-made formula (this is often provoked not by a new mixture, but by conditions of detention that change during weaning from the mother. For example, a heating pad was put in the nest, and the babies just began to overheat), it is worth watching  stool and massage after each feeding;
  • Congenital defects (violation of the normal structure of the anus due to congenital defects, absence of the anus – atresia of the anus, partial aplasia of the intestine – when the intestine blindly ends in the abdominal cavity, etc.).

Constipated Dog: What to Do?

canine constipation cures

If the problem has just begun, you can talk to your veterinarian over the phone.  Perhaps one of the more popular ways will help in constipation relief for dogs.

  • Pumpkin is a dietary therapy that can effectively help your dog with constipation. It is rich in fiber and moisture. Plus, many pets love pumpkin and you may have no difficulty feeding it to your dog.
  • Canned food for dogs due to its high moisture content can help regulate the digestive system.
  • Ginger, wheat bran, and olive oil can help.
  • Can dogs take stool softeners? This can really help. It increases the absorption of water in the intestines, so your dog’s stools will be softer and easier to pass.
  • Hydration is also a good method. However, make sure your dog can drink fresh water and you may need to add electrolytes.

Before proceeding to describe possible treatments and preventive measures, we would like to draw your attention to the importance of a correct daily diet. It can change significantly after the onset of this problem.

Best Dog Food for Constipation

dog food for constipation

In addition to the aforementioned pumpkin, with frequent constipation, dogs should be given low-fat fermented milk products more often. For example, every other day for dinner, give cottage cheese or porridge cooked in milk. Rice with such a problem should be excluded. Semolina is also not desirable. Buckwheat and oatmeal are also dog food for constipation. Porridge can be given to a dog with vegetables. For example, with raw carrots or stewed zucchini, squash, beets. Vegetables have a laxative effect, they activate intestinal peristalsis. They can also be combined with meat. It makes the stool thick and hard, and vegetables liquefy it. Bones and potatoes should be excluded from the dog’s menu. It is necessary to ensure that your pet always has access to clean water because it is the lack of fluid that contributes to the hardening of food, the difficulties of its movement in the intestines.

How to Help a Constipated Dog: Treatment and Prevention Measures?

how to help constipated dog

It all depends on what caused constipation. If the reason is a change in diet, then most likely it will pass after a while, and you can do it without going to the veterinarian. If the source is more serious and constipation lasts more than two to three days, it is necessary to visit a vet. Canine constipation treatment consists of:

  • Your dog may be prescribed therapy.
  • Enemas have recently been discouraged by veterinarians.
  • If foreign objects or, for example, bones with sharp edges are found in the dog’s intestines, then there is no need for surgical intervention as quickly as possible.
  • In situations where constipation is accompanied by frequent vomiting and the dog refuses to eat, a course of droppers is prescribed to prevent dehydration. Also, dog constipation medication can be appointed.
  • In the most extreme situation, part of the large intestine will have to be amputated and filled.

We described the most popular canine constipation treatment. And now we would like to tell you how to prevent it:

  • You should not change the dog’s diet if it is not necessary, otherwise, everything should be done gradually.
  • The pet doesn’t need to overeat at one meal. However, do not use many different foods, this can lead to bloating, colic, pain, and constipation.
  • The dog must drink enough fresh water.
  • It is necessary to give vitamins and minerals with food but only after consulting a veterinarian.
  • Walk the dog for at least 30 minutes daily
  • On-time and on the recommendation of the veterinarian, the pet needs to be vaccinated and given antihelminthic drugs
  • The more pet owners pay attention to their diet, the healthier they will be, and in this case, problems with stool (except for a situation that cannot be controlled) will not have to worry. But even if constipation happens, you need to do everything necessary to make it easier for the dog to get out of this state.

We strongly advise against treating your dog in the following ways:

  • Give your dog petroleum jelly. It is unlikely that it will help at all, but you can make it worse overnight. Aspiration can be a side effect. This means that oil will enter the pet’s respiratory tract. Plus, she might be allergic to it.
  • Use of rectal suppositories, since they contain many toxic substances that can harm a dog’s health.
  • Do not give laxatives. They have several contraindications, which, again, can harm the animal’s body.

Canine constipation cures with many remedies, but only your veterinarian can advise you the most effective after examination and diagnosis of the cause. Stay healthy. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you very soon on the pages of our blog!

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