It is more likely that your dog will suffer from diarrhea than constipation, but it's still possible that the dog will have trouble pooping at some point. Constipation in dogs is more common when they're puppies but adult dogs get it too. Pet owners should know the symptoms and some home remedies for dog constipation.
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Dealing with Constipation in Dogs
If your dog hasn’t had a bowel movement in 2 days, he is probably constipated. Signs of constipation in dogs include straining when trying to “go”, crouching for long periods without producing any stool and whining while trying to poop.
If you notice symptoms that are more severe, like blood around the dog's anus or blood in the stool, you need to skip these home remedies for dog constipation and head straight for the veterinarian’s office. Natural remedies will not be effective enough.
For constipated dogs, a veterinarian may recommend a stool softener or laxative to help get things flowing again. These can usually be bought over-the-counter. The vet will also tell you the appropriate type of medication and the correct dosage for the dog.
Note: Even though you can buy most laxatives and stool softeners for dogs online or at a local pet store, you should NEVER give your pet over-the-counter medication without consulting with a veterinarian first.
For a mild case of canine constipation, you can try a home remedy that's more natural yet still effective. If it is taking your dog longer than normal to poop, you see the dog straining particularly hard while going and/or he is only producing a small amount of stool, it is likely that he has a mild case of constipation.
5 Home Remedies for Dog Constipation
The first thing that you’ll want to do if your pet is constipated is to check his rear end. Look for matted fur or a foreign object that may be causing a blockage in or around the dog's anus.
You should also be looking for signs of a more serious issue, such as bleeding, sores, anal gland issues or even a tumor. Once you get that part out of the way, you can try one of these five home remedies for dog constipation.
1. Increase Water Intake
One of the most essential parts of the digestion process is water. Dogs that eat dry kibble can become dehydrated easily if they don’t have access to enough clean drinking water throughout the day, or if they refuse to drink for some reason.
The first step is to make sure that your dog has access to fresh, cool water and also that the dog is actually drinking enough of it. If the dog refuses to drink, you can entice him by making chicken/bone broth – due to its smell, dogs are more likely to drink it.
2. Try Canned Dog Food
To increase water intake even further, you can add some canned food to your pet's diet. This shouldn't be a permanent or a complete switch; a temporary addition of wet food for 2-3 days will usually be enough to fix constipation in a dog.
Canned dog food has higher moisture content, and this will add more liquids into the dog's diet and help to rehydrate him. However, do NOT switch to a 100% canned diet from kibble very suddenly, because that could lead to more digestive problems. Instead, you should just switch out 25%-50% of your dog’s kibble for canned food; mix it up.
Exercise promotes normal movement inside the dog's intestinal tract. If your dog is constipated and feeling bloated, he may be a little lethargic. Encourage him to get up and play or go for a walk outside. Try some of your dog's favorite games or visit some of his favorite places for a longer walk.
4. Canned Pumpkin
Pumpkin is extremely high in fiber, which helps to draw water into the intestines and get things moving. Be sure that your dog is properly hydrated before adding pumpkin to his daily diet. The fiber will draw water into the intestinal tract whether your dog is well hydrated or not.
Small dogs will only need about 2 tablespoons added to their meal once per day, while large dogs could eat about ¼ cup of canned pumpkin per day for a snack or you could add it to their kibble. Be sure that you’re feeding your dog 100% pure pumpkin, and not the pumpkin pie filling that is sold in the same section of the grocery store.
5. Olive Oil or Mineral Oil
Both of these ingredients act as a natural laxative for dogs. Add 2 teaspoons (small breeds) or 2 tablespoons (large breeds) of olive oil or mineral oil to your dog’s meals. It should help to get things moving after 2-3 servings.
If your dog does not begin pooping normally within 48 hours after beginning a home remedy, you need to seek veterinary care immediately. Without proper treatment, the backup of stool could lead to life threatening health problems.
Best High Fiber Dog Foods for Constipation
Adding fiber into a dog's diet can usually help with constipation. Certain dog foods are manufactured this way and will contain 2-3 times more fiber in them. Some of the best high fiber dog food brands are below; however, you should not make the switch very suddenly but rather make it a gradual change after your veterinarian has approved it.
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Laxatives and Stool Softeners for Dogs
You should NEVER give laxatives, stool softeners or any other over-the-counter digestion aid medication to your pet without consulting your veterinarian first. Once you've consulted with a vet and got it approved, the below brands are some of the best on the market.
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