Does your dog suffer from constipation? If so, you are in the right place. This condition is quite common in dogs and usually means that your canine companion has trouble passing normal stools regularly. Luckily, there are some simple fixes that often help alleviate this issue. But, there are some instances like bowel obstructions that can mean your dog is unable to defecate. So, make sure you monitor your pet and understand when you will need the help of a veterinarian.
In this article, we are going to look at what causes constipation in dogs, how you can spot it, and what you can do to cure it. So, without further ado, let us begin by looking at what can cause constipation in dogs.
What Causes Constipation In Dogs?
If your dog’s digestive system is working properly, a dog’s stool will be full of electrolytes and water. As the stool moves along in the intestine, the colon absorbs water.
So, if the process slows down and the colon keeps absorbing water from the stool it will inevitably get harder, drier, and more compact.
It is when this happens that a dog gets constipated and can experience some uncomfortable side effects.
If your dog is suffering from constipation, there are several reasons that this could be happening. These are some of the most common reasons:
- Lack of Exercise
- Low Fiber in Diet
- Enlarged Prostate
- Anal Gland Blockage
- Ingestion of Nonfood Items e.g. plastic or bones
- History of Constipation
Dogs in certain categories are more prone to constipation. For example, older dogs may be more likely to suffer from this condition.
This is because there are likely not enough electrolytes in the colon, or there may be a kidney issue that you are unaware of.
In addition to this, an enlarged prostate in senior male dogs could be a reason for constipation.
Other factors like diet are also big contributors to a dog being constipated. Low fiber or not drinking enough are common causes for this affliction.
There are many other reasons that your dog could be constipated, but these are among the most common reasons that this is happening to your furry friend.
What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Constipation?
Dogs could have a variety of symptoms which could indicate that they are constipated. It can be difficult to pin down. But if you notice repeated behavior when your dog defecates, it could mean that they are struggling with this condition.
These are some of the symptoms you could see in your dog if they are constipated:
- Struggling to Defecate
- Painful Defecation
- No Defecation for a Few Days
- Bloody Stool
- Hard or Pebble-Like Stool
- Mucus Stool
The colon is designed to store waste for several weeks at a time. While you might be worried if your dog has not defecated in a few days, this may not be a big issue. Waiting a little while longer can sometimes bear fruit.
What Are Some Treatments For Canine Constipation?
So, now that we know some of the symptoms and causes of constipation, you are likely eager to learn what you can give your dog that will ease their discomfort or even cure them.
The majority of the time, constipation can be treated by making small adjustments to your pet’s life.
This is especially the case if your dog only suffers from this malady occasionally. Of course, you can visit a veterinarian if you want a sure-fire remedy for constipation.
The sad truth may be that your dog has a more serious health condition and because of this, you need to keep an eye on them and take them to get treatment if you are worried about their health.
But for the simple cases, these are a few things you can give your dog that will help alleviate this condition in your canine companion:
- Extra Water (perhaps even coconut water)
- Bran Cereal
- Canned Dog food
- Canned Pumpkin
- Metamucil or something similar to it.
If your dog has a persistent case of constipation or frequently is afflicted by this condition, these are a few lifestyle changes and treatments that you could try:
- Laxative Medication
- Low-Residue Diet
- Nerve-Stimulating Medication
- Enzyme-Blocking Medication
- Manual Stool Removal if their Colon is Impacted
A low-residue diet is a great long-term solution if your god has persistent or frequent constipation.
In short, this diet means that your dog will digest more nutrients and by extension have less waste that they need to pass. In some cases, this is better than a high-fiber diet.
Fiber has a tendency to absorb water from the colon and can sometimes aggravate your dog’s constipation as time goes on.
If you get your canine companion on a good diet, fresh water, and give them plenty of exercise they could very easily be on the road to recovery.
Another thing you might want to consider is an enema, this can be a horribly uncomfortable experience for your dog. A lot of canines are not tolerant of this procedure and if they act out they should not be made to go through it.
In addition to your dog potentially freaking out, some enema solutions are toxic for dogs.
If you feel that your canine companion needs an enema, you should always contact your veterinarian and have them perform it to minimize injury and make sure that the right solution is used.
Finally, when it comes to using laxatives, this is also something that you will need to speak to your veterinarian about.
This is because if you use this medication too frequently, it can affect the colon, which can mean it will become unsafe to use.
There are a lot of things you will need to consider when you are trying to treat your dog for constipation.
Whether it is a chronic condition that your dog goes through regularly or something that crops up every so often, it is important to know how to spot it and how to treat it.
But, it is even more critical to contact your vet if you feel that the condition is getting worse or does not go away.
What To Give A Dog For Constipation – Final Thoughts
Constipation might seem like a small thing, but if you leave it untreated for too long, it can develop into something worse, which will cost you more money than it would if your dog was treated early on.
So, if you notice that your dog is struggling to defecate while you are out on a walk or in the yard, make sure to try and treat it as soon as you can.
You can try some of the remedies we have told you about here, but if the condition does not improve, it may be time to contact your veterinarian.
At the end of the day, your dog’s health and comfort are very important and as dog parents, it is our responsibility to care for our canine companions. So, keep an eye on the issue and react accordingly as time goes on.
That is all for this article, we hope that you have learned a lot about this topic. We hope that you and your canine companion are healthy. Goodbye for now.