Is Your Dog Straining and Uncomfortable?
Constipation in dogs is something that they will all suffer at one time or another. Discover how to help your dog get relief from constipation here.
If your dog is straining and uncomfortable, then it might be that he is suffering from constipation. Constipation in dogs is not particularly common but it does happen, and, same as in humans, it is not very pleasant at all.
You might be asking yourself how would I know if my dog is constipated? Symptoms of constipation in dogs includes the following signs. First of all he might be taking a long time to pass a stool, or do a poop. Whereas normally you might let him out in the backyard in the morning and he goes off and does his business, and trots back to see you, you might discover it is taking a long time for him to come back. You may see him circling around and around before actually squatting down to do his business. He may take a long time when he is in position; you may see him straining quite hard to pass anything. He may just pass smaller amounts, which are more difficult to pass.
Even if he is not in the backyard, he might shuffle around and be lethargic; be off his food, generally seem a bit down. You might find he licks his bottom more than usual. You may find he is vomiting too. These are all signs of a constipated dog.
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
Eliminate the causes for dog relief
There are a few reasons why your dog could be constipated. Most likely he is just not getting enough fiber in his diet, or you have started feeding him something that his stomach cannot handle just yet. If you have started your dog on raw meaty bones, this could be one reason why you have a constipated dog.
Another reason could be that he is stressed out – if you have moved home recently, or there has been another change in the pack, such as a new baby. Have you added another pet to your household?
Exercise – Your dog needs exercise for all his bodily functions to work properly together. When you exercise him, the blood is pumped through his body a bit faster and this can have a knock on effect on his digestive system. It basically tells it to get a move on and do it’s job. And normally then your dog will go to the toilet while he is out and about with you.
Another reason why a dog could be constipated is if he is trained not to do his business indoors. He may be holding it in because he knows he has to. Dogs need to be allowed out to “go” at least every four hours, during the daytime. If you are not allowing your dog out in the backyard when that is what he is used to, then he might be just holding on and be really uncomfortable. Again, exercise is essential.
While it is unlikely to be serious, constipation can look like other problems, the most common of which is colitis. If your dog has traces of blood and mucus in his stools, which will be smaller than usual, then colitis is likely and you will need to go to your vet. So, don’t think “oh my dog is constipated” before you have checked to see what his poop actually looks like.
More Causes of Constipation in Dogs
Triggers that can set constipation in motion – so to speak!
Another important cause of constipation is lack of water. Dogs simply must have access to fresh water every single day. When your dogs’ body does not have enough water, it will take moisture out of the unpassed faeces. This means your dogs poop will be dry and hard, and much more difficult to pass. Give your dog water at more than once place around the home, better to have two or three, particularly if your dog goes upstairs. Another way to give your dog more water is to add it to your dogs food, soaking it for about twenty minutes.
Blockage – This could be anything. If your dog eats paper, that could combine with his faeces and make him blocked up. Is he a long haired dog? Then when he grooms himself this could mean he is ingesting hair. You need to groom your dogs regularly, and there are several tools out there that can help you do it thoroughly. One of the best ways to groom your dog is with a Furminator. This is really efficient at getting as much loose hair as possible out of your dogs coat. Bone chips can combine with faeces and make him blocked up. If you have children and your dog has access to toys, combined with a tendency to chew – well that is just a blockage waiting to happen!
Although less common, your dog could be constipated if he finds it hard to get into the right position to “go”, especially if he is an elderly boy. A tumor near his anus could cause constipation, also if his anal sacs are infected it might be painful for him to poop.
Constipated Dog – Easily Avoided
Remember: It is vital that your dog get as much water as he needs. Station water bowls in two or three different places around your home so he can get a drink any time!
Constipation In Dogs
What You Can Do For A Constipated Dog
The good news is that you can treat your dog quite quickly. If your dog continues to be constipated after you have taken some measures to relieve him, be sure to take him straight away to the vets, he will need to see a health professional.
Give your dog some tinned pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie filling, that is not the right stuff. You don’t need to give them the whole tin, just add a bit to his food, one tablespoonful per meal. If you have a small dog, then obviously use a little bit less. Otherwise you might give him diarrhoea.
Make sure you are giving your dog plenty of exercise. Exercise is essential for all his bodily systems including his digestive system. He will be more likely to pass a stool if you are out and about with him, and you really do need to give him enough exercise. It will help you bond with him too. You do need to also make sure that your dog has enough access to his toilet area, so that he doesn’t try to hang on to it.
Exercise Your Dog
Exercising your dog is a free way to treat and prevent constipation. Walking your dog every day will bond the two of you, and help your dog see you as the pack leader. No cost, great benefits.
You can use over the counter preparations to help your dog beat constipation, but there are efficient natural ways to help them too. Bulk laxatives include unprocessed wheat bran, which you can add to your dogs food. Be careful that you don’t use too much. For a small dog start off with half a teaspoon per day, sprinkled over food, and increase it if nothing happens. If you have a bigger dog, like a labrador retriever, then a whole teaspoon, heaped, is a more reasonable amount.
Dogs are omnivores so they eat meat and vegetables. Cooked green beans, broccoli, cauliflower carrots and squash are all useful additions to a dogs diet. You can also add berries, apples and bananas safely to a dogs diet.
These remedies for a constipated dog will make sure that his new faeces are soft and passable. However, if he is constipated badly the force of the new stools will not push the hard stool through. In this case you will have to take him to a vet, and the vet may administer an enema. If an enema is recommended and you choose to do it yourself, it is a good idea to do it outside if at all possible. If you do it inside you will risk an awful mess.
Constipation In Dogs Treatment
One of the most important things that you can do for your dog is to make sure that they have good food. Dogs need a good amount of protein and less of the rubbish that is sometimes added to dog food to make it taste good. For instance, dogs love soy, but it is full of salt. The salt will make your dog dehydrated. As we mentioned previously, dogs need plenty of water to ensure they don’t get constipated.
Dogs also need a mostly meat and vegetable diet with less emphasis on grain. Some companies now do produce high quality grain free, or low grain dog foods, and these can be a great option for dogs with constipation and dogs that are maybe a little overweight.
There are so many different foods that the dog food industry add to our dog feed that are not necessary and are really foods to avoid. They are used in lower end products usually because they are cheaper. There is a great list right here: Dog Foods To Avoid See the section: Puppy Food – Dog Foods To Avoid When Searching For Puppy Foods.
Generally you should buy the most expensive dog food you can afford. Cheap dog food is really false economy, because if you feed your dog cheap food you end up paying out more in vets bills.
Oil Remedies for Constipated Dogs
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation LicenseSome people recommend oil for a dog that has constipation and it is true that olive oil can help. Give olive oil at a rate of one teaspoonful three times per week. Oil should always been given with food, with no exceptions.
Mineral oil can be given, and it should be given at a rate of two teaspoons two times a day, again, added to food.
Oil based therapy for constipation is successful, but please remember you can’t keep giving them oil all the time, since it can interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients.
If your dog is still constipated after two days, then you absolutely must go to a vets. Your dog could be blocked and need serious medical treatment.
Let Us Know What You Think?
Tell us what you think about this article, or tell us about your dog and what happened when he was constipated, or any other illness.