Seeing your furry friend in pain is saddening and upsetting as a pet parent, particularly if it’s a pooping issue.
Constipation is a frequent health problem in canines, and it refers to a condition where a dog experiences difficulty passing stool.
Thankfully, you can use remedies to ease your dog’s pooping struggles at home.
This guide will teach you how to cure your dog’s constipation at home and when to seek veterinary help.
Let’s dive into it...
Causes of dog constipation
Numerous factors can make your dog constipated.
Reduced physical movement also slows down your canines’ metabolic functions.
Lack of exercise means less blood flow in the essential organs, leading to constipation.
Furthermore, when your dog doesn’t exercise regularly, he could also develop a host of health issues such as
- Joint problems (arthritis)
If your dog is taking certain medications, chances are that constipation is one of the side effects of the drugs.
Studies have shown that medications like diuretics and antihistamines frequently cause constipation, particularly in senior dogs.
Dogs that don’t drink enough water or get it in their food become constipated.
Water plays a critical role in the digestion and excretion of fecal matter. Hence when it’s inadequate, trouble arises.
Older dogs have a higher chance of having such issues since their metabolic system is slower. Thus they require more amounts of water to be healthy.
Like humans, dogs also become anxious, resulting in constipation.
Your dog may have anxiety after you move to a new house, when it’s sick, or when you have people it’s not used to in the house.
The anxiety can sometimes be so severe that your dog becomes withdrawn and rather gloomy.
Canines suffering from septic or rheumatoid arthritis will have a tough time assuming the pooping position due to the reduced joint mobility.
Over time, such dogs become constipated.
Many dogs like munching on their fur while grooming; in some instances, some canines may take in ingest excessive amounts of hair which causes constipation.
That is because hair can block your dog’s fecal pipeline like any other foreign body.
Trauma or injury
An injury in your mutt’s abdomen may severely damage your dog’s digestive tract to the extent the fecal matter can’t move as it should, causing constipation.
If you suspect your furry friend has internal breeding or has experienced trauma, you should seek immediate veterinary aid.
Megacolon is a medical condition where a canine’s colon is abnormally flaccid and large, which makes it challenging to eliminate waste properly.
In some instances, megacolon may arise from chronic constipation.
However, researchers have found that it’s also a congenital issue that may afflict some canines from birth.
Inflamed anal glands make potty visits unbearably painful for your furry friend.
The first signs of anal gland inflammation are butt scooting and regular biting of the behind.
If you don’t take action immediately, the anal glands could burst, thus releasing a bloody discharge.
You should call your vet the moment you observe your canine scooting.
Apart from preventing normal urine flow, an enlarged prostate will also put excessive pressure on the colon, which causes constipation.
If your male puppy is lifting his leg for a long time while urinating and only a few drops come out, he could have an enlarged prostate.
Bowel obstructions occur when your mutt ingests a foreign body such as a diaper, plastic, tampon, sock, etc.
Obstructions are severely painful, and you should seek immediate help if you suspect your dog’s bowels are obstructed.
Technically obstructions don’t cause constipation, but the foreign bodies block your dogs’ “pipes,” preventing pooping. Hence you must be aware of the condition.
Several digestive, hormonal, and neurological diseases may interfere with your dog’s ability to visit the bathroom.
If your canine’s constipation is recurrent, there could be an underlying illness causing it.
Signs and symptoms your dog is constipated
When your dog’s colon is full of feces that he can’t let out, chances are your furry friend will stop eating.
A constipated dog will take too much time crouched trying to poop, and nothing will come out.
Since the fecal build-up will be uncomfortable, your canine may whine more than usual, especially when he’s trying to poop.
The pain from the accumulated fecal matter in the colon can make an otherwise calm and relaxed dog overly aggressive.
When your canine is constipated, he may refuse the tummy rubs he previously liked.
Home remedies for canine constipation
Increase your canine’s fitness routine to help him lose the extra pounds and stimulate his metabolic system to start running as it should.
Exercising your canine will also prevent stress and diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Change the food
If your dog is on a dry diet, temporarily switching to canned food may be better.
Premium quality canned food usually has more moisture to help your dog’s bowel move more efficiently.
Your vet doctor can help you choose the right canned food to make your canine thrive.
Bacteria in your canine’s gut ferment fiber into fatty acids, which then support digestion.
Fiber eases and fastens the digestion and excretion processes, greatly lowering the chances of your dog having constipation.
There are plenty of dog foods with plenty of fiber, but if you like the natural approach, there are fruits and vegetables that will serve the purpose.
- Green beans
Use Safe Guard Probiotics
Safe Guard probiotics have a lot of healthy intestinal bacteria that facilitate digestion.
The beneficial bacteria in Safe Guard probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and Bacillus coagulants also limit harmful bacteria growth and lessen the chances of intestinal infection.
Studies have shown that dogs that regularly take probiotics rarely become constipated.
That is because probiotics change acidity levels inside a canine’s digestive tract creating a conducive environment for digestion and fecal excretion.
Certain dogs, particularly those with chronic health issues, should have probiotic supplements in their diets.
Coconut oil is a nice cooking ingredient that can also serve as a poop softener to alleviate constipation.
Give your loyal friend a tablespoon of cooking oil or mix it in the food.
Don’t add too much oil to food as it may lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. One or two spoons should be enough.
Suppository laxatives can also aid mutts with constipation.
However, experts discourage using laxatives for a prolonged period unless advised otherwise by a veterinary doctor.
You can pair stimulant laxatives with oral laxatives to relieve your canines’ pooping struggles.
Ensure your dog is compliant and relaxed while administering the laxative, using plenty of treats and praise to avoid injury.
Furthermore, you should consult a vet before administering the laxative to your dog.
That’s because some suppository laxatives may do more harm than good, especially if you don’t know how to use them.
Encourage your furry friend to consume more water, which will help loosen and fasten the metabolic processes.
Besides keeping your dog’s water bowl always full, you can get a canine water fountain.
Dogs find water fountains more attractive than sitting, flat water.
You can also add a drop of broth to the water to make it hard for your dog to resist.
When to see your veterinarian
Mild constipation that resolves after a few days isn’t a cause for concern.
However, if your dog exhibits the signs below, you should rush him to the vet’s office:
- Anal discharge
- Refusing to move
- Swollen abdomen
If your canine has constipation, try one or two of the home remedies listed above to help relieve the discomfort.
However, it would be best to do so after talking to a vet doctor. Doing so ensures you provide the most effective treatment solution with minimal side effects, especially allergic reactions.