How To Help a Dog With Constipation?

What Is Canine Constipation?

Constipation is a common health issue in dogs that occurs when a dog is unable to pass a normal stool regularly.

This can happen for a variety of reasons and is typically readily remedied, although some dogs may develop persistent constipation. This can cause obstipation, in which the stool gets drier, tougher, and more compacted, and the dog is unable to defecate at all.

Dog Constipation Causes

Waste is rich in water and electrolytes during regular digestion as it is propelled through the intestines to the colon by an involuntary muscular activity known as peristaltic waves. Water is absorbed in the colon, while waste is expelled as a stool.

If this process is slowed or impeded, the colon will continue to absorb water, causing the stool to become firmer, drier, and possibly compacted.

The following are some of the most common causes of constipation in dogs:

  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Poor diet or abrupt dietary changes.
  • There isn't enough fiber.
  • Obstacles are caused by ingesting non-food things such as waste, bones, stones, or plants.
  • Too much self-grooming results in hair accumulation in the stool.
  • Age.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Renal problems.
  • Prostate enlargement.
  • Colon enlargement.
  • Anal gland dysfunction.
  • Dehydration.
  • Spinal cord damage.
  • Some medicines.
  • The effects of surgery or anesthesia.
  • Anxiety or stress.
  • Tumors.
  • Injury to the pelvis.
  • Constipation history.
  • Dog Constipation Symptoms.

Dog constipation symptoms include:

  • For a few days, there was no feces.
  • Stool that is hard and pebble-like.
  • Straining without considerable stool production.
  • Discomfort.
  • Defecation is excruciatingly painful.
  • Defecation is difficult.
  • Mucus and stool.
  • Bloody feces.

Constipation can affect any dog, but it occurs more frequently in older canines. This is frequently caused by a lack of electrolytes or kidney disease. Constipation can be caused by an enlarged prostate in older male dogs.

Constipation Complications Untreated

If your dog's constipation is not addressed, it might progress to obstipation. This occurs when the feces in the colon becomes too dry and hard to move. When the colon becomes clogged with stool, your dog is unable to pass it. This results in a condition known as megacolon.

The colon expands to an uncomfortably big size, causing your dog to become bloated and lethargic, lose appetite, strain while defecating, and vomit. These can develop into more significant issues, which may necessitate medical assistance such as surgery or a manual stool removal procedure known as de-obstipation.

Manually removing all of the excrement at once may be challenging, resulting in repeated treatments and a significant cost. Because the procedure includes anesthesia, your dog's health may be jeopardized.

Home Remedies for Dog Constipation

Most of the time, intermittent constipation can be readily cured at home with simple lifestyle changes. You may be able to alleviate your dog's constipation with a home remedy but consult your veterinarian first. Constipation can be a symptom of more serious problems.

If your dog is constipated, you can try the following home remedies to reduce their discomfort:

  • Pureed pumpkin. This puree is strong in fiber and moisture, and it aids with digestion. The ideal puree is 100% pumpkin puree. Give your dog no pumpkin pie filling. You may feed the puree to your dog directly from the can, and they will think it's a tasty treat.
  • Dog food in a can. The softer food and higher moisture content will aid in the regulation of their digestive system and the production of softer feces. To avoid an upset stomach, mix canned food with regular food.
  • Dietary fiber pills will boost fiber in their bodies, which will soften and regulate their bowel movements. Inquire with your veterinarian about specific supplement types and dosages for your dog.
  • They stay hydrated because they have access to clean water. You should encourage your dog to drink plenty of water. You should seek veterinarian care if they are not drinking at all.
  • Exercise. Take your dog for long walks to stimulate healthy activity and get their bowels moving. Running, retrieving, and chasing are excellent strategies to support a healthy digestive tract.

Treatment for Dog Constipation

If you have chronic or persistent constipation, your veterinarian may offer certain dietary adjustments or other therapies. These could include:

Canine enemas. Enemas can be painful for your dog. Most dogs dislike this operation, and it should not be imposed on your dog. Enema solutions can also be poisonous to dogs and cause injury if used incorrectly. It is critical to leave these operations to your veterinarian if they are required.

Canine laxatives. Before feeding your dog a laxative solution, consult with your veterinarian. Long-term use, as well as other factors like dehydration, might render laxative solutions dangerous.

A diet with low residue. A low-residue diet is frequently a superior long-term remedy for constipation. This type of food allows your dog to consume more nutrients while passing less waste through the intestines.

This may be preferable to a long-term high-fiber diet. Fiber absorbs water from the gut and, over time, can cause constipation. This type of food is typically accessible only through your veterinarian.

Other therapeutic options for severe constipation include:

  • If the colon is impacted, manual removal is required.
  • Medication that inhibits enzymes
  • Medication that stimulates the nervous system
  • Surgery

When Should You See a Veterinarian?

Your dog may be constipated if they are circling repeatedly, dragging its bottom across the ground, squatting regularly, or even crying out in pain. Check on what your dog is capable of producing if you notice them straining to create fecal matter.

The feces of your dog may be quite tiny and contain water or mucus. This could be diarrhea, but it could also be constipation. You can lightly press your dog's abdomen to determine if it is tense or unpleasant.

It is critical to monitor your dog's bowel motions daily. If your dog gets enough water, daily exercise, and a well-balanced diet, constipation should go away within 48 hours. If it does not, or if your dog exhibits signs of pain or vomiting, you should arrange an appointment with a veterinarian right once to determine the problem.

When you go to the veterinarian, make sure to provide them as much information as possible, such as:

  • when your dog last had a typical bowel movement.
  • Color and consistency of stools
  • alterations to your dog's diet or routine
  • Non-food items your dog may have consumed (for example, bones or kitty litter)
  • Medications
  • Injuries
  • Straining or pain while attempting to walk
  • Distress or pain, particularly vomiting, lethargy, or bloating

A physical exam will be performed by your veterinarian to detect any anomalies like tumors, foreign objects, or a dilated colon. Blood tests, X-rays, or ultrasounds may be required to determine the reason for constipation. Your veterinarian will evaluate the best course of treatment for your dog's constipation.


  1. That was an informative article on dog constipation-essential reading for all dog owners! It covers causes, symptoms, home remedies, and when to consult a veterinarian. A must-read for responsible pet care

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