Have you noticed any changes in your dog’s bowel movements? Maybe you’ve seen it dragging its bottom across the ground. Or a more obvious sign would be if your pooch tries but fails to defecate several times throughout the day. These could be possible signs of constipation.
In this blog, you’ll learn about the causes, symptoms, and at-home remedies for dog constipation.
What is constipation in dogs?
Canine constipation happens when your pet experiences difficulty in and less frequent bowel movements. Dogs that experience constipation may experience pain while trying to empty their bowels and struggle to defecate in general.
Fortunately, this condition is only temporary and can be easily treated at home. However, if the situation worsens, your dog may lose appetite and turn lethargic. Your pet may also develop more serious health problems such as obstipation, a more severe form of constipation. Consult your vet if your dog is experiencing any symptoms and is unable to defecate within 48 to 72 hours.
What causes dog constipation?
Digestive system irregularities are often the cause behind irregular bowel movements. Constipation can affect all breeds of dogs but older canines are more prone to this condition.
Several factors contribute to your pet experiencing constipation. These include:
- Age: The older your dog gets, the more prone it becomes to difficulty in bowel movements.
- Lack of exercise: Regular exercise helps regulate blood flow. If your dog gets little to no exercise, it might experience difficulty digesting food properly. As a result, it could make your pet more prone to bloating, excessive gas production, and constipation.
- Poor diet: Fiber is essential to your dog’s diet since it helps regulate and promote regular defecation. A lack of fiber intake could cause irregularities in bowel movement.
- Dehydration: Water is essential to your pet’s digestive system. Failing to consume enough water makes digestion slow, which could affect how your dog gets rid of waste.
- Ingestion of foreign objects: If your dog ingests foreign objects like grass, hair, or tissue, proper defecation could prove to be difficult. After all, any foreign objects could cause bowel obstruction.
- Side effects of medication: If your dog is on medications, constipation could be one of its side effects.
- Other conditions: Constipation could be the sign of a deeper health issue. For example, your dog could be experiencing problems in its kidney or anal glands.
What are the signs of dog constipation?
If you’ve noticed irregularities in your dog’s bowel movements, there’s a possibility that it could be constipated. Here are some dog constipation symptoms to watch out for:
- Infrequent bowel movements: Your dog hasn’t defecated within 48-72 hours.
- Hard stool: Your dog’s stool can be described as hard and dry, and look like pebbles.
- Pain and difficulty: Your dog shows signs of struggle and pain during defecation. Pay attention if your dog growls in pain when you touch or press its stomach.
- Restlessness: Constipated dogs tend to move around a lot before trying to defecate. Apart from restlessness, you may notice your dog dragging its bottom across the floor.
- Loss of appetite: If your dog is constipated, you might notice changes in its appetite. A loss of appetite could be a sign that your dog feels uneasy when eating.
- Weight loss: Since constipation could cause a loss in appetite, it’s possible for your dog to lose weight due to its condition.
- Vomiting: Dogs with constipation may experience vomiting to get rid of the waste in its system.
How is dog constipation diagnosed?
If your dog shows signs of being constipated for more than a few days, take it to the vet ASAP to help relieve your pet of its discomfort.
Your vet will start with a general physical exam and ask about your pet’s medical history. Make sure you tell your vet everything about your dog’s condition for a more accurate diagnosis. Moreover, your vet may check to see if your canine’s abdomen is firm and tough, which is a sign of constipation. They may also conduct blood tests and urinalysis to see if the constipation is caused by dehydration or an infection.
In most cases, constipation can be treated with medication and other natural remedies. For example, your vet may inject fluid to your pet’s bowels through his rectum to stimulate defecation.
Your vet can also perform manual removal of your pet’s stool via surgery and fluid replacement to prevent dehydration. Since the cost for surgeries and other medical treatments can be costly, be prepared and get a dog insurance plan for better security.
Home Remedies for Dog Constipation
You’re probably asking yourself: “What can I give my dog for constipation?” The good news is that constipation is easily treatable, even from the comfort of your home. Look no further for the best at-home dog constipation remedy for we’ve listed everything to help you relieve your dog of its discomfort.
Increase Fiber Intake
Taking dietary fiber supplements or consuming foods rich in fiber can help regulate your dog’s bowel movements. Pumpkin, for example, is rich in fiber and moisture. Since it’s a natural stomach soother, it can help your dog defecate more comfortably. To top that off, it’s also a tasty treat!
Get Enough Exercise
Getting your pet to exercise frequently promotes overall long-term health. Exercise helps maintain healthy digestion because it increases blood flow, especially to the colon. Proper blood flow to the colon is important because it’s the organ responsible for digestion and proper bowel movement.
Consume Canned Foods
Canned foods are high in moisture, and it could be all that your dog needs to loosen up its insides. Feeding your canine canned goods can aid in digestion and promote softer stools. Just keep in mind that your dog should still maintain the proper diet, and feeding it canned food is only a temporary fix to aid in relieving constipation.
Ensure Proper Hydration
Prevent constipation by keeping your pet properly hydrated. Make sure it has access to fresh and clean water to prevent dehydration, which is a common cause of constipation.
To learn more about how you can help address canine constipation and other related conditions, explore the TLPOInfo blog.