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​Dog Constipation: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Just like us, dogs also suffer from those pesky bouts of constipation. It is a digestive disorder that leads to difficulty in passing faecal matter due to less frequent bowel movements. If your dog not pooping in a few days, strains to defecate, or is unable to produce solid poop, So, if you are thinking, What To Give A Dog For Constipation? it’s most likely constipation and might require immediate care. Dogs with acute constipation may retain hard, dry faeces in their digestive tracts. Obstipation occurs when faeces become compacted, and the dog cannot defecate.

What Causes Constipation in Dogs?

Wondering what causes constipation in dogs? Then, there could be various factors that might lead to constipation in canines. Ingestion of irritants or indigestible chemicals is the most typical cause. Dogs with long hair and those who lick themselves excessively are more likely to suffer constipation. Constipation is more common in older canines. Constipation can occur in any dog who exposes to one or more of the circumstances listed:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Other conditions that cause dehydration, like excessive or insufficient fiber in his diet and electrolyte disturbances
  • Anal sacs that are blocked or infected
  • Worm infestation
  • Excessive self-grooming (may generate a large amount of hair to collect in the stool)
  • An ailment of the nervous system
  • A medication’s side effect
  • When a dog positions himself to defecate, an orthopedic condition causes pain.
  • Prostatic gland enlargement
  • Changing your diet or trying new meals.
  • Surrounding the anus is a tangle of hair (caused by obesity or lack of grooming)
  • Toys, stones, plants, dirt, and bones ingested become lodged in the intestine.
  • Tumors or masses on the anus or within the rectum might obstruct the flow of faeces.
  • a pelvic injury
  • Dog constipation medicines (such as antihistamines, diuretics, narcotic pain relievers, and sucralfate)
  • Fear, anxiety, and other behavioral issues that affect the natural passage of bowel movements
  • endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism)
  • Enlargement of colon
  • Surgery or medical procedures, as well as the medicines used during them, can cause constipation. If you see this during the post-surgical time, contact your veterinarian for advice.
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Symptoms of a Constipated Dog

  • Puppy Constipation symptoms include straining, weeping, or squatting when attempting to defecate.
  • You should contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog hasn’t had a bowel movement in more than two days.
  • Vomiting.
  • When you pick up the stools, they are hard, dry, and feel like pebbles.
  • Lethargy.
  • Grass bits, string, excrement, or other external items in or around the anus.
  • Tense abdomen.
  • Difficulty in urination.
  • They are passing liquid stool after straining.

Two terms associated with the symptoms of a constipated dog are:

  • Tenesmus, or straining to defecate with little or no result, or producing little volumes of liquid faecal matter mixed with blood;
  • Dyschezia, or painful defecation.

Remember that these symptoms could be mistaken for urinary tract infection or colitis, so your vet will need to perform a comprehensive physical exam to determine what to give a dog for constipation.

How to Treat Constipation in Dogs?

Ever wondered what to do if dog is constipated? The best action you can take how to treat constipation in dogs is to schedule an appointment. The veterinarian will inquire about your dog’s medical history and conduct a physical examination, including a rectal exam and abdominal palpation. X-rays of the abdomen can be used to establish the severity of the problem.

Such steps are generally required to rule out other reasons or anomalies before recommending one or more of the following treatments:

#1 Fibre-rich prescription diet

You are increasing the amount of fibre in your dog’s diet (wheat bran, ginger, olive oil, sweet potatoes, green beans, canned pumpkin, or products such as Metamucil). The right amount of dietary fibre can assist regulate intestinal motility and relieving constipation. However, giving too little or too much fibre might aggravate constipation, so follow the veterinarian’s recommendations. Also, stick to a regular feeding schedule (2-3 meals daily).

#2 Proper Medication

Medication to improve the contractile strength of the large intestine. Commonly prescribed medications include dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS) (brand name Ducoste®) and lactulose (brand names Cephulac®, Kristalose®, Generlac®, Constulose®, Enulose®).

  • Fibre-rich prescription diet. If increasing fibre in your dog’s diet isn’t enough, your veterinarian might suggest fibre supplements. These supplements are available in pill, powder, or gel form.
  • Drugs like cisapride (brand names: prepulsid, propulsid) or tegaserod may be advised when stimulant laxatives are necessary

#3 Improved Physical Activity

Increase overall physical activity. The quantity of training required by a dog is determined by its age, breed, size, job, and current health issues. However, at least 30 minutes of strenuous activity twice daily is a reasonable rule of thumb.

#4 Enema

Enema to remove the stool stuck in the colon (administered by a professional, not at home, as there could be the risk of injury or toxicity if done incorrectly). Constipation in dogs caused by behavioural or psychogenic factors may require behavioural change through training and medication.

If you are thinking about what to do if dog is constipated? Do not worry, constipated dogs don’t need to be hospitalized in most situations. They can complete treatments in a few hours, and the patient can return home immediately. If your furry family member is severely dehydrated or suffers from another medical condition, they may require IV fluids or other treatments that necessitate admission to the hospital.

What To Give A Dog For Constipation?

Wondering what to give a constipated dog? Here is the best dog food for constipation. So, you could not worry about What to Feed a Constipated Dog?

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  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Bean sprouts
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Coconut fibre
  • Pumpkin (100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling): It contains a high amount of dietary fibre and moisture to aid in recovering dried-out stools. It also tastes good, so don’t worry about what to give a dog for constipation, they are more likely to eat it without hesitation.

Grounding these foods up is better than getting your dog to consume them. Once or twice a day, your dog should drink around one tablespoon of these meals every 25-30 pounds of body weight.

#1 Canned Food

Increasing the amount of canned food in your dog’s diet provides moisture, which helps to relieve constipation. It should not be a long-term or permanent change; normally, a temporary addition of wet food for 2-3 days is enough to relieve constipation in a dog. Slow and steady is the key to any food adjustment. You don’t want to make the changeover abruptly, as this can cause stomach issues.

#2 Olive or Mineral Oil

For dog constipation home remedy, both of these substances serve as natural laxatives. Add two teaspoons (small breeds) or two tablespoons (big species) of olive oil or mineral oil to your dog’s meals. Don’t overdo it, and try it for a maximum of 2-3 servings, as it might cause harm if overdone.

Encourage your dog to consume more water to help break up the belly bond. You may acquire your dog a canine water fountain in addition to his regular water bowl, which many dogs find more appealing than flat, stagnant water. Adding a little broth to your dog’s water is also a good idea to make it more attractive.

When to Visit a Dog Vet?

Dog constipation occasionally occurs, although it is not always innocuous. From the wide range of symptoms listed above, if your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian right away:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Anal discharge is a type of anal discharge that occurs.
  • Abdominal swell
  • Panting
  • Acute pain symptoms include abrupt hostility or an unwillingness to move. If you notice your dog circling, dragging its bottom on the ground, crouching a lot, or even crying out, it’s a sign that they’re in pain.
  • Constipation regularly
  • Make a temperature reading on the dog. If the temperature is very high, there is blood on the thermometer, or there is resistance when inserting the thermometer, contact your veterinarian immediately (within 24 hours).

They should take preventive measures. Although it is natural for a dog to chew grass occasionally, it should avoid this habit to the greatest extent feasible. Instead of offering your dog bones, give him a nylon chew toy. To soften the stool, use specially formulated laxatives and, above importantly, give your dog plenty of water. In addition, neutering your dog at a young age will prevent prostate enlargement, which can cause constipation in dogs.

You need to be vigilant and pay attention to your dog’s bowel movements because your dog can’t speak out to tell you what’s wrong the way a human can. It’s critical to ensure you have a comprehensive picture of your health before attempting to cure constipation.


You can give your dog several things to help with constipation, but it’s important to talk to your veterinarian first. They can recommend the best course of action for your dog based on their health needs. In most cases, a simple diet change may be all needed to get things moving again. However, if constipation is a persistent problem, other options can help get your dog back on track.