How to Treat Constipation in Dogs: 9 Steps

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How to Treat Constipation in Dogs: 9 Steps
How to Treat Constipation in Dogs: 9 Steps

Dogs get constipated when their bowels move with difficulty, less often, or stop. Constipation is a very common gastrointestinal problem that can be caused by a number of factors, such as medication, lack of exercise, or a low-fiber diet. As with humans, constipation is very uncomfortable for dogs. If your puppy is suffering from it, it is possible to treat him with home remedies, but he may need veterinary care if the constipation becomes serious.


Part 1 of 2: Treating Canine Constipation

Treat Dog Constipation Step 1

Step 1. Find out if the dog is constipated

Common signs of the problem are straining to defecate with the result of dry stools in small amounts. You may also see some feces sticking to the anus region, especially in the case of long-haired dogs. They can get trapped while he defecates, which can prevent normal fecal passage. Although not as common, mucus can be found in the stool of a constipated dog.

  • When the dog is struggling to defecate, it is quite possible that he is suffering and in pain.
  • Keep in mind that signs of constipation can be confused with other illnesses, such as a urinary tract infection. The veterinarian can tell if the signs are due to constipation or another health problem.
  • If the animal has been constipated for a few days, it may show signs such as loss of appetite, vomiting and lethargy. You may even notice blood in the anal area. Take him to the vet immediately for treatment.
Treat Dog Constipation Step 2

Step 2. Clean his anus

This may sound unpleasant, but you need to take this action if you have faeces or anything else (eg grass particles) stuck in the area. Before touching the region, wear a pair of latex gloves; if you are allergic to latex, wear nitrile gloves.

  • If the dog has long fur, use small scissors to cut the fur with the feces stuck together. He may or may not like to feel his fur being cut. If you don't like it, you can wet the place with warm water beforehand to facilitate the process.
  • Use warm soapy water and a small towel to clean the area. The region will likely be quite sensitized because of the constant effort. Be extremely careful when cleaning and talk to the puppy in a soothing voice to make sure he is okay. He can stand or lie down while trimming his hair; let him choose the most comfortable position.
  • Applying KY lubricant after the site is sanitized can help relieve irritation. It is possible to find this product in pharmacies.
Treat Dog Constipation Step 3

Step 3. Treat constipation

Unfortunately, once constipation develops, it can be complicated to treat and require the use of an enema. Be aware that medications taken orally can take days to reach the end of the digestive tract, where they are needed. Thus, they are not always helpful after the problem arises, but they can be effective in preventing it. The veterinarian may also recommend treatments that require a prescription. If you're not sure what to give the dog, call a specialist and see what he recommends.

  • Give a laxative or medicine to soften the stool. Products intended for humans are too strong for a pet, so you need to get a prescription for a suitable laxative for dogs from a veterinarian.
  • Add mineral oil to dog food for up to a week. Mineral oil should never be taken orally as it can accidentally end up in the lungs and cause pneumonia. With a measuring spoon, add 0.5 ml of mineral oil for each kg of the dog's total weight (1/8 of a teaspoon equals 0.5 ml). For example, if your puppy weighs 20 kg, you need to add 10 ml of mineral oil, which is the same as an almost full tablespoon.
  • Add a small amount of unsweetened pumpkin puree to dry kibble. Depending on the dog's weight, add 1 tablespoon (less than 11 kg), 2 tablespoons (11 to 22 kg), or 3 (more than 22 kg) to the food.
  • Replace dry food with canned food for a few days. Canned food is wetter and therefore easier to move through the digestive system. It can cause diarrhea, so a few days of canned food is enough.
  • Give the puppy about 1/4 to 1/2 milk. Milk usually causes diarrhea, but lactose can help relieve constipation.
  • Add some psyllium-containing fiber supplement to the dog's food every 12 or 24 hours (1/4 teaspoon for dogs weighing less than 11 kg, 1/2 teaspoon for dogs 11 to 22 kg and a whole one for dogs over 22 kg). The additional fiber helps the stool to move more easily. It is possible to buy these supplements without a prescription at pharmacies.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water if you increase the amount of fiber in the diet.
  • If the home treatment has not relieved your puppy's constipation after a week and he seems worse, take him to the veterinarian for further tests and for more accurate treatment.

Part 2 of 2: Preventing and Dealing With Constipation

Treat Dog Constipation Step 4

Step 1. Add more fiber to his food

Adding fiber is a resource for preventing and treating constipation. It is possible to put some psyllium supplement in dog food and fresh vegetables to increase fiber intake. Some examples of vegetables that can be included are carrots, peas and green beans.

Don't forget to increase your water supply while increasing your fiber intake. With more fiber, more stool is produced. If the dog doesn't drink enough water, the stool will not be able to pass through the anus, which can lead to another bout of constipation

Treat Dog Constipation Step 5

Step 2. Increase the dog's physical activity

Exercise can stimulate intestinal motility, making food pass through more easily and preventing stool from becoming trapped in the colon. There is no need to exaggerate vigor; 15-minute daily walks already help the puppy to exercise.

Treat Dog Constipation Step 6

Step 3. Make your dog lessen the habit of eating grass

Although he may occasionally eat grass, swallowing it can cause constipation. Try to make sure he doesn't eat grass when he's outdoors in the yard or on a walk.

Treat Dog Constipation Step 7

Step 4. Give him frequent opportunities to defecate

If the dog shows that he needs to leave, let him. If you force him to hold the stools, they should get trapped in the gastrointestinal tract and he'll be constipated.

Treat Dog Constipation Step 8

Step 5. Sweep it regularly

Long-haired dogs are more prone to constipation, as the stool can easily stick to the fur around the anus. If you feel comfortable cutting the hairs in the area, warm water can make the process easier. If not, take it to be groomed regularly.

Dogs can also swallow their fur if they do their own hygiene, which can lead to constipation. Constant grooming, done by yourself or a professional, can decrease the chances that he will swallow hair

Treat Dog Constipation Step 9

Step 6. Neuter the dog

As male dogs age, their prostate grows, which makes it difficult for feces to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. Neutering can prevent future colds if your veterinarian has identified an enlarged prostate as the cause of the problem.

Enlarged prostates are just one example of health problems such as perineal hernias or anal (adanal) gland disease that can cause constipation. If the dog always suffers from this, consult a veterinarian so that health problems are treated and corrected


  • Older dogs are more prone to constipation as they are more sedentary. When an older dog is sedentary, intestinal motility decreases, increasing the chance of constipation. If yours is like this, it is important to consult a veterinarian to find out how to prevent the problem.
  • In addition to homemade solutions, your veterinarian may also prescribe other treatments, such as remedies to increase intestinal motility and enemas. If constipation has severely affected the puppy's health, the provider will likely administer intravenous fluids to try to increase the amount of fluid in the canine gastrointestinal tract.
  • If the animal has joint problems, it can be difficult to squat upright to defecate. The specialist can recommend medications to relieve joint pain.
  • Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract can cause constipation as they compress and shrink the size of the large intestine, rectum, and anus. The veterinarian will be able to tell if the dog has a tumor in the area.

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