All dogs have digestive problems from time to time, and sometimes dogs can get constipated.
Mild cases usually quickly resolve on their own, but there are things you can do to help your dog pass feces if they do not have a hard stool or you need him to go quickly.
However, constipation that persists or happens frequently should not be ignored, as it can quickly lead to serious problems if it’s left untreated.
How can I make my dog poop quickly?
If you know that your dog is due to poop soon and you want to try and speed the process up, then try taking him for a walk. Exercise can help get things moving and might make your dog concentrate on getting down to business! Having a regular routine can help, as some dogs like to toilet in certain places and will know what’s expected of them if they are taken to their favorite poop spot.
Sometimes though, you just have to be patient. If you have tried the above and your dog still hasn’t pooped, then it might be that they just aren’t ready. Keep an eye on them, though, and watch out for signs that he might be constipated.
How do I know if my dog is constipated?
Dogs that are constipated will usually make frequent attempts to pass feces, sometimes unsuccessfully. Sometimes they will pass small amounts of hard, dry, crumbly feces. They might also pass small amounts of liquid or mucus from their anus as they are straining. Their anus might also look reddened or slightly swollen.
A constipated dog will sometimes groan or show signs of discomfort. Occasionally, they might pass small spots of bright red blood, which are usually a result of straining. If left untreated, constipation can lead to inappetence, lethargy, and vomiting, as well as more serious complications.
What causes constipation in dogs?
Constipation can be caused by a lack of water or fiber in the diet. Dogs also sometimes eat things they shouldn’t, and this can result in the slowing down of their bowel movements, which can lead to constipation. If a dog eats something indigestible, it can sometimes cause complete obstruction of the bowel and prevent feces from passing.
A lack of exercise can lead to constipation as exercise increases the movement of the digestive tract. Older dogs can be more prone to constipation as their muscles age and weaken. They also often have arthritis, which can cause pain when they attempt to defecate, meaning that they defecate less frequently than they used to. They also exercise less, which may reduce bowel movements.
Some medications can make constipation more likely, as can some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, blocked anal glands, tumors of the digestive tract, or an enlarged prostate.
What can I do if my dog is constipated?
Mild cases of dog constipation can usually be managed at home. If your dog is passing feces that are hard and dry, then try increasing the amount of water in their diet. Feed some wet food, or try soaking their biscuits in some water before feeding them.
Make sure they get plenty of regular exercises to keep their digestive system moving and allow them plenty of opportunities to defecate, particularly if they are very young or old.
When should I take my dog to the veterinarian?
If your dog is straining to pass feces, if he is showing signs of discomfort or pain, or if he hasn’t passed a stool for 24 hours or more, then you should take him to a veterinarian. If left untreated, dog constipation can lead to serious issues, and your dog could become very unwell.
How is constipation diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will ask you several questions regarding your dog’s history, including when he last passed a stool, the consistency of his stools, any changes in his routine or diet, or whether he could have eaten anything that he shouldn’t have. Your veterinarian will probably feel your dog’s tummy and may also perform a rectal exam. Depending on the duration and severity of your dog’s symptoms, they might also suggest further tests such as x-rays or blood tests.
What is the treatment for constipation?
If your dog’s constipation is mild, your veterinarian might suggest increasing the amount of fiber in his diet. They might also prescribe a laxative or a stool softener as a temporary measure.
Treatment of more serious constipation may require your dog to be admitted to the hospital for a drip to make sure he is hydrated. He may also require an enema to remove any impacted feces.
What can I give my dog for constipation?
You can try feeding wet dog food to increase the amount of water in his diet and help soften his stools. Mix it with his normal food to avoid giving him an upset tummy. There are dietary fiber supplements that you can add to his diet to help regulate his bowel movements and make his stools softer. Avoid giving your dog bones, as these can slow down your dog’s bowel movements and cause constipation.
You can also try feeding your dog pumpkin. Pumpkin is high in both fiber and moisture and is known for its ability to help maintain healthy digestion. Many dogs like the taste, so a small amount can be incorporated into their diet to help prevent constipation. 100% pumpkin puree is best, or you can also buy a pumpkin powder supplement that can be easily added to your dog’s food as a topper.
Always check with your veterinarian before adding anything to your dog’s diet, just in case it isn’t suitable for him.
Constipation can range from being very mild to very serious. If your dog is mildly constipated and passing hard feces less regularly than usual, then there are a few home remedies you can try such as increasing the amount of water in his diet and ensuring he gets regular exercise. You can also try giving him dietary supplements such as pumpkin or fiber but always check with your veterinarian first. Never ignore constipation. If your dog seems uncomfortable, or he hasn’t passed feces for 24 hours or more, then take him to your veterinarian to get him checked over.