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9 Best Home Remedies for Dog Constipation

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If you’re looking for easy home remedies for dog constipation, then this guide should prove helpful. I have researched the best home remedies for this uncomfortable, albeit very common, canine complaint and found the different things we can do as owners to prevent this from happening again.

Constipation is rarely serious; however, there are times when medical assistance will be needed. I will talk about this further in the article. I will also include a few products that have been tried and tested to cure canine constipation and are gentle on the stomach.

As dog owners, pee and poo issues are extremely common; there’s either too much of it, not enough of it, or it’s in places we don’t want it to be! At Canine Weekly, we try to cover all the topics that matter to you, no matter how gruesome and gross they may be. Read on to find out all you need to know about a dog with constipation.

How to Tell if Your Dog is Constipated?

How to Tell if Your Dog is Constipated?

Constipation is the inability to pass feces, and when they do pass, they do so uncomfortably and are typically dry or hard. Any dog can suffer from constipation, although it is more common amongst senior hounds. If your dog has constipation, it may not always be easy to detect in the earlier stages – unless you’re extremely observant of all of their bowel movements, that is.

Your dog will strain and squat many times without passing anything if he is constipated. He could pace around the garden, attempting to go potty several times without success, which is a key indicator of dog constipation. However, it is important to identify if your dog is trying to poop or pee, as, unfortunately, the signs can be pretty similar.

If your dog is struggling to urinate, he will adopt his usual peeing position, and you may be able to see signs of blood around the penis or vulva. They may also be excessively licking their genitals at other times.

A constipated dog will appear like he is trying to poop but may only be releasing mucus of liquid from the anus, and the anus will also look swollen, sore, or red.

Signs of Dog Constipation

Your dog will likely make it known to you that he is experiencing pain or discomfort. He may also pass spots of blood or anal fluid that do not poop when he tries to go potty. Your dog will likely pace, pant, whine or cry and may lose interest in fun activities. Dogs can also be reluctant to eat, walk or play when suffering from constipation.

Your dog’s stomach may also appear swollen and feel harder to the touch. Likely, he will not want to eat his usual amount, but this isn’t typical in all breeds, and for some, like Labradors, it will take much more than constipation to put them off their food!

What Causes Dog Constipation?

The most common cause of canine constipation is swallowing inedible objects, such as hair, grass, or bones. Other causes include:

  • Lack of Fiber
  • Blocked Anal Glands
  • Pelvis Trauma
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Anxiety or Stress
  • Hernias
  • Enlarged Prostate
  • Poor Diet
  • Intestinal Problems
  • Kidney Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

9 Best Home Remedies for Dog Constipation

Remedies for Dog Constipation

The first thing to do is check your dog’s temperature; you can do this through a retinal thermometer. If the thermometer has any blood on it or the dog’s temperature is abnormally high, then you should see your vet immediately. If these things aren’t apparent, then you can try some of the effective home remedies listed below:

#1. Exercise

Taking your dog for a walk or jog can stimulate his digestive system and get it moving again. If your dog is feeling particularly uncomfortable, he may be reluctant to go on a walk. In addition, if you currently use a harness, switch to a collar or slip leash so that there is less pressure on the uncomfortable stomach.

Try and encourage your dog to be as active as possible; you could throw a ball or frisbee or even look into investing in some dog agility equipment at home. Not only should this have a positive impact on constipation, but it will contribute significantly to relaxing the dog and lifting his mood – which can also boost the digestive system, so this is a win-win.

#2. Increase Water

If you encourage your dog to drink more water, this could help break up the belly bind. If your dog is disinterested in his current dish, you could look at purchasing a doggy water fountain to entice him.

A cheaper option would be to add a touch of broth to your dog’s water, which will make the flavor more appealing – ensure you buy a doggy-specific broth powder, as human ones have a lot of added salt, which dogs should avoid.

#3. Olive Oil

A small amount of olive oil added to your dog’s food can be very effective in loosening the bowels. However, too much can cause diarrhea. It is recommended that small dogs have no more than half a teaspoon of natural olive oil, and for larger breeds, two teaspoons is a safe amount.

Olive oil has additional benefits for a dog, especially where his skin and coat are concerned. Olive oil contains vitamins and minerals, including phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. Although these things won’t help with constipation, they should add a significant shine and extra strength to the dog’s fur.

#4. Bran Cereal

Bran Flakes are known for their high fiber, and many humans have this type of cereal to keep them regular. Dogs can also benefit from having bran flakes in moderation – and this is key as they can be a pretty strong laxative. Opt for a cereal that is natural and free from preservatives, additives, or a large sugar or salt content.

Ensure that if you’re going to give your dog some bran flakes you have at home, it contains nothing toxic for dogs, such as raisins, which is a popular addition. If your dog struggles with the dryness of bran flakes, you could try to soften them with water.

#5. Pumpkin

Pumpkin has many health benefits for a dog, including helping with constipation due to its high fiber and water content. Pumpkin can act as a natural dewormer and support a dog’s urinary health. Many owners choose to give their dogs pumpkin seeds or supplements because they are high in vitamins and antioxidants. They’reThey’realso great as a healthy filling snack or treat.

Glandex pumpkin supplements are veterinarian recommended and made with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. They’reThey’remade in the US and contain all-natural ingredients, including a unique fiber blend, probiotics, and natural anti-inflammatories.

#6. Change of Food

Some dogs, particularly older pooches, will benefit from a high fiber diet to stay regular. Fiber supports the digestive system and keeps things moving as they should. But, too much fiber can result in stomach upsets, and conversely, constipation. So, consult with your vet before making a significant switch in food.

High-Fiber dog treats such as these here by CloudStar, are grain-free treats that support the digestive system and would be a good switch from your regular dog treat.

Probiotic supplements help to restore a natural stomach balance which can promote regular bowel movements and relieve constipation. I like using these here by NutriPet, as they are a veterinarian formulated soft chew that seems easy to swallow. They’reThey’realso a great price and promise to help with dog flatulence – always a great benefit.
Psyllium Seed Supplements

#7. Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements help to restore a natural stomach balance which can promote regular bowel movements and relieve constipation. I like using these here by NutriPet, as they are a veterinarian formulated soft chew that seems easy to swallow. They’reThey’realso a great price and promise to help with dog flatulence – always a great benefit.
Psyllium Seed Supplements

Just like with humans, psyllium supplements can work wonders for dogs who are suffering from constipation. I would advise you to opt for a dog-friendly formula and ensure it is free from additives and sweeteners. Psyllium is naturally high in fiber, so offer it plenty of water and always follow dosages exactly to get the desired end result.

#8. Canned Food

We are regularly told that canned food isn’t the healthiest option, ‘You’re’You’repaying for water!” can be the criticism. Still, there are times when more moisture is beneficial to a dog – and this is certainly true when a dog has constipation. As with all food changes, changing gradually is best, and switching to cold turkey should be avoided.

You may find that adding a few spoonfuls of wet food to your kibble will have the desired effect. If you have a large breed, we have recommended the best-wet foods for large breeds previously.

#9. Herbal Formulas

You could try a pet-specific herbal formula to relieve constipation quickly.

Be careful that you’re choosing a product wisely, as this can be a pretty unregulated field, especially online. You can run the ingredients through Google to check how safe they are for your dog and only listen to trusted websites such as the American Kennel Club, Canine Weekly, and The American Veterinary Medical Association.

When You Should See a Vet?

When You Should See a Vet?

Most dogs with constipation will recover within 48-hours, especially if you have tried some of the home remedies for dog constipation. But if these tips have not helped, and 48-hours have passed, it is time to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.

Your vet will likely conduct a physical examination where they will check for things like foreign objects, tumors, and a distended colon. The vet may also want to further investigate with blood tests, ultrasounds, or an x-ray to determine the proper treatment for the dog’s discomfort.

It is important not to ignore your dog’s constipation, as if left untreated, it could develop into Obstipation. Obstipation is a more pronounced form of constipation that is difficult to manage or does not respond to medical treatment.

If your dog ends up with Obstipation, it can quickly lead to Megacolon which would need expensive and painful surgery to try to correct. Megacolon is a costly condition that can require months of expensive treatment; it may be that your dog’s stools will never be normal after this and that constipation can recur and be quite severe.

How to Prevent Dog Constipation?

As well as home remedies for dog constipation to cure the condition, there are things you can do at home to prevent it from happening. Although, as with most tummy upsets, they are a part of life, and unless they’re recurring or very severe, most dogs will recover quickly.

However, it is upsetting to see a dog in discomfort, so here are some ways you can hopefully prevent dog constipation in the future. By switching to a high fiber diet, under your vet’s guidance should promote a healthier digestive system and reduce the risk of stomach upsets.

Always make sure that your dog has access to water and frequent opportunities to go to the toilet. Ensure that your dog is having enough exercise per day to stay physically and mentally well. How much exercise your dog needs is dependant on his stamina level, breed, and age, although some breeds need much more than others.

If your dog has an accident in the home, try and avoid punishing him as this can lead to anxiety and stress, which can result in constipation. If you are having trouble with house-training, read this guide on how to potty train fast, and remember that positive praise always wins over punishment – especially for an anxiety-prone pooch.

Neutering can also help, as if this is done at an early age, it will prevent the growth of the prostate, which can lead to constipation. Neutering is a reasonably controversial subject and not to everyone’s liking, but it does have considerable health benefits, especially for a dog in later life.

It is important not to ignore constipation, as it can quickly become a more serious – and more expensive – a condition that can result in months of veterinary care.

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