If your dog is constipated then he can become lethargic and uncomfortable and bloated. There can be several reasons for constipation in dogs but the main causes are common.
Usually, the main cause of mild constipation in dogs is dehydration, change in diet, hair, lack of exercise, old age and/or lack of fibre in their diet, and generally feeding the wrong type of food.
Veterinary advice is always recommended for dog constipation
If your dog is suffering from constipation then you should always consider getting professional advice from your vet. Constipation can be caused by some serious conditions that will need veterinary investigation so, if you have any doubts then get professional help.
Serious constipation problems can be caused by intestinal blockage, neurological problems, prostate problems and/or intestinal parasites. For those, get your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
Dealing with your dog's constipation
Prior to the development of drugs and other veterinary treatments for dog constipation, most dog owners would use household ingredients and natural remedies to help their dogs.
The following list of suggestions could help your dog to get his bowels moving again and have helped other dogs to get going.
As an addition, always make sure that your dog has access to lots of clean drinking water.
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Exercise can help your dog's constipation
Exercising can be a good way of dealing with your dog’s constipation. Get your dog out for a walk and take him somewhere where he can run around off the lead.
Don’t rush him and allow him enough time to trot about and do what he has to do.
Take some water with you and try to get your dog to have a drink while you are out. With some luck this should be all that is needed.
Often a good run around is enough to get things moving again.
Hair can cause your dog to have constipation
It may seem odd but hair can aggravate and cause dogs to be constipated.
Most people know that cats can suffer from hairballs, which can cause digestive problems. The same can be true of some dog breeds and, to minimise the chances of this, you should groom your dog regularly to keep his hair in check.
If your dog does suffer from a hairball then it is likely that you will need to get help from your vet as to the best option for it’s removal.
You can also try dog laxatives for stubborn constipation, we found a good choice here on Amazon.
Check your dog's food when dealing with his constipation
If you feed dry food to your dog then reduce the amount and consider introducing a wet food for a short period of time.
Raw dog foods can be a good option. You can find out more about the best raw dog foods in this post.
Add water to your dog’s dry food to encourage him to take a big drink while he is eating, this will help to hydrate him and reduce the symptoms of constipation.
If water is not attractive enough for him then make up some chicken, pork or beef stock, from a stock cube, let it cool and then mix this into his food instead.
Vegetables to help with dog constipation
Adding small quantities of high fibre vegetables to your dog’s meals can help to get rid of and prevent constipation. Several vegetables can be used but the most common, that most dogs like are:
- Pumpkin – cooked and then mashed up. Add a small quantity to his meals, no more than a tablespoonful. This will help his tummy. It is also a good food for dog diarrhea too.
- Sweet Potatoes – boiled and then mashed up, sweet potatoes make a good option for dogs and most dogs enjoy the taste. Add some natural, organic plain yoghurt for best results.
- Beans and green beans – most humans know the ‘moving effect’ of beans and the same results can be achieved in dogs. Avoid baked beans that have added sugars and other things and go for less processed varieties.
Oils can loosen your dog up
You can add a small amount (teaspoonful) of olive oil, cod liver oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil, to your dog’s meal.
Make sure that the oil that you used is as unprocessed as possible and that it has not had anything added to it.
Don’t overdo the addition of oil to your dog’s food as it is high in calories and can affect your dog’s weight.
More suggestions for dog constipation
Breakfast cereals -1/2 cup sugarless bran or shredded wheat soaked for a few minutes, then added to canned food with extra water or chicken or beef broth.
Canned dog food, with an extra splash of broth or water.
Milk, cottage cheese or plain yogurt – Some dogs have problems digesting dairy products. A little milk, yogurt or cottage cheese, may be just enough to help loosen things up enough to move. Do not over do!
Make sure your dog gets plenty of fluids. Keep them hydrated and this will help to reduce the risk of constipation.
Exercise and walk your dog at least twice a day to keep him and other things active and moving.
Feed smaller portions, more often. If their stools do not soften in 3 days, get them to your veterinarian.
The problem may be more serious than home remedies can cure