Constipation relief - dog struggling to pass a stole in the grass

Dog Constipation Relief: Your Ultimate Guide

If you’ve ever experienced the discomfort of constipation, you can understand how unpleasant it can be. Well, guess what? Dogs can suffer from constipation too, especially those fed with kibble.

But fret not! There are practical remedies you can administer at home to alleviate your dog’s constipation without making a trip to the vet. This comprehensive guide will provide you with effective methods to provide fast relief for your furry friend, as well as valuable insights on preventing future occurrences.

Prompt action is crucial to prevent any lasting harm to your beloved companion. By learning how to steer clear of constipation in your dog, you can greatly enhance its quality of life and overall comfort.

What steps can be used to help a constipated dog at home?

Below are some simple home remedies for dog constipation. While dog constipation is typically not an emergency, it certainly can be unpleasant for your dog. At the first signs of constipation, you can try the simple steps below to give your dog constipation relief. Continue reading to learn how to treat constipation in a dog.

  • Increase your dog’s intake of fresh water – If you are not able to get your dog to drink water on a regular basis, there are other fluids that can help relieve constipation.  Try making some homemade bone broth, it is also great for weight gain. 
  • Frequent walks – Regular short walks or other forms of gentle exercise such as playing ball in the yard can help stimulate the dog’s GI tract. 
  • Increase Fiber – adding more fiber to the dog’s diet can help to regulate bowel movements.  A few items that I use on a regular basis for my dog’s Barf Diet are – Pumpkin, cooked sweet potatoes, and no-salt-added canned green beans.  Try giving your dog any one of these a few times when the dog first shows the signs of constipation.  This can speed up the process of relieving itself. 
  • Massage the Dogs Abdomen – gently rubbing your dog’s belly can help to stimulate its bowel movements.  Be sure to walk your dog right after rubbing its belly to prevent accidents. 
  • Laxatives & Stool Softener – These are two other options but these should be done under the supervision of your dog’s veterinarian.  Once you speak with your vet about how much to give and when you should be able to perform this at your home.  I have never needed to go this route, The extra water and fiber work 100% of the time for my German shepherds. 

What can you do to avoid constipation in your dog?

  • Hydration – Making sure that your dog has an ample supply of fresh clean water that is available to them throughout the day is important.  Without clean water available, the dog will surely have repeated issues with constipation.  This is the most critical part of their diet for many reasons besides just constipation.
Fresh water is critical

**If you have a puppy, you should stop giving the water an hour or so before the last anticipated walk of the night.  Letting young puppies access water freely at night can lead to being woken up much more frequently than necessary. **

  • Diet –  A diet that is balanced with the correct amount of fiber is critical for regulating your dog’s bowel movements.  Just like humans, dogs also need fiber.  They don’t require as much fiber as humans but it does help them to regulate their GI tract.  Adding Pumpkin, Green Beans, and Sweet Potatoes to their food can help give them the extra fiber they need.
  • Exercise –  Some breeds need much more exercise than others, however, all dogs need to get some regular exercise regardless of the breed.  Taking the dog on regular walks is good for both the owner and the dog.  Any physical activity that the dog participates in can help to stimulate bowel movements.  Try playing fetch with your dog, it’s a great stress reliever!
Exercise is important to help maintain a healthy digestive tract
  • Feeding – Promote regular bowel movements by giving your dog its food and walking breaks around the same time each day.  This can help to ensure your dog’s GI tract is running as smoothly as possible and can prevent constipation. 

Signs of constipation in a dog

There are a few classic symptoms of constipation in a dog that one can easily use to detect an issue. If you see your dog exhibit any of the behaviors below, your dog might be constipated.

  1. The dog will stand in its normal pooping position like it is about to go but it does not pass any stool. It may even walk around in this awkward position looking back to see if anything has passed. This is a sure sign the dog is having an issue passing a stool.
  2. Dogs can sometimes feel pain when they are constipated and will let out a little yelp while passing a stool
  3. Dogs will sometimes like their hindquarters after an unsuccessful attempt to pass a stool.
  4. You may also see heavy panting if the dog has to go but is unable to pass any stool.

When to seek emergency care for a dog with constipation?

  • Straining – If your dog appears to be straining to defecate and shows signs of pain such as yelping or whimpering while it is passing stool.
  • No Recent Bowel Movement – If your dog has not passed any stool in over 2 or 3 days and shows obvious signs of struggling.  Or if your dog attempts to have a bowel movement after a few days and nothing is unable to, it is prudent to seek care from the veterinarian.  This could actually indicate a much more serious issue such as a bowel obstruction
  • Lethargy –  If your dog is not acting like its usual self after a few days of straining and shows signs of lethargy it would be a wise choice to seek medical help. 
  • Loss of appetite – This is a big indicator of an issue.  If your dog suddenly does not want to eat, it should be seen by a veterinarian.  Especially if the dog has a normal healthy appetite.  Even if this is not constipation, it could indicate another issue with your furry friend. 
  • Other GI Issues – If the dog has not had any bowel movement in a few days and then starts to vomit uncontrollably, there is a good chance of a bowel obstruction.  Seek care at your preferred veterinarian. 

Constipation in dogs can be treated at home with some of the above simple steps.  This can lead to a better quality of life for both you and your pet.  If you do find that your dog’s condition worsens after trying some of the home remedies, you should seek advice from a veterinarian.  This can be an indication of a more pressing and serious issue. 

Comment below if you have any other suggestions for relieving your dog’s constipation at home.

how to treat constipation in dog?

There are a few things that can be done to treat a constipated dog at home. The most important thing is to make sure your dog has a fresh and clean source of water with 24/7 access. You can also give your dog canned pumpkin or canned sweet potato, either one should not contain any added ingredients.

What is a natural laxative for a dog?

Here are a couple of natural laxatives that can potentially help your dog:

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a gentle and commonly used natural laxative for dogs. It is rich in fiber and can help soften the stool, making it easier for your dog to pass. You can feed your dog plain, canned pumpkin, do not use the pie filling kind. Start off with a small amount and increase as needed. Use around 1-2 tablespoons at first, give it a few hours then you can try some more.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is another natural option that can aid in relieving constipation. Coconut oil is a different approach from the added fiber. It acts as a lubricant and can help facilitate bowel movements. Add a small amount of coconut oil to your dog’s food, starting with about half a teaspoon for small dogs and up to a tablespoon for larger dogs. Again, it’s important to introduce it gradually and monitor your dog’s response.

Treatments for dog constipation?

Increase the dog’s water intake, increase its fiber consumption, add an oil such as olive oil or coconut oil to its diet, and gently massage the dog’s abdomen. These are all things you can try to help your constipated dog relieve itself.
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