Taylor Walsh•October 19, 2020•3 min read
We’ve all seen it – the endless circles and look of anguish. Most dogs will experience constipation at some point in their lives. That’s why it’s important to distinguish when it’s a simple one-off case of raiding the trash or something more dangerous, like parasites. Read on to learn about dog constipation: why your dog is constipated and how to help. If your dog’s constipation has been going on for more than two days or is not relieved by home remedies, it may be serious. In either or both of these cases, you should talk to a veterinarian immediately.
Some common signs your dog is constipated include straining, less frequent bowel movements, hard stools, and a lot of circling with no results. Other symptoms of dog constipation include lethargy and lack of appetite. Dogs commonly poop between one and five times a day, depending on their age and other factors.
What are the causes of dog constipation? Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes are all it takes. However, in other cases, constipation can have more serious causes such as eating things they shouldn’t.
There are a few different treatments for dog constipation. If you want to help your dog start pooping again, you may need to try a combination of the following remedies.
Upping your dog’s exercise is one way to increase the frequency of bowel movements and improve their overall health. Older dogs in particular can require a brisk walk or playtime prior to going out to get things moving.
In addition, canned pumpkin can make a tasty, fiber filled addition to your dog’s food (spooky szn, anyone?). Want to know how much pumpkin to give a dog for constipation? A good rule of thumb is 1 tsp per 10 lbs (https://www.petcoach.co/question/?id=87675). Besides pumpkin, what can you give a dog for constipation? Psyllium husk and wheat bran are other common home remedies.
Stool softeners and dog laxatives can also be used if more subtle changes do not make a difference. However, you should always discuss dietary changes and supplements with a veterinarian.
If your dog is grooming excessively or inappropriately eating, the underlying cause should be discussed with a veterinarian and addressed.
Finally, if your dog’s anal glands are full, this can make defecation more difficult. Although groomers can help with this, they typically only empty the glands externally, which is less complete than internal expression that vets perform. Other signs of anal gland problems include excessive licking and a fishy odor.
If fiber and exercise do not alleviate your dog’s symptoms, and/or they continue for more than two days, talk to a veterinarian. Dog constipation is not always serious, but it is of utmost importance to find the underlying cause to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. Fortunately, most cases of dog constipation resolve with slight lifestyle changes.