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Constipation in dogs is a common health problem in dogs. This is the inability to pass faeces which are typically dry and hard. Older dogs are more prone to constipation but it can be seen in any breed of dog at any age. Many constipated dogs will experience straining or pain when attempting to defecate.

Constipation in dogs can be caused by an enlarged prostate in older male dogs. Dogs that groom too often or have poor feeding habits and eat non-food items are more likely to get blockages and constipation. A diet low in fiber, not drinking enough water, or not getting enough exercise can also lead to constipation.

Some dogs may experience chronic constipation called obstipation. This can lead to obstipation where the stool becomes drier, harder, and compacted and the dog can’t defecate at all.

Keep in mind, too, that constipation can sometimes be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. There is always a possibility of something else going on. If you think your dog may be sick or none of the usual treatments for constipation are helping him, take him to the vet right away.

Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs

Knowing these signs is important because if your dog is showing severe symptoms of constipation, you need to call your vet for an appointment.

Here are a few signs to look for in constipated dogs:

  • Straining to defecate
  • Taking longer than normal to defecate
  • Seeming a little uncomfortable while defecating
  • Producing small amounts of feces that are harder than normal

Signs of chronic Constipation in dogs include

  • Showing signs of discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Not eating
  • Hasn’t pooped for more than three days
  • Seems weak or lethargic
  • Has an obviously distended belly
  • Has blood in his stool

If your dog is showing these signs, there are no at-home remedies that can help. Visit your vet immediately

Major Causes of Constipation in Dogs

The most common cause of constipation in dogs is swallowing objects that are not easily digested, such as bones, grass or hair. Other causes include;

  • Swallowing objects that are not easily digested
  • Lack of fibre
  • Lack of exercise
  • Intestinal problems
  • Dehydration
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Kidney disease
  • Hernias
  • Blocked anal glands
  • Stress
  • Tumor
  • Age
  • Spinal cord issues

How Can It Be Treated

Most cases of constipation are relatively easy to treat. The first step is to loosen or remove the impacted, hardened fecal matter. Removal may be accomplished through the use of one or a combination of therapies, including enemas, manual removal, and medications.

Some dogs may require hospitalization while undergoing multiple enemas or to replace fluids to correct dehydration. More serious conditions may require additional treatments, including surgery or lifelong medical or dietary management. Either a low- or high-fiber diet may be needed based on your pet’s specific cause of constipation.

Canned Pumpkin

One of the easiest and most common at-home treatments for constipation in dogs is to feed them some canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is a high-fiber food and is perfectly safe for a dog to ingest, as long as nothing else has been added to it. Buy a can of 100% pure pureed pumpkin in the baking aisle at your grocery store and mix some into your dog’s food. Many dogs will also eat it right off of a spoon.


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