While, health-wise, dogs and humans vary in extraordinary ways, we do share some common ails.
Constipation is one such distressing issue, and while you may be able to drink a laxative to see an end to your trouble, can you give the same medicine to your dog?
What causes their constipation, to begin with? Are there any unique things to be worried about? Are there natural remedies?
We’ll answer all this and more, so your dog can resume their healthy, happy lifestyle.
What Causes Dog Constipation?
There can be many causes, but most often, it is simply a matter of dehydration. Your dog isn’t consuming enough water for their system, and because of this, their digestive tract is unable to function properly.
There is also the matter of certain medications, as some drugs may cause your dog to become unable to use the restroom as a side effect.
On a more serious note, there’s also the matter of tumors or hernias. If this is the case, you will need to take your dog to the vet immediately, so a professional can assess the situation and find the root problem.
However, should the cause of your pup’s discomfort not be quite so severe, easier solutions can be found.
How to Relieve a Constipated Dog
Method One: Hydration
If your dog fails to drink enough water during the day, they can fall victim to constipation. Always make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.
If they don’t often visit the water bowl, try placing it closer to their bed or play areas as encouragement. You may also try switching them to canned food, which often contains more juices that can hydrate your dog.
As a temporary solution, try mixing in additional water with their favorite canned food to help encourage their appetite.
Method Two: Exercise
Constipation is a problem that can be cured via motion.
Oftentimes, simply going for a few long walks can assist in relieving the issue by forcing their internal organs to move around, jump-starting the digestive tract’s process.
Furthermore, if your dog smells other bathroom areas used by dogs – such as at the park – they may be more inclined to mark their territory to mask the other dogs’ smell.
Method Three: Add More Fiber to Their Diet
There are a wide array of different foods that are both good for your dog in general and have enough fiber to keep your dog regular – some being more obvious than others.
With that said, adding fiber can be dangerous, as it can aid constipation but create other problems. The best course of action is starting slow and keeping track of your dog’s reaction.
Two safe options are canned pumpkin and psyllium. When using pumpkin, you will want to add a teaspoon to each meal with smaller dogs.
Larger dogs can take up to a tablespoon, but both cases should be approached carefully – and only repeat if constipation persists.
With the psyllium, add a half teaspoon per ten pounds of your dog’s body weight to their meal, then follow the same rules of the pumpkin.
Method Four: Laxatives
This is the last step. Firstly, it’s wise to never, under any circumstance, give your dog laxatives without first consulting your veterinarian.
Many laxatives can cause much more harm than good, especially if it is the wrong amount or given for the wrong symptoms.
If your vet recommends it, however, you may want to start with a gentle laxative such as Laxatone. If your dog will not eat the laxative willingly, do not force them to.
Another thing of note: never give your dog liquid mineral oil. This can cause severe pneumonia if inhaled and will result in serious illnesses.
How to Prevent Dog Constipation
Now that you have figured out the causes and the cures, it is time to begin considering the best way to prevent your dog from getting constipated in the first place.
Starting from the top, there is of course hydration. If your dog is well hydrated, they will be able to go to the bathroom much easier and won’t have problems in the future. Their overall health will be improved by this also.
There is also the matter of diet. It’s wise to monitor what your dog eats, because if they consume too many carbs, they will be suffering.
On the other hand, too much wet food will result in the opposite problem, giving them diarrhea. Balance needs to be achieved for your dog to stay healthy.
Here’s a video explaining more about dog constipation.
No matter what the cause is, constipation is a simple problem when addressed early on, but can lead to many rather serious and painful problems if not fixed quickly.
Thankfully, it is easy to cure and easy to prevent. All it takes is some exercise, water, and plenty of fiber to keep your dog happy and healthy.