One of the most common things dogs suffer from is constipation. Sometimes it’s plain obvious, but other times not so much. When dogs have hard stools and difficult defecating, it may be due to this issue. Sometimes they whine and seem uncomfortable which should be checked at the veterinary clinic.
A study done in 2011, with dogs that were growing this issue, found that fig paste was a great reliever for them, click here to read the published version. This and more ideas to get things ‘flowing’ again are discussed below.
This article covers this common issue in discussing the various reasons that can cause this and how to help them fix it.
Common Causes of Constipation in Dogs
Just like humans, dogs too can suffer from constipation. Even if you’re giving him the right foods, high in fiber, it may due to some other unknown issue, and the best way to get it fixed is to go to the vet first and foremost. One of the below 14 reasons below could be the cause of his or her discomfort:
- Their Diet. Perhaps the most common cause of this issue is the food they eat. It’s no surprise that if a dog has a bad diet, the side-effects can be unfavorable. Sometimes it’s out of your hands if they end up eating substances they find on the floor without you knowing. Things such as toys or human food can easily get into their mouth as dogs love to lick and swallow things that smell or look good. This may unfortunately cause some blockages in their system. Foods such as calcium and bone meal are the culprits when it comes to constipation.
- Their Activity Levels. Another deciding factor with this is their activity levels. When they don’t do much they tend to become sedentary.
- Their Age: As humans get age-related issues, so do canines. It has been noted that older canines typically get more constipated than younger ones.
- Some types of surgeries can cause this as well. Any medical procedure that involves giving them medication can result in this issue until something is done to resolve it. Also, certain drugs such as diuretics, opiates, antacids, antihistamines, and specific cancer drugs can contribute.
- Psychological problems. Sometimes stress-related issues can also play a part in this problem. The environment that he lives in is so important when it comes to his well-being.
- Orthopedic disorders make it difficult for the dog to squat.
- Central nervous system disorders
- Dehydration or electrolyte imbalances
- Tumors that narrow the pelvic region
- Prostate enlargement
- Anal gland issues
- Spinal diseases and injuries
- Metabolic diseases, like renal (kidney) issues and hypothyroidism
- Digestive tract tumors
Home Remedies To Help Your Constipated Dog
There are a few things you can try while you are at home, that can help ease things for your pooch, and especially if you notice the issue on the day of, but if none of these work it is highly advisable to call your vet. Some of the things that pet owners have seen work include:
High Fiber Foods and Supplements – Even humans soften resort to a bit of fiber when they feel like their tummy is not doing its job. Giving your four-legged companion a fiber supplement or a diet high in fiber and water intake can help your pooch get some relief. Dark green vegetables are good for this, as well as Psyllium powder mixed with their wet food.
Many vets and owners swear by pumpkin as a good source of fiber for them. It also has plenty of moisture and dogs can’t get enough of it. Either cooked and added to their wet food or give it to them raw – both can help remedy their digestive tracts.
Get Them Outside – plenty of exercises coupled with fresh clean water can do wonders for them (and us). Take them outside, play with them and walk them. Regular exercises can help solve many issues. Plenty of water can help get things flowing as well.
Other Foods To Try – Herbs such as ginger, olive oil, and wheat bran can also aid them. Also, fig paste, as mentioned above, has been seen to help them tremendously. Chicken or beef broth is another one to try.
Swap Dry For Wet – Sites like Hungry Bark’s blog advises to swapping out their dry bag foods for wet canned foods is a good way to help them feel more comfortable. If they aren’t getting enough water everyday then this is the best solution to their tummy issues. It can help regulate things back to normal again. Once things are back to normal, you can switch back to their dry food.
If none of the above works, then you will need to see the vet and get some specific prescribed supplements for them.
How To Tell Your Dog Is Having Trouble
Sometimes it may be difficult to tell that something has changed, especially for those who run busy lifestyles and have not much time to do anything else besides take them for a walk. We often forget that these creatures need all the caring and observing possible.
Being a good pet owner means keeping a check on things. Have they had a poo today? Are they drinking enough water? Have they been outside for a run or a play in the garden or the park? Are they sitting around the house too much? Do they eat their food or leave it on their plates for days? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself.
When observing them, make sure you know when it was the last time they had a bowel movement. You need to also check their stool color and the consistency of it. Sometimes they may have eaten the kitty litter if you have a cat or any toys lying around, and you should make note of this.
Having a dog is a responsibility that will last a lifetime and looking after them should be one of the priorities when you decide to adopt one.