What to Do When your Dog is Constipated

The digestive system of a dog is different to ours, but just as vital to their health. It allows them to absorb all of the nutrients from the food that they eat, and rid their body of nasty toxins.

Regular bowel movements are an important part of the digestive process, but maintaining them isn’t always easy, and they can be affected by a number of different factors. It may surprise you to know that constipation isn’t just a human problem. In fact, it is one of the most common digestive problems affecting animals, including your dog. It can affect all breeds and all ages, and should never be ignored. Left untreated, constipation could put your dog at risk of developing a range of potentially serious health problems.

How do I know if my dog is constipated?

The most obvious symptom of constipation in dogs is lack of bowel movements. If your dog hasn’t defecated in more than two days, there is a good chance that he is constipated. Other commonly seen symptoms include crouching, straining or making sounds of discomfort while trying to pass a bowel movement.

Why is my dog constipated?

There can be a wide variety of reasons why your furry friend is suffering with constipation. Identifying the cause of your pet’s problem could help to prevent it from occurring in the future, but while some are simple to identify, others may require a diagnosis from your veterinary professional. Some of the most common causes of constipation in canines include:
- Dehydration
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Ingesting non-food items such as grass, soil or hair
- Hernia
- Enlarged prostrate
- Blocked or abscessed anal sacks
- Tumors or swellings around the anus
- Kidney problems
- Side effects as a result of medication

How can I help my constipated dog?

Although constipation must never be ignored, it is also something that you should not try to treat without the advice of your veterinarian. This is because it may be necessary for your vet to establish the cause in order to provide effective treatment. Some of the most commonly used treatments for constipation in canines include:
- Increasing the amount of fiber in your pet’s diet, sometimes by using supplements
- Increasing the amount of water your dog drinks
- Increasing the amount of exercise that your dog is doing
- Administering a laxative or stool softener
- Administering an enema treatment
- Providing medication that strengthens the large intestine so that it can work more effectively

If you suspect that your dog is constipated, ensure that you seek the advice and contact Geneva Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible so that you can help get your canine companion comfortable and happy once more.