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How to Treat Constipation in Your Dog

Nobody likes being constipated, an this includes your dog. Not only is it not comfortable but the strain of trying to poo can cause hemorrhoids. If a dog goes long enough without pooping, it can cause a bowel obstruction which can have sometimes life threatening consequences.

What can you do if your dog is constipated?

  1. Over the Counter Laxatives
    They do make over the counter laxatives that you can give your dog. Most pet supply stores will sell them. Typically your dog will poo with a day or less after taking the laxative. If you are not sure which one to give them, ask your local Los Lunas veterinarian.
  2. Canned Food
    If your dog typically only eats dry food, try switching to canned food for a few days. Canned foods are typically higher in fat, which can help lubricate their digestive system. Also, the moisture content of the wet food can help them to have an easier bowel movement. If the canned food helps, you may consider adding canned food to their diet. You can speak to your vet about the best way to integrate canned food on an ongoing basis.
  3. Pumpkin
    Canned pumpkin is not just for pie’s! Pumpkin has a high water content and is high in fiber, which makes it a delicious natural laxative. Though you can feed your dog fresh pumpkin as well, as long as it is cooked, most people will find canned a bit easier. The great thing is that dogs typically love the taste of pumpkin and will eat it readily.
  4. Milk
    Giving your dog a small bowl of milk will often also relieve constipation within a few hours. Your dog may love the milk, but this is not something that should be given to him regularly.
  5. Gravy
    If your dog regularly has constipation, try adding a tablespoon or two of gravy to his food. Most hard dog foods will make a gravy if you add some warm water to the food, but this may not be enough. Gravy from a can or jar has a higher fat content which can help move things along. A little bit can be good but don’t over do it. Gravy is high in fat and can make your dog sick if he eats too much.
  6. Olive Oil
    Adding olive oil to their food acts as a natural laxative. It also has the benefit of making their coat shiny. Most dogs like the taste of olive oil in their food, and will not likely be difficult about eating it. You only need to add a little bit. We suggest starting with a teaspoon and going up from there. Too much olive oil can give them diarrhea, and you don’t want to swap one problem for another.
  7. Green Beans
    A great treat and great source of fiber is green beans. Your dog will love to get them as a yummy snack and you will love that their fiber will help move his digestive tract along.
  8. Water
    The most common reason for constipation is a lack of fluids. Your dog needs to have a constant supply of clean fresh water, especially as the temperatures get warmer. If your dog is not drinking enough water, that could be the cause of her constipation.

If your dog is constipated for more than 24 hours, or their constipation is accompanied by vomiting, you need to get to the vet immediately. This could be the sign of a bigger problem and your pet will need immediate veterinary attention.

When trying home remedies, only try one. If you stack treatments together you are likely to cause your dog to have diarrhea or other stomach issues. Remember that all remedies need a little bit of time to work, so please be patient.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.