Has your dog stopped doing his business when you take him for a walk? Then your pooch is probably constipated and feeling miserable.
Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in dogs, and as such, something you’ll have to deal with sooner or later.
The good news is that constipation is usually not serious and can be treated at home. So, I’m going to offer you five home remedies for constipation relief for dogs that will come in handy in such situations.
But first, we’re going to talk about what causes constipation and what the usual symptoms are. Also, keep in mind that you should schedule a visit to your vet if your dog’s condition doesn’t improve in a few days.
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
Constipation doesn’t mean only the absence of bowel movements. A dog is also considered constipated when Rover has difficult or infrequent bowel movements.
Unfortunately, constipation might be caused by many different things. Some causes are easy to remedy at home, while others are serious enough for an emergency vet clinic.
In most cases, constipation in dogs is the result of:
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Too much fiber in the diet
- Not enough exercise
- A side effect of some medication
- Intestinal blockage due to swallowing of indigestible objects
- Enlargement of the prostate gland
- Blocked anal sack
- Ingestion too much hair while grooming
- Neurological issue
If you have any suspicions that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, you must contact your vet as soon as possible. Intestinal obstruction is a serious matter that could turn life-threatening in a matter of hours.
What are the Symptoms of Constipation?
Most dogs have at least one bowel movement per day. However, the bowel movement frequency also depends on your dog’s breed and how often you feed him.
A dog is considered constipated if he hasn’t got a bowel movement for more than two days. By that time, you might also notice other signs of constipation, such as:
- Straining to defecate
- Crying or whimpering
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach pain
Home Remedies for Constipated Dogs
Usually, when you take a constipated dog to the vet, he conducts an exam to make sure that the constipation is not caused by something serious.
Then he might recommend you’re an oral laxative or an enema if your pooch hasn’t been to the bathroom for several days. Don’t ever attempt to give your dog an enema at home. Here are some safe home remedies for constipation in dogs that you can try.
1. Add Moisture to the Food
As I already mentioned, dehydration is one of the possible causes of constipation. So, if your furbaby is eating only dry food, then it’s very likely that dehydration is the root cause of your condition.
In these cases, the remedy could be as simple as adding some moisture to his food.
- Water or chicken broth
- Prepare your dog’s food as usual.
- Add some water to the kibble or low-sodium broth.
- Offer the mixture to your dog and make sure that he eats it.
- Continue to mix your dog’s food with water/chicken broth for a couple of days.
- If there is no effect, you must call you veterinarian.
Notes: Remember to fill up your dog’s water bowl and keep it clean. Some dogs don’t drink as much as they have to when they are stressed, ill, or distracted. It’s up to you to encourage your pooch to drink throughout the day.
2. Switch to Wet Food
Another way to deal with dog constipation is to change your pooch’s diet. If you are not feeding your furbaby high-quality dry dog food, Rover might not be getting enough moisture or fiber from his food.
I recommend that you switch to wet food for a couple of days. Wet food is rich in moisture, and it will help rehydrate your dog.
In addition to this, wet food is usually more tempting for a dog and might encourage your pooch to eat when Rover turns up his nose at the dry kibble.
- High-quality wet food
- Get the wet version of your dog’s usual dry food.
- Start feeding Rover wet food for a couple of days or a mixture of wet and dry food.
- If there is no improvement, you should speak to a vet.
Notes: If you can’t find a wet brand of your usual food, you can choose another one. However, if your pooch has food allergies, make sure that there is nothing in the food to make him sick.
3. Fiber, Fiber, and Fiber
In addition to adding wet food to a dog’s diet, you can also mix some cooking ingredients rich in fiber in his kibble. As you probably know, fiber is important for proper digestive health, and lack of fiber often leads to constipation.
Fortunately, you have some safe sources of fiber in your home that you can give to your dog.
- Canned/purred pumpkin
- Dog kibble
- A teaspoon
- Measure one teaspoon of canned/purred pumpkin per 10 pounds of weight.
- Add the pumpkin to the dog food.
- Offer it to your furbaby.
Notes: In addition to pumpkin, other safe sources of fiber include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut oil
- Bran flakes
- Cooked oats
However, you should be careful not to feed your dog too much fiber or you’ll be dealing with bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.
4. Administer Mineral Oil
Another thing you can try when your dog is constipated is mineral oil. While some people also suggest olive oil, you should know that olive oil is likely to cause diarrhea. Since you don’t want to deal with yet another digestive problem, vets recommend mineral oil.
- Mineral oil
- Measure one teaspoon of mineral oil per 10 pounds of weight.
- Mix the mineral oil with the dog food.
- Give the food to the dog and wait.
Notes: Never give your dog mineral oil with a syringe. Your pooch might accidentally inhale the oil and develop aspiration pneumonia.
5. Make a Ginger and Chicken Broth
Let me assure you that ginger is safe for dogs and it can be used to relieve constipation. Ginger is known for its ability to help ease digestive problems, and when you combine it with chicken broth, you most certainly will get a positive result.
- Chicken broth
- Measure ¼ teaspoon of ginger.
- Get the chicken broth and measure half a cup.
- Mix the two ingredients.
- Offer the broth to your dog.
Notes: ¼ teaspoon of ginger is the dose for a 10-20-pound dog. If your furbaby is larger or smaller, then you will have to change the dose accordingly. Giving too much ginger to your dog might be dangerous, so you must follow the general guidelines.
How to Prevent Constipation in Dogs?
It’s not pleasant to watch how miserable a dog is when he is constipated. Elder dogs are especially susceptible to constipation, and you have to watch their diet very carefully. In addition to this, follow these tips for preventing constipation in dogs:
- Ensure that your dog exercises regularly
- Feed your furbaby a high-quality food, suitable for his age and breed
- Make sure that there is fresh water available all the time
- Neuter your dog to prevent prostate enlargement
Usually, constipation in dogs resolves in a couple of days once you add moisture and fiber to their diets. However, if your pooch seems to be in great pain, you should take him to the vet immediately. The same goes if you notice that the dog is lethargic or in great pain.
What do you think about these 5 home remedies for constipation in dogs? How did you deal with this problem? Share your experience in the comments.