Is your dog having a hard time going to the bathroom? Has it been a while since your four-legged friend has used the facilities? Wondering why Fido seems uncomfortable and is straining while trying to defecate? Chances are, your pooch may be constipated. First, let’s define dog constipation. Constipation is infrequent or difficult defecation. Constipation can also be completely absent defecation. This means that all dogs may experience constipation differently. Your dog may not use the bathroom at all when constipated, while someone else’s dog may still be able to go, but not as often as is regular for their pup. Dog Constipation: What are the causes? There are many reasons why your dog may suddenly become constipated. If your dog hasn’t been consuming enough water, the slight dehydration causes water to withdraw from the colon, creating hard stools, making them difficult to pass. Another reason would be changes in your dogs diet. If he lacks fiber, his stools may back up making them hard to pass. Full anal glands or matted hair near your dog’s anus can also be a deterrent to your dog’s normal bowel movements. If your dog has recently ingested non-food items, such as gravel, bone chips, or pieces of his toys, the items may create obstructions, making them harder to pass with feces. Also, if your dog is on any medication, a frequent side effect in medications can be constipation. Finally, some dogs may choose not to defecate, out of fear or poor potty-training or change in environments. They may withhold using the bathroom until they are alone or in a different environment. Ways to treat constipation in your dog: Just as there are many reasons why your dog may be constipated, there are also many different ways to treat constipation. Some or all of these methods may work for you, but we highly recommend bringing your dog to the veterinarian if constipation continues to be an issue for your pet. Other illnesses may share symptoms with constipation, and it is always better to be safe, and check with your pet’s vet! Here is a list of ideas to ease dog constipation:
- Increase water intake. Dehydration may lead to constipation, so keeping your pup well hydrated will help avoid constipation, and also help relieve it.
- Increase activity and exercise.
- Changing your dog’s diet slightly to increase the fiber intake.
If the constipation is not relieved by the above options, make sure to check with your veterinarian as to how you should proceed. They may be able to offer suggestions for your dog to defecate naturally, or the vet may even need manually remove the feces in more severe cases.
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