If your dog is looking uncomfortable and their walks outside are, to say it nicely, less than productive then your dog may be constipated. First, don’t panic, as there are a lot of things that you can do to help out.
What can you give dogs for constipation?
There are quite a few cures and with a little preparation you can also head off this calamity before it even starts. Today we’ll talk about these and before you know it your furry best friend will be happy again and ready to get up to some new mischief!
Table of Contents
What causes constipation in the first place?
There are actually a number of things that can give your poor pooch constipation if you are not careful. Some examples of common causes of constipation include the following:
- Not enough exercise
- Pelvic damage in the dog’s history
- Fiber imbalance (too little or too much)
- Poor grooming or obesity that causes matted hair
- Too much self-grooming causing hair to impact the stools
- Blocked anal sacs
- Enlarged prostate
- Poor posture from Orthopedic issues
- In severe cases, anal tumors
While some of the issues are only going to be able to be addressed by your veterinarian, some of them are actually well within your control. Let’s talk about what you can do to help.
Tips for getting things back to normal
When your dog is constipated there are many tried and true methods that you can use in order to get this resolved. Some popular solutions and tips for helping your dog to feel better include:
- Adding Metamucil or a little pumpkin to your dog’s diet (ask your vet before trying this for the first time)
- Increasing their exercise regimen can increase activity in the intestinal muscles
- Take more walks to give your dog more chances to potty
- With long-haired dogs, you can check to see if there is an obvious matted-hair issue that you can help with a clipper (never scissors!)
- Try soft, canned foods for the day to see if it helps
- A small amount of Aloe Vera juice in your dog’s water can act as a natural laxative, at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds weight of the dog
- Apple cider vinegar, at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 50 pounds of dog weight, can also help your dog with constipation
Dehydration and Laxatives
We’ve put these cures in a separate area because they will need a little more detail than your average bullet-point provides the space for. Let’s start with dehydration. There are some definite signs which you can look for that can tell you if your dog is dehydrated, such as:
- Lots of panting
- Nose is dry
- Thick drool that may seem a bit foamy
- Loss of appetite
- Poor balance
For quick hydration, you can make more water available but it is also a good idea to make some bone broth as an alternative to make sure that your dog drinks it up fast. Bone broth is great for your dog, just be sure not to add any salt, and don’t give your dog Pedialyte.
While you may have heard that Pedialyte can help hydrate your dog you need to remember that it is geared for human electrolyte levels and NOT dogs. Broth is a much better choice and it is completely safe.
As far as laxatives, human laxatives are a definite no-no, as they can seriously harm your dog. Instead, either give small amounts of ground pumpkin or better yet, get a laxative prescription from your vet. Your veterinarian can provide you with laxatives that are designed to be safe for your dog.
Stick to the recommended dosages and make sure that your dog stays hydrated and with a little luck, the constipation is going to clear up quickly.
Some final advice
If your dog has not had a bowel movement for 24 to 48 hours then it is going to be time for you to visit the vet. Constipation is painful for your dog and can be quite dangerous, so you want to make sure that you get it addressed as soon as possible and rule out any more serious issues.
So if these tips don’t do the trick in this instance then it’s off to the vet you both go. Don’t worry, though.
Between you and the vet, your doggy is going to be just fine!