Signs of Dog Constipation & What to Do
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from constipation. However, since our dogs can't speak, we have to rely on other signs to help us determine whether our fur buddy is not feeling well. So what are the signs and what can we do to help them?
What Are the Signs of Dog Constipation
For dogs, it is normal for them to produce stools once or twice a day. The signs of a constipated dog are actually pretty obvious. They include:
- Lack of defecation for a few days
- Hard, dry stools (like pebbles)
- Tenesmus (straining to defecate with little or no stools or producing small amounts of liquid fecal matter mixed with blood)
- Dyschezia (painful/difficult defecation）
What Are the Causes?
The most common causes of constipation can range from something as simple as a lack of exercise to more serious issues like cancer. Here is a list of the most common reasons dogs become constipated:
- Poor Diet- Lacking fiber or eating non-food items like hair or toys which can cause blockages and abnormal stools. Too much consumption of bones and other dietary calcium can also lead to constipation.
- Age - Older dogs are more prone to constipation
- Exercise - Dogs that are more sedentary often have a slower defecation process
- Anal gland issues
- Prostate enlargement
- Metabolic diseases
What To Do
If you've noticed that your dog's issue just started, no more than a day or two, you can try a few home remedies. Also, check with your veterinarian before adding any supplements into your dog's diet. Please also be aware that, just like humans, not every strategy may work for all dogs. Here are a few home remedies you can try:
- Pumpkin - High in fiber & moisture plus dogs like the taste
- Canned dog food - The extra moisture in canned food may help
- Powdered fiber supplements
- Hydration - Make sure your dog gets adequate amounts of clean, fresh water & electrolyte supplements
It is also a good idea to call your veterinarian as soon as you notice your dog has constipation as it could be a sign of something more serious. Some factors to keep in mind to inform your veterinarian include:
- Last time your dog had a normal bowel movement
- Stool color & consistency
- Changes in your dog's diet or routine
- Any possible non-food item (such as a toy) that your dog may have accidentally eaten
- Signs of straining or pain while trying to defecate
- Taking any medications
- Other signs of discomfort (vomiting)
We hope that this information will be useful in helping you to become the best dog parent you can possibly be for your beloved furry friend.
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