Constipation in dogs - Causes, symptoms and treatment

See Dogs files

Have made the decision to take in a dog In your home it not only implies accepting a great responsibility, but also receiving affection, company and presence on a daily basis, since a dog becomes a loyal and faithful friend.

On the other hand, they only need enough attention to cover all their physical, psychological and social needs, so it is important that we observe our pet and know how to identify those signs that indicate that something is not going well..

Intestinal transit disorders in dogs can become a common disorder, so in this AnimalWised article we talk about constipation in dogs, explaining their causes, symptoms and treatment.

You may also be interested in: Constipation in rabbits - Symptoms and treatment Index
  1. Constipation in dogs
  2. Symptoms of constipation in dogs
  3. Warning signs
  4. How to stimulate a dog to defecate
  5. Treatment for dogs with constipation
  6. Prevent constipation in dogs
  7. Are you worried about the health of your pet?

Constipation in dogs

Constipation is defined as a situation in which no stool evacuation possible or it decreases the frequency of it, being able to observe that our pet defecates small, hard and dark stools, which also does so with difficulty and, sometimes, with pain.

Constipation in dogs can indicate an unbalanced diet or lack of physical exercise, but it can also be the manifestation of serious pathological disorders, such as tumors that obstruct the digestive tract.

We can distinguish three main causes of canine constipation:

  • Interluminal causes: constipation is caused by a partial or complete obstruction of the digestive tract.
  • Extraluminal causes: constipation is caused by abnormalities that are outside the colon, but still contribute to the obstruction of the digestive tract.
  • Intrinsic causes: it is not possible to pass stool due to neuromuscular pathologies or other disorders such as hypercalcemia or hypothyroidism.

Any dog ​​can be affected, however, constipation is more often present in elderly dogs, due to the physiological changes that your body undergoes and the normal reduction in daily physical activity.

Symptoms of constipation in dogs

If our pet suffers from constipation, it can manifest it through the following signs:

  • Lack of evacuation of stool
  • Smaller, darker, and harder stools
  • Stools with presence of mucus or blood
  • The dog remains in the evacuation position but is unable to defecate
  • Signs of pain during defecation
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss
  • Vomiting

As we will see below, some of these symptoms must be interpreted as warning signs and require immediate veterinary attention.

Warning signs

Must go urgently to the vet if we observe in our pet some of the following situations:

  • Constipation does not resolve in 1 or 2 days.
  • Constipation stops in 1 or 2 days but recurs constantly.
  • The dog has loss of appetite, vomiting, or lethargy.

Any of the situations mentioned above a serious health problem may be indicated to us, therefore, veterinary medical attention will be essential.

How to stimulate a dog to defecate

There are various dietary hygiene measures that are very useful to treat constipation in dogs, below we show you what they are:

  • Ground leafy greens: add to the usual diet 1 teaspoon for every 4 kilos of body weight, 1 or 2 times a day, this rapidly increases fiber intake.
  • Canned pumpkin: pumpkin is a natural remedy that contains large proportions of water and fiber, we must add 1 teaspoon for every 4 kilos of body weight to your diet, 1 or 2 times a day.
  • Coconut fiber: administer 1 teaspoon for every 4 kilos of body weight, 1 or 2 times a day.
  • Organic apple cider vinegar: promotes digestion and proper intestinal transit, administer half a teaspoon every 4 kilos of body weight, once a day.
  • Pure Aloe Vera Juice: the juice of this cactus is also highly beneficial for our pets and it will be enough to administer half a teaspoon every 4 kilos of body weight, once a day.
  • Olive oil: enriching our dog's food with olive oil is a simple way to relieve constipation, in addition, it will make the food more appetizing.
  • More water: It is essential that the dog ingest more water if it is constipated, we can try to place a second drinker in another place in the house.
  • Daily physical exercise: Dogs must perform daily physical exercise and this must be adapted to their individual characteristics and physical limitations.

This information is merely indicative, remember that the veterinarian is the only person capable of recommending a certain treatment..

Treatment for dogs with constipation

It is important that under no circumstances give our dog laxatives, since laxatives approved for human consumption may not be suitable for the body of dogs, in addition, many of these substances increase motility since they act on contact, irritating the intestinal walls, which could be harmful for our pet.

Nor should we apply any enema or enema, since we could damage the animal's rectum and cause significant imbalances in its bacterial flora..

Only the vet can decide if our dog must undergo pharmacological treatment and, in this case, prokinetic drugs can be chosen, which act by improving all the processes of the digestive tract and are less aggressive than laxatives.

Likewise, the veterinarian will determine the need to prescribe probiotics if he considers that the constipation is due to abnormalities in the intestinal flora..

Prevent constipation in dogs

As the saying warns, prevention is better than cure and it is important that you can offer your dog enough resources to avoid alterations in its intestinal transit.

For prevent constipation in dogs It is important that you take into account the following tips:

  • It is important that your diet is based on dry feed (it contains more fiber) but that this intake is balanced with wet feed, since it contains greater amounts of water.
  • If your dog is medicated, consult your veterinarian, some drugs such as antacids, antihistamines or diuretics can cause constipation.
  • If your dog needs to take a nutritional supplement with iron, consult your veterinarian beforehand, as iron can cause constipation.
  • Make sure your dog does physical exercise daily.

Are you worried about the health of your pet?

If you have welcomed a dog into your home and you want to give it the best care, we recommend that you consult the following articles to keep its health in perfect condition and prevent conditions such as constipation from developing:

  • Types of dog food
  • Amount of daily dog ​​food
  • What to do if my dog ​​is stressed

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

Leave Your Comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here