Having recently been through this, I researched remedies for canine constipation and here’s what I found (in no particular order). Select ONE remedy to try. The combination of remedies can cause things to go the other way and create severe diarrhea which could result in dehydration.
If the problem continues for more than a few days, if there’s blood in the stool, your dog is vomiting or he becomes listless, this constipation problem could point to serious health issues. In these cases, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you have ever added water to your dog’s dry food, you will notice that it swells like a sponge. Dry food has this same effect in a dog’s stomach, sometimes absorbing liquid that might be useful for maintaining a normal bowel movement. If your dog only ever gets dry food, try feeding them canned food for two days. The moisture content in the canned food can help help the dog produce a bowel movement, usually within 12 hours.
There are several easy ways to add more fiber to your dog’s diet. You probably have some in your home right now. These ways include canned/pureed pumpkin* (1 teaspoon per 10 pounds/body weight); ground/chopped dark green leafy vegetables (1 teaspoon per 10 pounds/ body weight); Coconut fiber/oil (1 teaspoon per 10 pounds/body weight); and psyllium powder (1/2 teaspoon per 10 pounds/body weight); Metamucil (1/2 teaspoon of Metamucil for small dogs and 2 teaspoons for large dogs into their dog food with plenty of water twice a day); oat bran (For small dogs, mix 1/2 teaspoon with their food; for larger dogs use 2 teaspoons).
*Do not use pumpkin pie filling, as it contains sugars and spices. You want to use canned pure pumpkin.
The lactose in milk is known to cause diarrhea in dogs, so it goes that drinking milk while constipated could help. Offer your dog 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk.
Mineral oil can be an effective short-term treatment, but should be used cautiously because, over time, it can deplete Vitamin A. Do not use it for more than one week. Use one teaspoon of mineral oil per ten pounds of your dog’s body weight.
Olive oil is beneficial for the general health, digestive system and coat of your pet. The recommended daily intake is 1 tablespoon of olive oil for dogs up to 50 lbs. For smaller dogs, use 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
Do not administer oil directly into your dog’s mouth as inhaling any of the oil can cause them to develop aspiration pneumonia, a serious lung infection.
Mixing ¼ teaspoon ginger with ½ cup of chicken (or beef) broth and offering it to your pup is another home cure. Ginger is known to aid in digestive health, assist in a more effective bowel movement and reduce muscle spasms that can worsen this condition. The fats in the broth also help move things along.
Or serve warm chicken based broth and add 1/2 teaspoon of a psyllium-based laxative for small dogs, or 2 teaspoons for larger dogs.
It seems that dogs either like them or they don’t. If your dog doesn’t like them in their food bowl, try offering the green beans as a treat. Sometimes that works.
Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean water to drink as moisture is necessary to counter constipation. Combined with regular exercise, this will get the digestive system moving and move the stool through the colon.
This can be preventative for diarrhea as well as constipation, as they help with maldigestion. Though there are several ways to administer this, the easiest I have found is to sprinkle powdered Acidophilus on your dog’s food on a regular basis. This is what I use.
Do not give human laxatives to your dog. According to the Merck Manual, it can be very dangerous for animals. There are veterinary laxatives available by prescription that are formulated and safe for dogs.
Signs of canine constipation include straining to defecate and the passage of small or very dry feces. If your dog has not defecated at all and is showing signs of severe constipation such as abdominal pain, lethargy or loss of appetite, veterinary attention may be required as your dog may have an intestinal blockage. Sometimes this can be from something he ate, like a sock or a sponge or some other object that can be causing a partial or complete blockage. This can be very serious.
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