Constipation is one of the most common health issues in dogs. Although it can usually be resolved naturally without veterinary intervention, constipation can lead to serious medical problems if you don’t get it under control.
If you’re not sure whether or not your dog is constipated, here are a few tail-tale (who can resist such a pun!) symptoms to watch for:
- Your dog doesn’t poop every day.
- The poops are hard (dehydrated).
- Your dog is straining to poop.
- There is mucus and or blood along with the poop.
- Your dog’s anus is bloody.
- Your dog is lethargic and doesn’t want to play.
We must offer a cautionary note before we tell you how to treat your dog’s constipation naturally.
While your first inclination may be to reach for a laxative in your medicine cabinet, you should NEVER do so without checking with your veterinarian first! Some human laxative medications can do serious harm to your dog!
Constipation is a blockage, or partial blockage, in the intestine. Therefore, the overarching goal is to unblock the intestine to get things moving again.
Getting more water into your dog’s system should be your top priority.
There are a few ways to go about this. First, you’ll want to encourage your dog to drink more water. Don’t worry if your pooch is resistant to this because there are other steps you can take that will guarantee you get more water into their system.
Switch your dog from dry kibble to a 100 percent canned food diet.
Canned food contains much more moisture than kibble so this will automatically get more water into your dog’s intestine. You can also very easily mix water into the canned food.
- For small dogs, try adding an extra teaspoon or two.
- For large dogs, try mixing in a few tablespoons of water.
Once you’ve done the above, you add some wholesome fiber to your dog’s diet.
Please note that you should NOT use any fiber supplement meant for human consumption as some of these can actually hurt your dog!
One of the safest and best sources of fiber for dogs is canned pumpkin. Be sure to buy pure pumpkin puree without any sugar, spices, or other ingredients added. To make sure, read the ingredient label rather than the front label.
Dr. Mercola’s holistic veterinarian team recommends one teaspoon of canned pumpkin per ten pounds, one or two times per day. Since most dogs love canned pumpkin, you can offer this as a special treat or mix it with your dog’s food.
Medicine that they love — yea!
If you happen to have a fresh pumpkin on hand, you can simply boil it, mash it up, and use this instead of canned pumpkin.
Another very effective natural remedy for constipation in dogs is exercise.
In fact, you can try this remedy right along with the first step of giving your dog more water. Take your dog for a brisk walk and or play a good round of fetch with your dog. In many cases, this may be all that is needed to get the blockage moving again, especially when combined with extra water.
Once you have remedied the constipation, you may need to make changes to ensure your dog doesn’t get recurring constipation.
First, you should commit to ensuring your dog gets daily exercise and adequate water in their diet.
The second thing you need to do is consider cutting back on how much you feed your dog.
According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53.9 percent of all dogs who are checked by veterinarians are overweight or obese, with a whopping 19.8 percent of these dogs in the obese category!
We know it’s hard to resist those puppy dog eyes begging for food, but if you truly love your dog, you’ll make sure he or she is at a healthy weight.
Have your dog weighed at your veterinarian’s office and ask where they fall on the weight scale and how much he/she SHOULD weigh for his/her size and build. Many veterinarians will actually do this for free in between regular visits.
Good luck to you and pooch!
Sheri is the owner and founder of trainthatpooch.com, a blog inspired by her girl Bella, a five pound Yorkshire terrier with “attitude”. She was ready to have the perfect Yorkie… And she did… for about a minute. That’s when she realized that she had to train her if she wanted to have a well-behaved companion. Long story short, through many mess-ups and not knowing what she was doing, she was able to figure out a few things. Reading, researching and studying about dog training online helped her to better understand Bella and what she was going through, and she learned even more. As she talked to other dog owners at dog parks, out and about and at dog-related forums, she realized one thing – More people could benefit from what she was learning through trial and error. That was the moment that Train That Pooch was born. The only thing that outweighs her love for all things dog related is here love for Bella. She knows how much you love your pooch and wants you to have the same kinds of fun experiences and memories that Bella and she have had thus far.