Constipation In Dogs
Causes And Remedies For Constipation In Dogs
Cases of constipation in dogs can be just as common as in humans and it can cause them the same amount of pain or at the very least make them feel quite uncomfortable. Although there are several causes as well as quite a few remedies, it is always advised to consult with your veterinarian prior to changing your dog's diet or offering any type of medication. It is also important that you make certain that the constipation is not accompanied by any other symptoms that could be the result of a serious medical condition.
The most common reason for constipation in dogs stems from a diet that lacks an adequate amount of fiber. Humans often suffer from this condition if they do not eat enough fiber so it should be no surprise that dogs can be troubled by it as well. Eating the wrong types of food is another cause such as fatty and sugary table scraps. If you must give your dog human food, offer them vegetables, whole grains and small amounts of fruit.
Dehydration is another reason for constipation in dogs. It is always important to monitor the amount of water that your dog drinks per day. One ounce of water per pound of body weight everyday is the recommended amount. However, if your dog is exceptionally active or during hot temperatures of the summer months, this amount should be increased substantially.
Ingesting a foreign object is another cause, especially in puppies. Eating a piece of a shoe or your couch can obstruct their bowel. If it is small, it will often pass within a couple of days but if it is something large, this is serious and can be fatal. You need to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. A male dog that has never been neutered will often have an enlarged prostate which can cause constipation. Hernias close to the anus can be to blame as well.
Other reasons for constipation in dogs include poor muscle tone to push stools out or certain bacterial infections.
- Pumpkin – Not only do dogs absolutely love the taste of pumpkin mixed in their food, it is the best way to remedy their constipation. You can either use fresh pumpkin and puree it or you can use the canned kind but make sure that it is not the spiced kind.
- Milk of Magnesia – You may want to check recommended dosages with your vet in regards to the size of your dog but generally a very small amount of Milk of Magnesia will cure constipation in dogs.
- Increased Exercise – Quite often, an extra-long walk or an additional walk is all that your dog needs to relieve constipation. Increased amounts of exercise actually massages your dog's internal organs which increases the blood flow to the colon.
- Mineral Oil – This helps to lubricate the stool. It is ideal for older dogs who may lack muscle tone and are just having a hart time pushing it out.
- Supplements – You will want to check with your veterinarian for recommendations but there are many remedies available that are designed to relieve constipation in dogs. These supplements typically are made up of vegetable enzymes, folic acid and acidophilus.
- Powdered Psyllium Seed – This allows the stool to absorb water which helps it move along a bit easier.
- Aloe Ferox – This naturally cleans your dog's system and it has a very positive effect on the digestive system.
- Bran – Similar to pumpkin, this helps to relieve constipation but it can also be used as a preventative measure when you add it to your dog's diet regularly.
- Enema – Your veterinarian may determine that administering an enema is the best option for your dog.