A majority of pet and wild dogs have constipation problems at some point. This is not a condition to worry about. You will have to observe your pet to find out whether the dog is straining hard to defecate. It usually gets cured on its own; however, if the problem persists for a long period of time, you will have to seek help from a veterinarian.
Causes of Canine Constipation
It can be caused due to a number of reasons. The following writeup will help you find out whether your dog is having constipation.
- Excessive licking of the fur is the most common cause of this problem. This forms a hairball in the colon, which leads to blocking of the colon, and hence constipation.
- Many a time we may notice that our pet sometimes consumes gravel, fabric, plants, and small toys, among other things. If these items are large in size and they are unable to pass through the intestine, it can cause constipation. In this case, your pet might require surgery to get rid of the foreign object.
- If your pet has undergone a surgery in the recent past, then the constipation may be due to the surgery. You need not worry. After a couple of days, the dog will be able to defecate.
- If your dog is on certain medications, they may cause constipation. You will have to speak with your vet, so that he will be able to prescribe a stool softener.
- If your pet is aging, you will have to get it examined for electrolyte imbalance. This can be a sign of kidney disorders, which can give rise to constipation.
- Aging dogs have constipation problem due to enlarged prostate glands as well. At times, removing the prostate gland is the only option to help alleviate the problem.
You can take the help of these home remedies to treat constipation.
- Pumpkin is a rich source of fiber and water. Feeding your pet with pumpkin will help get rid of constipation. You can use either fresh pumpkin or pumpkin available in cans. You will have to puree the pumpkin and then feed it to your pet. If your pet does not like it, you will have to mix it with something that your pet likes.
- With permission from the veterinarian, you can give mild laxatives to your pet. However, this cure should be used only when no other remedy is able to help your pet.
- Milk of magnesia is known to be useful in treating constipation. However, I recommend you speak with the veterinarian before you actually give your pet milk of magnesia.
- You can make oatmeal or wheat bran a part of your pet's diet. Bran, like pumpkin, is a rich source of fiber. You will have to mix it with water before you feed your pet.
- Psyllium seeds can also treat your dog's constipation. This herb works like a stool softener and helps in relieving constipation.
- The other option you can use is mineral oil. However, it should not be fed to your pet directly. Make it a part of your pet's diet and see the effects.
- If you find that your dog is constipated way too often, then it probably is an indicator that you do not walk your dog enough. You should increase the walking time to help relieve the condition.
- Often, we notice that some dogs do not drink sufficient amounts of water. This could be the reason of constipation in those pets. As adequate intake of water is essential for human beings, it's important for your pet too.
- Warm, soapy water enema can also be administered to your pet. It is not advisable to use over the counter enemas, as these can be harmful for your pet. If you have been directed by the veterinarian, then you can use it.
- Reduce or eliminate foods like flour, sugar, high protein foods, dairy products, and rice from your pet's diet. These foods do not help your pet when it has constipation problem. On the other hand, you can increase the amount of fresh, green vegetables.
If you notice that constipation has become a regular feature with your pet, you may have to make some dietary changes in his food. At the same time, some medication will also have to be included. For the same, it is advisable to get your pet examined by a veterinarian.
Looking for signs of constipation in dogs may sound difficult. However, when your dog has constipation, it will show signs of discomfort. You will have to watch for subtle changes in your dog's behavior. If your pet is outdoors most of the time, you will need to take the time to check whether your pet is constipated. In case your pet spends most of its time at home, you will have to make sure that it gets sufficient amount of exercise.