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Helping with Your Dog’s Constipation: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Cane Bay Summerville - Helping Dog With Your Dog's ConstipationIn the past, we’ve written multiple articles about potty training, including potty training your cat, and we even gave an explanation about what to do if your potty-trained pet goes on the carpet. However, what if you’re having the opposite problem? What if you can’t get your dog to consistently go to the bathroom?

Constipation in dogs is surprisingly common, and thankfully, there are remedies out there to help bring relief. First, let’s take a look at the causes of your dog’s constipation.

What Causes Constipation?

Just like humans, dehydration, a lack of fiber and not enough exercise can all contribute to a not so normal bathroom schedule. In other cases, eating non-edible substances like grass, hair, dirt or other objects can cause blockage.

In more severe cases, chronic constipation can be a sign of hernias, kidney disease, tumors, masses, abscessed anal sacks or enlarged prostates, according to Pets.WebMD. Because it may be hard to initially determine the cause, it is important to get it checked out quickly and develop a plan for softer stool so your dog can avoid further complications.

What Are The Symptoms?

You might have difficulty determining if Fido is constipated, or if he really just doesn’t have to go to the bathroom today. According to Cesar’s Way, it’s a good idea to wait two days, and if Fido hasn’t produced any solid excretion, it would be best to get him checked out.

In addition to fewer bowel movements, also be on the lookout for straining, whining or crouching when trying to go to the bathroom. Hard, rock-like stool is also an indication that Fido is not defecating as often as he should be.

In our own home, the newest addition to the family, a small Australian Kelpie named Paisley, has consistently struggled with constipation and will often crouch and strain while trying to defecate. This sign was an early indicator that her struggle to go to the bathroom should not be ignored.

What Are The Remedies?

Oftentimes the solution might be simple, like adding more fiber to your dog’s diet or increasing his exercise routine. Pumpkin, wheat bran or fiber supplements are a great way to boost fiber intake.

We used to mix mushed pumpkin in Paisley’s food everyday to help create softer stool, but eventually the veterinarian suggested using a laxative, which in Paisley’s case, has been the most effective.

If adjustments to your pet’s diet have still not done the trick, talk to your vet about supplementing mealtime with a laxative or stool softener. An enema may even be administered in some cases if immediate relief is needed, though this should be done by a professional, according to Pets.WebMD.

Medication is also an option if it has been deemed the best option by you and your vet.

Whether you increase exercise, add fibrous supplements to your pet’s diet, use a laxative, enema or other type of medicine, it is important to get the situation remedied quickly, in order to avoid further problems down the road like lethargy and vomiting.

We hope you were able to learn some new information today and are better able to help your pet if any of the above-mentioned issues arise.

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