dirty constipated dog

I Think My Dog Is Constipated

by Sam Salvati - 7/3/20

Left untreated, dog constipation can cause serious issues for your pooch. Treating a constipated dog can be more complicated than just feeding a laxative. Here are some tips on what to know about dog constipation and how to help a constipated dog.

Confirm It's Constipation

brown dog in beach field

Surprisingly to many dog owners, constipation is actually not very common in dogs. Straining while defecating, which is common in dogs, is actually a sign of diarrhea, not constipation. Make sure you really monitor your dog's defecating if you think he is constipated. If you notice your dog trying to poop but nothing is coming out, that may be a sign of constipation in dogs. Other dog constipation symptoms include lethargy or a lack of appetite.

What Is Constipation

The large intestine, or colon, is responsible for putting the finishing touches on the stool. After our food has been digested and broken down, the colon must extract the correct amount of water from the stool. When it extracts too little, you produce diarrhea. When it extracts too much, you become constipated, making it very difficult to defecate. This process is the same for dogs and humans. Dehydration and slow-moving stool can lead to constipation.

Problems with Constipation

constipated brown puppy

Constipation is especially important to identify early because it often develops as a result of another health issue. Consuming plastic, bone, or other large objects difficult to excrete can cause constipation in dogs. Certain health conditions, like prostate damage, anal gland issues, or arthritis can make defecating painful, which can lead to constipation. Other birth defects or broken bones can also inhibit pooping.

It's important to visit your vet if you think your dog is constipated in order to catch the primary health issues that result in blockage.

Dog Constipation Remedies

happy dog running in snow

Dog constipation treatment is available in many accessible forms. Basic household items that are high in fiber, like canned pumpkin, can cure mild constipation. Other fiber additives or laxatives can help with more chronic constipation, but never use them without veterinary approval.

Pasadena native Sam Salvati is the adoring dog dad to Pablo, Ester and Farris. He enjoys keeping abreast of and writing about the latest developments in pet care.