Constipation is a pretty serious issue as it refers to an infrequent or a difficulty in passing out of feaces. So, it is important to find out how to tell if your dog is constipated.
There are a number of things that could be testament to constipation. However, before we go right down into mentioning them, allow us point out what factors could be precursors to constipation in dog.
What Are The Factors That Could Lead To Constipation In Dogs?
The following are factors that could make a dog constipated:
- Not enough or too much fiber in their meals.
- Ingestion of hair, rocks and gravel.
- A lack of exercise.
- An enlarged prostate.
- Anus tumor.
Now, let’s explain:
While there are a number of things that could cause constipation with dogs, the chief and most popular reason is what they ate.
Most commonly, dogs get constipated because they are not having enough fiber in their meals. Fiber is absolutely necessary for easy bowel movement. So, a deficiency could make it difficult for your dog to go.
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that too much fiber could also make your dog constipated. So, while you might want to feed your dog a high fiber diet, you don’t want a too high fiber diet.
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That said, if your dog ingests small rocks, gravels or stones, that could also make them constipated. Furthermore, hair (which your dog might have ingested as they groom themselves) could make your dog constipated if they ingest enough of it.
That said, there are other things that could be responsible for constipation aside what has been ingested. Some of them include a lack of exercise, obesity, blocked anal sacs, tumor in the anus, an enlarged prostate, dehydration and even side effects from some medications (source). That said….
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Constipated
The most telling sign that your dog is constipated is that they tried to poo but couldn’t. This is usually associated by some pain and whining.
However, just one time might not be enough to raise an alarm. You want to watch your dog for a day or two. If they have not gone for a whole day, then you can begin to get concerned. Dogs usually go at least once every day; that should explain why missing one day should get you concerned.
If, however, they have not gone in two days, it is definitely time to call in your vet. Sometimes though, they’ll pass out little stools that are very hard.
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What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Constipated?
Your first port of call should be to call your vet. Do not try to self-medicate your dog and especially refrain from giving them any human drugs.
Now, depending on the cause of the constipation, your vet is in the best position to prescribe a solution. They could prescribe a high fiber diet, something to soften the stools, something to make the large intestine better at contracting or even just more exercise.
Whatever it is, just be sure that you report to your vet as soon as possible. This is because if constipation is left untreated, it could lead to obstipation which is a worse problem as it means that your dog’s colon cannot empty itself (source).
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Constipated — FAQs
Can You Give A Dog A Laxative?
Laxatives should not be bought over the counter. Let your vet be the one to make the call if you’ll be giving your dog any laxatives.
In addition, do not try to give your dog human laxatives. This is because human laxatives are too strong for a dog and could lead some serious complications and even death.
How Do You Massage A Dog To Poop?
Get your dog into a sitting position. Then with your two palms, give your dog a rub down on either side of his spine from his shoulders to his butt.
You’ll need to be firm with your hands but don’t dig in to cause pain. That said, if your dog is not willing to stay still at the point when you want to give him the massage, you could leave him and try the massage when he is calm.
How Much Pumpkin Do You Give A Constipated Dog?
You can give a constipated dog anything from 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin. Consider adding the pumpkin to their regular meal, instead of just giving them plain pumpkin.
That said, you do not want to give your dog too much pumpkin as too much pumpkin could make the constipation worse. So, try not to give more than 4 spoons.
Is Milk A Laxative For Dogs?
Milk is certainly not a laxative for dogs. The idea of using milk to help a dog poop was probably born out of the fact that most dogs cannot process milk. Apparently, that would irritate their system enough to make them poop.
However, while that is somewhat true, giving your dog milk to help them poop will be kinda solving one problem by certainly creating another. We say this because milk could cause dysentry or diarrhoea.
How Can I Add More Fiber To My Dog’s Diet?
First off, if you are looking to give your dog more fiber, you could just totally switch to a high fiber dog food as there is a lot of that in the market.
However, if you do not want to switch and are just looking for ways to add fiber to your dog’s diet, any of the following foods would be a good idea:
- Green beans
- Milled Flaxseed
Bear in mind that if you’ll be adding or increasing the amount of flaxseed in your dog’s meal, you should reduce the amount of food you give them as fiber is really filling.
Is My Dog Getting Enough Fiber?
To know if your dog is getting enough fiber, you should check their poop. If your dog is getting just the right amount of fiber, their stool should be just right; neither too runny or too hard.