Constipation is a pretty serious issue as it is a difficulty in or infrequent 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.
Factors That Could Lead To Constipation In Dogs
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.
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 go 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.
What To Do
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).