You are no doubt familiar with your dog's intestinal habits. You are therefore best placed to monitor the health of your dog's colon, noting the frequency of their toilet needs (amongst other things).
I know it’s not always fun to talk about bottoms, but it’s worth telling you what you can do if your dog seems to be constipated.
Despite what is believed, constipation can become a serious problem if it persists. During my career, I looked after a small kitten with very poor health that was suffering from severe constipation. Unfortunately, this kitten died when its condition worsened.
There are several causes of constipation in dogs. It can be caused by an inadequate diet (reduced water consumption, change in diet...), other health conditions (such as cancer, anxiety and more), or by external factors. Read on for the details.
Constipation caused by an inadequate diet
Reduced water consumption
If your dog drinks less water, the stools that form will be drier and harder and will be more likely to become blocked.
Change in diet
An imbalance can affect the health of the digestive tract. In fact, recent dietary changes can cause constipation in dogs. For example, if you feed your dog a lot of table food, it could upset the digestive system.
Also, if your dog consumes too much or too little fiber, it could develop constipation.
Ingestion of indigestible material
Your dog can become constipated if it is the type to eat everything! Hair, bones, grass, etc. can clog your dog's intestines.
Consult a vet if you suspect that your dog has ingested a foreign object.
What’s important to remember is that these conditions cause your dog to hold back from going to the toilet. If your dog is anxious to go outside, has pain around the anal glands or even back pain, they will hold on for longer and this will cause constipation.
This is why constipation should not be taken lightly, because often it does not come alone.
Constipation caused by external factors
Similarly, if your dog has to hold on and can’t relieve itself during long days while you are away, it is more likely to develop constipation.
How do I know if my dog is constipated?
The frequency of bowel movements, the consistency of stools and the dog’s behavior during evacuation will give you good clues as to whether your dog is actually constipated.
Read the next section for all the signs of constipation in dogs.
Symptoms of constipation in dogs
The lack of a bowel movement or a small amount of dry, hard stools is a good sign that your dog is constipated. Here is a detailed list of dog constipation symptoms:
In cases of severe constipation, your dog's general condition may be affected. If your dog is constipated for a few days, there may be a large accumulation of stools in the intestines which creates a major discomfort that needs to be treated.
If your dog has the following signs, it is all the more important to consult a vet:
Loss of appetite
How long can your dog go without pooping?
Your dog can go a day or two without having a bowel movement before it’s considered severe constipation.
Normally, due to its anatomy, a dog will have the reflex to have a bowel movement after eating.
The frequency of your dog's stool varies depending on its diet and its consumption of water and fiber.
If all is well, your dog should have one to three bowel movements a day.
How do I naturally treat my dog’s constipation?
You can treat your dog's constipation by using natural home remedies such as coconut oil, mineral oil and even pumpkin. Zumalka has also concocted a product to simplify your life.
What natural home remedies can I use for my dog's constipation?
Are you looking for a dog constipation home remedy? Here is what you can give to your dog constipation : mineral oil, coconut oil, lots of water, canned food and pumpkin. I'll explain you a bit about each.
Adding a little mineral oil to your dog's food can help with mild constipation. Be careful never to administer it directly into the mouth, as your dog could inhale it and develop pneumonia.
Follow the same principle with coconut oil for dog constipation, which you may already have in your pantry!
Lots of water
Stimulating your dog's water intake will help relieve them of their constipation. This will keep your pooch hydrated, improve their bowel movements and help soften their stools.
In the same vein, canned food provides an additional water supply.
Pumpkin contains a lot of soluble fiber. The metabolism of its fibers facilitates movement in the intestines by creating mucus. These fibers absorb a certain amount of water to act, so it’s all the more important to keep your dog well hydrated if they are eating more fiber. Use moderately.
Milk to relieve constipation in dogs?
Giving milk to a dog to relieve constipation is a bad idea, as many are intolerant to milk as adults. So never give milk for dog constipation as a home remedy.
Are there other natural options for dog constipation?
This product is intended to support animals intestinal health with mild and occasional constipation. It acts to regulate and promote intestinal movements.
It will help your pet regain abdominal comfort. This can be useful in cases of dogs with flatulences.
What if none of this works?
In severe cases of constipation, or even obstruction of the intestines, your vet will likely want to do an x-ray or abdominal ultrasound to assess your dog's condition.
Some animals will need an "enema" to help them pass a stool. An enema is a mixture of lubricant and fluid that is delivered through the anus via a urinary catheter. Sometimes several "enemas" are necessary before the animal passes the stool.
In more serious cases, intravenous fluids may also be recommended.
It is always wise to consult a vet when in doubt. Follow your instincts.
Constipation is a fairly common evil in dogs and is usually resolved fairly easily and quickly. On the other hand, some rarer cases develop complications and that is why it is good to act at the first signs with our suggestions of natural products.
Investigate the causes of your dog's constipation in order to avoid recurrences and to keep your pet's bottom comfortable throughout their life.
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