There are multiple reasons for dog constipation, but in general, dogs become constipated when there isn’t enough fibre in their food - or if they consume something indigestible, creating a blockage in their system. Here’s how to make a constipated dog poop quickly so they can find some relief.
Constipation may also occur in geriatric or under-exercised dogs. Enlarged anal glands may also be a cause, while more serious cases point to metabolic or spinal injuries, an enlarged prostate or a tumour.
Another cause might be anxiety: dogs tend to feel vulnerable when they go, especially if it is in an unfamiliar or busy setting, so try to give them a private area and some space in which to do their business.
What To Look Out For
Obvious signs of dog constipation might be if your dog’s stools are hard (which can be painful for your dog), attempting unsuccessfully to “go” or straining - or they might be avoiding going altogether. Other signs to watch out for include:
● Decreased appetite
● Squatting often without “going”
● Yelping in pain
● Excessive sleepiness
● Dragging their hind end along the ground
● Sensitive to the touch when you gently press their abdomen
Dogs don’t communicate discomfort or pain in the same way humans do - which is why it’s important to know the signs to look out for in case your pet is feeling unwell, especially when finding out how to make a constipated dog poop quickly.
When To See A Vet
Another sign your dog might be constipated is if they are vomiting. If you see this, it is a clear signal to contact your vet as soon as possible. With proper hydration, diet and exercise, dog constipation typically resolves itself within 48 hours - but if it does not, or your dog is vomiting or exhibiting signs of discomfort, you should contact your vet immediately.
It’s not a pleasant task, but keep an eye on your dog’s bowel movements, as this can tell you a lot about any underlying health problems they might have. The stools of constipated dogs may be quite small, containing water or mucus. This can make it appear like diarrhoea, but in some cases it indicates constipation. If your dog does produce anything, tell your vet about it.
There are a number of different remedies you can try to help your pet, but as always consult your vet about how to make a constipated dog poop quickly before changing their diet and especially before introducing any new medicines or supplements. Walking your dog regularly can help to get things moving, in addition to trying one of the treatments below.
There are certain things you can feed your dog which may help. Switching to wet or tinned dog food (which has a higher water content) can help to soften stools), or your vet may advise you to switch to a prescription dog food specifically for constipated dogs.
You may also consider small amounts of pumpkin puree, which is high in both fibre and moisture. Upping their intake of water can also help, in addition to dietary supplements. Fig paste, psyllium seed, olive oil or wheat bran are all potential ingredients you can introduce (as advised by your vet) into your pet’s diet.
Laxatives or stool softeners, taken under the advice of a veterinarian may help your dog find some relief. Your vet will conduct a physical examination to check for any blockages, tumours or colon distention - and if necessary will take scans or tests (such as blood tests) to identify the cause.
Your vet may also offer an enema, which is an injection of fluid into the lower bowel through the rectum. The American Kennel Club (AKC) warns this should never be attempted at home, as this is an invasive, uncomfortable procedure and trying to do it yourself risks toxicity or injury to your pet.
Some sources advise owners to use ice cubes, squirt cool water or (in the case of puppies who have not yet been toilet trained) use baby wipes to encourage your dog to go, but this should only be attempted with the advice of a vet.
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