Constipation in Dogs
Constipation in dogs is a common problem. But not all of us know how to detect it or what we should do so that our dog stops suffering from these problems.
Dogs are man’s best friend and are always a source of joy and fun for any home. They protect us like the most precious asset and they are the only ones who are always, always, always happy to see us when we get home. That is why those of us who love these fantastic and grateful animals try to reciprocate by feeding them well, keeping them clean and taking care of their health.
A well cared for and healthy dog is a happy dog. And when those of us who have a dog see that something is wrong with their character or their level of activity, we know that something is happening. And, without a doubt, one of the most recurrent problems in dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes is constipation. A common problem, yes. But it is also an ailment that can lead to serious health problems if we do nothing to remedy it.
So here we leave you a small guide with advice on constipation in dogs, how to detect it and how to try to tackle it.
How do i know if my Dog is constipated
Every time we live a more stressful reality, with tighter schedules and agendas, responsibilities and pending duties that require our attention and time again and again. That is why it can sometimes be difficult for us to notice small changes that happen around us or in the behavior and state of those around us. And yes, as happens with our partners, we cannot let stress and daily routine distract us from what is important. Our family and friends. Among which is our pet. Therefore, the first and best advice that we can give you to detect if your dog is suffering from constipation is that you do not stop observing him carefully when you are lucky enough to be with him.
The dog does not evacuate: the logical thing, right? If you take your dog out every day to relieve himself, you will be one of the lucky ones who detects faster that the animal has constipation problems. If dogs do not suffer changes in their food and exercise routine, it is normal for them to be regular when it comes to defecating. If you detect that the regularity of your bowel movements decreases or directly stops doing so, it is almost a guarantee of constipation.
Swollen abdomen: it is an unequivocal sign that something is wrong. If you notice that your dog has a swollen abdomen area, it is very likely that he has a digestive problem. The most common of them is constipation.
Changes in the appearance of the stool: these are other clear symptoms that something is wrong. Hard stools, and smaller than usual, darker in appearance. Or with traces of mucus or blood, they denote an intestinal problem in our dog.
Vomiting: if the animal has a problem defecating normally, it may end up vomiting.
Pain: if the dog moans or shows pain during the evacuation process, it is also a symptom of constipation. Or if we see him dig while moaning.
Reduced appetite / Weight loss: both symptoms are common when there is a problem of constipation.
Changes in character: naturally, animals also reflect their suffering in their behavior. As happens to us humans, when we have an ailment or problem that causes us physical discomfort, it is reflected in our state of mind. If you see your dog duller than usual, it could be a symptom of constipation.
Debris in its anal area: if we observe particles or remains of grass and/or stringy feces in the area of the anus, it is also a symptom that can warn us about the animal’s gastrointestinal health.
Causes of constipation in dogs
There are many different factors that can cause constipation in our dog. Some minor, but others can be more serious, so do not take it lightly and remember that something as common as constipation can lead to a deterioration in your health. Although there are other reasons, these are some of the most common causes of constipation in dogs:
Swollen prostate / urinary infection: more common in older dogs.
Lack of exercise
Dehydration: Lack of water or excessive sweating can cause these problems. In summer, pay attention to your pet’s hydration.
Lack of fiber in your diet: An unbalanced diet can cause constipation problems.
Some of these causes of constipation in dogs can be solved very easily. Others are associated with more worrying causes, but since it is not easy to know what the real cause is, we always recommend that you go to the vet to make sure. Nothing better than a complete evaluation of the state of health of our furry best friend by a professional to rule out serious problems and to stop his discomfort as soon as possible.
Remedies to prevent and treat constipation in dogs
Until we go to the vet. Or while we make sure that it is no more than an occasional constipation, like the one that any human suffers, there are measures that we can take to help our dog. These are some:
Exercise: Dogs need a minimum level of activity (which varies by breed) to be healthy. If you don’t get enough exercise this can cause the lack of activity to be reflected in your intestinal system as well. So increasing exercise can help jump-start your colon and bring it back into regularity.
Hydration: it is essential that dogs drink enough water. Especially in summer and after periods of high activity, we must properly hydrate our pet. Never run out of water in your bowl.
Olive oil: adding one or two tablespoons to your food for two or three days in a row to try to help you can be effective. Make sure it’s extra virgin olive oil. As in humans, olive oil can be very effective in treating cases of mild constipation. It is a healthy fat, the taste of which most dogs tend to love. And that helps soften and loosen the stool.
Fiber – Again, just like in humans, a lack or deficiency of fiber in your diet can be the cause of constipation. Increase the dose of fiber in what you feed him and it will probably help improve his intestinal transit.
Wet / non-dry food: As you know, most people feed their dogs dry food. What means that, if the dog does not drink enough water, it is not sufficiently hydrated. If this is the case, you can choose to moisten the feed or give it wet food so that it has a greater supply of water and this helps it. You can prepare it yourself but there is also ready-made wet dog food.