Here’s What To Give A Dog For Constipation

Tips for when your dog won’t poop 💩

What To Give A Dog For Constipation

Let’s be honest, no one likes to be constipated, and the same goes for your pup. So how can you help your dog get those bowels moving if you notice he’s pooping less — or not at all?

We spoke to Kaitlyn Tullio, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet, and Dr. Hilary Jones, veterinarian and chief veterinary officer at DodoVet, for more insight on what to give a dog for constipation and how you can help ease your dog’s discomfort.

What to give a dog for constipation

When you start to notice your dog struggling to have a bowel movement, you can try a few at-home remedies first to see if you can get things moving on their own before taking a trip to the vet.

“For starters, if your dog is typically sedentary, you may want to try some exercise,” Tullio told The Dodo. “A simple run around the park may help get his digestive system moving.”

When it comes to food, try adding some canned pumpkin to his meal.

“You can give a maximum of 1 tablespoon for a large/giant breed dog or 1 to 2 teaspoons for a small to medium breed dog, once or twice a day,” Tullio said. “Additionally, make sure your dog is getting enough water throughout the day, since dehydration can also be a cause of constipation.”

Tip: Adding some water or low-sodium chicken or beef broth to your dog’s dry food is another way to get him to ingest more fluids.

Other reasons for a dog’s constipation include a lack of fiber in his diet, a recent switch in food and a lack of exercise. If he’s feeling stressed, that won’t help matters, either.

When to consult your veterinarian

If your dog hasn’t pooped in a day or two (at maximum), it’s absolutely recommended that you take your dog in for a vet visit, according to Tullio. There may be a more serious health issue that needs to be addressed.

Other, more serious reasons for dog constipation can include:

  • Anal gland problems
  • Parasites
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Bloating
  • Injuries to the spine or pelvis
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

“The doctor will do a full physical exam and may take some X-rays,” Tullio said. “If nothing of concern is identified upon a physical exam or X-ray, the doctor may send you home with stool softeners or a laxative. They may even give you a recommendation for adding a fiber supplement to your dog’s diet.”

As with any health issue, you’ll want to check with your veterinarian first before giving any of these medicines on your own.

“If your dog is continuing to strain with nothing coming out, has irritation around their rear, or the straining is accompanied by changes in energy or appetite, it is worth a trip to the vet,” Dr. Hilary Jones told The Dodo. “With constipation, it is often more successful and better for your dog if you start treatment early rather than waiting.”

Feel better, pup! Here’s hoping those bowels are back to moving again very soon.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

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