Constipation is one of the most common problems that can occur in a dog’s digestive system – and while having a constipated pet may not be a pleasant experience for either of you, it can often be rectified quite simply.
However, it can sometimes be a wise idea to get in touch with a veterinarian if the constipation lasts longer than you think it should or if it occurs frequently – as this could mean that there’s an underlying cause for the issue.
Why is your dog constipated?
In most cases, one of the most effective ways to help your canine companion is to understand what’s causing the problem. There are quite a few different things that can cause constipation in a dog, such as:
- Excessive grooming can cause a build-up of hair to collect in their stool
- Matted hair around the anus (which can be caused by not grooming enough, or by obesity)
- A neurological disorder (diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them)
- It may be the side effect of medication that you’re giving your pup
- Too much (or a lack of) fibre in their diet
- Dehydration caused by an unrelated illness
- Stones, gravel, bones, or anything else your pet may have ingested that can get caught in their intestinal tract
While these aren’t all of the causes of constipation in these types of animals, they are a few of the more common ones.
How to treat a constipated dog
If your little one has constipation, treating the issue is often the best solution for everybody. Thankfully, there are often quite a few things that you can do to help them, such as:
- Trying a veterinarian-prescribed diet that’s high in fibre, or adding more fibre to your pet’s diet (canned pumpkin or products like Metamucil are often good choices)
- Take your dog out for more exercise
- Use a stool softener, or another kind of laxative agent
- Medications to improve the contractile strength of your canine’s large intestine
There may also be other homeopathic methods that you could use too – but before trying anything, it’s often best to get in touch with a veterinarian for advice.
What can happen if constipation isn’t treated?
Generally, it’s a wise idea to deal with constipation, rather than leaving it untreated. In some instances, it can lead to a condition called obstipation – which is where your pup won’t be able to empty their colon on their own.
If this happens, your little one’s colon may get packed feces, which can cause lethargy, vomiting, a loss of appetite and more. Because of this, dealing with the issue or getting in touch with an expert is often best for everyone.