Learn about the diet changes that you can make to get rid of constipation in your dog. Also, learn about the various medical treatments available for this problem.
Constipation is a common problem in dogs, but it can be treated. If your dog has been constipated for more than 24 hours, you should contact your vet immediately because this is when the risk of bowel obstruction and death increases. However, if your dog's constipation is milder or more recent, there are some things you can do at home to help relieve its symptoms.
Make Diet Changes
Feed your dog a high-fiber diet. A high-fiber diet provides your dog with at least 25% of its calories from fiber, which can help move food through the digestive tract. Try adding more fruits and vegetables to his meal plans, such as carrots, apples, or green beans. No grapes or raisins. You can also give him some psyllium husks, a supplement containing natural fibers, to boost his intake of dietary fiber.
Avoid foods that are high in fat and protein. These types of foods take longer to digest than carbohydrates do, so they can contribute to constipation by slowing down digestion. They also tend not to have much nutritional value for dogs over time since they don't contain many vitamins or minerals. If you have a picky eater who won't eat anything else besides chicken breasts, then consider this option carefully before making it part of their regular diet.
Avoid foods that are high in refined carbohydrates. Things like white bread and pasta may seem like healthy options, but they lack nutritional value since they're stripped bare during processing. These items should be avoided at all costs when dealing with constipation problems because they'll only cause issues down the road. Try some grain-free dog food and Greenies for dogs products.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar. Sugars from table sugar (sucrose) or fruit juices shouldn't be given regularly due to their potential effects on blood glucose levels, which can lead to dehydration. Pedigree dog food and Royal Canin gastrointestinal-friendly foods have low sugar content.
Avoid foods that are high in salt. High salt content has been linked directly to causing dehydration. So, limit how much sodium goes into your dog's meals daily.
Give Your Dog Plenty of Water
Water is a critical component of your dog’s digestive system. If they don’t have enough water, their stool can become dehydrated and hard to pass. This is especially true for dogs that have soft stools or diarrhea.
To help your dog keep their stools soft and easy to pass, you should give them plenty of water throughout the day. You can offer it in a bowl or bottle, but if you notice that your pup isn’t drinking much on its own or is drinking less than usual, then another option would be to use a syringe instead.
Increase the Amount of Fiber in Your Dog’s Diet
When it comes to fiber, there are two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is water-soluble and dissolves in liquids, while insoluble fiber does not dissolve in liquids. Both types have different health benefits for dogs.
To maintain a healthy digestive system, your dog should be getting at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per pound of body weight every day. Fiber helps keep the digestive system moving, which can help prevent constipation. The best way to increase your dog's intake of dietary fiber is by adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet. However, if this isn't possible or practical for you, for example, if you don't want to make homemade dog food, then consider adding more high-fiber commercial foods into your dog bowls as well. The Hill's Prescription Diet and the Hill's Science Diet dog food are good examples.
Consider Adding a Stool Softener or Laxative
A stool softener is a natural or synthetic substance that can help to ease constipation in dogs. Some contain psyllium, which is a fiber from the plantain plant, while others are made from plants such as flaxseed and fennel seed extract. Stool softeners are generally safe to use in most cases, though they may cause diarrhea if they're given to your dog too often.
Laxatives work differently than stool softeners. Instead of making stools softer, they stimulate bowel movements by drawing water into the colon and increasing muscle contractions in the colon walls. Laxatives tend to be more effective than stool softeners at relieving constipation because they increase peristaltic action, the wavelike motion that moves food through your dog's digestive tract, but some types can have side effects like dehydration or electrolyte imbalances if not used correctly.
If they are in pain, a sedative for dogs like Acepromazine can help.
Try Natural Stool Softeners
There are several natural products available that can help soften your dog's stools and make them easier to pass.
Psyllium husk, psyllium seed, and flaxseed. These dietary fibers can be found in health food stores or online, usually at a reasonable price. One brand is Metamucil. It comes as a powder you mix with water or in an easy-to-give capsule form that you give your dog daily until constipation improves and then continue to provide it several times per week. It may be helpful to mix psyllium with flaxseed for best results. Your vet may recommend this mixture if he has seen success with other clients who used it successfully for chronic constipation problems in their dogs or cats. Otherwise, stick with using one or the other until you have some experience seeing how well they work for your pet before adding another fiber supplement into their diet plan permanently if needed later on.
Ask Your Vet About Prescription Laxatives
Prescription laxatives and stool softeners are more effective than over-the-counter options. If you're looking for an alternative to prescription medications, try adding fiber or probiotics like Azodyl for dogs to your dog's diet. You can also try natural remedies like prune juice, which is high in fiber content and can help relieve constipation by increasing the frequency of bowel movements. The vet may also prescribe an Animax ointment to reduce inflammation or an Adaptil spray to ease discomfort.
Constipation in dogs can be very serious, so it's important to treat your dog or puppy as soon as you see that they're not going to the bathroom regularly. In some cases, constipation will go away on its own with a little bit of extra fiber and water in their diet.
If you don't see results, talk to your vet about what else might be causing your dog's constipation. Constipation can be caused by medications or even parasites like worms that may require another treatment plan altogether. The vet may prescribe a dog dewormer or a dewormer for puppies.
If your dog is constipated, it's important to know the signs and act quickly. You may be able to treat mild cases at home with some of the methods listed here. But if your dog's stool becomes dry and hard, or you notice blood in his feces, or both, call your veterinarian immediately.