Canine constipation is a condition in which a dog has difficulty passing stools, has incomplete bowel movements or has painful elimination of solid waste. There are a variety of reasons a dog might have constipation, ranging from stress or a change in diet to certain medications or digestive health issues. If left untreated, severe constipation can result in intestinal blockage. While a vet will need to treat health-related severe constipation, you can help relieve your dogs symptoms using a variety of natural remedies.
Look closely at your dogs droppings and consider taking a sample to your vet for a stool analysis. If you see blood, mucus or tar-colored stools, immediate medical attention is required. If you see stool that is hard and dry, your dog may be dehydrated and may need medical care, depending on the severity of the condition. If you see evidence that your dog has gotten into garbage or eaten rocks or small toys, have a vet take an X-ray to ensure nothing has gotten lodged in your dogs bowels, which can lead to painful and serious bowel perforation.
Increase Water Intake
Provide a constant supply of clean, cool drinking water for your dog. This is one of the best natural remedies for relieving a dogs severe constipation.
Regular exercise helps all animals maintain bowel regularity. Taking your dog for a walk or playing a game of catch is not only a natural way to help relieve severe constipation, it will also help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
Introduce High-Fiber Food
Look for commercially produced high-fiber dog foods, or supplement your favorite brand with additional fiber by adding fresh cooked or canned pumpkin. Start by adding a few tablespoons to your dogs food, then adjust up or down as you determine the measurements that help keep your dog regular.
Use Natural Laxative Supplements
Fiber, probiotic and all-natural canine psyllium husk, as well as oat straw laxative supplements, are suitable for dogs. You can purchase them through your vet or through a pet supply center. Follow the directions on the product, which will be based on your dogs weight. Avoid mineral oil, which can result in unintentional vitamin depletion.
Administer a Canine Enema
You can treat severe cases of constipation by administering an enema to your dog to help flush impacted fecal material from its bowels. For best results, consult a vet before doing this at home. Sedative therapy may be required to ensure your dog is calm and still through the procedure.