There’s nothing worse than watching your dog experience pain and suffering. And constipation can lead to extreme discomfort, physical pain, and mental anguish.
Fortunately, most cases of doggie constipation can be cured at home quickly and efficiently to minimize the amount of stress your dog will have to endure. Not only that, but there’s a ton of natural solutions to combat this situation as well.
The 9 Natural Home Remedies to Help a Constipated Dog
The following remedies can help alleviate pain and discomfort from constipation. However, nothing beats talking to your veterinarian. Be sure to inform your vet when using any of these methods.
1. Increase their daily exercise
Sometimes all it takes to help your pup’s digestive system get going is to get them moving. That extra bit of exercise will help to push stool through the digestive tract and down to the colon. Using this method doesn’t require any medications, tonics, or other specialty medicine. Plus, it’ll give both of you more bonding time.
2. Make sure they drink plenty of fresh water
One of the major causes of constipation is dehydration. You’ll be able to tell if this is the case when their poop comes out as hard rocky pellets. This could be a sign that your pup might not be drinking enough water. Encourage them to drink and always provide fresh, clean drinking water.
3. Switch to canned food — if only temporarily
If your pup isn’t too keen on the water bowl, there’s another way to help them get that extra moisture they need. Switch over to canned or wet food. If your dog’s on a high protein kibble diet, that’s great. But they need to be able to maintain an appropriate water intake for that diet. If you feel they aren’t getting enough water, swap over to wet food for a bit. Most dogs will love and appreciate the change.
4. Try feeding them bran
If your dog is getting enough water and exercise, they might just not be getting fiber. And one of the best sources for fiber for dogs is bran! Whether it’s wheat, oat, or rice bran, just sprinkle some on top of their food. This may be easier to mix in with wet or canned food unless you have a Labrador or another breed that eats like a garbage truck.
5. Add other sources of fiber into their diet
If bran just isn’t cutting it, you can always try other healthy sources of fiber. This could include dark leafy greens, coconut oil, green beans, or broccoli. But picky dogs might not like eating too many vegetables. However, there are two really solid options that most dogs absolutely love: pumpkin and apples. Try giving your dog frozen pumpkin cubes on a hot summer’s day as a great fiber-filled treat. Or serve them up some apple slices. Just remember to core the apples as the seeds can be toxic in large quantities.
6. Introduce natural probiotics
Just like us, dogs need probiotics to help keep their gut health in check. And there’s a bunch of different options out there. You could try feeding them a small amount of yogurt. However, you’ll want to be sure to strictly regulate that as too much dairy can lead to diarrhea. Some dog owners will feed their dogs fermented veggies such as sauerkraut or shredded carrots and ginger. Just be forewarned. Fermented veggies can lead to some noxious flatulence that even they’ll leave the room for. If you’re looking for the best possible option, green tripe is the way to go.
7. Cook a mixture of chicken or beef broth with ginger
This is a really neat remedy that can be a satisfying lunch for both you and your pooch. Make a chicken soup with broth and ginger. If you’re feeling extra nice, you can even keep some of the chicken in there for them — don’t let them have the chicken bones though. Just be sure to leave out the extra spices and seasonings when fixing your dog’s bowl.
8. Give them a small amount of milk
As we mentioned above with probiotics, too much dairy can lead to diarrhea. And while that’ll get their digestive tract moving again, it can present a whole new set of problems. However, just a little bit of milk will be OK for them. A few tablespoons to a quarter cup (depending on the size of the dog) is just fine.
9. Add a little olive oil to their food
Olive oil actually has so many benefits for dogs — constipation relief being one of them. In order to feed them olive oil, just mix in one teaspoon of oil per 20 pounds of body weight per meal. They’ll get the maximum health benefits from the oil such as enriched coat and nails, cognitive decline prevention, and constipation relief.
Why Do Dogs Get Constipated?
Canine constipation can be caused by a number of factors. However, veterinarians can classify each case into one of three categories:
These cases are when there is an obstruction that actually takes place within the dog’s colon and isn’t directly related to disease or illness. This could include inflammation, indigestible substances, or abnormal growths.
Extraluminal cases are when there is something on the outside of the dog’s colon that’s causing constipation such as injuries or other painful conditions.
These cases of constipation are those directly related to illness, disease, and other malaise.
Common Causes of Dog Constipation
The most common cause of constipation is eating indigestible or otherwise aggravating foods and substances. For example, long-haired dogs or those that lick themselves incessantly may find themselves constipated due to hair ingestion. Or if your dog tears through your new shoes, couch, or other household objects, they may end up with constipation.
Another common cause is dehydration. Be sure to keep your dog’s water bowl filled and there shouldn’t be an issue. However, they may need slightly more during hotter, summer months. Just keep a bottle of water on hand and some form of a collapsible bowl at the ready.
Signs of Canine Constipation
Knowing how to recognize when your pooch is constipated will help you to attack the problem before it gets any worse. Here are some tell-tale signs:
- Less than one bowel movement a day
- Blood in the stool
- Signs of pain during bowel movement attempt
- Strange posture or yelping during bowel movement
- Loss of appetite
- Problems urinating
- Tender abdomen
However, if at any time your dog seems overly uncomfortable or hasn’t passed a bowel movement in over 48 hours, contact your vet immediately.
Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock
- The 9 Natural Home Remedies to Help a Constipated Dog
- 1. Increase their daily exercise
- 2. Make sure they drink plenty of fresh water
- 3. Switch to canned food — if only temporarily
- 4. Try feeding them bran
- 5. Add other sources of fiber into their diet
- 6. Introduce natural probiotics
- 7. Cook a mixture of chicken or beef broth with ginger
- 8. Give them a small amount of milk
- 9. Add a little olive oil to their food
- Why Do Dogs Get Constipated?
- Common Causes of Dog Constipation
- Signs of Canine Constipation