Nothing is worse than watching your dog suffer from constipation. They could be straining hard with no successful bowel movement or whining as they are trying to produce stool. You must be aware of what dog constipation looks like and how to treat it.
There are many things you can do to help your dog have healthy daily bowel movements. Pumpkin is a great option, as well as oat bran or flaxseed. Your dog should also exercise daily to keep everything running smoothly.
Constipation can be very uncomfortable for dogs, which is why it needs to be handled as soon as possible. If your dog has been constipated and has not defecated in two or three days, you should consult your veterinarian.
How to Tell if a Dog Can’t Poop Because of a Blockage
Your dog may be tempted to eat items they should not, such as toys, coins, strings, or rocks. Once they get into your dog’s intestinal system, it can cause a plethora of issues. See the chart below for more information:
|WHERE THE BLOCKAGE IS||SYMPTOMS YOU MAY SEE||USUAL TIME FRAME FOR SYMPTOMS TO OCCUR|
|Esophagus||Lip licking, excessive swallowing, vomiting right after eating||This would occur very shortly after swallowing something|
|Stomach||Vomiting a few hours after eating||Within a few hours|
|Small Intestine||Vomiting after eating, belly pain, distended abdomen, fever, shock||This would vary|
|Near End of Small Intestine||Vomiting, diarrhea||This would occur 7 – 8 hours after eating|
If you notice your dog is not passing regular bowel movements, an intestinal blockage could be the culprit. Blockages necessitate immediate veterinarian attention.
Some of the symptoms of constipation in dogs include:
- Inability to produce stool for a few days
- Hard, pebble-like stool
- Straining to go to the bathroom
- Loss of appetite
- Whining while attempting to go to the bathroom
- The stool is hard and compacted
Causes of Dog Constipation
During normal digestion, the waste contains water and electrolytes, and it is pushed through the intestines into the colon. Water is absorbed within the colon, and the waste is pushed out in the form of stool.
When this process is interrupted, the colon will not absorb water, and the stool will become harder, drier, and even compacted. This process makes it hard for a dog to defecate.
Some of the causes of constipation include:
Hair Ingested from Self-Grooming
Fur or hair gets caught in their stools and can lead to outside debris permeating their way through.
Pieces of Toys Getting Stuck
These materials are not easily digestible, and they can cause blockages in the digestive tract.
Dirt or Gravel
Dirt can get trapped in between the pads of your dog’s feet, and they pull it out with their teeth.
Medication Side Effects
Some of the medications that can make your dog constipated include antihistamines, antacids, diuretics, and iron supplements.
Not Exercising Enough
This will get the juices flowing and help make your dog regular.
Not Drinking Enough Water
This can cause stool to be hard to pass, and it is typically hard and pebble-like.
An Obstruction in the Colon
Prevent this by not allowing your dog to eat certain bones or sticks or anything too hard to digest.
Dogs with hypothyroid tend to gain weight, become lethargic and are usually exercise intolerant.
Enlarged Prostate Gland (Male Dogs)
The prostate can become enlarged due to infection, cancer, or inflammation. As the prostate grows more prominent, it presses on the colon and prevents stool from passing normally.
Causes constipation in dogs because it is a rupture in the pelvic floor.
Too much calcium in the diet can cause constipation.
Not Enough Fiber
If your dog does not get enough fiber, they can have blocked anal glands and long-term health issues regarding colon diseases and weight.
Metabolism slows down, and they become less active.
This is a common issue in dogs who do not get enough fiber.
Slowing of the gut’s peristaltic movement can be caused by decreased nerve input due to spinal injury or disease.
Medical procedures and the drugs that are given before these procedures can cause constipation.
Changes in the environment or surroundings can cause anxiety which can affect their ability to produce stool.
Trauma to the Pelvis
This could cause pain for dogs when defecating.
Can cause intraluminal constipation.
Can lead to a slowdown of the dog’s body.
When Should I Worry About My Dog Not Pooping?
Most dogs defecate every day, and some dogs will even defecate more than others. If your dog refrains from having a bowel movement for one day, it is not a cause for concern. If Their stool appears normal, there is nothing to worry about.
Dogs can go 24 hours without a bowel movement sometimes. However, if your dog goes 48 to 72 hours without a bowel movement, you should contact your veterinarian.
If your dog has stopped going to the bathroom, it could signify a health condition.
Most dogs poop 2 to 4 times a day. Sometimes they only go to the bathroom after they eat. That is also considered normal. If your pup’s constipation persists and is not treated quickly, their large intestine may stretch out and no longer function properly.
How Can I Help My Dog Have Healthy Stool?
It is difficult to watch your dog struggling to go to the bathroom because you want to step in and help. Always check with the veterinarian before giving your dog anything to help them go regularly. The following are ways you can assist them:
Pumpkins have a high water and fiber content. The fiber in pumpkins dissolves in water and forms a gel that can help bowels. Many dogs love pumpkin. They enjoy the smell and the taste. Pumpkin has also been shown to help with diarrhea as well. It helps to make stool firmer.
Exercise helps your dog have regular bowel movements. It gets the body moving and helps promote a healthy weight, which in turn helps with the digestive system. Your dog can also start to associate daily walks with “poop time.”
Healthy Water Intake
Make sure your pup has access to freshwater every day. Dogs can lose water panting, urination, and sweating through their paws. If you believe your pet is dehydrated, you need to get them to the veterinarian right away.
Wheat Germ, Flax Seed, and Oat Bran
Bran is rich in fiber. Flaxseed can also help, so try sprinkling this on your pup’s food. It also contains omega 3’s. Wheat germ can also do the trick, and it has several essential nutrients and vitamins. Psyllium husk is another effective option.
Get Your Dog to the Vet
If you attempt these remedies and your dog is still not pooping, you will need to see the vet. Your vet may be able to give them a laxative or stool softener to get things going.
Contact Us about Dog Constipation
If your dog has difficulty going to the bathroom, several options can help them stay regular. Learn to be proficient at identifying the signs of constipation. The causes of constipation also vary for each dog. If your dog cannot produce a bowel movement or they are vomiting, contact a veterinarian immediately.