Tips for treating dog constipation

Having a constipated dog can be stressful and worrying. No-one wants to see their best friend in pain or discomfort. We asked our Vet Alun Edwards to share some simple steps you can take to understand, treat, and help prevent constipation in your dog.   

However, if you are worried and you think your dog might be constipated, you should contact our Bromsgrove, Hagley, or Rubery team for advice.  

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Alun’s advice below focusses around three elements that are common to the causes, treatments, and preventative measures you’ll need to take to help a constipated dog. 

  1. Water and hydration 
  2. Diet and things they eat but should not 
  3. Exercise and movement 

The most common causes of constipation in dogs 

If you’ve ruled out a foreign object potentially blocking the digestive tract, Alun recommends looking to the common causes of constipation:  

  1. Dehydration - Does your dog have easy access to fresh, clean water? If your pet is not drinking water on their own, try adding some to their food bowl. This will encourage your dog to get hydrated and should help to soften the stool. 
  2. Diet – Is your dog getting a diet with an adequate amount of fibre in it? As with humans, a lack of fibre in the diet will make pooing more difficult. Could your dog have eaten something they shouldn’t that could be causing them issues? 
  3. Exercise – Is your dog getting enough exercise?  If they are not walked regularly and given plenty of chances to poo, you may want to review their routine. 

How to treat a constipated dog 

Alun advises that you should make sure your dog drinks a good amount of water and goes for some long walks. If you don’t do this already, try adding a small amount of wet dog food and/or water to their next meal for added hydration.  

If you bring your dog into any of our vet surgeries for a check-up, we may suggest that you add a probiotic to their diet; these help to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut. 

You could try giving your pup a warm bath to help relax their muscles – this can help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with constipation.  

Please Do Not ... give an enema, milk, or any laxatives unless prescribed by a vet.  

How to prevent your dog from becoming constipated 

Constipation can affect any dog, but it can usually be avoided by focusing on the elements we mentioned above. Make sure your dog has: plenty of water, a balanced and appropriate diet, and regular exercise. Then, if the problem persists, contact our vets. We may suggest additional treatments, medications, or supplements, to help relieve your pet’s condition. In the meantime, if you are worried and you think your dog is constipated, please contact us.

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