It happens to every dog at some time. You’re outside with your fur baby, and he’s looking for a place to poop. He finally finds a great spot and starts to get into position; only nothing comes out. Just like us, dogs can suffer from constipation.
We’ve put together some information about dog constipation and what you can do to help your canine companion have pay dirt! Let’s get started!
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
Constipation is a common problem in dogs. You may notice your dog straining to poop and nothing coming out. It’s normal for this to happen from time to time. In most case, this is a temporary condition your dog may solve on his own. However, there are times when constipation may be a symptom of other medical conditions.
Causes of Canine Constipation
When a dog has constipation that seems to be ongoing, then it’s time to see the vet. That’s because the condition can be caused by several medical issues, such as:
- Lack of fiber
- Intestinal blockage
- Kidney failure
- Prostate enlargement
- Anal gland problems
- Stress or anxiety
- And more
Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog becomes constipated:
- Not able to defecate, even with straining
- Liquid and/or bloody poop
- Hard, dry poop
- Infrequent pooping (if at all)
These are symptoms that should be checked by a vet. They could be caused by serious or life-threatening conditions.
However, there are some things you can do to help your dog if he has temporary constipation.
Warning: Never Try These Remedies
There are some remedies that are not safe to use when a dog is constipated, including:
- Human laxative medications (these could be toxic and cause severe health issues).
- High-fiber grains (too much fiber can harm a dog)
- Suppository or enema
Never use any of these methods to relieve constipation in your dog unless under the guidance of a veterinarian.
How to Help Your Dog If He’s Constipated
Here are several ways you can help your fur baby when he’s constipated!
1. Feed Your Dog Canned Pumpkin
One of the easiest and safest ways to get your canine companion to poop is to feed him canned pumpkin. Now, please don’t use the kind of canned pumpkin used to make pumpkin pie. Instead, use canned pumpkin that contains no other ingredients.
You may be able to find canned pumpkin made especially for dogs at the pet shop, at the grocery store (in the pet food aisle), or even online. The canned pumpkin must be 100% pure pureed pumpkin.
Mix the canned pumpkin with your dog’s food. They usually love this and eat it right down. Or you can feed it to your dog on a spoon, whichever works best!
2. Give Your Dog More Exercise
Constipation in dogs (and humans) can be caused by a lack of exercise. If you believe this is the case, then taking your dog out for a walk can help relieve constipation. It may be necessary to take your fur baby out for a longer walk than normal. You may find your dog all of a sudden poops while you’re out walking!
3. Ensure Your Dog Drinks Plenty of Water
Being dehydrated may also cause a dog to develop constipation. If you think this is the problem, ensure there’s plenty of fresh water for your fur baby to drink.
4. Use Canned Dog Food
Another way to help your dog is to switch to canned dog food until the constipation is resolved. Canned food is “wet” and contains more moisture that can help rehydrate your dog. This can work to make digestion lead to pooping.
5. The Squirt Method
This may sound a little strange, but squirting a little water into the dog’s anus can stimulate a bowel movement. Your dog won’t like having cool water squirted in this rear end; however, it can work.
Just make sure the pressure level and temperature are comfortable and don’t hurt your dog. You can repeat this process until your dog goes potty.
6. Using Ice Cubes
Using ice cubes to relieve constipation? Yes! While it sounds strange, this method can work! All you need is some ice cubes and some disposable gloves. Take your fur baby outside, put the gloves on your hands, and gently lift your canine companion’s tail.
Use your fingers to clear his anal passageway, then insert an ice cube slowly into the dog’s sphincter. Keep this process up for about 30 seconds. Your dog will feel the uncomfortable ice cubes inside him and try to push them out.
The process of pushing the ice cubes out may stimulate his bowels and cause your dog to poop.
7. Using Baby Wipes (Also Called the Baby Wipe Method)
This method uses baby wipes to stimulate your dog to go poop. All you need for this is a pair of disposable gloves and some baby wipes.
This method works by gently wiping your dog’s anus in circles with a baby wipe. Only use gentle pressure as this part of a dog is very sensitive.
The stimulation may help your dog to relax and poop faster.
8. Rubbing the Abdomen
If your dog has trouble pooping, it can help to rub his abdomen. This is an effective method to get a dog to go poop quickly.
For this method, you’ll need to hold your dog in an upright position. This can be done on a bed, the couch, or outdoors, wherever the dog feels most comfortable. If you’re in the house, be sure to cover the surface with some paper towels or plastic bags to catch your fur baby’s bowel movement.
Start by massaging your dog’s hind leg until his tail starts to go up in the air. Next, put your dog on his back and rub his left side for a couple of minutes.
When you sense your dog is getting ready to poop, rub his abdomen downwards. If this doesn’t work, lift his back legs to help stimulate his bowels.
This method can be effective and produce plenty of poop!
Summing It Up
If none of these methods work to relieve your dog’s constipation, then it’s time to call the vet. It’s possible your dog could have a health issue causing this problem. Some conditions can be life-threatening, so be sure to call the vet right away. Don’t wait to see if your dog’s symptoms improve or not.