By Janie Knetzer
Most dogs normally have a bowel movement at least
once a day, if not two or three times due to their systems
ability to process food and nutrients much faster than ours
can. Many dog owners are surprised to learn that their pets
suffer from similar health problems or ailments much like
When Although dogs can become constipated, a premium diet,
daily exercise and plenty of fresh water will usually keep
bowel movements regular and healthy.
Although it’s true that dogs are rather expressive
animals, they still can’t actually tell us when something
is wrong or when their not feeling well. It’s up to
the owner to be diligent in monitoring their dog’s health,
and to watch for any signs of complications or problems.
Besides the lack of a bowel movement for one or two days,
the most common symptoms of dog constipation include:
- A loss of appetite.
- Signs of nausea or vomiting.
- Lethargy with no interest in toys or playing.
- Small amounts of blood in the stool.
Causes of Dog Constipation
A balanced diet designed specifically for dogs that contains
enough fiber to keep their bowels moving as they should is
important not only for warding off constipation, but for the
overall health of the dog in general. Any age or breed of
dog are susceptible to constipation, and dehydration is another
culprit of causing the potentially painful condition.
There are also cases of dogs with long hair that have not
been properly groomed where the fur becomes entangled and
causes a blockage within the bowel. Many dogs also tend to
eat whatever strikes their fancy, so it’s important
to make sure that no foreign objects have been ingested which
may be causing the constipation or blockage.
One method of alleviating dog constipation is to add a teaspoon
or two of bran to your dog’s food, which will help them
move their bowels easier as it adds moisture to the stool.
A half teaspoon twice daily of psyllium added to your dog’s
diet will also help to soften the stool.
Yet another option for treating your dog’s constipation
is mineral oil, which is used if the dog has a build-up of
hard stools that they are unable to pass on their own. The
recommended dosage is two teaspoons twice a day for no longer
than one week.
Of course if your dog’s constipation does not improve
after a week, you should take him to your veterinarian as
soon as possible. Your vet will be able to tell if the constipation
is due to some underlying medical condition, such as a blockage
within their bowel, or because of some other ailment including
mega colon, which is a painful inflammation of the colon.
A veterinarian can also prescribe a medication or laxative
to help ease their pain and regulate the bowels if needed.
There are several things you can do to prevent dog constipation
from affecting your best friend. The most important components
for a long, healthy life are daily regular exercise and an
adequate diet. Adding a little warm water to your dog’s
dry kibble will help. A little raw meat and vegetables will
also aid with constipation, particularly for older dogs who
may have more trouble digesting their food.
Although some feel that feeding a dog table scraps or human
food may contribute to digestive issues, table scraps in moderation
are an added treat and not generally a problem. Dog owners
must use good judgment when it comes to their dog's diet and
avoid certain foods all together such as pork. The bulk of
the diet should be that of a healthy blend of an all natural
premium canned and dry dog food.
With regular check-ups, an adequate supply of fresh water
at all times, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, you can
be sure that your beloved dog is happy, healthy, and enjoying
their life with you.
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