Constipation is a normal health complication in dogs and involves the inability of your dog to pass normal stool. Dogs experiencing constipation may not be able to go, produces rock-hard stool, and maybe straining to defecate. In severe cases, it can lead to obstipation, a condition where dogs retain hard, dry fecal components in their digestive system. Some of the common causes of constipation in dogs include:
- If you don’t exercise your dog
- Unbalanced diet
- Lack of enough fiber
- Blockages of your dog’s digestive tract due to feeding on non-food like components such as bones, plants, or garbage
- Age of your dog
- Enlarged prostate
- Body dehydration
- Spinal injury
Common symptoms of dog constipation
When a dog is constipated, it exhibits the following symptoms:
- Lack of excretion for some days
- Hard and pebble-like stool
- Your dog straining without excreting much stool
- General discomfort
- Painful excretion
- Stool containing mucus and blood strains.
What to do when your dog is constipated
If your dog symptoms show that it only mildly conditions and your dog feels better, you can try home treatment. However, if your dog stops exhibiting severe illness within a day of home treatment, you should contact your vet. Here are some of the things you can do when your dog is constipated.
Checking your dog’s rear ends
You have to look at your dog’s bottom since you can observe the problem. Long-haired dogs are likely to be at risk of developing mats of fur, most of the time incorporating their stool which can completely cover your dog’s anus making excretion impossible. However, these mats can be removed using electric clippers, but you can call your vet if you are not comfortable doing so. If you also notice any foreign materials coming out of your dog’s anus, you should immediately contact your vet.
Increasing your dog’s water intake
Dehydration is one of the common causes of constipation in dogs since it makes the body absorb water from the feces, making the stool hard and challenging to pass. Therefore, you should always ensure that your dog has easy access and a consistent supply of water. This mainly applies to dogs with problems in walking due to conditions such as arthritis since they are not in a capacity to access the water bowl. Giving your dog canned food where you are adding a small amount of water can also make dogs drink more water, thus avoid dehydration.
Exercising your dog
Dog owners should take their dogs for more exercise activities such as going for more walks since it promotes it encourages normal movement in the dog’s GI tract. Therefore, if you notice your dog is experiencing minor blockage signs such as straining, you should take it for some nature walk; however, you should make sure your dog is well hydrated before going for the exercise.
Giving your dog more fiber
Fiber is essential in preventing constipation; however, some fiber can also worsen the situation; hence you should give your dog small quantities and observe how it will respond. The most common source of fiber for dogs is psyllium and canned pumpkin.
For more on canine constipation visit AKC
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