Constipation in our dogs is when they are not producing normal stool on a normal schedule. So this could mean they are not ‘going’ at all and when they do it is a super rock hard stool. This can of course be super uncomfortable for our dogs and can affect their digestive tract. Usually, you can tell when your dog has not produced a normal bowel movement on your walks, but there are a couple of signs to watch out for:
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Constipated?
There are a couple of things you can look for that will let you know if your dog is constipated. These include:
Lack of defecation (trying but nothing coming out)
- Hard Stools (feel like pebbles when you pick them up)
- Blood in the stool (try to look before wrapping in the doggy bag)
- Pain when going potty (wincing or whining)
What Causes Dog Constipation?
Food when it is being digested in the body will eventually reach the colon. The colon’s job is to absorb water and electrolytes from the masses that travel through. The absorption of water is the colon’s main function. If the digestion process becomes delayed or slowed then the stool can be left in the colon longer than normal. The longer the stool is in the colon the dryer it will become due to the colon sucking up all the moisture.
There is no doubt that the dryer and harder the stool is, the more difficult it will be to pass through the bowels. In some cases, the stool may even become impossible to pass.
What causes slow-moving stool to get stuck in the colon resulting in constipation?
The causes of dog constipation can range from a variety of things, but the most commonly occurring ones include:
- Lack of exercise
- Pelvic fractures
- Tumors causing obstruction
- Nerve injuries
- Diet lacking fiber
- Anal gland issues
- Spinal injuries
- Central nervous disorders
What Can You Give A Dog For Constipation
What can you give a dog for constipation? Well, there are actually a couple of home remedies you can try to help ease your dog’s constipation. While these techniques might not work for every dog, or for more severe cases, they are worth noting.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin sounds a bit odd, but it works wonders for dog constipation as well as dog diarrhea. This is because pumpkin is both high in fiber and high in moisture. The sweet taste is also very appealing for dogs so it is usually quite easy to convince them to eat it.
Canned dog food: There is an extremely high moisture content in all canned wet foods for both cats and dogs. As a result, the digestive system is rehydrated and the system can quickly get back to normal.
Dog-friendly fiber supplements: There are some dog-safe supplements out there made specifically for dog constipation. Many, funnily enough, are made with pumpkin.
Exercise: Take your dog out for a long walk and encourage him/her to drink lots of water. Get things moving again so that you can get him/her to drink more water. It is even possible to add electrolytes to their water as a supplement to boost their electrolyte levels.
No matter when you notice that your dog is constipated you should give your vet a call. If fecal matter is stuck in the colon for too long it can turn into something called a toxic megacolon. This is the abnormal dilation of the colon. While rare this condition can develop in just a few days. This can be life-threatening when not treated immediately. Dog health insurance can take care of the cost, you just worry about fluffy.
When at the vet’s office they might offer a few different options of treatment, including a dog fecal exam and other diagnostic tests. Diagnosing an animal can get pricey, especially if your dog ends up needing surgery. Pet parents are able to avoid these massive bills by getting a reliable dog health insurance plan. Wagmo pet insurance is here to help with dog constipation, as well as other unexpected injuries or illnesses.
A dog’s health should never suffer because a pet parent cannot afford it, which is why Wagmo pet insurance is amongst the most affordable in the nation! For more about our dog wellness plans and dog health insurance check out the links below: