Constipation in Dogs: How to Help & When to Seek Emergency Care

Constipation in Dogs: How to Help & When to Seek Emergency Care

Constipation in dogs is an issue commonly seen by our West Chester vets. Today, our West Chester Veterinary Medical Center team explains the signs of constipation and how to help a constipated dog. 

My Dog is Constipated

When your dog is constipated it means they are unable to pass a normal stool on a regular basis. Constipation in dogs is a common health issue that will usually resolve on its own, however, if your dog has ingested something that might be causing an internal blockage it is important they get emergency care right away. 

Some dogs experience chronic constipation and may need additional support from your vet to get their bowels back in shape. 

When left untreated constipation can be a painful issue for your pup and could lead to more serious issues including lethargy, a loss of appetite, and vomiting, and weight loss. 

Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs

If your dog has not defecated in two or more days there is a good chance they are experiencing constipation. Other common dog constipation symptoms include straining or discomfort while trying to defecate, hard or dry stools, and blood or mucus in the stool.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

There are many reasons why your pooch might become constipated. Some of the most common reasons for constipation in dogs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Ingested items such as toys, dirt, grass, or fabric pieces (rugs, clothing or towels)
  • Pain caused by orthopedic issues when trying to pass a bowel movement 
  • Abscessed or blocked anal sacks
  • Insufficient fiber in diet
  • Tumors or masses blocking the anus
  • Matted hair around the anus
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming
  • Insufficient daily exercise

What Can I Give My Dog For Constipation? 

If you're wondering what to do if your dog is constipated, you're not alone. Most of the time constipation in dogs can be treated quite easily at home, but it is always best to talk to a vet before attempting any home treatments. Common home remedies to help a constipated dog are:

  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Extra Water
  • Bran
  • Exercise 
  • Canned Dog Food to Increase Moisture

If your pup's discomfort and constipation don't resolve themselves in a day or two, are a reoccurring issue, or you know your dog has ingested a foreign object, make an appointment with your vet right away. 

Your vet will examine your dog and may recommend X-rays if a foreign object is the suspected cause.

Once your vet has determined the cause of constipation, they will be able to recommend the best treatment option to help your pup. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned about your dog's constipation? Contact us to set up an appointment or determine if emergency care is needed.

Caring for Pets in West Chester

West Chester Veterinary Medical Center accepts new clients to our specialty and emergency service hospital.

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(610) 696-8712