Constipation in Dogs in Jonesboro, AR: Causes and Treatments
Constipation can be as common a problem for dogs as it is for humans. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than an annoying side effect of something that it was unwise to eat, or a symptom of a specific lifestyle. Other times, it can be a sign of something more serious.
But what should you, as a good pet owner, do when you find your dog feeling constipated? How can you help to alleviate their symptoms? Read on to find out.
What is Dog Constipation?
First off, it’s important to define what exactly constipation is. Constipation in dogs refers a dog’s inability to pass gas or stools. Often, constipation can be easily fixed or remedied. However, sometimes it can cause serious health risks for a dog. Additionally, the longer a dog is constipated, the more difficult it may be to remedy.
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
Constipation in dogs can be caused by many things, and identifying the cause is often an important step in finding relief for your dogs. Dogs may become constipated due to any of the following:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Fiber deficiency
- Injury to the spine or pelvis
- Enlarged prostate
- Renal issues
- Hair blockages caused by excessive self-grooming
- Blockages caused by ingesting non-food items
- Medication side effects
- Unhealthy diet
How Can You Tell if Your Dog is Constipated?
Dogs can display many different symptoms when constipated, including:
- Unable to pass stools for days
- Hard, small stool
- Bloody stool
- Painful or difficult defecation
Constipation is possible in all dogs, but dogs who are older, or with more surrounding health issues, may be more prone to constipation.
How to Treat Constipation in Dogs
If it has been a few days since your dog has had a bowel movement, and you are becoming concerned they may be constipated, there are a few home remedies you can try in order to help them out. However, consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements or before significantly altering your dog’s diet, as this could be unhealthy and may even make the issue worse.
Canned Dog Food
Many owners report that adding a canned food, which has more moisture than dry food, to their dog’s diet can help in the instance of constipation. One of the most prevalent causes of constipation is dehydration, so the extra moisture could help get things moving.
It sounds strange, but pumpkin is a very common home remedy for a dog’s constipation. Not only does pumpkin have lots of moisture and fiber, but most dogs like the taste of it, so getting your dog to eat it may not be so difficult. Try feeding pumpkin to your dog straight or baking it into a tasty dog treat.
You can buy fiber supplements at most pet stores. Talk your veterinarian, however, to make sure it’s alright to add a supplement to your dog’s diet.
Certain Foods and Herbs
Besides pumpkin, there are many ingredients that have been known to alleviate symptoms of constipation in dogs. Try giving your dog things like ginger, wheat bran, fig paste, olive oil, or powdered psyllium seeds.
Make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh water. If you haven’t already, try switching out their water or water bowl for fresh ones, in case there is something causing them to avoid it (such as a dirty bowl, bad taste, or something floating in the water).
Exercise is a great remedy for constipation. Try taking your dog for a brisk walk if you notice them experiencing symptoms of constipation.
When Should You Consult Your Veterinarian?
It’s a good idea to let your veterinarian know whenever you’re aware of your dog becoming constipated. Severe or consistent constipation could be a sign of something very wrong, and your veterinarian may want to bring them in to check it out!
If your dog is experiencing long-term or chronic constipation, it may even cause a more severe condition—a buildup of dry stool in the colon called obstipation.
If you do go to see your veterinarian after noticing your dog’s constipation symptoms, your veterinarian will likely have lots of questions for you, so make sure you’ve collected and prepared beforehand all the information they will need in order to treat your pet. They will likely ask questions regarding your dog’s stool (typically color and consistency, approximate date of last bowel movement, whether you’ve noticed your dog straining or looking uncomfortable), your dog’s lifestyle (typical diet or recent changes in diet, exercise habits or recent changes in exercise habits, non-food items your dog may have ingested), medical history (any recent or past injuries, any medications your dog is currently taking or recently stopped taking), and anything else that could be effecting their day-to-day life.
How to Prevent Future Constipation
You can prevent constipation in your dog by doing several things:
Take Them for Regular Veterinary Checkups
Taking your dog in frequently to see the vet ensures that any health issues are caught early, and taken care of right away, before they cause problems.
Feed Them a Well-Balanced Diet
A good diet is crucial to your dog’s health and can help prevent them from becoming constipated. Make sure your dog is eating lots of fiber, protein, and vitamins.
Make Sure They Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation in dogs. Your dog should have access to fresh water whenever possible, and you should make sure to switch out the water they are drinking daily so it doesn’t taste stale.
Give Them Plenty of Exercise
Taking your dog for frequent walks, runs, or other outings is incredibly important for a dog’s health.
Talk with your veterinarian at Animal Medical Center about your dog’s constipation by calling (870) 935–8387 or booking an appointment online!
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About Animal Medical Center of Jonesboro
When you bring your animal companion to the Animal Medical Center of Jonesboro, AR, we focus all our resources on your pet. We feel our team approach is a key ingredient to the success we are blessed to experience.