Dogs do suffer constipation which can be very painful and uncomfortable for dogs. However, constipation can easily be treated once it is identified. It can be treated with medication or with natural remedies.
When you see that your dog is having problems passing feces or passes small and very dry feces, then you know that he is constipated. You can also tell if your dog has constipation if you see blood in the feces or you notice that he is bleeding from the rectum.
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Treating constipation: If your dog has mild constipation, you can treat it at home by adding more fiber to his food. You can also give him unsweetened canned pumpkin along with his regular food. Most dogs like the taste of the pumpkin in their food. If you have a small dog that weighs under 25 pounds, give him 1 tablespoon. If you have a dog that weighs between 25 to 50 pounds, give him 2 tablespoons. If you have a big dog that weighs over 50 pounds, give him 3 tablespoons.
If your dog is inclined to suffer constipation, perhaps you should add fiber to his daily diet to avoid constipation. You can also add some grated vegetables or even canned pumpkin to your main meal of the day.
Psyllium husks are another source of fiber that you can use to treat constipation. You can get it at health food stores under the brand name Metamucil ® but do not use any sweetened or flavored varieties. Sprinkle a little of the psyllium on your dog’s food once or twice a day. If you have a small dog, apply ¼ teaspoon to his food or if you have a big dog, apply 1 teaspoon. Make sure that your dog has plenty of water available because the psyllium absorbs a lot of water.
Some dog owners give their dogs milk to help stop constipation because milk gives some dogs diarrhea, but this is not a good solution to the problem. Their dog may be allergic to lactose so, their dog may end up with diarrhea or with some other symptoms. If you really want to give your dog milk, try it on a one-time basis only. Depending on the size of the dog, you can give him from ¼ cup to ½ a cup of milk.
You can also use mineral oil to help your dog with constipation. It is frequently used to lubricate the digestive system. But you have to be careful how you use it because it can deplete vitamin A and other nutrients stored in dogs. Some veterinarians do not recommend the use of mineral oil but if you will use it, make sure you don’t go beyond 7 days. Since mineral oil is almost tasteless, you can mix 1 teaspoon with the food of a very small dog and 4 teaspoons with the food of a big dog two times a day.
If you notice that your dog is not eating, that he continues with constipation even as he is being treated or that constipation recurs after the treatment, then it is important that you take him to the veterinarian for an evaluation. Constipation can be a symptom of a more serious condition like hernia or intestinal obstruction and your veterinarian can diagnose whether any of these are causing the problem. In some of these cases, your dog may need to undergo surgery. So, do not take constipation for granted thinking that it is only a minor condition that will go away within a few days.