Have you recently noticed signs of mild constipation in your dog? This digestive issue means your dog cannot produce normal stool corresponding to the number of feedings given daily.
When having irregular bowel movements, your pet experiences discomfort and distress when trying to defecate, then gradually lose appetite, start feeling lethargic, and might even vomit.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways in which canine owners can prevent constipation in their pets, such as keeping them hydrated, feeding them canned food, making sure they get regular exercise, adding healthy ingredients to their diet, and other ways that your vet advises.
Have a look at the causes, symptoms, and prevention of constipation in dogs in detail.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation in canines can occur for various reasons, categorized into three groups, intraluminal, extraluminal, and intrinsic. Intraluminal causes refer to the blockages happening inside the colon, while extraluminal causes stand for the obstructions outside the colon like tumors. In contrast, intrinsic causes refer to nerve injuries and diseases.
Moreover, the most common reasons dogs become constipated are nutrition or the ingestion of irritable substances. If the diet of your canine is low in fiber, it is no wonder they feel constipated. Additionally, this digestive issue is usually triggered by ingested hair in grooming or an ingested object, such as a toy piece that dogs find difficult to eliminate. Apart from toy pieces, canines often ingest other foreign objects and substances like rocks, grass, cloth, etc.
Constipation in canines might also be induced by dehydration or lack of exercise. Also, certain medications that cause infrequent bowel movements as side effects, such as diuretics, antihistamines, pain relievers, etc. Canines suffering from hormonal diseases as hypothyroidism are likely to feel constipated as well. The same goes for male dogs with an enlarged prostate gland or an enlarged colon.
Furthermore, canines might suffer from this digestive issue when having an orthopedic or neurological problem, which results in overwhelming pain. Sometimes, constipation can be triggered by a mental health condition like anxiety, stress, or fear, making the stool hard to pass. The most serious cause of infrequent bowel movements is developing a tumor in the rectum or colon. Read here more about the causes and treatment of dog constipation.
Constipated canines usually demonstrate obvious symptoms of this digestive issue, which pet owners are supposed to recognize on time. They will probably strain to have a bowel movement, and in case they manage to defecate, their stool will most likely be dry and hard in the form of pebbles. Your companion may go two or more days without having a bowel movement, as well as experience difficulties or inability to urinate.
In addition, your beloved pet will go through distress and pain while trying to defecate and express its discomfort by crying out. Bloody stool is another indicator worth paying attention to. The longer your canine feels constipated, the chances are it will lose its appetite and vomit sporadically. These symptoms are usually accompanied by lethargy and unwillingness to perform their usual activities.
How to Prevent Constipation in Your Dog?
The responsibility of every pet owner is to make sure their canine companion does not become constipated. In case you notice mild constipation, symptoms or suspect the development of such a digestive issue, there are certain changes you can make to the habits of your pet to prevent infrequent bowel movements.
The first simple change to introduce is ensuring your dog is always hydrated. There is supposed to be enough water in the body of your companion for constipation not to develop. It would be best if you tried adding chicken broth or water to their food and making sure your pet has access to fresh water. Keeping your furry friend hydrated is vital for the prevention of other medical conditions as well.
As far as food is concerned, it would be best to replace kibble with good quality canned food. If possible, find a canned version of the food your pet currently eats to prevent disruptions in their diet. Otherwise, you are advised to mix the canned food you buy with its kibble to prevent an upset stomach. Canned dog food is known to be much softer and higher in moisture content, which aids the regulation of the digestive system.
Moreover, you can introduce certain types of foods to your canine’s diet to stimulate the work of the digestive system, such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Make sure to purchase pumpkin puree, which is remarkably high in moisture and fiber and helpful in regulating the digestive tract. Your pet would love eating the puree straight from the can, as canines adore sweet treats.
Another way to keep the bowel movements of your canine frequent is by keeping it active. A long walk daily is one of the best ways to stimulate bowel movements. Also, any other type of exercises like fetch, chase, or running is beneficial for promoting a healthy digestive tract.
If you notice signs of constipation in your fluffy companion, the best decision would be to take your canine to the veterinarian. Vets might recommend giving dietary fiber supplements to your dog to boost the fiber in its body, which in turn will make its tool softer and bowel movements more regular. A qualified vet best determines the type and dosage of dietary fiber supplements.
When it comes to the administration of enema, canine owners are strongly advised not to administer this injection on their own to prevent injuring their dogs. This injection should be administered by a veterinarian only if necessary. In most cases, vets recommend stool softeners and laxatives whose function is to stimulate a bowel movement.
To Sum Up
As a dog owner, your task is to prevent your beloved companion from getting constipated.
By making changes to its daily habits, you will keep your companion perfectly healthy!